All posts by Tom Long

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.

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!



A Q&A with Bathtub Row Brewing

Our hometown brewery, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, is partnering with us for this summer’s Beer & Band series. This bi-monthly event is a great way to relax and enjoy delicious local craft beer while listening to local bands. We had the pleasure of asking Bathtub Row’s General Manager, Jason Fitzpatrick, a few questions about the partnership, the events and his thoughts on the Los Alamos craft beer scene.

How would you describe the craft beer scene in Los Alamos?

Vibrant and discerning. This is a very thirsty town and our members and patrons continue to prove their commitment to the craft.

How did Bathtub Row end up partnering with Pajarito Mountain for the Beer & Band series?

One of our former Board Members and most active customers, Thad Hahn, has run the event at Pajarito for years.  We both agreed that pairing Bathtub Row with Beer & Band would make a great partnership. Bathtub Row also enjoys supporting local musicians, so we really appreciate the opportunity to help bring these great events to Los Alamos.  

What does it mean to be a brewing co-op and why did Bathtub Row decide to become one?

We are owned by our membership and run by employees.  The basic structure of the Co-op model is split into 1) Operations, run by the General Manager, and 2) Policy, decided and implemented by the elected Board of Directors.  We do have a professional team running the brewery.  The founders and original members of Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op decided to become a cooperative because they wanted a craft brewery and gathering place for the community.  There wasn’t a single or small group of investors, so they decided to take the concept to the community at large.  The cooperative craft beer model has proven very successful here in Los Alamos.

How many brewing co-ops are there in the U.S.?

To the best of my knowledge, there are five. Hopefully the success of Bathtub Row will inspire others!

Little Bird Blond
Photo credit: BTR Brewing.

Do you see a crossover in skiers and craft beer drinkers in Los Alamos? If so, why do you think that is?

We do get a lot of customers that come right off of the mountain and head to the Tub for a beer.  Both the outdoors and craft beer seem to appeal to a subset of society that enjoys quality, activity, and socialization.  

Which beer are you most excited to bring to the Beer & Band series? Can you give us a preview of the beers you’ll offer at the event?

At each of the Beer & Band events we’ll bring an IPA—by far the most popular beer with our patrons—as well as a variety of three other styles. As lovers of craft beer, we enjoy many different styles and try to highlight seasonal flavors and aromas in our rotating taps.

What do you think of the Beer & Band music lineup?

An eclectic mix of some of the great bands of Northern New Mexico. We are really excited to play a part in showcasing their artistic talent!

*As a friendly reminder, there are no ATMs at Pajarito Mountain, so please bring cash to purchase alcohol and food.

Pajarito Summer Trail Updates

Blog by Neal Pederson

At Pajarito, we’ve worked hard to get our extensive network of trails open to the public! At present, all of our trails are clear, open, and ready to ride! And with the opening of trails comes exciting improvements as well!

Just last week, we reworked and reopened a short section of Aspen for Trouble on the top of the mountain that hadn’t been open since the 2011 fire. This section of trail makes it much easier for climbers to complete the last section of trail between the pond and the top of Aspen Lift! It also makes a much easier route going down on the west side of the mountain.

Along with those improvements, we built a brand new log ride and drop in the center of Mother’s Milk using a newly fallen tree that had fallen in front of an aging log ride.

Need some visuals? Check out our Mountain Bike Park Promo video below!

Our upcoming Bike & Hike days are the perfect opportunity to test out your skills! Come out to Pajarito from 9:00am-3:00pm on July 1st and 2nd for $25 mountain bike uplift tickets! And on the 1st, beer from Bathtub Row Brewing starts pouring at noon for our Beer & Band event. Click here to see all of our upcoming events!

And for those who really can’t get enough time on the bike, consider purchasing an Unlimited Uplift Pass. It not only gets you mountain bike uplift at every Pajarito Bike & Hike day, but unlimited uplift at Purgatory all summer long! Learn more about the Unlimited Uplift Pass here.

SummerFest is Coming!

Summer’s officially here and it’s time to kick it off right. Pajarito will be hosting its annual SummerFest all day on June 10th, with lift access to hiking and biking trails, live music, and—of course—plenty of local craft brews.

Image of Mountain Bikers
Photo courtesy of Jeff Hylok

While the libations might not be exactly kid-friendly, there are so many ways the whole family can enjoy the SummerFest experience. The disk golf tournament, downhill bike race, and live music are sure to keep children—of all ages— entertained!

Early risers are rewarded with lift access to our extensive hiking and biking trails. You can explore the mountainside from 9:00am to 3:00pm, taking the lift up as many times as you want! But you’ll want to steer clear of the downhill course as the racers prep to compete in the exhilarating race. Think you have what it takes to master the challenging downhill course? It’s an individual and self-timed event, so simply download the STRAVA app to record your time, head to the top of the run, and go! This self-run event is absolutely free!

Image of Beers Clinking Together

After a long day on the hiking and biking trails, make your way to the beer garden for an ice-cold brew. With a $20 entry fee, you’ll spend the afternoon sipping beers from over a dozen of your favorite New Mexico craft breweries, including Taos Mesa Brewery, La Cumbre, Turtle Mountain, and Sierra Blanca. Entrants receive a commemorative pint glass, unlimited tastings, and one free full pint! Although the beer garden entrance accepts cash, checks, or credit cards, please note that purchasing additional pints will require cash. And if lunch is mandatory before hitting the beer tent, be sure to stop in at Pajarito Mountain Cafe to refuel your tanks.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed event, the Disk Golf Tournament will run from 10am-2m. Whether you cheer from the sidelines or participate yourself, learn all about the excitement here

Live music begins at 1:00pm with a performance by Mondo Vibrations with special guest LA Jazz Project. Don’t miss out on the energetic beats and festive atmosphere!

Men in Mountain Biking Gear

Below is the schedule of events for Pajarito’s 2017 SummerFest. We hope to see you there!

Lift-Served Hiking & Biking | 9am-3pm

Self-Run STRAVA Downhill Mountainbike Race | 9am-3pm

Mountain Bike Poker Run | 9am-3pm

Disk Golf Tournament | 10am-2pm

Pajarito Mountain Cafe | 11am-5pm

Live Music | 1pm-6pm

Local Craft Breweries | 1pm-6pm

Please note: we accept cash, checks, or credit cards for entrance at the beer garden, but additional pints will require cash. There are currently no ATMs on the mountain. Atomic City Transit will provide a free shuttle from LAHS leaving every 30 minutes, from 10am-6:30pm. 

SummerFest Hat and Pint Glasses
This year’s commemorative pint glass

A Pajarito Buyer’s Guide to Season Passes

By Stacey Glaser, Marketing Director

Pajarito Mountain 2017/18 season passes are on sale now and include more discounts and benefits than ever! Use this guide to help select the pass that’s right for you.

Worry-Free Payment Option: Pajarito is proud to offer no price increase over last year on select passes for the second year in a row! All Pajarito passes now include the payment plan option, regardless of which pass you purchase! With no interest and easy, automatic payments, it’s just one less thing you have to keep track of. Simply pay off your pass in monthly installments through January 30, 2018.

LogoThe Power Pass
The Power Pass is ideal for those who want unlimited ski days and the biggest perks.

  • 12 Buddy Passes to share with your friends and family when you purchase your pass by April 28! These include 6 tickets discounted at 25% off and 6 tickets discounted at 15% off. Just bring your guest to the ticket counter to receive your discount! Buddy Passes are valid at all 5 mountains.

The Local Power Pass
Formerly known as the New Mexico Pass, the Local Power Pass gives you unlimited access to Pajarito, Hesperus and Sipapu, plus 3 FREE days at Snowbowl.

  • 12 Buddy Passes to share with your friends and family when you purchase your pass by April 28!

The Local Power Pass+
Formerly known as the New Mexico Pass Plus, the new Local Power Pass+ is identical to the Local Power Pass with the addition of 3 FREE days at Purgatory and unlimited 50% off biking and hiking at Pajarito.

  • 12 Buddy Passes to share with your friends and family when you purchase your pass by April 28!

Pajarito Value Passes
Pajarito offers a variety of value passes, perfect for those who want to ski only Pajarito and don’t mind blackout dates in December, January and February, or fewer perks.

  • The most affordable season pass option!

Pajarito Family Passes
Perfect for any family who wants to ski only Pajarito and doesn’t mind blackout dates in December, January and February. After the first family member purchases their pass, each subsequent family member’s pass price is reduced (1st and 2nd family member sale prices are the same).

Convenience Passes
Guests 7 and younger, 4th graders and guests 70 and better can get a FREE lift ticket at Pajarito every day from the business office. The new Convenience Pass allows these age groups to get direct-to-lift access for just $29.

  • Great news for parents—purchase a $29 7 & Younger Pass and your little rippers 7 and under will get direct lift access at all 5 of our ski areas. If you’re interested in summer benefits or FREE ski days at places like Copper and Loveland, the Child Power Pass is what you’re looking for.
  • Parents can purchase the new $29 4th Grade Convenience Pass and their kid(s) will receive direct-to-lift access to Sipapu, Pajarito and Hesperus! Available this fall in the business office.
  • Parents can purchase the new $29 5th Grade Convenience Pass and their kid(s) will receive direct-to-lift access at Pajarito, Hesperus and Sipapu. Available this fall in the business office.
  • Guests 70 years old and better can purchase a $29 70 & Older Convenience Pass and receive direct-to-lift access to Sipapu, Pajarito, Arizona Snowbowl and Hesperus.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to purchase the pass that’s right for you by April 28 to get the deepest discounts and biggest perks. If you have any more questions, visit our FAQ page. See you on the mountain!

Another Excellent Ski Season

What can I say? We had another excellent season of skiing and snowboarding at Pajarito Mountain, filled with great snow, fun events and terrific guests and staff! Before we transition into our summer season, I want to share with you some of my hand-picked highlights of the 2016/17 season:

My Favorite Events

It’s so hard to pick one favorite event, so here are a few of mine from this season:
– The Torchlight parade on New Year’s Eve had great staff response and participation!
– The K2 Women’s event supported a great cause and promotes friendship.
– Telebration/Telefest always brings some great Tele skiers to the mountain.
– Skiesta, hosted by the Los Alamos Ski Club, was a hoot as always, and was well attended.

A Skiesta contestant getting big air in his Lederhosen!
A Skiesta contestant gets big air in his Lederhosen! Photo by Try’n’Fly Photography.


Starting off the season with the updated, automated snowmaking system was incredible. The automated upgrades improved efficiency and aided in the overall operation of the system. After creating a terrific base back in November, Mother Nature kicked in and provided us with some terrific skiing and riding conditions that persisted throughout the winter, thanks to numerous large snowstorms. Shortly after the storms moved out, spring skiing arrived, and we’ve been enjoying the softer groomers and warmer temperatures since then.

A snowy Christmas Eve photo, snapped by Glen Wurden.
A snowy Christmas Eve photo, snapped by Glen Wurden.

Excitement Level

Our guests love skiing and riding Pajarito Mountain, and their excitement is always reflected in their smiles that are commonly seen around the mountain! That being said, I saw more happy faces this season than ever before!

A big Friday smile from @landedupinabq!
A big Friday smile from @landedupinabq!

My Favorite Runs
I’m an old man so I prefer groomers (go ahead and laugh), but Pajarito has a wide array of terrain for all skiers and snowboarders. My favorite runs this season were Bonanza, L’il Abner, Daisy Mae, Lone Spruce, Pussycat, Rim Run, I Don’t Care, One More Time, Evershine Ridge, East Confusion… okay, I can’t choose—I love ‘em all!

Skiing the steeps! Photo by Instagrammer @andrewbthien.
Skiing the steeps! Photo by Instagrammer @andrewbthien.

Thanks for skiing and snowboarding with us this season and being a part of our amazing community that makes Pajarito Mountain so special. We couldn’t do it without you! As a way of showing our thanks, we’re validating all 2016/17 season passes at two of our resorts, Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort and Hesperus Ski Area, now through the end of the ski season! Visit the resorts’ ticket offices to pick up your FREE lift ticket (one per pass holder, per day)!

See you on the mountain for a great summer full of mountain biking and fun events!