Nambe Chutes Spring Ski

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 35.79500°N / 105.77°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Apr 26, 2008
Activities Activities: Mountaineering, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring


Amy, Andy, Sarah, Jeff, and I skinned up Ski Santa Fe to ski the Nambe Chutes located in a high alpine bowl just to the west of Lake Peak in the Pecos Wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico. We were joined by Andy/Sarah's snowclimbing husky Nina. We skied a north facing chute from ~12200' (starting from just NW of Deception Peak) down to ~11500'. Then we booted up part way for another lap before booting all the way out and skiing down the ski area back to our cars. Our total roundtrip distance was ~5 miles with a total elevation climbed of ~3000'. Our total car-to-car time was a leisurely 4.75 hours.

The Nambe Chutes consist of about a dozen distinct starting lines that all end up in a big bowl at the bottom. Please see this link and this link for more information on these chutes. On this day we skied and climbed the "Boot Out" chute shown in the first link above.

Trailhead and approach

From Santa Fe, take highway 475 and park at the Ski Santa Fe parking area (~10300'). Your goal is to end up at the top of the Millenium chairlift by skinning up the ski runs on the northern edge (looker's left) of the ski area. From the top of the chairlift, continue skinning NE and you will come to the top of a large north and west facing alpine bowl with Lake Peak (12409') towering over the western edge of the bowl.

We started skinning around 9:15am.
Skinning up Ski Santa FeSkinning up Ski Santa Fe.

We headed NE into the trees just below the top of the Millenium chairlift and arrived at the top of the "Boot Out" chute around 11:15am. The upper part of this chute has a slope angle approaching 40 degrees.
Nambe  Boot Out  ChuteLooking down the "Boot Out" chute.


We ripped the skins off and clicked in, taking the chute one at a time. Being still kind of early in the spring, the snow was pretty firm up high.
Amy drops into the Nambe  Boot Out  ChuteAmy dropping in.

Scott in the  Boot Out  Nambe ChuteScott in the "Boot Out" chute.

We skied down about 700 vertical ft. to where the bowl flattens out and there are some rocks that are nice for sitting and snacking. We all took a second lap and snacked at our own leisure.
Nambe ChutesEnjoying a second lap. "Boot Out" chute is the one on the upper right.

I wanna sandwich too!I wanna sandwich too!

You could ski down the Nambe drainage past Nambe Lake and return to the ski area parking lot via the Winsor Trail. However, we bootpacked up in order to get another run down the ski area.
Booting outSarah and Jeff booting out.

Amy bootpackingAmy booting out.

Skiing down Ski Santa FeSkiing the frontside.

We got back to the car around 2pm.
After-ski ritualBeer!

References and external links

1. Ski Santa Fe
2. "Santa Fe, Bandelier, Los Alamos" topo map by Sky Terrain Trail Maps.
3. Northern New Mexico Avalanche Exchange


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-4 of 4
Nice Axe!

Nice Axe! - Oct 9, 2008 9:18 am - Voted 10/10

Boot Out

This area is super fun! The backcountry experience is an enjoyable one by any measure - nice approach, good payoff. I'm looking forward to skiing more lines there. Nina sure liked the salami & cheese!

Sierra Ledge Rat

Sierra Ledge Rat - May 3, 2009 4:46 am - Hasn't voted

Looks like...

y'all are using AT gear?


scotthsu - May 3, 2009 7:31 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Looks like...

that day, 3 of us were on AT, and 2 (including myself) on tele. don't know what i was thinking hanging out with those randonee'rs ;-)

Sierra Ledge Rat

Sierra Ledge Rat - May 3, 2009 5:34 pm - Hasn't voted

Me next

I keep getting more and more beefy gear, I should just switch to AT.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4