It’s been ten years since Neal Pederson and a group of volunteers began building freeride trails at the non-profit-owned Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in northern New Mexico.
Throughout the summers volunteers work to clear fallen trees off the trails following storms, maintain what trails and features that they’ve already built, and scope out areas for new features to add when and where they would make sense.
Today what Pajarito Mountain has is a mix of about thirteen lift-served black-diamond freeride and downhill mountain bike trails in addition to a healthy variety of cross country trails for bikers and hikers to choose from thanks to those hard-working volunteers.
For people from Durango, Colorado, such as myself, having lift-served freeride mountain bike trails to choose from is a luxury, even if it is only offered every other weekend during the summer.
On Saturday, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area and it’s clients celebrated the Norweigan snow god Ullr with a festival having more live music and brewery vendors than a straight edge homemaker could shake a stick at. It was also the last day of the season that Pajarito would be offering lift service for hikers and bikers wanting to ride up the Aspen lift.
During the four runs that I made that day, I could hear the mellow tones of the ska, reggae and dance hall tunes of The Blue Hornets band that was playing on the deck at the lodge.
The lifts ran from 9:00 til 3:00, whereupon the party at the lodge picked up and a healthy-sized crowd was hanging out drinking beers from one of the nine craft breweries on site and dancing on the deck. It was a hell of a party!
Lift tickets at Pajarito are $25 a day for bikers and $10 for hikers.