Monarch Mountain has plans for every Saturday in January as the mountain embraces ski safety month once again. 

This year’s events, however, have been scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These are things we can do outdoors while socially distancing,” said Kathryn Wadsworth, Monarch’s event manager. 

The mountain began the month with its Kids on Lifts and Lids on Kids day Saturday, emphasizing that helmets can make a difference in reducing or preventing injuries from falls. Monarch offered kids a 20 percent discount on helmet purchases at Elation Sports. 

On Jan. 16, the focus of the day will be the skier’s responsibility code and its seven points of emphasis.

“The responsibility code has been around the industry a long time and it’s really common sense, but if you’re new to skiing or snowboarding you might not think about these things,” Wadsworth said. “It’s very important to learn the code and practice it while at any ski area.”

The focus will switch towards staying safe in the backcountry with Monarch’s annual Backcountry Day, Jan. 23. 

The day will start with a dawn patrol skin up and ski down the mountain at 7 a.m. 

Equipment demos avalanche beacon demonstrations and a beginner backcountry tour featuring routes, tips and techniques on touring is planned. 

To participate, skiers and snowboarders will need their own equipment and skins, signed waivers and a $20 uphill pass for Monarch. Lift tickets are also required to ride the lifts. 

Backcountry Day is done in partnership with Colorado Mountain College’s avalanche science program. This year it also partnered with Gov. Polis’ initiative on backcountry and avalanche awareness. 

The safety month will conclude Jan. 30 park smart education. Wadsworth said Monarch will be providing handouts and information throughout the day on how to stay safe in terrain parks. 

Monarch will also host a junior competition for skiers and snowboarders 15 and younger at the Tilt terrain park. The day-of registration is $5 and more details will be announced closer to the competition. 

Separate from ski safety month, Monarch will also host its annual veteran’s appreciation day Thursday, offering veterans $39 lift tickets for the day. 

“It’s our way of saying thank you and rewarding our veterans and our active military,” Wadsworth said. “This year it’s simply a thank you with greatly reduced lift tickets.”

More information on ski safety month can be found at https://www.skimonarch.com/ and also https://www.nsaa.org/ under the “safety” tab.

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