King of the mountain

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Mountain living.

It’s something that many people – such as Mark and Krysty Ronchetti – dream about.

It’s becoming a reality for the couple.

The KRQE chief meteorologist has spent nearly six months working on his latest project by building a home in the mountains in Angel Fire.

And he’s chronicling the journey through the TV series “Mark vs. the Mountain,” which begins airing at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox New Mexico, KRQE. It will also stream online.

“We’ve been looking to build something for a while,” Mark Ronchetti says. “We did a project like this in 2009 with my brother in Breckenridge, Colo.”

The series will not only focus on Ronchetti’s die-hard commitment to mountain weather forecasting, but the primary purpose is to show the challenges the couple face when they attempt to build the highest house in New Mexico.

The couple are building the house from the ground up at an elevation of 10,600 feet.

“It really didn’t start out this way,” Krysty Ronchetti says. “The plan was to build a house. Mark, being the dreamer he is, got the idea of building a house with the highest elevation.”

Plans began around April.

To build the home, the couple had to begin construction by May for the house to be completed by the time Angel Fire gets snow.

Mark Ronchetti knew that building at the elevation would not only pose construction challenges, but extreme mountain weather challenges.

“The combination of those two elements sounded like good TV to me,” he says with a laugh.

KRQE greenlighted the 20-episode program in the spring, so the filming of the show began in May and will continue through the winter.

The episodes will introduce the rest of the Ronchetti family and will highlight contractors and vendors who help them build their dream vacation home in the northern New Mexico ski town.

“No one has built a home at this elevation in our state and under these type of weather conditions,” says B.J. Lindsey, builder, Lindsey Custom Homes.

The couple also have a tight budget for building the home, so they looked at ways of saving money.

The majority of the wood was repurposed from another demolished home in Angel Fire.

“We thought about how we could repurpose a lot of the materials,” Krysty Ronchetti says. “The businesses we’ve used are all New Mexicans, with the exception of where we got our windows. We’ve repurposed a lot of materials and kept it as eco-friendly as we could.”

The Ronchettis hope the TV series will not only pique viewers’ interest into mountain living, but show them it’s possible.

“New Mexico is a gorgeous place,” she says. “A lot of people think a home like this is unattainable. We’re trying to show that with creative thinking, it can happen.”

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