Santa Fe area

Moderators: scotthsu, Bob, Matt, mark

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Santa Fe area

Post by Bob »

This isn't really backcountry related but it's probably worth mentioning. There have been an incredible number of people skinning and hiking up through the Santa Fe ski area this month, and not all of them have been showing the proper amount of caution and avoidance of the ongoing snowmaking and grooming operations. I was talking with the head of the grooming and snowmaking at Ski Santa Fe and he mentioned that if people weren't more careful and conscientious about avoiding the snowcats and snowmaking apparatus that the ski area would seriously consider prohibiting skinning and hiking.

So please avoid areas where the snowcats are operating and where snow guns and equipment are set up. Many ski areas prohibit skinning and hiking on the grounds of safety, it would be a shame if Ski Santa Fe were to go that way.
User avatar
JBella
Posts: 721
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Usually somewhere between Mexico and Canada.
Contact:

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by JBella »

Is there a connection between people failing to disrespect inbounds operations, and skiing wildland terrain as if it's a controlled environment? I've seen some videos friends have taken recently while skiing in the Nambe Chutes I think, taking some seriously risky lines. Nothing wrong with having fun, and the backcountry is open to all, but when there's 20 inches of snow and you're hitting rocks on every turn, maybe that's not a great time to be skiing as fast as possible to get the gopro shot.
User avatar
Bob
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Bob »

JBella wrote:Is there a connection between people failing to disrespect inbounds operations, and skiing wildland terrain as if it's a controlled environment?
In my mind, yes.

The explosion of people skinning and hiking inbounds at SF is pretty mind-blowing. I'd make a conservative guess that there were at least 100 people last Saturday after the storm. Being a natural cynic, I'd say it's to be expected that so many people would have to have a high proportion of, um, uneducated noobs.
I've seen some videos friends have taken recently while skiing in the Nambe Chutes I think, taking some seriously risky lines. Nothing wrong with having fun, and the backcountry is open to all, but when there's 20 inches of snow and you're hitting rocks on every turn, maybe that's not a great time to be skiing as fast as possible to get the gopro shot.
Yeah, I've seen recent photos of people ripping the Nambé hard, I'm hoping that they don't get hurt.

Some people have been wondering when the Nambé was going to get crowded, looks like the time might be just about here. Wait 'till the Hondo/Williams Lake drainage gets popular.
User avatar
danshorb
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by danshorb »

Winsor Trail Observations day:

We had hopes snow would have come in during the last storm, but went out anyway. It sucked. Turkey Day, and already the New Mexico Snowpack is back with all its usual tricks. We didn't come prepared for a full pit, so you only get the basics. Sorry.
General pit info: Near the bottom of Heaven's Hill
10400'
North aspect
20 degree slope
75cm total snowpack
ECTP18 Q2 at 32 cm
On top of the snowpack (75cm) there's a 2-4cm crust with refrozen hoar on top of that. The hoar/ice was greatly affected by this storm (It looks like perfect little ice bearings now). Beneath is a few good storms worth of snow, all the way to the ground (we didn't have thermometer or crystal card to measure temp and sizes). The scenario found in this spot seemed to be the general case throughout the tour along the Winsor.
Interestingly, where we were, no ground level or mid-pack crystals had (re)formed and the snowpack was so homogenous that one CTV collapsed at the Ground level upon isolation... The snow was largely 4 finger, and, even where our ECTp18 Q2 broke, it appeared as a dirty seam between two storms and the consistency at the joint/break was only sightly larger than that of the surrounding snow. There was another/stronger layer at about 45cm that broke while handling the columns that had busted out.

I know, not very scientific, but there it is. I guess the importance of the top layer that's forming now will become apparent at some point. It will certainly stick around for a while after being buried.

For those of you that don't know the area, you can check out the route map at the bottom of this linked page to see Heaven's Hill: http://southwestbackcountry.blogspot.co ... chive.html
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
Brown_Trout
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Brown_Trout »

Here is a photo from the top of Lake Peak on Sunday looking Southwest into Nambe Chutes. We skinned up Winsor Trail and took a right at the fence, and I would also agree that the snow kind of sucked.
nambe 1.jpeg
nambe 1.jpeg (1.82 MiB) Viewed 7916 times
The chutes looked really rocky and not ready to ride yet, lots of sharks lurking. We rode back down into the ski area because the snow just wasn't worth dealing with back down near Winsor. Fun day but we need some snow...sorry I don't have any real useful info, i'm still learning the ropes.
Tight lines and deep pow
User avatar
MarkM
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:07 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by MarkM »

HUH - our experience has been pretty different. Did Elbow Macaroni on Saturday (north side of Ravens) - it was pretty good almost all the way from the first hight point of Raven's (a couple hundred feet above the overlook at the end of the fence) down to about 9700' where it started to get a little thin and crusty. Had to stop before we got down to Rio Nambe. There were some tracks here and there that had set up, but there was plenty of powder to find around them. Good cover, too. Then did upper Elbow again on Sunday, from the fence/overlook down to the Winsor, followed by a trip out to to Heavens. Heavens was superb - silky smooth powder, only a couple of tracks. There is even still some soft stuff to find in the trees back from Raven's to the parking lot - ya just gotta like working in close quarters and sniffing out the stashes. Anything in the sun is trashed, though.
User avatar
danshorb
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by danshorb »

MarkM wrote:HUH - our experience has been pretty different. Did Elbow Macaroni on Saturday (north side of Ravens) - it was pretty good almost all the way from the first hight point of Raven's (a couple hundred feet above the overlook at the end of the fence) down to about 9700' where it started to get a little thin and crusty. Had to stop before we got down to Rio Nambe. There were some tracks here and there that had set up, but there was plenty of powder to find around them. Good cover, too. Then did upper Elbow again on Sunday, from the fence/overlook down to the Winsor, followed by a trip out to to Heavens. Heavens was superb - silky smooth powder, only a couple of tracks. There is even still some soft stuff to find in the trees back from Raven's to the parking lot - ya just gotta like working in close quarters and sniffing out the stashes. Anything in the sun is trashed, though.
Is it recrystallized or fresh that you were skiing?
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
Brown_Trout
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Brown_Trout »

Has anyone been out since the recent snowfall? I'm hoping to do a tour up Winsor or out to Heaven's this weekend. Curious how stable conditions are since the big dumps.
Tight lines and deep pow
User avatar
Bob
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Bob »

The effects of this storm (12/27) might be really crazy. The wind has been howling around 50 mph at the top of the ski area and - this is the really interesting part - it's coming hard out of the east. It's scouring the east-facing slopes and depositing deep drifts and cornices on the west-facing.

Expect slabs where you don't usually see them around Santa Fe.

It's been snowing pretty hard, but blowing so hard that the accumulation is in drifts and cornices and other areas are scoured. Hard to tell what the total accumulation is.
User avatar
JohnS
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:00 am
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: Santa Fe area - Nambe Chutes

Post by JohnS »

IMG_4745.jpg
IMG_4745.jpg (136.52 KiB) Viewed 7651 times
Paul Zahnle and I scouted and skied the upper chute in the Nambe on Wed Dec 30th. Normal Nambe seasonal conditions falling right in line which is nice. Solid, bullet proof wind blown slabs for the upper 100 yards that open up to beautiful knee deep soft powder. Conditions were blizzard like at top with high winds and cold temps. Perfect training ground for bigger expeditions. Great snow coverage with few rocks.

We dug a pit in a 4 foot wind slab at the top. Snow very consistently solid from top to bottom but this was a very small sample size and does not represent the mid and lower sections of the Nambe. (Need to dig a pit in those areas)

There were no noticeable slides in the area and our ski did not produce any signs of unstable conditions.

We skinned and booted out the Boot Out Chute which was totally depressing as this was the Chute To Ski that day. Awesome soft snow almost all the way to the top. Full coverage and beautiful conditions. Someone going to have a great run in there. It was hard to let that go but it was late in the day and we wanted another group partake.

Looks like another big storm this week so conditions will change.
Attachments
John Savickas
John Savickas
IMG_4759.jpg (228.89 KiB) Viewed 7651 times
Paul Zahnle
Paul Zahnle
IMG_4795.jpg (180.79 KiB) Viewed 7651 times
Ski
Ski
Ski.jpg (81.41 KiB) Viewed 7651 times
Boot Out
Boot Out
paul-HikeOut02.jpg (66.59 KiB) Viewed 7651 times
john savickas
Kerry
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:17 am
Location: Albuquerque

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Kerry »

Skied Lake Pk and SF Baldy on 1/22. Nambe's alpine chutes were exceptionally wind affected. Neither of the chutes often referred to here as the Boot Out Chutes were skiable, one was mostly bare talus. (Watershed looked very fat.) Bob's favorite chute (SW couloir from south side of Heaven's) looked very good, but wasn't skied. Otherwise, recommend skiing the treed chutes of lower Nambe. The first couloir east of Lake Pk, north aspect, was also wind scoured to the rock for the upper 30' of the entry, with another bare area half-way down the chute; its apron, and most all >TL slopes we skied, had a strong wind crust. All north facing trees we skied (north Penitente) were very pleasant, but gloppy in isolated areas. East aspect of SF Baldy looked very inviting. Knife edge Deception-Lake is in great shape. Windsor is in great shape.
About 10:20 we saw a loose wet on a SE aspect in the Watershed, ran shallow for about 300', R1D1. SF Baldy's east aspect had small pinwheels, most of them dropped from the cornice. I think this is the first January I've not see any observable avi signs on Baldy's E aspect...hmmm.
User avatar
Bob
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Bob »

Wow, great post, Kerry! I haven't been backcountry lately, but the pits I've dug on NW aspects in trees just below 12k feet have been very stable. I saw a wet point release on S facing Raven's Ridge cliffs a couple days ago.
User avatar
danshorb
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Big T names

Post by danshorb »

Being new. I hoped folks could name these areas for me. I'm interested particularly in #1, #4, and #6. I have heard that #1 may be Lost fork ridge...

Also perhaps you have a name of an area not shown. Please inform me.

The Point/Picture shown below is labeled #3 in the map below that.
Attachments
Whats the name of this point?
Whats the name of this point?
Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.42.52 PM.png (513.74 KiB) Viewed 7434 times
Name these Tessuque Areas
Name these Tessuque Areas
BigTAreas.png (635.01 KiB) Viewed 7435 times
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
User avatar
Bob
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by Bob »

The patrollers refer to the point at 3 where the picture was taken - that switchback on the Aspen Vista road - as Stonehenge.
User avatar
danshorb
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Santa Fe area

Post by danshorb »

Nambè was wind blown hardpack and there was a natural slide off the ne facing rock, wind effected. I'll let Bob write it a bit more eliquently. There were turns, some good'ns.
Attachments
Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.50.58 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.50.58 PM.png (2.18 MiB) Viewed 7342 times
Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.50.31 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 4.50.31 PM.png (1.85 MiB) Viewed 7342 times
Last edited by danshorb on Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The only two things you can truly depend on are Gravity and Greed. -Jack Palance
Post Reply