The Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico has reached the Nuclear Town of Los Alamos and it’s ski resort Pajarito. Los Alamos Laboratories are the University of California Labs where Nukes were created. The Manhattan project, yeah, click on that link and have your mind “blown."



Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico Burns Pajarito Ski Resort | Dean Cummings' Home Ski Resort


pajarito ski resort10,440 foot Pajarito ski resort in Los Alamos, NM.

The Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico has already burned over 60,000 acres, reached the Nuclear Town of Los Alamos, NM, and is now burning Pajarito ski resort. Los Alamos contains the University of California Laboratories where Nuclear weapons were created.  The Manhattan project, yeah, click on that link and have your mind “blown.”

As of mid-day tuesday, June 28th, 2011, the Las Conchas fire had burned over 60,000 acres.

fire las conchas new mexico

Las Conchas Fire, New Mexico.  photo:

At a noontime press conference in Los Alamos yesterday, NM Fire Chief Doug Tucker, who clearly cares about skiing, said:

“It made a run for the ski hill last night, and we fought fire last night on the ski hill from about ten o’clock,” Tucker explained. “We continue to put out spot fires there now. It ran to the ridge, it ran over and spotted into the ski hill.”

“The lodge is safe,” Tucker told reporters. “We were able to put out the spot fires around the lodge. We had some spot fires in the trees, but most of this fire has hooked around and gone on top of Camp May and toward Santa Clara Canyon.”

fire las conchas nmSatellite image of Las Conchas fire from June 27th, 2011.  photo:  Nasa

La Nina was harsh to Pajarito in the 2010/11 ski season leaving only 57 total inches compared to their normal annual snowfall average of 125 inches. Pajarito was forced to close on January 7th, 2011 due to a lack of snow this past winter.

Pajarito ski resort was originally created as a place for the crazy nuclear scientist to ski. Yes, even nuke nerds love skiing.

Pajarito’s claim to fame?  Dean Cummings, the pro freeskier/Alaska Pioneer/Owner of H2O Heli Ski grew up skiing at Pajarito.

dean cummings alaska metoriteDean Cummings on Meteorite Mountain, Alaska.  photo:  H2O

Pajarito Statistics:

-Top elevation:  10,440 feet.

– Bottom elevation:  9,200 feet

– Average annual snowfall:  125 inches

– 40 trails

– 300 skiable acres

– 1200 ft vertical

– 5 chair lifts and 1 surface lift.

– Every run is steep

– It’s illegal to ski the backside, but the backside has really good, steep, burly terrain.

A little spanish for yas:  Los Alamos = The Poplars.  Pajarito = Little Bird

  • Pajarito Mountain

    The fire is now over in the vicinity of the ski area, and we only lost about 100 acres of forest on the perimeter of the ski area (out of a total 0f 750 acres we own). Two of our five chairlift cables were heat damaged when the top lift operator buildings burned. The lifts were covered by insurance and will be repaired in time for ski season. We are one of the few nonprofit ski areas in the USA, and we have a lot of volunteers signing up to help us clean up fire damage and get the slops ready for skiing this winter.

  • Pajarito Mountain

    We’re not dead yet. It’s only a flesh wound.

    We will recover and rebuild. A couple of lifts were damaged, but the firefighters and our years of preparations thinning trees after the Cerro Grande fire (which we also survived) saved the bulk of the mountain from the flames. We were open 15 days last winter on our meager La Nina snowfall, and our new snowmaking system is nearly completed.

    Although Dean is a dear friend and one of the most famous skiers to have grown up on Pajarito’s slopes, we are loved by thousands of dedicated skiers and have produced many excellent shredders during our 50+ year history. We are one of the last remaining truly “local” ski areas, run by the not-for-profit Los Alamos Ski Club. Our summer mountain biking trails are some of the best in the southwest.

    Please don’t count us out. We need the support of our skiers now, more than ever. Tourists are also welcome.

    Brian Foley
    Los Alamos Ski Club vice president

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s