Ski season: Better late than never

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

Ski season is happening a month later than past years, but it’s still happening.

Ski resorts in New Mexico have had to postpone their openings this year due to warm temperatures and a lack of snow. Natural snow would be helpful, but the warm temperatures are hampering the resorts ability to make snow.

Even though Taos Ski Valley is opening on Dec. 14 instead of Thanksgiving, as previously planned, the resort is ready for skiers.

Taos Ski Valley usually receives about 305 inches of snow a year, however the unusually warm winter has deprived the area. However, marketing director Adriana Blake says the resort is going to be ready. The resort has 35-40 snow guns working to get the slopes ready. In a normal season, the resort’s snow guns would work 24 hours a day, but can only work at night due to the weather.

“It has to be under 28 degrees (for the snow guns to make snow),” Blake said. “Otherwise you’re kinda blowing rain.”

The resort will be starting the season with the Brew Master’s Festival on Dec. 15. The festival brings 25 breweries from across the southwest region and local restaurants together for visitors to taste their offering of beer and food.

Sandia Peak, Ski Santa Fe and Angel Fire Resort plan for Dec. 15 openings.

Ski Apache, however, opened their doors and some of their lifts on Friday. Lynne Irish, adminitrative assistant for the resort’s director, said the resort has enough snow to open the bottom lifts. Chairs three and five are up and running, but the other chairs at higher elevations are still waiting.