One of the few beneficiaries of the split Jet Stream so far this winter has been [R345R, Sandia Peak], located above Albuquerque, N.M. Early-season storms rolled right across the Sandia Mountains, lacing the backside with several feet of snow -- 1,700 vertical feet of slopes and trails on Sandia Peak. As of Jan. 11, more than 85 inches of snow had fallen.

Sandia Peak sits within 45 minutes' drive of the Albuquerque metro area and boasts local-mountain prices for day trippers. A full-day adult ticket costs $50, and $40 for everyone else between the ages of 6 and 71. The mountain is open Wednesday through Sunday every week.

However, there’s another way to get to the top of the slopes: the Sandia Peak Tramway. Touted as the world’s longest aerial tram, the 50-passenger cars take off from the base station about nine miles east of I-25. For $60, skiers and snowboarders take the 15-minute ride to the top of Sandia Peak, whereupon they strap ‘em on and take the first run down. The price includes the return ride down at the end of the day. A $45 package deal for tram ride and lift ticket is effective during weekdays.

Several discount programs cut prices further, including the Peak Card that costs $25 and reduces the all-day ticket price to $25 at Sandia Peak and $43 at Ski Santa Fe, located about 1.5 hours north and operated by the same owners.

For information, click here.