Nearly 50 years ago, Angel Fire Resort opened its lifts and trails to skiers for the first time. Now, after years of evolving, the 50th anniversary season is underway. Opening day is Dec. 9.
Angel Fire Resort will mark its 50th anniversary Jan. 17-22, 2017. Paying tribute to the resort’s legendary pedigree and world-class mountain, the weeklong celebration is not to be missed.
On Jan. 17, the celebration begins with a cocktail welcome party and will feature selected pieces displayed showing the rich history over the last 50 years. Such a hallmark milestone provides an opportunity to reflect upon the storied opening of the resort in 1966. Angel Fire Resort — known for highlighting its stunning natural surroundings — has always perpetuated a distinct sense of environment and nature, both in design and service. Wednesday (Jan. 18) features Taste of Angel Fire and Vintage Ski Day. Thursday’s (Jan. 19) festivities had yet to be determined, go to angelfireresort.com for updated information. A Reunion Dinner for past patrollers, employees and ski school employees will be held Friday (Jan, 20). The weeklong celebration will end on Saturday (Jan. 21) with an apres ski party, Garden Court party and a spectacular firework show plus live music to round out a fun-filled week.
With more than 560 acres of terrain with rolling cruisers, glade runs, a trio of terrain parks and one of New Mexico’s top ski and snowboard schools, Angel Fire has beckoned to Alpine skiers, cross-country skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Tubing and sledding down the Polar Coaster Tubing Hill and the sledding hill at the Nordic Center are still popular pastimes, especially with the kids. Sleds and discs can be rented at the Nordic Center for $10 and $15. Sledding will be available Friday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and daily during peak periods (conditions permitting). To confirm hours of operation, call the Nordic Center at (575) 377-4488.
The Nordic Center at the Country Club also boasts more than 15 km of groomed, classic and skate cross-country terrain. Snowshoeing is also permissible on these trails. Skiing, snowboarding and tubing aren’t the only ways to enjoy the outdoors — Roadrunner Tours in Angel Fire offers sleigh rides through this magical winter wonderland.
Over the Christmas holiday (Dec. 26-29) check into First Tracks, which allows you to load onto the lift at 8 a.m. and hit the slopes before everyone else. Dress warm and be at the base of the Chile Express by 7:45 a.m. If the early morning ski wasn’t enough, on every Friday and Saturday evening you can ski at night.
But if you’re looking for something completely different, Angel Fire is home to the World Championship Shovel Races in which hearty, adrenaline-seeking souls from ages 10 to adulthood reach speeds of up to 70 mph riding a shovel — yes, an ordinary, unmodified shovel — down a slope. Shovel racing began as a simple contest in the 1970s when lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts. This year’s race takes place Saturday, Feb. 4. Practice and Registration Day are set for Friday, Feb. 3.
For more information, go to angelfireresort.com or call (800) 633-7463.
Other Angel Fire events:
Christmas Eve: Ski and snowboard with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the mountain. Remember to bring your camera,10 a.m.-3 p.m.
College Week Jan. 1-7, 2017: With finals and family holiday celebrations in the past, spend a week hanging out with your friends in the Southern Rockies. Receive discounted lift tickets and lodging while enjoying live music, comedy, and games before returning to the books.
Season Dates: Dec. 9-March 19
Average Annual Snowfall: 210 in.
Number of Runs: 79 (18 percent beginner, 46 percent intermediate, 36 percent advanced)
Number of Lifts: 7 total (2 quad chairs, 3 double chairs, 2 surface tows)
Base Elevation: 8,600 ft.
Peak Elevation: 10,677 ft.
Vertical Drop: 2,077 ft.
Information: (800) 633-7463, angelfireresort.com