New Runs Added, Many More Announced!

We are excited to announce that Pajarito Mountain has added a ton of new terrain today, with much more to come tomorrow! Our mountain crew has been working overtime track-packing and grooming the slopes to open up as much of the mountain as possible. Pajarito Mountain is now open from Bonanza all the way over to Pussycat. Here are the runs we’ve added today:

Daisy Mae

Li’l Abner

Dog Patch

Sundance

Bonanza

Pussycat
Pussycat is groomed and begging for some turns!

Tomorrow we’re scheduled to open even more terrain, including Chair #2 and the Fab Four! The legendary Fab Four will be perfect for those looking for adventure—those trails are untracked and untouched by groomers! By the end of tomorrow, we plan to have all runs from Bonanza over to I Don’t Care open. That’s almost the entire mountain! Here’s a full list of the runs we’re planning on opening tomorrow:

Big Mother

-Little Mother

-Sidewinder

-Precious

-Breathless

Rim Run    

Why Not to Zero Road West

One More Time to Zero Road West

I Don’t Care to Zero Road West

In addition to opening new runs, we’re also working hard to get our terrain parks ready for shredding! Our mountain team is currently working on the ramps for the features we placed this morning in the West Beginner park. We’ve already installed a picnic table, a triple barrel, a flat box and a flat rail, and we’re working on a roller and a rainbow box. We plan on having the West Beginner terrain park open tomorrow!

Pajarito Mountain’s Annual New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade is this Saturday, Dec. 31. Join us around sunset on the Lodge deck for free hors d’oeuvres as we ring in the New Year! The Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrollers will ski lit torches in a procession down Lumberyard for a stunning show of color and light. This mountain tradition is not one to be missed!

New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade
The New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade is a mountain tradition!

As always, stay tuned to our blog and our Snow Report to stay up to date on new terrain openings and conditions, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Happy Trails!

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like a White Christmas!

Hello everybody! I’m taking a break from track packing this new snow to update you on what’s new at the mountain!

We have picked up 6” of fresh snow since yesterday and have more forecasted to fall through Sunday! This means you all did your snow dances! Our snowmaking crew is working hard track packing the slopes in preparation of the forecasted snowfall. By track packing in advance, the runs will just need to be groomed and then they’ll be ready to shred!

New Snow
Mother Nature brought us some new snow last night. Photo: George Duke.

Our mountain crew just finished up track packing Pussycat and East Beginner, and now (weather depending) we will begin on Li’l Abner, Lumberyard and Daisy Mae. We are expanding out from the core of the mountain, opening up as much terrain as possible to provide the best experience for everyone!

Prospective Terrain Openings
Here’s the terrain we’re currently working on!

Our new logo wear makes great gifts! These shirts, jackets, hats and more make great holiday gifts for friends and family! To purchase yours, call the office or stop by anytime between 8am-4pm every day until January 2 at (505)662-5725 for more information. But hurry—supplies are limited!

Logo Wear
New Pajarito Mountain logo wear like this trucker’s hat and long sleeve shirt is now available for purchase! Photo: Marci Partin.

The Mountain Cafe is open daily from 8am-4pm, and is serving up everything from french toast and burritos to burgers and Frito pie. Check out their delicious breakfast and lunch menu here!

As a reminder, the mountain is open daily for the holidays through January 2, with lifts running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to regularly check our Snow Report.

As always, happy trails!

Pajarito is Now Open!

Thank you to everyone who came out for opening weekend! Your big smiles and terrific energy created a wonderful atmosphere for enjoying the first few days back on the slopes. It was so good to see both familiar and new faces on the mountain, not to mention the awesome snow we had last weekend!

first selfie of season
The first lift selfie of the season @bdugick

Pajarito will reopen this Friday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 11. Our snowmaking crew is incredibly excited about last night’s snowmaking — we couldn’t have asked for better conditions (see the forecast here).  Stay tuned for our progress by checking our web cam regularly!

breathtaking view
The breathtaking view from a snowmaker’s office! P.C.: Jim Stein

Moving forward, we are focusing on opening up more terrain. This weekend we are hoping to open the Beginner Area in order to provide a diverse experience all levels can enjoy. The Beginner Area will give never-evers and learners good practice terrain to master while progressing towards steeper runs like Bruce’s Boulevard and Lone Spruce.

opening day
Opening Day! P.C.: @myblessingindisguise

We will be closed Dec. 12-15 and will reopen daily for the holidays Dec. 16-Jan.1. In the meantime, make sure to get your season pass if you haven’t already done so! Season Passes and Power Products are on sale until Friday, Dec. 16 and can be purchased online.

Thanks again and see you all on the mountain!

 

 

 

Three More Days To Opening Day!

What to Expect for Opening Day. We are scheduled to open Lone Spruce and Bruce’s Boulevard, accessed by the Aspen Lift, on Saturday. With the great conditions we’ve been having, West Beginner Trail and the Mighty Mite Lift may also be open. Lift ticket prices will be just $29 for everyone this weekend! The Rental Shop, Pajarito Mountain Cafè, Ski and Snowboard School will also be open on Saturday.

pajarito winter trail map 2016-17
Saturday’s planned runs and lifts are highlighted in yellow. The Aspen Lift, Lone Spruce Trail and West Beginner Trail are expected to be open. Conditions allowing, Mighty Mite Lift may also be open.

Snowmaking. Because of the advancements we have made in our snowmaking infrastructure, Snowmaking Manager Tommy said this is one of Pajarito’s best years of snowmaking! Tommy said that he chalks this up to the system’s automation, which we discussed in detail in our last blog post. Our plan for the rest of the week is to take advantage of the forecasted conditions by making snow non-stop until opening day!

pajarito lone spruce
The Beginner Area as pictured this morning, November 30.

Looking forward. With a good chunk of the mountain ready for opening day, our team is itching to go on an “exploratory trackpacking” mission to scope out areas that have enough snow for us to trackpack with the snowcat. Some spots have deeper bases than others, and we want to find those areas and open up as much skiable terrain as we can, as soon as possible! As time and conditions allow, Tommy said we may even be able to open up a few terrain park features for Saturday!

See you on the mountain!

5 Days To Opening Day!

Last night Pajarito received 2 more inches of fresh snow! It was our pleasure to have James Coleman, Pajarito’s Managing Partner, on the mountain last night helping us prepare the mountain for Saturday’s scheduled opening. Snowmaking conditions were ideal, with low temperatures and humidity helping our snowmaking team (and James!) make a great product on Bruce’s Boulevard and Lone Spruce and the connector between Lone Spruce and the Aspen Lift.

Me in the snowcat trackpacking our new snow!
Me in the snowcat trackpacking our new snow!

Besides making snow, James spent the lion’s share of the evening (and the wee hours of the morning) in the pump house ensuring all systems were working properly. For those of you who don’t already know, Pajarito has a state-of-the-art automated snowmaking system. The way this works is our snow guns automatically adjust the ratio of water to air in relation to atmospheric conditions like temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed. Our Snowmaking Manager, Tommy Long, was very excited to work on this with James last night. He said, “The key to success last night was James. He made all the snow!”

We’re working around the clock to prepare for Saturday!
We’re working around the clock to prepare for Saturday!

We have been making snow today with more than favorable conditions. Snow is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow with 3 to 7 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon, and freezing temperatures are expected to continue throughout the week. All hands are on deck prepping the mountain for opening day! Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to Saturday.

Pajarito Now Opening December 3

Although we’ve had a successful snowmaking push and picked up 4” of snow last night, we have made the difficult decision to delay Pajarito’s opening, which was originally scheduled for this Friday, Nov. 25. Tommy Long, Snowmaking Manager, says “We’ve been working around the clock to get the best product open for our guests but Mother Nature has proven to be a tough adversary.” I am hopeful we will be able to open Saturday, Dec. 3.

“The little bit of extra time gives us the opportunity to put the best possible product out there on Opening Day,” Tommy adds. We’re concentrating our snowmaking efforts on Lone Spruce and plan to open the trail, and the Aspen and Beginner Lifts, from top to bottom on Dec. 3. Temperatures do look favorable for snowmaking tonight and we hope to run all 9 guns! Stay tuned to our snow report for more information.

Snowmaking started on November 18
Snowmaking started on November 18

This year we’ve run our snowmaking system more than ever before and for longer periods of time. We’re really excited to be using our snowmaking infrastructure to its fullest and how it was initially designed. In year’s past we weren’t able to run the system at its designed capacity but this year the system runs more efficiently with better results than ever before. It’s really exciting to see the full magnitude of what our snowmaking system (and crew!) can do. If you’re planning to come up to the mountain to hike or to enjoy the snow, be aware of equipment we have on the mountain. Please stay to the left side (nothing east of Bruce’s Boulevard) of the mountain for your safety and for the safety of our mountain crew.

Even though we’re having to push opening day a bit, we’re still forecasted to have an amazing ski season. We do not see a correlation between a warm October/early November and future snowfall or season-long snow conditions. We’ve experienced previous seasons that had plenty of early snow and other seasons when winter weather was slow to materialize but it ended up being a fantastic season. With the help of Mother Nature, coupled with our sophisticated snowmaking system, we will be able to provide a great ski season for our guests. Winter is on its way, and we’re confident it’s going to be a fantastic year!

Remember, everyone needs to take a new photo this year because of our new software. We’ll be open tomorrow for pass printing before our office closes Nov. 24-27 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Passes will be issued daily Nov. 28th – Dec. 2 from 8am to 4pm. As our team prepares the mountain for opening day, we will be sure to keep you posted. Check our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram regularly for the latest information on opening day. If you have additional questions, feel free to call (505) 662-5725.

See you on the mountain soon!

 

Snowmaking Begins at Pajarito!

I’m excited to confirm that yesterday, November 17, snowmaking began at Pajarito Mountain! We started making snow late afternoon and continued all the way through the night. In total we had seven guns fired up on the mountain: two of the portable guns on Bruce’s Boulevard and one on Lower Lone Spruce with the rest of the fixed guns (on Spruce), M-12’s, M-18 and A9 Lance.

The guns are still fired up as of 9:00 a.m. this morning
The guns are still fired up as of 9:00 a.m. this morning

Our low temperature hovered at 11 degrees last night with a wet bulb on top of the mountain. As of this morning, our latest wet bulb was 14 degrees on top of the mountain and 15 degrees at the base. Looking ahead at the forecast, temperatures are looking decent tonight, warmer on Sunday and Sunday but should cool off Monday night. Temperatures are a bit variable with the weather front (snow predicted!) heading our way Sunday night into Tuesday. Click here to follow our NOAA weather station.

Snowmaking views from last night
Snowmaking views from last night

Snowmaking Manager Tommy says “Last night was a great kickoff to our snowmaking season. We will continue to be diligent with temps and keep striving to make Pajarito a winter wonderland!” Pajarito is scheduled to open November 25 for the 2016-2017 ski season.  Buy your season passes by midnight tonight before the sale ends! A friendly reminder that every passholder will need to take a new season pass photo due to our new software. Stop by the business office to get your pass printed and get ready for Opening Day!

Last night’s snowmaking crew from left to right: me, Tommy and George
Last night’s snowmaking crew from left to right: me, Tommy and George

 

The Power Pass Family Adds Another Colorado Ski Area!

Earlier today, James Coleman, managing partner at Pajarito and our collective of ski areas, announced the addition of Hesperus Ski Area (located 11 miles west of Durango in Hesperus, CO) to the Power Pass family. This is fantastic news for not only our passholders but for everyone who enjoys skiing in the Southwest! Here are just a few reasons why:

Power Pass holders now enjoy unlimited access to night skiing. Located south of Purgatory and just minutes from downtown Durango, Hesperus is the only resort in our collection of ski areas to offer night skiing (evening operations extend until 9:00 p.m. Mondays – Saturdays). It’s no secret that our managing partner, James Coleman, is all about making skiing more accessible for everyone. This mountain allows anyone in the Four Corners area to ski all day at Purgatory and then well into the night at Hesperus.

Plus, in addition to its 26 trails, Hesperus is only the second mountain in our Power Pass family to offer tubing!

Hesperus Ski Area
Photo credit: Scott DW Smith

New Mexico Pass PLUS and New Mexico Pass holders now have unlimited access to Colorado skiing. Not only do these passes allow you to ski or ride everyday at Pajarito and Sipapu, but you can now have unlimited access to Hesperus, too!

The marketer in me can’t help but point out that our season passes are on sale through September 30. For the lowest available pricing, purchase your pass online here! Also, payment plans are still available now through November 15!

Hesperus will also join the Power Pack and Power Card – if you know you want to ski but aren’t ready to commit to a pass, be sure to check out these discount cards, available for purchase at our ski shows!

We’ve been busy getting ready for Opening Day. On the mountain, crews are finishing up routine maintenance and training in preparation for our November 25 opening. The lodge, deck and railings have received a fresh coat of Pajarito blue paint. We hope you’ll join us on the deck for Ullr Fest on October 1st to celebrate the coming of winter.

Deck at Pajarito
The lodge, deck and railings after a fresh coat of paint!


Ullrfest is October 1st!

Ullrfest Image
Pajarito’s most popular fall festival, Ullrfest, happens October 1st. This event features New Mexico Brewersfest with local craft beers, and live music by JJ and the Hooligans with special guest Bronach, there will also be a Bike and Hike, downhill mountain bike race, disc golf tournament, costume contest and more! Here’s the full event schedule:

Saturday, October 1
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.     Lift Served Hiking and Biking
10:00 a.m.                         Disc Golf Tournament at Camp May
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.   Cafe Open
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.   New Mexico Brewersfest
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      Live Music

Sunday, October 2
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.      Lift served hiking and biking
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.    Cafe open

We sat down with the event organizer, Thad Hahn, to get the inside scoop on the event.

Who is Ullr (pronounced “ULL-er”)?
Ullr is an excellent archer, hunter, skater and most importantly skier.

Why do we have a festival dedicated to him?
The ULLR Festival honors ULLR and is a community event in anticipation of bringing a good ski season to Pajarito.

Which breweries will be participating in the New Mexico Brewersfest portion of the event? Are any breweries planning to unveil special fall brews?
Bathtub Row
Blue Heron
Boxing Bear
Chili Line
Enchanted Circle
La Cumbre
Santa Fe
Second Street
Taos Mesa
Tractor
Unquarked Wine

Bathtub Row will be introducing beers produced by their new brewer Nic Boyden.  Santa Fe’s Chili Line Brewery will be back for their second festival, you might have tried out their smoked beers at Summerfest and we will welcome for the first time, Enchanted Circle out of Angel Fire. Watch the Los Alamos Ski Club Facebook page for additional information as we learn more about what the brewers might be bringing to ULLR Fest.

Can you reveal what the glasses will look like?  How do you get a glass?UllrFestSolo
We try to mix up the glasses from Festival to festival and this year’s glass will be a 16 ounce glass SOLO cup.  In order to participate in the Brewersfest you must pay an entry fee of $15, have a photo ID ready and you will receive a glass which includes one ticket.  Tastings are included in your fee, the ticket will supply you with one full pint glass and additional fills will cost $5.00 to the breweries directly (cash only).  The glass is yours to take home.

What are contestants judged on for the costume contest? Any memorable costumes from past events? Who are the judges?
The costume contest will have several categories:

  •       Adult Male and Female costumes – prizes are free entrance to the upcoming Warren Miller Film on November 17th at the Reel Deal Theater.
  •       Group (up to 5) – each contestant will receive a $10 Chamber Check good at any participating Chamber of Commerce Member business in Los Alamos.
  •       Boy and Girls kids costumes – prizes are a free gelato at Daniels Café and Mary’s Gelato.

Costumes are judged by their uniqueness and authenticity.  This year’s judges will be Kim Sherwood and Susan Brockway.

Costume contest
Will any other activities be going on at the mountain?
A disc golf tournament starting at 10:00 a.m. as well as a free bike race (lift ticket and waiver required to participate) conducted through the smartphone app bikeparkpro to record your fastest time during the day.  Awards announced at 4:00 p.m. on the deck.

General Manager, Tom Long, and an Ullrfest-goer from last year.
General Manager, Tom Long, and an Ullrfest-goer from last year.

Any advice for first time attendees?
Make sure to bring cash! ULLRfest is a cash only event and there are no ATMs at Pajarito Mountain. Also, Atomic City Transit will be providing a free shuttle from LAHS leaving every 30 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Take advantage of this great public resource! It is fall and the leaves will begin to turn so take advantage of the lift service for hiking and biking and bring a jacket as it could get cold in the late afternoons.  The café has wonderful food and will be serving all afternoon.  No outside alcohol will be allowed during this festival and all dogs are required to be on leashes within the festival boundaries and are not allowed inside the lodge.

For more information on Ullrfest or Pajarito Mountain, please visit our website.

 

Preparing for Opening Day

Snowmaking Manager, Tommy Long, takes over the blog this week to give a mountain update.

Pajarito’s opening day is scheduled for November 25 this year which is only 88 days away! We have been preparing the mountain for winter operations and wanted to update you on a few key projects.

Snowmaking Improvements
We are committed to making improvements to our snowmaking system that will allow for more efficient snowmaking and better snow. Snowmaking improvements are so crucial to our operation because the more sophisticated the overall snowmaking system, the earlier we’re able to get the runs covered and start turning the lifts. In a nutshell this work helps us open earlier than past seasons with a better snow product.

Welding a portion of the snowmaking pipeline
Welding a portion of the snowmaking pipeline

New Water Collection Pump
One of the largest improvements to our snowmaking system is the replacement of  our water collection pump. The old pump needed significant repairs to function at an acceptable level so we opted to purchase a brand new pump from Europe. This pump’s impellers will be instrumental in withstanding sediment content in the water.  The pump impellers are the internal parts of the pump unit that push water through the pump.  These items are the spinning internal part of the pump much like the blades of a fan that push air. These improved features will ensure the longevity of the pump for years to come. The new pump will remain in the same location as the old pump at PS200.

Old water collection pump being removedRemoval of the old water collection pump

Annual Maintenance
Every year we have a detailed list of maintenance tasks to complete before snowmaking begins. A big part of this is lift maintenance. There are a series of mechanical and electrical tests we conduct to ensure the lift is working exactly the way it should. For example, we go through and grease and inspect all the sheave wheels and tower cross arms to make sure they are in good working order.  

Sheave wheels: A metal wheel, lined with a special type of rubber, which either supports or depresses the haul rope.
Tower cross arms:
The horizontal arm on top of a tower, to which the sheave wheels are attached.

Tommy Long on top of a lift Talk about an office with a view!