Mirkwood Basin is truly Monarch’s hidden gem, 130 acres of double black diamond backcountry terrain.
Because it is a tough 15 minute hike from the top of the Breezeway lift to the top of the runs, it stays uncrowded and filled with untracked powder shots.
If you are really, really an expert skier, ride the Breezeway lift, and head right and straight up the cat track to the top. Wish you could take the snowcat up? Sorry, that is exclusively for backcountry snowcat ski tours only.
See this sign, look around, catch your breath, enjoy the view. Catch your breath some more.
When you are ready, locate Mirkwood Bowl – it is the easiest and most obvious way down. It’s very steep at the top, but quickly mellows. If you fall and slide to the bottom, no big deal. Put yourself together, find the catch-all cat track and head back to the base of Breezeway. Head up to do it all again or (if you didn’t make the grade), go back to black runs for some easier skiing.
From the top of Mirkwood, for less then double diamond skiing, you can drop into the lightly treed Southbound bowl. But, if you do this, you cannot really say you have skied Mirkwood.
If you are a glutton for punishment, challenge yourself with Staircase. It’s very steep and heavily treed, and this likely will be some of the toughest skiing you will ever do. For many, the best technique for this run is not to start.