Snow Trax | Taos to Host World Pro Championship | SantaFe.com
Pro ski racers

Taos to Host World Pro SKI TOUR Championship

| By Daniel Gibson | Current ski resort status below |

Top image: Pro racers like these will face off at Taos Ski Valley in April when it hosts the World Pro Ski Championship. Photo by WPST, courtesy Taos Ski Valley.

If COVID and Mother Nature cooperate, Taos Ski Valley has announced it will host the 2022 World Pro Ski Tour Championship April 7 – 10, 2022.

Holding a world championship ski competition is a significant milestone in TSV’s history. “After putting this event on hold the last two seasons, Taos is thrilled to welcome the World Pro Ski Tour back,” notes David Norden, CEO of Taos Ski Valley. “We have the terrain, the resources, and most importantly, the enthusiasm to welcome this world-famous group of Olympians and professionals. In addition to skiing excitement, this multi-day event will help drive economic recovery throughout the Northern New Mexico region.”

Thousands of spectators, competitors, and sponsors are expected to attend, showcasing Taos’ world-renowned terrain on international television.

For the first time in its long history, the tour will include women competitors.

Ski competition
The course at Taos will include a major drop jump, as seen here in a World Pro Ski Tour competition held elsewhere. Photo by WPST, courtesy TSV.

The World Pro Ski Tour, presented by Rocket Mortgage, is the country’s foremost professional alpine race tour in which athletes race side-by-side in a single elimination format. Through a series of events that make up the tour, skiers rack up points and the chance to compete at Taos for the World Pro Ski Tour World Championship title.

This year’s tour will feature 11 races total; eight men’s events and three women’s events. On the women’s side, expected to compete are two-time Olympians Alice McKennis and Laurenne Ross, U.S. Ski Team alum and NCAA Giant Slalom champion Lindsey Cone, and Canadian Olympian Anna Goodman. The men’s tour features professional ski racers including two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, reigning National Parallel Champion Garret Driller, and the ever-dominant, two-time WPST Overall Champion Rob Cone.

“Taos has some of the best terrain in North America and has a history of deep spring snow under sunny skies,” said Jon Franklin, CEO World Pro Ski Tour. “We’re thrilled this world-class event will culminate in Taos Ski Valley, one of the most storied and exciting resorts in the West.”

Information about tickets, spectator events, and other details will be forthcoming in the next few months. For more about the World Pro Ski Tour, visit www.worldproskitour.com.

Enchanted Forest Update

Two weeks ago I reported on the devastating wind disaster that struck Enchanted Forest Cross Country and Snowshoe Area near Red River on Dec. 15, 2021. The area is now organizing volunteer work parties to help get it back in operation.

Mike Ritterhouse, EFXC’s longtime general manager, recently met with officials from the U.S. Forest Service. Following the meeting, Mike said, “Carson National Forest East Zone Supervisory Forester Juan Jauregui told me that EFXC had the most extensive damage of any geographical area in his area of responsibility, and that we are part of a regional declared disaster area.”

Rittenhouse estimates that 200 acres of their permit zone are 98 percent flattened, and another 200 acres are 60 percent flattened.”

“We desperately need help getting rid of all those trees,” Rittenhouse added. “The effort to fully clean up the area will take months, but we hope to clear the ski and snowshoe trails as quickly as we can.”

The first series of clean up days will run Thursday, Jan. 6 through Sunday, Jan. 9. People to operate chainsaws will be needed but even more so are “swampers,” workers who assists fallers and sawyers by clearing away brush, limbs, and small trees, carrying fuel, oil, and tools, and watching for dangerous situations.

To sign up as a volunteer, email co-owner Ellen Goins at [email protected] or call her 575-754-6112.

For those who can’t contribute labor, a fund for financial contributions has also been established. To give, visit https://gofund.me/6762078e.

CONDITIONS & EVENTS – As of 1/5/22

After an off winter due to COVID-19, the Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic is returning to action this season. Participants will gather at the Big Tesuque Campground (on NM 518 — the ski basin road), with the race getting underway at 9 a.m. on Jan. 22. All participants will receive a knit scarf. There will also be age group awards and raffle prizes.

Participants will cover a 6.5-kilometer course. The lollipop-shape course goes out Big Tesuque Trail (#152) and then does a counterclockwise loop via Pacheco Canyon Road (U.S. Forest Road 102) and the Winsor Trail (#254) before returning to the Big Tesuque Trail.

If you can’t be present, participants can complete their own snowshoe outing, run or hike anywhere, anytime between now and Jan. 31. The registration fee is $30. All proceeds will go to Santa Fe Search and Rescue, which provides trained teams to look for and rescue people missing, injured, or lost outdoors. For details visit https://runsignup.com/Race/NM/SantaFe/SantaFeSnowshoeClassic.

Ski Santa Fe Some 45 percent of its terrain is now open. Best news of all: manager Ben Abruzzo has announced the upper mountain will open on Friday, Jan. 7, and both the Milly and Tesuque Peak chairs. Expert terrain will include Roadrunner, Avalanche Bowl, Tequila Sunrise, Big Rocks Trees, Richard’s Run, Columbine, Sunrise Glade, South Burn, Desperado, and more. Groomed terrain will include Gayway, Sunset, Sunrise, Highline, Lobo, Alpine, and Lower Burro. Yeeeeeah!

Taos Ski Valley gained two feet at the top of Chair 7, which now has a 60-inch base (with 45 inches at mid-mountain). A handful of runs on the backside are now open, including Honeysuckle, Rubezahl, and Lone Star. Most of the old frontside steeps, like’s Al’s, are open. Off Chair 2, steeps open include Loreli, Blitz, and Reforma, plus a handful of intermediate slopes. Chairs 8, 4, and Kachina Peak remain closed.

Wolf Creek Ski Area after heavy snow
The calm after the storms that dropped a massive 137 inches of snow on Wolf Creek during the holidaze. Photo by Samual Brinker, courtesy Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Wolf Creek was in the sweetest spot, as normal, for the Christmas through New Year’s storms, receiving an astounding 137 inches! It has a summit depth of 120 inches and mid-mountain depth of 112 inches. Needless to say, it is 100 percent open.

Angel Fire Resort reports a 23-inch base, with six of seven lifts running and 28 of 81 runs open. Expert runs on the backside open now include the lovely Shawn and Eagle glades, and the ridge line runner Nice Day.

Red River gained 22 inches and has a 24-inch base, with 47 of 64 runs open. It’s Silver and Copper chairs have yet to open.

Sipapu missed out on the storms, and reports an 18-inch base, with only 14 runs open.

Ski Apache, Pajarito, and Sandia Peak remain closed.

Crested Butte picked up two feet and has a 50-inch base. Most intermediate runs are open but none of its extreme terrain.

Monarch Mountain saw 38 inches fall, and has a 54-inch base. It’s received 117 inches so far this season. The hike-to Mirkwood Basin remains closed.

Telluride gained 24 inches, and has a 50-inch base. There are 112 runs open of 148, and all chairs are running, except Revelation Bowl.

Purgatory had 30 inches fall this past week, and rests on a 50-inch base. Almost every run is open, 101 of 105. On Jan. 9 it will host its 3rd annual Rando Race, from the base to the top and back! Proceeds will benefit the Joe Philpott and Peter Carver Avalanche Scholarship. Advance registration is required ($40.) Register at: https://www.knowthesnowfund.org/rando-race-22.

Arizona Snowbowl accrued 26 inches and has a 58-inch base. All but three of its lift-served runs are open. None of the hike-to terrain is yet skiable.

Dan Gibson
Snowsports journalist Daniel Gibson, photographed at Red River.

Daniel Gibson is the author of New Mexico’s only comprehensive ski guidebook, Skiing New Mexico: Snow Sports in the Land of Enchantment (UNM Press, 2017). His brand-new book, Images of America: Skiing in New Mexico, was just released from Arcadia Publishing with 183 historic photos. He is a member of the North American Snowsports Journalist Association and has written on the topic for newspapers coast to coast, web sites, and magazines including PowderSki, and Wintersport Business. His first day on wooden skis with wooden edges came at age 6 in 1960 on a snowy day at the former Santa Fe Ski Basin. He can be reached at [email protected] or via www.DanielBGibson.com.

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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