Skiing New Mexico - Daniel Gibson

February 5, 2018 | By: Monica Christofferson

New Book Celebrates New Mexico’s Snow Sports

The University of New Mexico Press recently released Skiing New Mexico: A Guide to Snow Sports in the Land of Enchantment. It is the first-ever comprehensive profile of the state’s alpine, Nordic and backcountry skiing.

The 130-page book provides a New Mexico-born and -raised insider’s guide to skiing and snowboarding, with thousands of helpful details on the state’s downhill ski resorts and its diverse cross-country and backcountry venues, as well as hundreds of personal tips for getting the most out of skiing or snowboarding in the state.

Each ski area is profiled in its own chapter, with suggestions on best runs, from outstanding powder trails and tree skiing to top intermediate runs, mogul runs, beginner slopes and steeps.

The ski area profiles include notes on what makes each resort distinct, plus some history on the area and the pioneers of the sport there. Also listed are the author’s favorite places to stay and eat at each ski area or at the nearest town or city, and suggestions for activities off the slopes.

The book includes a foreword by Jean Mayer, who helped launch Taos Ski Valley in the 1950s. He is the owner/director of Taos’ famed Hotel St. Bernard and technical director of the resort’s prestigious ski school. The book’s author, Daniel Gibson, has written a weekly snow sports column, “Snow Trax,” for the past 25 years and grew up here skiing.

Skiing New Mexico also presents more than 65 images, both historic and current, that reveal the beauty, unique attributes, excitement and fun of the sport in New Mexico. The book is available in regional bookstores and ordered online; e-book versions can be obtained from Amazon, Google, Apple and Barnes & Noble.

Here are some excerpts:

Amazing Fact: The men and women who built the world’s first nuclear weapons helped popularize skiing here in the 1940s.

Red River

Amazing Fact: Brian “Cross Fire” Marshall set a skiing record here in 1990, staying on his planks for an amazing 96 hours straight.

The Bottom Line: Red River, where “Mountain Meets Main Street,” is a true ski town. Rustically western, it is beloved by Texas visitors for its ambiance and lots of tame terrain. On a powder day, you’ll have entire runs to yourself and can walk or even ski to almost all lodging.

Sandia Peak

Amazing Facts: One of the oldest ski areas in the West, Sandia Peak follows predecessor La Madera, which was launched in 1936. It is reached today directly from Albuquerque via a world engineering marvel, the Sandia Peak Tramway.

The Bottom Line: With perhaps the fastest access to skiing of any major city in the nation, via the spectacular Sandia Peak Tramway, this small-scale, modestly pitched mountain is a great, quick getaway.


Amazing Facts: Sipapu is usually the first ski area in the state to open each winter.

Ski Apache

Amazing Facts: Ski Apache is one of only two ski areas in the nation owned by an Indian tribe, in this case the Mescalero Apaches. It operates one of the world’s longest ziplines.

Ski Santa Fe

Amazing Fact: It has North America’s fifth-highest base elevation: 10,350 feet.

Taos Ski Valley

Amazing Facts: Taos helped pioneer in-bound extreme skiing in the United States. The original road to the ski area had more than a dozen water-level crossings of the Río Hondo.


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