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Going to AngelFire this Christmas

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Texan here... I took the family to Winter Park this past season... and they loved it.. It was actually the kids first time to see snow.. anyhow this year we planned on going back to Winter Park as that is where my parents took me growing up... but this year we decided to invite the "in-laws" to go with us.  They accepted and the planning began.  My Mother-in-law then asked, "have you considered AngelFire instead of Winter Park?  it would cut down the driving considerably...and I have some friends who say they really enjoy it there...)  seeing that my pipe dream is to one day own some property or at least a condo in a ski area, going to see a new ski resort would help me to know if there is life outside of Winter Park so to say.  I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the AngleFire area.  The mountain does not look challenging, but being that my kids are just starting, this might be ideal.  Anyhow I just wanted to see if any of you have any insight on the area, and possibly some vacation ideas.  Since Taos and Red River are so close, we are hoping to ski at all three areas that week. My main concern is "will there be snow" I am just ignorant about NM snowfall.  looking at past reports it seems as though we will be fine.  All this El Nino talk also has me wondering if perhaps this might be a awesome year to be in NM.  El Nino seems to produce more precipitation in the southern regions of the US. 

 

Thanks for any inputs or suggestions you might have

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel

post #2 of 7

If things continue as predicted then it's probably the best year to take that chance but honestly, snow during Christmas is a crap shoot anywhere. 

post #3 of 7
The last few years NM ski areas haven't had much open at Christmas but this year could definitely be an exception if El Nino delivers. You may want to keep Wolf Creek as a backup plan, they have pretty reliable snow and not much farther of a drive. If snow isn't an issue you will have some great skiing options. Sipapu is a fun and cheap little mountain if you are looking for something totally different.
post #4 of 7

I like smaller ski areas like Angel Fire but I want to make sure you have the right expectations.  AF is 85% smaller than Winter Park, on average AF gets less snow and most of the runs at AF would be rated green at WP.  I have also heard that AF is very crowded at xmas (due to all the lodging there)

 

I typically ski at Red River, Ski Santa Fe or Taos when in the region.  These areas are bigger and higher (better snow) but none of them is that big, each is charming.  Skiing Taos, AF, RR and Sipapu on the same trip is fairly easy with an hour travel time each way. 

 

Any of these destinations could be fun.  I'm all about avoiding crowds which often means I drive past other good ski areas.  To get past the crowds you'd probably have to drive to Telluride, Purgatory, Crested Butte or Aspen. 

 

If driving a little farther was not an issue, I'd recommend Sunlight in Glenwood Springs, CO.  Sunlight is small and uncrowded to give you a taste of a small ski area.  If you don't like that, you can drive 45 minutes to snowmass/buttermilk/aspen highlands and ski big uncrowded areas.  Nice hot springs to visit there too. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your input.  I will definitely keep your suggestions in mind as my trip draws near.   

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post

I like smaller ski areas like Angel Fire but I want to make sure you have the right expectations.  AF is 85% smaller than Winter Park, on average AF gets less snow and most of the runs at AF would be rated green at WP.  I have also heard that AF is very crowded at xmas (due to all the lodging there)

I typically ski at Red River, Ski Santa Fe or Taos when in the region.  These areas are bigger and higher (better snow) but none of them is that big, each is charming.  Skiing Taos, AF, RR and Sipapu on the same trip is fairly easy with an hour travel time each way. 

Any of these destinations could be fun.  I'm all about avoiding crowds which often means I drive past other good ski areas.  To get past the crowds you'd probably have to drive to Telluride, Purgatory, Crested Butte or Aspen. 

If driving a little farther was not an issue, I'd recommend Sunlight in Glenwood Springs, CO.  Sunlight is small and uncrowded to give you a taste of a small ski area.  If you don't like that, you can drive 45 minutes to snowmass/buttermilk/aspen highlands and ski big uncrowded areas.  Nice hot springs to visit there too. 

Love the Sunlight idea. It is affordable, it has great terrain, it will not be crowded. It is a great place to ski as a family because everyone can peel off and do their own thing, yet the mountain and lift layout means everyone will keep finding each other during the ski day- so much fun!

The problem with Sunlight (which is also an Angelfire problem) is whether there will be enough snow to justify a Christmas trip. Aspen has more snowmaking and can somewhat rescue the plan. However, it pretty much holds for NM and CO that expert terrain is generally not really open by Christmas in a typical year.

Wolf Creek as others have mentioned is usually the exception, with a typical base in the 60-80" range at Christmas. They get more snow than anywhere else in CO/NM, and weather patterns often front load the season. However, they have no snowmaking so if the storms don't come, Wolf will offer you a bunny hill and nothing else- this is the christmas experience roughly 1 year in 10.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2ef View Post
 

Texan here... I took the family to Winter Park this past season... and they loved it.. It was actually the kids first time to see snow.. anyhow this year we planned on going back to Winter Park as that is where my parents took me growing up... but this year we decided to invite the "in-laws" to go with us.  They accepted and the planning began.  My Mother-in-law then asked, "have you considered AngelFire instead of Winter Park?  it would cut down the driving considerably...and I have some friends who say they really enjoy it there...)  seeing that my pipe dream is to one day own some property or at least a condo in a ski area, going to see a new ski resort would help me to know if there is life outside of Winter Park so to say.  I must say I have been pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the AngleFire area.  The mountain does not look challenging, but being that my kids are just starting, this might be ideal.  Anyhow I just wanted to see if any of you have any insight on the area, and possibly some vacation ideas.  Since Taos and Red River are so close, we are hoping to ski at all three areas that week. My main concern is "will there be snow" I am just ignorant about NM snowfall.  looking at past reports it seems as though we will be fine.  All this El Nino talk also has me wondering if perhaps this might be a awesome year to be in NM.  El Nino seems to produce more precipitation in the southern regions of the US. 

 

Thanks for any inputs or suggestions you might have


Welcome to EpicSki!  I've added a link for Angle Fire under Topics Discussed (right hand column).  Here are a couple relevant threads by Texan parents you may find useful.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129711/nm-family-ski-angel-fire-or-red-river

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/123420/dallas-tx-resident-drive-to-taos-angel-fire-ski-santa-fe-for-young-children-friendly-skiing

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