18 May 2011

Winter Stout Alpine Yurt at Monarch Mountain Ski Area

By |2018-05-08T13:31:40+00:00May 18th, 2011|

When Monarch Mountain needed a home for their Junior Mountain program, they called us at the Colorado Yurt Company.

Monarch Mountain is an awesome family-oriented ski area that is about two hours from our shop in Montrose, CO. The mountain sits on the continental divide in the Sawatch range, and the elevation at the top of the mountain is 11,960 feet. Monarch has great ski terrain and the most amazing view from the top of the Panorama lift. From there you can see the San Juan mountains sitting way off to the south, and the Gunnison valley stretching out between. On a clear day, it does seem that you can see forever. When you point the boards down hill, it’s a long and exhilarating trip to the base. There are many routes to the bottom, and all of them are prime Colorado skiing. The other great things about Monarch Mountain include: short lift lines, plentiful annual snowfall (350 inches or more), great prices and really friendly staff.

Junior Mountain is a unique part of the Monarch ski school- a program specifically designed for 7-12 year old skiers and boarders. They spend the entire day as a group, starting at the yurt, going out to the mountain, then coming back to the yurt for lunch and other activities. The kids and their families usually had the initial reaction of “What is a yurt?!” But, by the end of the day, the young skiers and boarders thought the yurt was one of the coolest parts of the Junior Mountain experience. They came to see it as their private hideaway- so much more unique and personal than a room in the base lodge. After the first full season of use, the management at Monarch is also very happy with the yurt. Eric Ramsey of Monarch Mountain said, “We are very pleased with the yurt we purchased from Colorado Yurt Company.  It’s been a perfect mix of form and function creating a unique environment that has enhanced our guest experience.”

The yurt at the base of Monarch for their ski school is an Alpine Winter Stout yurt. It’s a yurt that is designed for the extreme conditions found at Monarch- deep unbalanced snow loads. We introduced the Winter Stout several years ago specifically for customers such as ski areas that have high altitude and/or deep snowfall. The Winter Stout can withstand up to 170psf of unbalanced snow loads- which makes it the strongest yurt around. So, when the yurt is filled with kids, the snow piled on the roof is not a concern to the ski school staff at Monarch. They can relax and concentrate on who lost their socks or who will try their best Shaun White impression when they strap on the snowboard. And, that’s just the way we like it.



1 Jun 2010

DYY (Do Your Yurt)

By |2018-05-08T13:31:39+00:00June 1st, 2010|

Yurts run the gamut from DIY (do-it-yourself) to pre-fab.  Most people who live in a yurt purchased a kit from a professional company. Recently though, I was looking at some pictures from a Colorado Yurt Company customer when hit me: all yurts, to varying degrees, are do-it-yourself.  While some of our customers contract out bits and pieces in and around their yurt (e.g. site preparation and deck) the vast majority play a large role in giving shape to their yurt. Each customer builds a unique yurt; we just facilitate. Take the case of Samantha Swenson and Duncan Masters.


The first step in the building process for the Swenson-Masters began with a stroll across their land in eastern North Carolina. When they imagined a home there, they saw a yurt.



Actually they saw two
Building Philosophy
The Swenson-Masters wanted their yurt to be a physical expression of their ideals of economy, ecology, and luxury.

Samantha says their love of reading guided their use of space in the yurt. Between the newlyweds’ two collections there were a lot of books.  Samantha says, “We figured out all the possible places to put shelves and then added everything else.”  Using the bookshelves as functional walls, they divided the big yurt into quarters: the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, and the office/craft area and future nursery.





Moving into a yurt was obviously a step into an “alternative” lifestyle but not as much as you might assume.  In Samantha’s words,

“We are still interested in maintaining a relatively average lifestyle inside eccentric surroundings, finding balance between being eco-friendly and being your average active working individuals who love high-speed internet and crime drama TV shows…”




In addition to crime TV they love having people over.  They left the front half of their yurt, the kitchen and living room open and inviting, while moving the clutter of everyday life to the back of the yurt.

Designing the Kitchen
For their kitchen they decided on IKEA’s Varde series, which appealed to them ascetically and because it’s freestanding.  The counter space is movable and the table expands.



The smaller yurt houses a bathroom and utility area.  Luxury found its home in the bathroom.  It has a shower with bench, deep soaker jacuzzi tub (with a rubber ducky)…
… and a beautiful, handcrafted sink and vanity.

Another wonderful thing about this yurt is that it is handicap accessible.

Like all great homes, the Swenson-Master’s is a work in progress.  They are currently adding a loft to the big yurt for Samantha’s craft projects.  By the time their baby-to-be is school age they hope to add another yurt to the mix.

Some folks are more hands-off in their approach to designing their yurt than these guys, others do more. Regardless of where you fall on the DIY to Pre and Post-Fab continuum, the decision to live in a yurt is the decision to live in house that reflects you.  The round space and flood of natural light provide an inspiring place to build a your unique home.

Get started designing your yurt with our “Color Your Yurt” tool!


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