Skiing the Valles Caldera National Preserve
Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
Six Ski Club members, Eric Russell, Carol Meineke, Dave Williams, Mary K. Gallagher, Sybil Keyser, and Sam Beard, skied the Valles Caldera National Preserve west from the visitor center along the main road to the north side of South Mountain and then turned to the SW and skied across the meadows to the base of the mountain road. The snow was only about 6 inches deep in the valle, and the group skied between the clumps of grass.
Photo by Eric Russell
At the lower end of the South Mountain road, the group ate lunch and then began skiing up the road in about 18 inches of powder. Mary, Sybil, and Sam skied up only about one-half mile where skins would have been helpful and decided to turn around. Dave, Eric, and Carol continued up the road. Several of the photos and maps are by Eric.
On the return trip, everyone skied the tracks made by earlier skiers on the VC-02 Preserve road to the bunk house that was open and warmed by electric heat. From here the group skied down the road back to the visitor center.
More snow is needed in the valles, but the deep powder on the north side of South Mountain will probably remain for some time.
Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015
Photo by Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore skied the Valles Caldera area. No grooming at all as of 4 PM Saturday, and the folks at the visitor center were unsure if they would try to groom a bit for the moonlight event tonight. There was a pretty good skier-made track on the road between the visitor center and the history grove area this morning, but unfortunately it got driven over by cars. I had a good time just making my own leisurely way across untracked meadow. The snow was heavy and wet, and not that deep, so the going was easy. It was warm and melting, but I think the meadow snow might still be OK on Sunday.
More pictures from these trips are in the Photo Gallery