Skiing Monarch

A skier cruises a groomed run on Monarch Mountain’s opening day in 2018. The resort tries to open its slopes around Thanksgiving every year.

As the weather begins to cool, skiers and snowboarders start getting the itch to get back on the slopes. While some resorts may open with a single run, Monarch Mountain usually gets enough snow, even early on, to spread everyone out on multiple trails.

“With our high elevation we get solid natural snowfall, and we’re usually able to open a lot of terrain in the early season,” said Scott Pressly, Monarch vice president of mountain operations.

Monarch always tries to open for the season around Thanksgiving. In 2018, when the ski area received lots of early snow, it opened five days earlier than it had planned. Not only that, Monarch had 30 trails open on its first day of the season, more than 40 percent of its marked trails. It even had a few features in its Tilt terrain park set up.

“It all depends on what we get,” Pressly said.

The early season, however, is also a good time to ride some easier trails to get your legs back under you.

“It’s a good time for starting to get your ski form back, getting into shape and sticking to groomed trails,” Pressly said. “The backcountry can be dicey, so a ski area is a better option; it’s safer to ride where the ski-cats have been.”