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Events abound on New Mexico slopes

December 22, 2018

Winter has sputtered a bit, but with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains having received about 113 percent of their normal snowfall to date, skiers are still sitting pretty.

Ski areas have lined up a slew of events, and here is a look at the most promising:

Ski Santa Fe: Its premier event, the Fireball Rando, is a backcountry hiking/climbing and skiing competition.

Athletes compete in a friendly challenge from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Jan. 25. The ante is upped the following day at 7 a.m. in an event sanctioned by the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association up Big Rocks.

For more information, visit ussma.org/events/us-nationals-ski-santa-fe-individual-race. You can register at cosmicski.com/event/santafe19.

The Burton’s Women’s Camp for snowboarding workshops and social events is Jan. 16-17.

The fourth annual Brewski event is March 29, with local brews on tap and live music. The annual Gladfelter Memorial Bump Run is March 30 with a rail jam the next day, and the Slush Cup is April 6.

Taos Ski Valley: The traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight ski parade kick off at 5:30 p.m.

Femme de Freeride, formerly Women’s Weekend, will be Jan.11-13. Contact Kaela Gillum at kaelagillum@skitaos.com for details. A prestigious event, the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Nationals, arrives Jan. 26-27, and the Taos Winter Wine Festival is Jan. 31-Feb. 3, with 24 local restaurants and 40 national wineries involved.

The Junior Freeride competition, with some of the nation’s top young skiers and boarders, is Feb. 7-10, followed by the adult competition Feb. 27 -March 2.

Other events include “Shred the Love” on Feb. 23, the UNM Corporate Cup race on Lower Stauffenberg on March 3, Ernie Blake’s Birthday Celebration & Fireworks on March 9, the Ridge-A-Thon benefit competition on March 15-16, the USASA Southern Series Championships on March 22-24 and closing weekend festivities April 6-7.

Sipapu: Highlights include the eighth annual slopestyle King of the Hill Terrain Park competition on Jan. 12 in the Don Diego Terrain Park.

The competition ends with the crowning of the King and Queen of the Mountain. Registration is $30. Details are at NMXSports.org. On Jan. 12, Santa Fe Brewing Co. holds the annual Happy Hops Hunt.

Don Diego will be the site on Jan. 13 of a USASA slopestyle competition by the SW Freeride Series. Visit USASA.org for details. Marshall’s Madness Rail Jam is Jan. 18, hosted by USASA and the SW Freeride Series. Its Ski Bike Rally is Feb. 9-10.

The 16th annual Cardboard Derby is March 16.

People can race down the mountain for a chance to win prizes. Details are on Sipapu’s website. March 23 features the 15th annual free Pond Skim across a 75-foot long pool of slush prizes.

Angel Fire: Jan. 6 brings Winter Carnival.

Visitors can also join or watch a slalom, giant slalom and snowboard races hosted by the USASA, which also runs the Jedi Challenge skiercross and boardercross on Feb. 2-3.

The resort will present Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour on Jan. 19.

Established in 1979, Mountainfilm’s documentary works are dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about outdoor environments and cultures, issues and adventures. Also on Jan. 19 is the UNM/Intel Corporate Cup race series to raise funds for the UNM ski team.

The World Championship Shovel Races are Feb. 8-9. The Mardi Gras celebration, March 1-5, includes dinners, dances, music and events.

The resort also presents the Downhill Chilly Bike Challenge on March 23.

Red River: Gather at The Lift House at the bottom of The Face for fireworks and torchlight parades on Saturday evenings, New Year’s Eve and a few other times this season. The UNM ski team hosts a Rocky Mountain NCAA division slalom race Feb. 1-2.

Red River’s biggest annual winter bash is Mardi Gras in the Mountains from Jan. 28-Feb. 5. Balls, dinners, dances, parades and other frivolity are planned at Motherlode and Bull o’ the Woods. The resort closes March 24 with a pond skim.

Conditions

Ski Santa Fe has a 33-inch base, with 75 of 83 runs open.

Taos Ski Valley also has a 33-inch base. Chairs 7 and 7A have opened, with Lone Star now skiable, along with Hidalgo and Juarez off the Highline Ridge, and West Blitz Trees open off West Basin Ridge.

Angel Fire has an 18-inch base, with limited runs open on the front and backside. Only one advanced trail is open, Eagle Glade.

Sipapu has a 23-inch base, with all six lifts operational, and 30 runs open.

Red River has a 2 foot base, with 29 runs open, including some off the high Silver chair.

Pajarito, with a 13-inch base, has delayed its Friday opening.

“The ski area has a great base, but we just need one more significant snowstorm to open,” general manager Tom Long said.

Sandia Peak, with a 9-inch base, has delayed its opening.

Wolf Creek has a 34-inch base and is 100 percent open.

Telluride has a 33-inch base and 69 of 148 runs open and one terrain park.

Purgatory has a 21-inch base and 27 percent of its runs open.

Crested Butte reports a 30-inch base and 82 of 121 runs open.

Monarch has a 31-inch base and all its lift-served runs open and its two terrain parks.

Daniel Gibson can be reached at DanielGibsonNM@gmail.com.

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