SANTA FE – Natural snow has been hard to come by, but one northern New Mexico ski area has opened, one says Thanksgiving Day is for sure and yet another is looking at Saturday.
Offering a glimmer of hope, a slight chance of rain or snow was forecast from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Taos Ski Valley is planning a traditional Thanksgiving opening, but is unclear on which runs will be available.
“We are meeting on a regular basis on what we can open,” said TSV marketing director Tania McCormack.
Taos has added 13 snow guns to its snow-making arsenal for a total of 270. “At max capacity, we can typically have up to 50 snow guns running at one time depending on the temperatures,” said spokeswoman Claire Mylott, in an email.
“We have actually been making snow since back in October,” McCormack said. “We have had some really nice weather patterns in the beginning of fall that have assisted with that.”
Sipapu, near Peñasco, opened Friday, with two runs in operation, said Christiana Hudson, marketing manager for Pajarito and Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, in a phone interview.
Ski Santa Fe has been making snow when possible and now expects to open Saturday, said Tommy Long, Ski Santa Fe operations manager.
The resort expects to open three runs: Midland from the top of the quad chair to the base, Easy Street and Pine Flats, he said.
Snowmaking “has been pretty good this year, a little bit challenging,” said Long.
“Mother Nature has provided some warmer temperatures, we haven’t quite seen the deep cold snaps … however, we have been able to make snow and we are doing pretty good with it,” Long said.
At Ski Santa Fe, all state indoor mask guidelines will be followed and no proof of vaccinations is required, Long said.
In addition to state-mandated indoor mask rules, TSV “indoor dining will require vaccination cards and reservations,” McCormack said.
“This is really specific because it’s our only (TSV-owned dining facilities) indoor dining.” Other non-TSV-owned dining options do not require this, and they are listed on the website, McCormack said.
There are plenty of outdoor dining options for those without vaccination cards. TSV employees are required to have been vaccinated by the start of the season, according to McCormack. The resort is not offering day care this year.
Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos does not have snow-making capability, so predicting an opening day is tough.
“We are softly scheduled for Dec. 16,” Hudson said.
As per state guidelines, masks will be required indoors, but “we don’t have any vaccine requirements at this time,” either for guests or employees, at Pajarito or Sipapu, she said.
Ski Apache’s opening date is to be determined, according to George Brooks of Ski New Mexico.
The resort near Ruidoso has “pretty limited” snow-making capacity, he said.
Sandia Peak Ski Area is planning a Dec. 18 opening, “if the weather cooperates,” Brooks said, adding that Sandia has limited water for snow-making.