Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Mexico Ski Season Arrives Way Early

Neff Mountain Yurt
I've got a fair amount of snow in my yard as I write this, and Thanksgiving is still a couple of days away. A big Gobble-Gobble to the pernicious winds of recent drought. The higher elevation running/biking trails (above 8,500ft) which are generally snowed out by the first or second week of December are probably done till April. All area ski resorts will open this weekend (Pajarito excepted) and the free-heel crowd has been at it for the last couple weekends.
A couple of area winter guides have already published, including the NewMexican's Winterlife Magazine insert which came out three weeks back and November's winter layout in New Mexico Magazine. I mention these two specifically because I had a few quotes published which duly impressed my in-laws.

Whitney Dreier covers the snowshoeing and winter sport opportunities in northern New Mexico, noting the Chama Chile Ski Classic and the Mt Taylor Quadrathlon as the highlights of the winter calendar. Daniel Gibson writes about the growing network of in-state backcountry yurts. He profiles the Southwest Nordic hut system in Chama and Taos noting that rarely are the winter backcountry visits dangerous or do parties encounter epics due to weather. This made us laugh. But without the occasional turn of adversity what kind of stories are you going to tell at the next get together? Boring ones, and who wants that?

Fresh snow on Cumbres Pass
It bears mentioning that Enchanted Forest up in Red River built out two new yurts on their trail network for this season. Now that we have a small tyke with us, the backcountry options are not practical whereas the groomed track criss-crossing Enchanted Forest are a diamond in the haystack welcome alternative. Also un-mentioned in any of the stories I've read: Taos Ski Valley offers daycare for the kiddies. It ain't cheap, but there may be greater cost to sacrificing a decent winter snowpack than a few greenbacks. Winter memories are lasting.

 - Daniel Gibson writes a regular winter column in the SFNM Outdoors section - worth a follow
 - Whitney Dreier is an associate online editor at Outside, wrtiting about running & skiing - worth a follow
 - Enchanted Forest XC almost always has updates and upcoming events - worth a follow.

Related Posts:
 - Enchanted Forest XC Ski Trails
 - Neff Mountain Yurt - Chama
 - Bull of the Woods Yurt - Taos


  1. Nice info Kevin! And you are spot on with NM - you get the bluebird skies and deep powder with the "sky island" like views?

  2. You bet. Diggin' the backcountry photos of Durango that you've been posting. You make me believe there's a way to get out on the boards a bit more this winter. Here's hoping the snow continues to fall in these parts...



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