by: Dan Gibson - 8th January 2007

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 3Family Friendly
  • Nightlife
  • 1Terrain Park
  • Value

Full review

Santa Fe is a fine, modestly-sized ski area. It averages good to excellent snowfall, though last year and several in the past five have been lousy. With a summit elevation just over 12,000 feet, it offers jaw-dropping views of the earthen-hued Rio Grande Valley, distant ranges more than 150 miles to the west amd south, northward to Colorado, the near-at-hand above treeline suimmits of other Sangre de Cristo peaks. In average year, the out-of-bounds (but legal) powder of Big Tesuque Peak serves up powder akin to snowcat skiing, with glens, glades, aspen trees and an athletic run-out at the bottom that takes you to the access road. There's also a smattering of tough bump runs--the longest, Roadrunner under the old triple, will work you by the end. There's some tasty tree runs like Tequila and even some chutes and cliffs in Big Rocks. And it has a good range of intermediate and beginner runs--in short, something for everyone. The last few years have been bony, so check on conditions first. It gets good at 45 inches, excellent at 60 and over the top at 80 and up. There are no on-site accommodations, but Santa Fe, some 30 minutes away, has amazingly fine lodging and dining, as well as lots of things for nonskiers to do. On the mountain, there's an uninspired but decent cafeteria at the bottom; at mid-mountain is Totemoff's, which has a limited range of food but a full bar and canned music. Sit on the deck and soak up the abundant New Mexico sunshine! Also notable at Ski SF this year is the launch of its long-delayed Millennium Chair, a new triple that has eliminated lift lines to the summit.
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