Quarantine! Yes, we all must but I could take no more. I had to get out and snowshoe. Walking and hiking were fine but I just had to do something different. The question was what? I have already written about the up side of Coronavirus. That blog was about discovering new walking trails around Santa Fe. The river trail is interesting and it has taken me to new areas of the city but I needed something else. That something else was snowshoeing.
I had received a pair of snowshoes for Christmas and they were still unused. I ski during the winter and was not sure when and where to try out these interesting gifts. Then the virus hit. Ski Santa Fe valiantly stayed open for a few days but finally gave in and announced the end of their season. A few days later a thought occurred to me. Now that you can no longer ski, why not get out and snowshoe. It seemed like the perfect solution.
Where to snowshoe?
The next question to be answered was where. The Valles Caldera is nice and flat but it is about an hour away. I was sure it still had snow but how much? Of course, I could look out my window and see that Ski Santa Fe had plenty of snow. Ski Santa Fe is was the obvious choice.
On the mountain
I reached the parking lot at about 10:00. No need to hurry. I was surprised by the number of cars in the lot. Being on the mountain was not a novel idea. There were quite a few people with skies. Other were just hiking with boots only. The bottom area was covered by about an inch of snow but I could see up the bunny slope and it looked good. I snowshoed my way up to Totemoff’s. Unfortunately, it was closed so no beer.
Top of the mountain Ma !!!
The question now was do I go back down or head on up. I was here to get out and snowshoe so it was head on up! It was up Thunderbird to Crossover and to the top of Tesuque! It was a hard slog but I made it! I took in the view and headed down. Snowshoeing down is much easier than up. Would I do it again? Yes! The snow still looks good so next time I will go all the way to the antennas.
Want to go snowshoeing? Contact Santa Fe Footprints.
‘You take what the mountain give you! You must enjoy the experience’.That is a quote from a guest on one of my Santa Fe Footprints ski tours. The mountain was angry that day. The fog was thick and the wind was high. We did the lower mountain and it was not bad. As always, the runs at Ski Santa Fe are fun and can challenge you. I saw a small patch of blue sky and we decided to go up top. We rode the lift to Tesuque Peak. The view from the top is normally magnificent. Not today. The fog limited visibility to 20 feet. The wind blew me over. With skill and care we all made it down.
When I apologized for the mountain a guest set my mind at ease. This is skiing and you take what the mountain give and enjoy the experience.
I took guest up several days later and the mountain was much kinder. This day was what a Santa Fe ski experience normally is all about. No lift lines. Sunshine. 100 mile visibility. The mountain was still holding back. A bit of wind. I found the snow a bit hard. Not the normal white fluff that is Santa Fe’s calling card.
As I look out the window the snow is falling. The mountain is saying, ‘Come on! I got what you need!’
Don’t miss the Experience !!!!!
First Day skiing at Ski Santa Fe
The first ski day of the season has begun and on a good note, so far as the snow is concerned. As of December 10th, Ski Santa Fe has had about 40 inches of snow.
Ski Santa Fe opened on November 28th. This was Thanksgiving Day. I had broken my toe back in September and it was still a bit tender. Most likely because I have walked on it for a month before finally having it looked at. With this in mind plus the fact that only the bottom runs were open, I delayed my first ski day of the 2020 season until today.
I arrived at about 9:00am and parked in the upper right lot so I could ski to the lodge. This seemed like a good idea because at the end of the day I could ski to the lot and have only a short walk to the car.
I was meeting a friend named Joe. This was the first ski day for both of us. We met in the lodge and after he got his gear on we were ready to hit the slopes.
The Snowboarder and I
This was the first day for both of us so we agreed to just take it easy. The first two runs were good. Now it was time to head for the lifts to the upper mountain. On the run to the lifts a young snowboarder hit me from the side and completely wiped me out. I rolled down the hill for about 20 or 30 yards before coming to a stop. One ski near me and one way up the hill. I hadn’t bucketed my helmet strap and it went sliding down the hill. Everyone was asking if I was OK and after a minute or so I could tell I was fine. A ski patrol guy brought my helmet and another skier brought down my ski and I was up and ready to go. The young board gal never said sorry, boo or anything for that matter. I think I came out of it with only a bruised rib, I hope. This was the biggest wipe out I have had in many a year, maybe ever. For the rest of the day I was very leery of snowboarders !!
A Good Lunch and Final Runs
We Stopped for lunch at 11:45 or so. A nice bowl of hot chile was just what we needed to warm us up. We both decided that we would do a few more runs and call it a day. The legs are just not as young as they were! It was a good sunny day, cold but with the sun out, who cares? It was 16 degrees at the start of the day but I never felt cold. That is one of the great things about skiing in Santa Fe on a sunny day. That sun just keeps you nice and toasty.
More Snow on the Way
More snow is on the way this weekend so next week will be even better. The legs will be stronger and the powder deeper! Can’t wait!
When you need to take a day off from the fantastic skiing or the incredible shopping, consider a tour of this historic city. Click here for more information about a great Historic Walking Tour.