If you want to tackle double black or extreme terrain at Monarch, you will have to hike.
That’s right, hike… the hike to Mirkwood Basin opens up lots of challenging terrain. Most of the obvious runs are open shots down the sides of this steep basin. These are nice if the snow is fresh powder. But, once they pack down or get windblown, they aren’t as much fun.
When the conditions are less than delightful and bottomless powder in the open basin, hit the trees. The Mirkwood Trees and Staircase runs are genuine extreme terrain, pretty tight for most skiers and riders.
Until you really know your way around Mirkwood, a better choice is to do the hike, then head almost straight south along the Southbound ridge, and follow it out and down Lodgeview. This is tree skiing at its best. Steep, with loose evergreen trees (soft branches are good if you hit one), and always some uncut snow. Once you hit the cat track the route is obvious and it is a quick trip back to Breezeway for another lap.