Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Santa Fe ski area (New Mexico)

The ski area is only 15 miles from the town of Santa Fe.  It offers 1,725 vertical feet, 660 acres, served by 1 quad, 2 triples, and 1 double chair, and that's not counting the beginner lifts.  The highest point is at 12,075 feet, but the view is better from another peak, the one served by the Santa Fe Super Chief quad chair, which is at 11,250 feet.

From that lower summit, you can see the town of Santa Fe below, and looking in that direction, you can also barely see two other ski areas in the distance: Sandia Peak (Watermellon) on your left and Pajarito (Little bird) on your right. 

I visited here on a Wednesday at the beginning of April, near the end of the season, and I saw very few people on the slopes. On an average run, I saw maybe just one or two other people.  On one occasion, I ran into a group of 4 friendly people who stopped for a breather right next to the trail sign for the "Lobo" trail.  Lobo means "wolf" in Spanish.   One of them, Paul,, a friendly man, took a photo of me next to the sign. 

I love it when ski areas get creative with trail names. 
Near the edge of the Santa Fe ski area, on the far right of the trail map, there are two trails side by side: 
a)  Desafio = "Challenge" in Spanish, and 
b)  Muerte = "Death" in Spanish

Hmmm, which one shall we ski? Well, I did them both.

I tried the Challenge trail first.  It turned out to be quite a challenge, because it was a mogul field top to bottom.  I survived it unscathed, but it was a workout. 

A young lady, the only other person I saw there, decided to take her skis off and walk down.

On the next run down, I embraced "Muerte".  Death was so much easier.  It was perfectly groomed, and it was obvious that they hold ski races on that slope.  I'll take Death any time over Challenge!!! 

Overall, I had a great time skiing here.  It was a beautiful bluebird day, and once the sun softend up the snow, you could ski almost anywhere. 

Santa Fe ski area also has lots of tree skiing, many of them steep glades.  On this day, nobody was skiing there, because in the shade of the trees, the snow remains quite hard and icy.  But, all these glades were so obviously all skied out.  It is obvious that the locals love to challenge themselves in the trees.

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