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!


Skiesta 2017

For all the details on spring’s most-anticipated (and FREE!) event, I’m turning this blog over to Susan Brockway, President of the Los Alamos Ski Club!

Skiesta is a long-standing tradition at Pajarito Mountain. The very first Skiesta was held in 1948 and featured music, costumes and a 50 cent hot dog lunch. Since it’s very humble beginnings, Skiesta has been a wacky spring event that celebrates the unique mountain culture of Los Alamos and the wonderful sport of skiing (all types—snowboarding included!). To this day, it is our mission to maintain the original spirit of Skiesta.

Now let’s get into the details of this year’s event!

There’s usually plenty of New Mexico sunshine to soak up! Photo: Leslie Bucklin.

*FREE Transportation to Pajarito Mountain from Sullivan Field in Los Alamos will be provided by Atomic Transit. Shuttle will run every 30 minutes from 11am-6pm.

8:00am. Registration for all events and contests on the Lodge deck. Registration is FREE!

8:30am. Let the festivities begin! We’ll kick off Skiesta with the Pinhead Challenge. Contestants race up the mountain by skinning or skating. Once they reach the summit, contestants will ski down to the summit. First one to the bottom wins!

10am. The Giant Slalom on Aspen. Competitors each take two runs down the course. The best time from the two runs determines the victor.

11am. The Sloppy Slalom on West Beginner. This is one of the wackiest events! Contestants navigate a crazy obstacle course, which is set up differently each year. Contestants can usually expect hay bales, a maze, a teeter-totter and poles.

12pm. Rail Jam on West Beginner. There will be both ski and snowboard categories.

Local craft beer in our beer garden pours until 5:00pm. We are proud to host Santa Fe Brewing, Bathtub Row Brewing, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Second Street Brewery, Taos Mesa Brewing and Chili Line Brewing! $10 gets you a Skiesta logo pint, sampling and one pour.

Enjoy good friends and good beer! Photo: Leslie Bucklin.
Enjoy good friends and good beer! Photo: Leslie Bucklin.

1pm. Moguls Mash on Aspen. The goal here is for contestants to impress the judges with their mogul skiing techniques! Competitors each take two runs down the mountain. The competitor with the best overall score wins!

Grateful Dead tribute band Let it Grow will be jammin’ until 5:00pm.

2:30pm. Big Air Jump Contest in front of the Lodge. The skier to land the biggest air with the best style wins!

Points go to air and style! Photo: Leslie Bucklin.
Points go to air and style! Photo: Leslie Bucklin.

3:30pm. Costume Contest and Parade in front of the Lodge.


Skiesta circa 1970!
Skiesta circa 1970!

4pm. Awards Ceremony. Each age group (kids, teens, adults, and masters) will have medals awarded for gold and silver finalists.

*As a reminder, there is no ATM located on Pajarito Mountain. Please bring cash to purchase food and beverages.

Happy Skiesta!


Free the Heel and Drink Good Beer!

We’ve combined two of life’s greatest joys—skiing and beer—to bring you one awesome weekend! On February 25 and 26, join us for the 10th annual Telebration Festival AND the third Beer and Band event of the season!

tele instruction
Enjoy telemark demonstrations from some of the best instructors in the Rocky Mountains!

Who? Are you a telemarker looking to improve your skills or a beginner interested in learning this timeless sport? Do you want to ski with other tele enthusiasts? Do you enjoy craft beer, live music and great company? If so, this celebration is right up your alley!

What? Telebration is a festival for telemark skiers of all ability levels. Enjoy group skiing on a variety of terrain and learn from the best (and most fun!) tele instructional crew in the Rocky Mountains, the Telenators. Refine your technique and learn new skills from these world champion telemark demonstration skiers!
Demo great tele gear! Not sure if those skis will make the cut? This is your chance to try ‘em out first and see! Bishop Bindings will have their skis and latest bindings available for you to test drive.

The Telenators
The Telenators will show you how to free the heel!

Where and When? Registration for Telebration starts at 8:30 a.m. in the Lodge on both Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th. Meet up for a clinic at the Old Lodge at 9:45 a.m. on both mornings. The Telenators will be offering clinics from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on both days. On Saturday, join us on the Lodge deck for some après fun during the third Beer & Band event of the season! Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op starts pouring their craft beer at 12:00 p.m., and local band, Roaring Jelly, performs traditional Irish music from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

How much? The festival costs $50 for both days or $45 for a single day. Participants who are not season passholders are eligible for discounted lift tickets at $25 per day. There is no cover charge for the Beer & Band event, but make sure to bring cash for beer!

Photo: Peter Dickson
Come enjoy some Pajarito powder! Photo: Peter Dickson.

For additional information, contact [email protected]. As a friendly reminder, there is no ATM at Pajarito Mountain, so please bring cash.

Free the heel and join us for this year’s Telebration Festival and Beer & Bands event! See you on the mountain!

Townsight Opened with 19” of Powder!

Townsight Lift opened over the weekend with a whopping 19 inches of powder! Townsight services beginner and intermediate trails and is known for accessing some of the best tree skiing on the mountain! Both Evershine Ridge and East Confusion were groomed and riding great over the weekend, while the rest of the terrain serviced by the lift was open to powder skiing. We plan to operate Townsight every Saturday and Sunday and on President’s Day, conditions permitting.

Blue sky emerging
A bluebird sky emerging after the storm. Photo: @ulysses_gnarbrough.

Mother Nature has been incredibly kind to us over these last couple weeks! Our storm total topped out at over 47 inches of powder, bringing our total snowfall for the season to 98 inches. I can’t even express how amazing the mountain has been skiing and riding—you need to experience it for yourself!

Lunch Runs
Instagrammer @joshdyer8 took this shot while squeezing in some lunch runs!

Our mountain crew has been working hard to get the Mother lift back up and running. The work requires our crew to climb up 30 feet on the lift towers and requires favorable weather conditions to ensure our team’s safety. We’re just as anxious as you are to get the Mother Lift turning again as soon as possible. We’ll keep you updated on the lift’s progress via our blog.

Mother Lift Progress
We’ll keep you updated on the Mother Lift’s progress here. Photo: @pmcnett.

As always, stay tuned for mountain updates and grooming reports by reading our Snow Report, and stay social by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I’ll see you on the mountain enjoying the powder!

A Q&A with Bathtub Row Brewing

Our hometown brewery, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, is partnering with us for this winter’s Beer & Band series. This bi-monthly après-ski 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 event and his thoughts on the Los Alamos craft beer scene.


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

    Jason Fitzpatrick, GM
    Jason Fitzpatrick quality-testing his brew. Photo credit: BRB.

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
BRB’s new Little Bird Blond is the perfect beer after a long day on the mountain. Photo credit: BRB.
  • 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.

We’ll see you on the mountain this Saturday for the first Beer and Band event of the series! Oh, and did we mention that we have snow in the forecast?!

The 9th Annual K2 Women’s Weekend is a Month Away!

By: Amy Bauer

We’re excited for the 9th annual K2 Women’s Weekend at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area happening February 9-12! Women’s Weekend is an event that supports local businesses and provides financial assistance to people diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer. Not only does this event support an amazing cause, it is an absolute blast! So connect with your local community and register nowthe last day to do so is Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.

Women's Weekend Group Photo
Smile for the 2017 group photo! Photo: Jeff Hylok.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, February 9

7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Join us at the Pig + Fig Cafe for Chef Laura Hamilton’s special Soter Vineyards wine and dinner pairing! This event is open to the public and registration is limited to the first 40 people, so sign up now!

Friday, February 10

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Kick off the weekend with some delicious local beer at the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op as we distribute registration packets and raffle off prizes!

Saturday, February 11

8:00 a.m. Meet at the Mountain Café for breakfast and to dress up in your pink! Lift tickets can be picked up in the Lodge.

8:45 a.m. Group photo on the Lodge balcony.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. K2 ski demos and ski clinics with PSIA Certified instructors. Pre-registration for clinics is required. Click here to register.

12:00 p.m. Bathtub Row Brewing starts serving beer, wine and cider in the Lodge.

3:00 – 9:00 p.m. 80’s cover band CHANGO joins the festivities.

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. We’re holding a public silent auction fundraiser in the Lodge where we’ll be auctioning off, raffling and giving away lots of great K2 swag and prizes! Click here for details.

5:00 – 9:00 p.m. We’re throwing a dance party with live music from CHANGO and a dinner celebrating “Women Who Rock the World”!  Join us at the Lodge dressed up as your favorite heroine! Men are also welcome, so feel free to bring your hubbies! Pre-registration for dinner is required, but all are invited to stay and party! Click here to register.

See you on the mountain!
We look forward to seeing you on the mountain! Photo: Jeff Hylok.

Sunday, February 12

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Start off the morning with a yoga class taught by Christa Corsaro Tyson in the Lodge loft. Please bring your own yoga mats. There is no extra cost.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Girls ages 5-17 are invited to participate in a group ski session! Click here to register.

12:00 p.m. Lunch (bring your own) in the Lodge.

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. NEW THIS YEAR: Intro to Backcountry Touring! Grab your probes and beacons—Sunday afternoon we’re offering a short backcountry ski tour (weather permitting) taught by myself and Petra Pirc. Click here to register.

Demo K2’s newest gear all weekend-long!
Demo K2’s newest gear all weekend-long! Photo: Jeff Hylok.

We look forward to seeing you on the mountain for this year’s K2 Women’s Weekend! With your participation, we can reach our $15,000 fundraising goal!


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



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




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!