FOR THE EXPERT
Want steep thrills? Don’t miss the cliff-riddled chutes and 3,250-foot vertical drop from Taos Ski Valley’s high point, Kachina Peak. Then again, the moguls on Al’s Run—named after a local surgeon known for skiing with an oxygen tank on his back after suffering heart troubles—helped earn New Mexico’s largest ski resort a spot on SKI Magazine’s list of Top 10 Bump Runs. Pro tip: Ski down memory lane: Snakedance was the first run available when Taos Ski Valley opened in 1957.
Take the whole crew to Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort for your next winter getaway. Kids as young as three can enjoy a ski lesson while downhillers explore nearly 40 intermediate and advanced ski trails. A centralized base area makes an easy rendezvous point for those who are perfecting the art of all-day après at Sipapu’s affordable on-site lodging. Pro tip: Take advantage of the free Power Kids pass, available to those 12 and under.
FOR THE CASUAL SKIER
Those who appreciate powdery S-turns as much as they do New Mexico culture can have both at Ski Santa Fe. Start your day with a run down Gayway, where you can relish views of the Río Grande Valley from the top, and ski through the trees on Tequila Sunrise. Then beat the traffic back to town and refill the tank with happy hour at Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, where more than 100 different marg options await. Pro tip: While there’s no skiing on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, a day spent at its five art and culture institutions provides an inspirational lift.
FOR T-SHIRT SKIING
While the mercury at Ski Apache drops low enough overnight to facilitate snowmaking (which is done using their $1 million Snowfactory), daytime temps often soar upward of 60 degrees. “We’re one of the few ski resorts where suntan lotion is mandatory daily,” says director of operations Ken Marlatt. “T-shirts are highly recommended for afternoon sun.” Pro Tip: Ride up New Mexico’s only gondola for great views of Sierra Blanca Peak, which dominates the southeastern horizon at close to 12,000 feet.
FOR THE NIGHT OWL
Want to après-ski with more skiing? Hit up New Mexico’s only night-skiing operation at Angel Fire Resort. Friday through Sunday (and all week during Christmas and spring break) from 4 to 7 p.m., Angel Fire’s 100,000-watt bulbs light up five runs and roughly 50 groomed acres. Pro tip: Cruise down intermediate-level Exhibition while taking a moment to savor uncrowded slopes as sunset falls across the Moreno Valley. “The thrill of night skiing is the serenity,” says Greg Ralph, Angel Fire’s director of marketing.
FOR THE SKIER’S SKIER
What do you get when a bunch of scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory put their heads together? A ski area that, like the scientific method, sticks to a no-frills, proven process. At Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, which opened in 1957, the well-maintained (but slow-moving) Mother chairlift gives skiers ample time to enjoy views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Valles Caldera on their way up to the Fab Four, a quartet of double-black quad-burners. Pro tip: Start planning your costume now for Pajarito’s annual end-of-season Skiesta.