There’s a fair amount of neat machinery in the history of the ski industry, from old groomers to old ski lifts, but few of those machines seem to still be able to work and operate. This guy, the 1938 Monarch Sno-Motor, on the other hand, operates just fine, thanks to a large restoration project completed by George Schaaf with the Schaaf Tractor & Truck Museum.
As far as anyone knows, the Monarch Sno-Motor featured in the following video is only one of its kind. It was originally designed by Portland, Oregon’s US Forest Service to move wood and materials during the creation of Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge. After the completion of the building, though, the vehicle was repurposed to transport skiers up the mountain. It’s got a Hercules flathead 6-cylinder engine and was featured on the cover of the December 1949 issue of popular mechanics.
I would have absolutely no use for this thing if I happened to own it, but man I want to own it. It looks so fun to cruise around in the snow driving the Monarch Sno-Motor, and I imagine it’s just as fun to be in its passenger cart on the back. That being said, it’s definitely a cool look at the history of skiing. It’s really not much different in function from a passenger snowcat or a snowmobile with a little passenger sled on the back. I’m certain it wouldn’t be the safest thing to bring into the Colorado or Wyoming backcountry, but I’m sure it would be awesome in some less avalanche prone areas!
Image Credit: Gone Farmin’ on YouTube