Be True to Your Home Town Ski Hill

Snow Covered Deck at Pajarito Mountain

Thanksgiving has just past and many ski resorts have opened or will be spinning their lifts soon. Ski resorts with snowmaking or with good weather compete to see who can open their lifts first, often with only one run open. That friendly competition usually leaves out the smaller ski areas. Many town ski hills must wait for natural snowfall to cover their runs. They may lack in snowguns but small town ski hills have charm, family atmosphere and cheaper lift tickets too.

Between the recession and warmer winters many small ski areas are having a more difficult time competing with the mega resorts. If the economy and weather weren't enough trouble, one local ski area was also scorched by the Las Conchas fire this summer. The town ski hill of Los Alamos, NM, Pajarito Mountain, was saved from immolation only by the dedicated efforts of firefighters and ski area staff. Pajarito lost some trees and equipment to the fire but 70% of the ski area was unscathed. Thanks to the tireless work of many volunteers much of the fire damage was repaired or mitigated and Pajarito and will open this winter ... when enough snow falls.

Not every mountain town still has an operating ski hill. Unfortunately, many small ski areas have come and gone leaving small communities without home-town slopes. A few towns own and operate their own ski areas, {Abenaki, Mt. Ashland, Eaglecrest} providing affordable recreation to their residents. If you're fortunate enough to have a home-town ski hill, get out there and ski it. Not everyone is so lucky.

More Info:

NYT - In the Shadow of Grand Resorts, a Town Hill Struggles

Pajarito Mountain

Build Pajarito

Colorado's Lost Resorts

New England Lost Ski Areas Project

Abenaki Ski Area

Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Eaglecrest Ski Area