Several weeks ago a good friend got an iPhone. She told me that she realized that she'd been denying herself this device for a long time because it seemed extravagant. She wanted me to get an iPhone too because she knew that I secretly wanted one. I thought about it really hard, and realized what I had really wanted for years but hadn't allowed myself to buy… a pair of backcountry skis.
Yes, I have telemark skis and cross-country skis, so I can handle the steep ups and downs as well as flat snow. The problem is that snow in New Mexico tends to accumulate on mountains, not in the flats. The cross-country skis are not terribly useful. Backcountry skis have a similar (but beefier) boot and binding as cross-country, but the skis themselves have metal edges (like downhill skis) are somewhat shorter and more parabolic. With these I can ski most of the same trails that I would hike in other seasons.
While shopping for backcountry skis, I discovered that the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works has an excellent website with descriptions of places around Santa Fe for skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, kayaking, etc. Unfortunately, they went out of business last summer but their website is still live for now. Their idea of backcountry skiing is a bit more extreme than mine. Their nice website has inspired me to share here some descriptions of winter trails around Albuquerque that I enjoy. I started with the Ellis and North Crest Trail post. You'll see some more soon.
In the meantime, enjoy some photos of rare cross-country skiing in Albuquerque (from the great snowstorm of 2007).
The foothills 365 trail (January 2007).
The Bosque at Central Avenue with the Bio Park in the background (January 2007).