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A Most Unexpected Homecoming at Monarch

After months of planning, a Senior Instructor with the United States Army surprised his family with his homecoming at Monarch Mountain. Ryan OHarra hadnt seen his wife and three children since July of 2014.

We are so glad to have been a part of Ryans plan to surprise his family, said Jessie Smith, Marketing Coordinator. It was such a special project, and not something you get to do every day.

OHarra contacted Monarch late in 2014 with his plan. He asked the mountains staff to convince his wife that their family had won a ski vacation, including a free family lesson. He would then pose as their ski instructor, and kick off their weekend on the mountain with a great surprise.

OHarras two sons, Cole, 6, and Brooks, 16, along with his daughter, Ella May, 10, are all experienced skiers. The family comes to Monarch often, and OHarra said he couldnt think of a more perfect way to spend his first weekend home. His wife, Kristel, thought the prize package was a scam when Smith notified her by email that shed won a Monarch vacation. Luckily, one phone call was enough to convince her otherwise. She and the couples three kids traveled from the Colorado Springs area on a Saturday morning, early enough to get to their free ski lesson on time.

OHarras plan went off without a hitch, and his family was shocked to see that their ski instructor was actually their dad, whod told them he wouldnt be home for months. After he revealed his surprise, OHarra asked his children if they wanted to head into the lodge and spend some time chatting since they hadnt seen each other in so long. Cole, the youngest, replied simply, We came to go skiing. Without further question, the family hit the slopes.