First Snow & Snowmaking Update

Pajarito Snowmaking

This week, temperatures and conditions have been ideal for snowmaking at Pajarito Mountain. And this morning, we got some extra encouragement from Mother Nature in the form of three inches of freshly fallen snow. This first snow of the winter season has us super motivated to continue working round-the-clock ensure the mountain is ready for our scheduled opening date, Saturday, December 16.

Pajarito Snowmaking

Pajarito SnowmakingOur winter mountain crew is focusing on this terrain:

  • Top of Spruce Lift down Lone Spruce to Mushroom Run Out
  • Zero Road East down to the Spruce Lift loading area
  • Top of beginners’ chair over to Mushroom Run Out, including Mushroom Run Out
  • Mushroom Run Out down to Zero Road East
  • Zero Road East down to the beginners’ chair loading area
  • New Magic Carpet conveyor lift area
  • Flat teaching area—the newly-enlarged area by SnowSport School

Pajarito First Snow on Evergreens Pajarito First Snow on Evergreens

Due to the ideal conditions, snow quality is excellent. We can’t wait to welcome you to Pajarito Mountain and kick off the 2017-2018 ski season.

New Lift News & Snowmaking Weather

Crew attaches intermediate sections to support beams.
Initial alignment of intermediate sections.

Day by day, the installation of our brand new Magic Carpet conveyor lift progresses. The drive terminal, pit, foundation and electrical control box are all in place, as are the power feed conduit and cable. Power is now at the electrical control box.  All the intermediate sections of the surface lift are in position on their support beams. The load terminal is established and ready to set. Next up is to complete the final alignment of the lift.

We have power!
All intermediate sections in place for final alignment.

The actual “conveyor belt” arrived on the mountain, and when final alignment is complete, we’ll install the conveyor belting. Then we’ll place the walkways and hand rail, and the new lift will be ready for our first guests at the Beginner Area.

Pajarito’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system is strategically placed on the mountain, and it looks like Mother Nature is ready to cooperate. Colder temps and wetter conditions are in the forecast. We’re ready to start snowmaking!
Take a look at the forecast.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is scheduled to open Saturday, December 16.


Bringing the Magic to Beginners

Our brand new Magic Carpet conveyor lift is on the mountain!  We have completed all the prep work for the installation of the new surface lift, and are anxious to begin the actual construction of the lift.  Dirt work, electrical work and the reshaping of our Beginners’ Area are all complete, and the whole project is coming together.

magic carpet delivery

Part of the pre-installation prep work has included expanding the loading area and constructing a retaining wall near the SnowSport School, doubling the size of the area that first-time skiers have get on the snow.

magic carpet terminal pit
Completed Magic Carpet drive terminal pitnew retainer wallSnowSports School expansion/retaining wall

Our state-of-the-art snowmaking system has just a few tweaks left to do, and the TechnoAlpin technician is on the mountain today. We always recognize what a precious resource our water is, so we are patiently waiting for just the right weather conditions to make snow.

magic carpet conveyor installationInstallation of the Magic Carpet conveyor lift

With snow forecasted for this Friday, we’re more anxious than ever to supplement Mother Nature with snowmaking. The mountain will be ready for the 2017-2018 ski season. Don’t forget to get your season pass or punch cards  while they’re still on sale. The sale ends this Friday, November 17.


Pajarito’s New Lift is Pure Magic

We hope you had a chance or two to soak in the spectacular fall colors up at Pajarito Mountain. Autumn truly is a magical season in the Jemez Mountains. As for me and my winter mountain crew, we’ve been a bit spellbound by something else: Pajarito’s brand new Magic Carpet conveyor lift.

magic carpet dirt work wide view

This winter, beginners will let go of the Mighty Mite handle tow and hop on a brand new Magic Carpet conveyor lift. In fact, Mighty Mite and the old lift house have been completely removed and we’ve started slope grading, foundation and electrical work in preparation for installation. The new Magic Carpet will service our Beginner Area in the same location as the old Mighty Mite handle tow.

magic carpet pit foundation
The pit for the drive terminal foundation  just before pouring.

A conveyor lift is super easy for beginners, including our youngest guests, to ride. Our Magic Carpet will be 170 feet long, moving 800 more guests per hour—both beginner skiers and snowboarders—than the old handle tow.

young girl skier rides Magic Carpet lift
First-time snowboarder rides the Magic Carpet conveyor lift at Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort.

The mountain will be ready for the 2017-2018 ski season, which is scheduled to start Friday, November 24. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your season pass or Power Products while you can get them at the guaranteed lowest price. Sale ends this Friday, October 27.

Fall is in the air and you should be too.

Bike Park Director, Hogan Koesis, talks trail updates just in time for this weekend’s final lift-served biking and hiking of the season.


Fall is in the air and you should be too. Last day for catching a chair is Saturday, October 21st!  We’d love to see anybody and everyone there as this is the first time a trail building machine has been at the mountain for close to a month.  Dante and Jackie have been hard at it tuning and tweaking your favorite trails to be even better!  With landings being extended and broadened, turns getting widened and more supportive and take-offs getting extended to the moon, it‘s hard not to get excited with all new trail building going on!  I’m super excited to get out there and take some laps with everyone on the last weekend of park riding this season!


Don’t forget, any season pass holder in the state of New Mexico can redeem a free day at Pajarito on Saturday. Head to up to the neighboring resort, Angel Fire Bike Park, on Sunday the 22nd for the last day of the season!  It’s like a New Mexico closing weekend extravaganza!  Shred bikes all day at Pajarito, take advantage of the awesome camping and campfire stories, then head to Angel Fire for some super last day session laps!

fallIf anyone can get a chance to come down Saturday, we’d love catch some laps with you!


Snowmaking on the Brain

When guests at Pajarito Mountain feel this chill in the air, they indulge in all the richness of the changing season, from green chile on the side of everything to too-many pictures of oak, aspen and cottonwood leaves. But when our winter mountain crew feels this chill in the air, they visualize all lifts turning and first tracks down the Fab Four. Since last spring, we’ve been busy with snowmaking system infrastructure work, hazard tree removal, and chairlift, snowcat and lodge maintenance.

pajarito fall 2017
Photo by Peter Dickson

Snowmaking System

Last spring, the pond had been cleaned out and the liner completely repaired. We welcomed the late summer rainfall which increased the water level in our pond. Completed updates to the snowmaking system include removing one M-12 fixed fan gun and replacing it with a fixed A9 lance. That M-12 fan gun is now on a portable carriage, upping our mobile gun fleet to four units. The mobile gun fleet has been repaired and maintained, and the entire snowmaking system is getting the final touches of maintenance and repairs to ensure safe and efficient operation.

We aim to start snowmaking during the first two weeks of November, of course depending on the weather. We never want to waste a drop of precious water, so we’re going to start snowmaking a bit later.

Photo by George Duke

We just can’t wait to open up Pajarito Mountain for the 2017-2018 ski season. The mountain will be ready. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your Season Passes before the first snow.

Mountain Bike Park Update

Bike Park Director, Hogan Koesis, gives a fall mountain bike update:

Natural Drop
For the first time ever, a machine will be at Pajarito from yesterday, through October 20.
Dante and Jackie owner’s of Harmony Wolrd Wide LLC have been contracted to perform trail maintenance and enhancement for the following:
  1. Enhance Aspen for Trouble all the way down to the Chupacabra trail.  Enhancements will include trail widening, jump enhancement and corridor cleaning (cutting back deadfall).
  2. Enhance Aspenola trail for a more beginner friendly and smoother experience.  They will be focusing on water erosion and enhancing turns and merges on this trail.  Ultimately this trail is the closest thing to a beginner trail, and we want to make it work with the bike program in the spring.  Working on this trail will give us a head start for next season as it pertains to quality offerings.
  3. Enhance a lot of the drop landings.  Pajarito was hand built and needs some proper landings on a lot of the drops.  We are going to start at the base area with Mother’s Milk, Natural Selection, Red Dog and Dog Patch.  These trails all feed into the base area and we are going to work our way up by increasing the landing sizes on the drops and do some needed work in shoring up some of the bridges and water issues facing these existing trails.

Neal Pederson leading the pack

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we are super stoked to get out there and give it everything we have.  We are looking forward to feedback from the local riders as well as from people who have never been there before.

Bone Crusher

Team Harmony will also be developing a sign program and giving critical feedback as it pertains to increased lift hours, increased terrain and trails as well as what’s needed to take Pajarito to the next level!

Our Infatuation with Fall

Pajarito’s winter mountain crew pauses from ski-season preparations.
But just for a moment.

Every visitor to Pajarito Mountain has a camera around their neck or their finger hovering over the camera icon on their phone at this time of year. And it’s no wonder. The changing season is spectacular up here in the Jemez Mountains. The oak, aspens and cottonwood trees show off their yellow, orange and red leaves to everyone’s delight. Although photos never seem to do the changing season justice, here are a few of our recent favorites.

fall leavesfall hikers changing leaves
fall leaves changing colorfall runner changing leaves

We hope you’ll take a moment to soak in the fall colors and enjoy fresh eats —including New Mexico fall favorite, fire roasted green chile—at Pajarito Mountain Cafe, open for lunch every Wednesday—Friday from 11am-2pm through mid-October.

And while you’re indulging in green chile on-the-side and leaf looking outside, make sure you’re ready for winter. Buy your Season Passes and Power Products this week. Our Season Pass and Power Products Sale ends this Friday, September 29.

Speaking of winter, our sister resort, Arizona Snowbowl, was the first ski area in the United States to make snow! Snowmaking operations began Saturday, September 23. Stay tuned to learn when Pajarito will begin our snowmaking season.

Arizona Snowbowl begins snowmaking
Arizona Snowbowl began snowmaking this weekend..

FREE Mountain Biking Lessons at Ullrfest

Pajarito’s most popular fall festival, Ullrfest, happens Saturday, September 23. And this year, we’re excited to offer FREE mountain biking lessons as part of the festivities. Ullrfest features New Mexico Brewersfest with nearly one dozen local craft beers, live music, lift served hiking and biking, mountain bike lessons and races, disc golf tournament, costume contest and more.

Photo by Andy Thein

We’re expanding the options at Ullrfest this year with FREE mountain bike lessons plus on-mountain rentals. Your 2-hour lesson is FREE with a mountain bike uplift day pass—just $25. Find out more about lessons and rentals on our Ullrfest event pageHere’s the full festival schedule:

Saturday, September 23
7:45am  Guided 10-mile hike from town to Pajarito Mountain with Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Los Alamos Mountaineers. Find out more, including how to register here.
9am3pm Lift served hiking & biking (Saturday & Sunday)
9am3pm Downhill Strava mountain bike race
9am–3pm Poker Run mountain bike race
9:30am12:30 pm FREE mountain biking lessons (Saturday & Sunday)
10am Disc Golf Tournament at Camp May
11am5pm Pajarito Mountain Cafe Open
Noon5pm New Mexico Brewersfest | $15 entry fee
2:30pm  Meet & Greet Hogan Koesis, Bike Park Director, at the Pajarito Mountain sign
Bronach Celtic Blues
JJ and the Hooligans

Sunday, September 24
9am3pm Lift served hiking & biking
9:30am12:30pm FREE mountain biking lessons
11am2pm Pajarito Mountain Cafe Open

Photo by Leslie Bucklin

93 Days Until Opening Day!

General Manager, Tom Long, shares an update on preparing Pajarito for ski season.

Although Opening Day is 93 days away, Pajarito’s winter mountain crew never takes a summer break. Our crew has been busy with chairlift, snowcat and lodge maintenance, snowmaking system infrastructure work, and hazard tree removal. And we couldn’t do it without our dedicated and hard working volunteers. The Tuesday volunteer crew and Wednesday bike trail crew have been working since the snow melted last spring.

changing the oil in the final drive on chair 3
Changing the oil on the final drive on Chair 3

Line work is complete for all lifts, and most terminal work is also complete. Gearbox oil samples are done. Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) work is complete with some adjustments needed on our beginners’ lift #3. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) work all grips, clips, and hangers is about to begin. We finished up line work and grip migration on Spruce Lift #1—a tedious job required by Code every other year). Of course, all lifts will be Code-compliant and in top notch shape for Opening Day.

One of our snowcats in action last season!

Snowcat Maintenance
Our snowcats have been in the shop for summer maintenance, including oil changes, lubrication, filter changes, hydraulic hoses, tire replacement and track work. It’s a little like taking your car to Jiffy Lube, except that our cats have to operate without fail.

Lodge Maintenance
We replaced the old wooden 4X4 post holding up the Sun Sails on the main lodge deck with new steel posts. And our deck and picnic tables have undergone repairs. 

Pictured from left to right: Tommy Long, Tom Long and George Duke.

We can’t wait to open up Pajarito Mountain for the 2017-2018 ski season. The mountain will be ready. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your Season Passes or Power Cards/Power Packs before the first snow!