or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Best ski pass combination for SantaFe, New Mexico
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best ski pass combination for SantaFe, New Mexico

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am thinking about relocating to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I know there are a number of ski areas in the vicinity.  I am trying to figure out whether to get a season pass, just buy day tickets, some kind of mix, and at what areas.  This would be for next season (2014/2015). 

I am an expert skier. I get in 18-24 days a year.  I currently do day trips to my local ski area on the weekends, which is 1.5-2 hours away.  My season pass cost $440 this year.  Next year, I'll have more flexibility but I'll also be on a budget.

I have done a little research.  I know the main ski areas in the vicinity include: 
Sandia Peak 
Ski Santa Fe - which would be the closest and quite a bit superior than Sandia Peak I believe 
Taos - world class, but further drive. 

I also hear people frequently make the longer drives to 
Durango, CO 
Wolf Creek, CO 

So... I can't afford passes to them all and multiple day tickets to the bigger areas is going to get expensive.   What do the locals do? 

post #2 of 16

Sandia & Ski Santa Fe have the same ownership & so a shared pass. When I lived outside of Albuquerque, I had the Gold Pass --- it is only blacked out over Xmas week and only at Santa Fe (not Sandia), so it is basically always usable (and pays for itself in ~8 trips). One tip: if you are living in Santa Fe, then there's basically no reason ever to drive down to Sandia, unless you are really desperate for variety. The snow is almost always worse and the terrain is always more boring.

 

For Taos, I did the Taos card each year --- for something around $30, you get $17 off each day ticket plus every 7th day is free (and it is tied to a credit card, so you can just go straight to lift). I found that I didn't make the drive up to Taos enough to warrant a season pass (or the many-day pass that they do, called something like the Millennium Pass?). You will be 1.25 hours closer, though, so might get up there more. Perhaps just do the Taos card for the first year until you know if Santa Fe is enough to satisfy you most days?

 

I made the drive to southern CO a few times, and Wolf Creek is worth it during early season and when they get a dump that misses Taos. Personally, I didn't think Durango was worth the drive.

post #3 of 16

You'll have to check it out for a year and decide.  Taos is an easy drive and you can be on the lifts around 2.30 from leaving your driveway.  Taos pass gives you 2-3 free days at other Colorado resorts, not sure which this year.  Santa Fe super convenient...  Decent on weekdays away from crowds.  You can't really compare the mountains though. 

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddanks View Post

Sandia & Ski Santa Fe have the same ownership & so a shared pass. When I lived outside of Albuquerque, I had the Gold Pass --- it is only blacked out over Xmas week and only at Santa Fe (not Sandia), so it is basically always usable (and pays for itself in ~8 trips). One tip: if you are living in Santa Fe, then there's basically no reason ever to drive down to Sandia, unless you are really desperate for variety. The snow is almost always worse and the terrain is always more boring.

For Taos, I did the Taos card each year --- for something around $30, you get $17 off each day ticket plus every 7th day is free (and it is tied to a credit card, so you can just go straight to lift). I found that I didn't make the drive up to Taos enough to warrant a season pass (or the many-day pass that they do, called something like the Millennium Pass?). You will be 1.25 hours closer, though, so might get up there more. Perhaps just do the Taos card for the first year until you know if Santa Fe is enough to satisfy you most days?

I made the drive to southern CO a few times, and Wolf Creek is worth it during early season and when they get a dump that misses Taos. Personally, I didn't think Durango was worth the drive.

Good run down. A lot depends on how much you want to drive. Close to a two hour drive from Santa Fe to the parking lot at TSV, which isn't bad if you're a weekend skier, but gets a little tedious if you're skiing more than two days a week. Skip Durango unless you love the town, and Wolf Creek is doable in a day, but the drive is a little brutal.

Santa Fe also has a version of the discount pass linked to a credit card called the Freedom Pass. Maybe get the Taos Card and the Freedom Pass for your first season, then decide?
post #5 of 16

If you like variety, you might want to look into the "One Planet" partner ski areas.  I know the Monnarch season pass in the early season was about $300 last year and includes 3 days each at Taos, Angel Fire, Red River, Sipapu, Apachie and Pajarito in NM (Also Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper, Cooper, Sunlight, Durango and Loveland in CO and others farther away)  You could buy the Monarch pass even if you don't ski there or maybe one of the other listed areas lets you buy there pass and get the same partner 3-day day deal.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

If you like variety, you might want to look into the "One Planet" partner ski areas.  I know the Monnarch season pass in the early season was about $300 last year and includes 3 days each at Taos, Angel Fire, Red River, Sipapu, Apachie and Pajarito in NM (Also Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper, Cooper, Sunlight, Durango and Loveland in CO and others farther away)  You could buy the Monarch pass even if you don't ski there or maybe one of the other listed areas lets you buy there pass and get the same partner 3-day day deal.

 

The Monarch Pass is a great idea- I know they get lots of pass purchases from New Mexico just for all the NM passes. As you mentioned, the Monarch pass gets 3 days at Durango Mountain resort too, which is an easy weekend drive.

 

I wouldn't be 100% sure Taos is staying on the Monarch pass with the new ownership. That was a great get for Monarch, but the new owner may have different ideas on marketing.

 

Angelfire may be a good one here? They give you 3 days at Apache, Pajarito, Sipapu, Monarch and powder alliance benefits, which gets you 3 days at all kinds of cool places all over the west, including Crested Butte and Stevens Pass for that trip back to PNW.

 

A Monarch/CB trip would be a great road trip, and you get 6 days of skiing built in.

 

http://www.angelfireresort.com/winter/mountain/lift-tickets

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medium Al View Post
 

I also hear people frequently make the longer drives to 
Durango, CO 
Wolf Creek, CO

 

I have run into a few Santa Fe folks that hold Wolf Creek passes, but they are few and far between. Some have said that they have bought WC season passes because of the repeated drought years that have kept popping up.

 

It seems the plan for a lot is to get up EARLY Saturday morning, drive to the ski area, grab a room in Pagosa Saturday night to drive home Sunday.

 

You do want to keep Wolf Creek on your radar. In a typical year, Wolf will be the first place in the US to open off-piste terrain. Wolf will get itself open by Halloween about 50% of the time. This season, Wolf had an October 19 opening and was 100% open by the first week of November with lots of powder days. This was November 17- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnQry4keDCI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

But don't buy a pass here- lift tickets are cheap, so just come up before your area opens and when you want to storm chase.

 

It is harder to get excited about DMR. There is nothing terribly wrong with it (and absolutely give it a shot if you have a pass that gives you free days there) but it has a pretty expensive day pass, sits in a snow shadow and gets much less snow than the other ski areas in the area (Wolf, Telluride, Silverton), and the terrain it not really exciting unless you really want steeper groomers.

 

Telluride is worth the drive, and Silverton is an great experience as long as you are ok with hiking for your pow.

post #8 of 16

Ok, I am posting too much in this thread.

 

First- paging @Mom

 

Second- Coming from the PNW, you may not be used to volatile snowfall. Do not discount the value of snowmaking in NM. Good years can be great, bad years can be horrendous. Pajarito has been closed since Mid January due to lack of snow. I believe they closed last year for the same reason.

post #9 of 16

Be careful about the Monarch Pass as there are restrictions on those tickets and you'll be doing a lot of travelling to get the most out of it.

 

Do ski Monarch though. Too long for a day trip IMO, 4 hours from Santa Fe, but a wonderful mountain and town (Salida) and the lift tickets are reasonable ($65) with most motels offering good discounts on top of that.

 

The Wolf Creek pass is fairly expensive (>$600) unless you qualify for a senior pass in which case it is very cheap and worth it. However, day tickets to Wolf Creek are pretty reasonable ($58) and they extend their "locals day" discount ($35 ticket) to anyone who asks, no ID required, so you can mark your calendar for those days. It's doable for a day trip, although that gets old when you're old like me. (3.25 hours door to lift)

 

Ski Santa Fe is a small but mighty mountain. There is definitely expert terrain to be had there with truly great tree skiing its crown. (Yeah, yeah, it's not a destination resort like Taos, but trust me, there's steeps to be found and a great town hill.) I get a Bronze pass because I prefer to ski weekdays if I can and it is a big discount from the unlimited pass. Ski Santa Fe also has great discount cards. One gives you free skiing in January and $25 off all other day tickets ($200). the other is dirt cheap and gives you $25 off any day pass. ($60) I think this is the way to go for your first season until you decide you really like it. (January can be touch and go for snow)

 

The Taos card is also a great idea because you'll make up the price of it if you only ski a few days there in a season. You can do a day trip to Taos easily. 1.5 hours in good weather. (As per above, for $30 purchase price you get $17 off the day ticket rate and every 7th day free).

 

Pajarito near Los Alamos is a blast when it's open. (1.5 hours) It's a club owned mountain, old school, natural snow and great bump runs that don't get too bumped because they are only open weekends. No need for passes there though. tickets are cheap and the snow is too iffy.

 

 

NOTE: many of these cards and passes have a deadline for purchase or the price goes up or they aren't available. check the websites.

 

Skip Durango. Skip Sandia. Skip Angel Fire unless you snowboard or are a park rat.

 

If your budget is truly limited and you're an expert skier, you could look into joining the Adaptive Ski Program as a volunteer. You have to commit to training days and then six days of lessons. For that you get free lift ticket for each day you teach, plus of course free lift ticket for teaching days. And it is a great way to meet nice people who ski and know the secret spots on the mountain. (and there are plenty of those; it's really a mountain that requires a spirit of adventure and exploration.)  www.adaptiveski.org .  It also allows you to join PSIA which gives substantial discounts at most ski areas (except it seems Wolf Creek).

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
 

Ski Santa Fe is a small but mighty mountain. There is definitely expert terrain to be had there with truly great tree skiing its crown. (Yeah, yeah, it's not a destination resort like Taos, but trust me, there's steeps to be found and a great town hill.) I get a Bronze pass because I prefer to ski weekdays if I can and it is a big discount from the unlimited pass. Ski Santa Fe also has great discount cards. One gives you free skiing in January and $25 off all other day tickets ($200). the other is dirt cheap and gives you $25 off any day pass. ($60) I think this is the way to go for your first season until you decide you really like it. (January can be touch and go for snow)

 

I will second the vote for Ski Santa Fe. I lived in Santa Fe for 16 years and then Pagosa Springs for 5. I have to say that I really loved Ski Santa Fe. It is small and not destination but there is some truly great tree skiing there. I had a season pass there every year, 20-40 days a year, and never really got tired of it. I will even say that  except for snow quantity, it is a funner mountain than Wolf Creek.

 

PM me if you have any questions about Santa Fe.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just an update:

I got the Ski Santa Fe pass. I think it was $480 for a first-timer pass holder ( $440 for a renewal) back before Sept 15th.

 

I definitely want to try Taos at least once this year.  The Taos Card looked good but when I checked out the pricing, it was $70 for a first timer ($35 for a renewal). I don't think $70 is worth it for the one or two days I would make it up there.

 

I also saw another pass that I did not get but is worth mentioning called the Ski New Mexico Passport, basically a variety pack, that gives you 8 days at different resorts for $169. http://www.skinewmexico.com/ski-nm-true-passport/

 

Keeping my fingers crossed for a good snow year!

 

Thanks everyone for your input.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medium Al View Post
 

Just an update:

I got the Ski Santa Fe pass. I think it was $480 for a first-timer pass holder ( $440 for a renewal) back before Sept 15th.

 

I definitely want to try Taos at least once this year.  The Taos Card looked good but when I checked out the pricing, it was $70 for a first timer ($35 for a renewal). I don't think $70 is worth it for the one or two days I would make it up there.

 

I also saw another pass that I did not get but is worth mentioning called the Ski New Mexico Passport, basically a variety pack, that gives you 8 days at different resorts for $169. http://www.skinewmexico.com/ski-nm-true-passport/

 

Keeping my fingers crossed for a good snow year!

 

Thanks everyone for your input.

 

You may want to keep on eye on whether the Silverton pass includes Taos next year.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/128318/silverton-psa-unguided-pass-15-days-at-arapahoe-basin-taos-and-monarch-for-199

post #13 of 16

Ski Santa Fe is a great mountain.  No reason to drive anywhere else if you live in Santa Fe.  You won't regret the pass purchase.

post #14 of 16

I think you made a good call.  Santa Fe is a fun mountain and so much closer than Taos.  You can still easily make it up there a couple of times like you said.

post #15 of 16

You'll should be able to get discounted lift tickets for Taos at REI this winter.  It's a good deal as well.

post #16 of 16

Another update and I know it's a little late but Taos is no longer on the Monarch pass which is a little bit of a bummer. If Monarch would add Ski Santa Fe it would totally be worth the cost but they seem to have lost a few other mountains as well.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Best ski pass combination for SantaFe, New Mexico