Angel Fire Resort opens winter season, upgrades snowmaking

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Snow is scant in the Taos Valley but recent little storms dumped more than a foot of snow at Angel Fire Resort, which opened its winter season Dec. 8.

According to the resort, the mountain operations team has taken advantage of colder temperatures throughout the past few weeks to make snow. The additional natural and man-made snow will allow the resort to open Lift 1, the tubing hill with its surface lift, and the ski trail Dreamcatcher with a 14-inch base. The Angel Fire Ski School will also be open. The resort is focusing full time on snowmaking with hopes to have the main chairlift, The Chile Express, and the mountain's most popular green trail, Heading Home, open by Friday, (Dec. 17), according to a statement from the resort.

What's new this season at Angel Fire?

Angel Fire Resort added more snowmaking capability and upgraded the electrical equipment of the resort's Chile Express, a high-speed, detachable quad chairlift.

Angel Fire Resort will open a new hike-to-access black diamond trail this winter, to be named C-4. Located in what was previously out-of-bounds territory north of the ski mountain, C-4 is a new 9-acre challenge with a 1,000-foot vertical drop.

Though forecasters are predicting a dry December, they're expecting more winter storms in February and March. In anticipation, and with fingers crossed that the forecasters are correct, Angel Fire Resort has extended its season for an extra week through March 25, 2018. This offers season pass holders an additional seven days on the mountain and also ties into many southern states' Spring Break calendars.

Angel Fire Resort will again offer a nighttime skiing/terrain park with 50 acres of groomed trails on the front facing side of the mountain and the Night Rider terrain park. View the stars and Milky Way while skiing and snowboarding. Check out the resort's evening ski school, angelfireresort.com/ski_school/sunset-special/

For something besides skiing or snowboarding, Angel Fire Resort has a tubing hill, a traditional sledding hill, snowshoe rentals, indoor pools and a hot tub. The Village of Angel Fire also offers horse-drawn sleigh-rides, ice fishing, snowmobile tours and dinner rides. Check online at angelfirenm.com/winter/sleigh-rides/ for reservations and pricing.

For hard core winter competition, don't miss the 39th Annual Angel Fire Resort World Championship Shovel Races, taking place Feb. 2-3, 2018. Racers from all over the country compete by sitting on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel, handle pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to allow gravity to take them for a ride.

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