Dec 15, 2014
Frances and I started skiing up Ladera ~3;30 today (Friday). The trail was snowshoer packed and in good shape with 4-6" on the side of the trail. Above Lower Road, the snowshoers abandoned Ladera and we followed an earlier skier up to Griegos Junction. Near GJ the snow was close to 12" deep. At sun-exposed GJ the snow had softened and refrozen. It took us ~1hr to get up there and Frances could have done it more quickly had she not occasionally waited for me to catch up.
At GJ, my GPS was predicting sunset in 30min, so we wanted a speedy, but safe, descent. We had observed that Elk Ridge trail was untracked when we passed it, so we picked it up after a short descent on Upper Road. The snow was deep enough that we could ski with pretty good control, using my patented tele-plow moves. It was the most exhilarating local run I've had for a few years. Below the power line a large-tracked vehicle had come up from Big Pine Canyon, and made the trail a little faster than it might otherwise have been. It was still great, bet there were a few moments when I wished there was a good place to bail out and slow down.
We got back to the trailhead at 5:40, and light was fading fast then. All in all, it was the best Jemez skiing we've personally had in years. Our track is attached. NM4 is plowed, and so are the Jemez trailheads.