~ 5k gain
~2 900ft lines
Long lines are not something you wish for unless you're backcountry skiing or mountain biking. Santa Fe Baldy has some of the longest continuous lines in New Mexico. Although benign, boring, and bare from the front (west) side, SF Baldy's backside has bowls as good as Williams Lake Basin, or the San Juans. Three bowls, each with striking lines could present a full weekend of skiing (or more). It's a bit of a haul to get up there, but the payoff can be awesome.
I escaped for a day trip up there and found some sweet corn. Thankfully conditions were perfect and my timing was only slightly late on the second run. Purposefully alone, I only saw one hiker on his way out at 7:15 or so. I also saw 1 set of tracks, on perhaps a very similar tour as me. That seemed to be from the prior weekend or during the early part of the week.
|Baldy's southern bowl, with more lines not shown underneath the camera as well.|
|Lake Katherine's bowl has the prime couloirs, although a few have cornices to negotiate.|
|Looking to the future cliché shot.|
|Baldy's Katherine Face is fairly steep and classic.|
|A line in the southern bowl I chose.|
|Looking south to Lake and Penitente Peaks.|
How to get there:
Go to the (lower) Northwest corner of the parking area for Ski Santa Fe, and here you'll find the Winsor Trailhead (254), hike this up and over into the wilderness area and onward to the Skyline trail(251), which is found at about 4 miles and 10900ft. Typically hikers and a skier or two have created a track to follow. Baldy will be on your left eventually, and you don't have to follow the trail per se. Head up to the ridge and pick your bowl and line.
The map below shows you Santa Fe Baldy in the upper righthand corner.