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  1. #1
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    Question: Sandia Peak Ski Company's Thoughts on Downhill / Freeride Features?

    Hey guys- just wondering if anyone knows what the Sandia Peak Ski Company's stance is on ever adding more downhill/freeride "features" on their trails. Have they ever been approached by members of the community about this? Recently?

    Given the increasing popularity of riding trails with obstacles (whether it's jumps, drops, ladders, berms, etc), and many other ski mountains seeing the economic benefits from having trails like this, I was wondering if this would ever be possible here.

    I think it's great that Angel Fire & Pajarito are trying to attract riders who enjoy riding these sorts of trails, but it's a pretty long haul from ABQ to go ride up there.

    Having been to Whistler, I've seen how these sorts of trails / obstacles can be designed so that they're rather safe, especially when you build skills areas so that people of different levels can practice in a controlled environment- though, I'm sure that won't matter much, if the folks running Sandia have their minds made up that they're not interested.

    Anyone have any thoughts / info?

  2. #2
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    Good question... Maybe something to do with the land. I think it belongs to the Forest Service.

    One concern would be the 30 min lift ride up , and thats with out stopping or slowing for the the older patrons. On the plus side, it seems like it has the perfect grade for bikes.

  3. #3
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    Seems like this has been discussed before - maybe do some searching around.

    As Tim noted - Angel Fire and Pajarito are on privately owned land. Sandia and Ski Santa Fe lease the land each year with a special use sort of permit. That said, this does not preclude buidling up more aggressive DH / FR trails - but you'd have to work with both the FS and the Sandia ski folks.
    Last edited by glenzx; 08-18-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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  4. #4
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    I actually tried searching both on MTBR and using google about this before I posted. I also thought that I remember that it had been talked about a while ago on here, but I didn't find anything when I searched. I was also wondering if anyone out there had heard of anything recently.

    With BMX racing becoming an olympic sport in about 4 days, more "extreme" types of riding / recreation may be an easier sell to corporate & government entities than it had used to be.

    As far as the 30 minute ride up, I agree. I've made it down in less time than that on my hardtail, but I believe they slow it down substantially during the summers for the older patrons and families as you mentioned so maybe they could speed it up at certain times. It would still be slow relatively speaking, but it wouldn't be a show stopper if you built some new trails and/or features that provided enough entertainment.

  5. #5
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    I've asked them directly and know others that have as well. Here is the lowdown:
    Forest Service Land so there is some paperwork (achievable with some effort)
    Owners are VERY risk averse, so they are not willing to take any risks (also manageable with the right waivers)
    Apathetic out of touch owners - they don't see the return on that investment and/or have ZERO ambition to really take advantage of the facility, yes it is not much of a money maker (skiing side) bacause of the random conditions in the winter, but it has serious potential as a major summer location if they would allow us to build more official trails. (we have asked)

    This is one of the main reasons I just built www.nmfreeride.com. I want to show them how many people would use the facility if they put some effort into making it better. I went once and don't really want to go back in it's current incarnation. Please register at nmfreeride and help us lobby for change.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrayton1
    I've asked them directly and know others that have as well. Here is the lowdown:
    Forest Service Land so there is some paperwork (achievable with some effort)
    Owners are VERY risk averse, so they are not willing to take any risks (also manageable with the right waivers)
    Apathetic out of touch owners - they don't see the return on that investment and/or have ZERO ambition to really take advantage of the facility, yes it is not much of a money maker (skiing side) bacause of the random conditions in the winter, but it has serious potential as a major summer location if they would allow us to build more official trails. (we have asked)

    This is one of the main reasons I just built www.nmfreeride.com. I want to show them how many people would use the facility if they put some effort into making it better. I went once and don't really want to go back in it's current incarnation. Please register at nmfreeride and help us lobby for change.
    You should start a new thread for the petition, then get a moderator to make it a sticky so we can get the maximum number of views and hopefully signatures.

    Sandia could be so rad with a little/lot of work.

  7. #7
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    I signed up! I have always thought that the ski resort had excellent flow and could make for some great gravity type obstacles. Not much going on the site though. I bet notaknob could aid in this effort.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    I signed up! I have always thought that the ski resort had excellent flow and could make for some great gravity type obstacles. Not much going on the site though. I bet notaknob could aid in this effort.
    Yep, just started working on it last night. I plan to get the word out over the next few weeks. I posted another link to nmfreeride.com in this forum but it was deleted really fast by the moderator. Thanks for logging in.

  9. #9
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    I can second that on the owners being extremely conservative and frankly useless. I'm 17 and an athlete on the Santa Fe Ski Team. We are constantly having to fight with the Santa Fe Ski Area/owners for training space, despite the fact that we already bring in thousands in revenue for them in lift ticket sales and free advertising, and we would bring in much more if our team had good training. They let us train on one short, flat hill, and as a result, the average skill on the team is low, making our membership dwindle. When you consider that each athlete and usually their parents buy a season pass, that's probably a thousand bucks a family they're missing out on.

    Benny Abruzo is this guys name. I think he's been very sucessful with some other buisnesses in Texas, and the Ski Areas are more of a trophy for him than a real buisness venture. How he became sucessful with tactics like this, I do not know.

    So basically, good luck with the freeride stuff there, I seriously hope you guys can do something... our ski team has basically given up and all of the more experienced athletes will be largely training away from home this year... no more season passes for us.

    -Rogan

  10. #10
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    Land managers will always attempt to mitigate any potential risk as lawsuits are costly. All it would take is one accident on a built stunt and the lawers could have a field day. Now one attempt would be to build a skills course and limit the exposure of features under 24" in height total. Sure this sounds weak, but it would be a starting point. If proven profitable then one could make the argument for larger technical features limiting the risk for the land managers.

  11. #11
    Heckler db
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    The liability issues have all been worked out through the ski areas already, that is a dead horse issue with the liability releases that everyone uses now. this was settled in the nineties when liability issues nearly ended skiing as we know it today. They are building these stunts in parks all over the world!!! There has been a downhill crowd trying for a number of years to get Abruzzo moving but they just weren't a large enough group. Maybe we can get enough people to do some good finally!!!

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