An unusually wet summer should help skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes at Pajarito Mountain earlier than they have in years.
Pajarito’s ownership has targeted Thanksgiving as its opening weekend this season. “It will depend a lot on Mother Nature and cold weather,” Pajarito General Manager Tom Long said. “In the past we’ve had the cold weather, just not a lot of water.”
Water for snowmaking, however, won’t be a problem this year. As of Wednesday, the snowmaking pond had 6 million gallons of water in it, 12 times more water than it had last year.
“All of this water has been very good to us,” Long said. “That’s the most we’ve had in a number of years. We’re really excited for snowmaking.”
If the wet weather continues through monsoon season, the pond may reach its capacity.
“We’re optimistically anticipating a full pond,” Long said.
Besides the natural runoff and rainwater the pond has collected, an enhanced water collection system has also helped fill the pond. The mountain got a new 1.5 horsepower pump that has helped Pajarito take full advantage of its collection gallery around the mountain.