Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

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Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby jpurcellrd » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:11 pm

I've been living in Santa Fe for a year now and last season was.... , but what are some good areas to ski outside the ski area? Besides nambe chutes.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby Bob » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:15 pm

Heaven’s Hill, north and a little west of the Nambé is a local classic.

Also the Big T run from the radio towers on Tesuque Peak down to the Big T campground.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby jpurcellrd » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:14 pm

Thanks bob!

I tried accessing heavens hill! We came up from the Windsor. Kind of a slog. Is it easier to access via lake peak? Or is it to steep off of the north side. I’ve been up on lake peak a bunch but have never looked down the north side. Also we didn’t make it to the top of heavens hill but to the prominent notch. Not bad skiing but was pretty tight. Is the top more open?

Thanks!!
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby Bob » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:40 pm

Just about everyone gets to Heaven’s via Lake Peak, then west down the ridge to the saddle and continue up to the top.

Or you can ski down a Nambé run then cross to the north and climb up to the saddle and then left to the top.

Heaven’s is a tree shot but pretty open if you know where to drop in. But I think it’s always a slog back out the Winsor.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:37 pm

Hi,

Thanks Bob! Makes a lot more sense than what I did!!

It was fun to get out none the less!! Pretty good skiable snow off Raven's ridge dropping into Nambe or towards the Winsor.

~2-3 ft of unconsolidated snow. More up higher and in the shade...obviously!!


I can't complain one bit after ayear like last year.


Thanks again for the beta, hope to see you out there!


Jared
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby MarkM » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:10 pm

We usually do Heavens from the Winsor. There is usually a skin track on the right a quarter mile or so past the left turn to La Vega (past the turnoff for Nambe Lake). We have found if you just go out the Winsor and up Heavens, it is about the same amount of time - or faster - as going over Lake Peak. Less technical (for people intimidated by that), less wind, but obviously less scenic.

Also, the way we do it gives us options: we usually start by climbing Ravens and skiing the trees down to the Winsor, or keep on going below the Winsor another 500 vertical feet or so until the brush gets too thick - then skin back up, do Heavens, then climb Ravens on the return (look for the skin track left after coming out of the Rio Nambe drainage, and ski the trees back to the parking lot. You can make a 5,000 foot day out of it.

There is also a really beautiful climb, with nice views, if you work your way way way left as you go up Heavens, to the edge of the ridge, and go up that way...
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Re: Backcountry Skiing Around Santa Fe

Postby jpurcellrd » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:25 am

Thanks Mark,

We originally went up to Raven's ridge and skied down to Winsor! That was pretty awesome, especially for early season!! We then took the Winsor over and started heading up to what I thought was Heaven's hill. I was breaking trail, but we ended up going lookers right to the prominent knob. Not knowing if it opened up any more we chose to do couple laps there which was really fun. I think if we would have kept on going on the winsor we could have stayed lookers left it would have been better!! None the less I loved exploring my back yard!!

Thanks again.

Jared
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