Up from the Ashes: Las Conchas Fire, 4 Years Later

Hola, and welcome to the one-stop-shop for finding work party info for the Pajarito Mountain summer season. We always have plenty of chainsaw work, painting, etc every season, but remnants of the Las Conchas fire still remain and challenge our regular work crews. We’d love your help getting the far West & East sides in shape, and getting the Spruce and Townsite lifts up to snuff. So please bookmark this site and come back often. The main blog page will show the week’s planned work party details, and the other pages will layout future work plans and the respective contact names.

After the 2011 fire, the trail crews managed the impossible and had ski area core ready for riding and skiing by the end of the Summer. Most of last year’s work focused on cleaning the spared areas of the mountain and rehabilitating key burned areas which are needed for basic mountain operations. This year’s activities will build on last year’s work, with more of an eye on the burned areas of the West and East side. Expect plenty of chainsaw work and bike trail clean-up out there.

As you probably know, we rebuilt the two chair lifts which were damaged during the fire. This summer will focus on improving glade skiing on the mountain, maintaining bike trails, and maybe building a new “flow” bike trail.  We also will continue to keep the brush cut, and take care of trees that get blown down by winds.

Finally, Pajarito Mountain is pleased to announce that we participated in the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Congress, which is happened in Santa Fe in October 2012. Pajarito, along with Los Alamos County, hosted a pre-Congress riding event. Bikers from all around the world, along with representatives from the mountain biking industry, spent the day riding our mountain and a host of other Los Alamos area trails. It was a great opportunity to show off all of the outdoor options available around town. Plus, Pajarito Mountain’s mountain bike patrol provided first aid support for various other rides throughout the events in Santa Fe.

As always, we have a ton of work to be done this summer. Luckily, we’ve moved past the basic fire recovery work and are now focused on making the mountain near or better than it was before the fire. With your help, we’ll get there.

Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you up on the mountain!

Pajarito Mountain Board



  1. Is there any way that those of us out here who are Pajarito supporters but live out of town might help? Donations of money, supplies, food, beverage (including adult beverages!), etc.? If so, what would be helpful and what is the best way to get it out there?

    All the best for getting the mountain back in shape!

    1. Clair,

      A Universal Savings Account has been opened up at LANB known as “Pajarito Fire Recovery Fund.” Anyone who writes a check with that name or does a teller deposit at the Bank can designate that the monies go into “Pajarito Fire Recovery Fund”. For out-of-towners, snail mail checks will work (Los Alamos National Bank, 1200 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, NM 87544, be sure to write it out to Pajarito Fire Recovery Fund, not Pajarito Mountain). The account can’t accept electronic transfers. FYI, Pajarito is a “not for profit” enterprise, as opposed to a nonprofit. Therefore, the hill accepts any donations tax free, but we don’t qualify as tax deductible since we’re the wrong flavor of 501 entity. We’ve tried to find other avenues to make donations tax deductible, but the folks with the green visors haven’t found a viable option (skiing is an educational endeavor, right?). – Jeff

    2. Thanks, Clair!!
      Yes, there are dozens of ways that anyone can help, even if you are out of town.

      Although Pajarito Mountain is a not for profit 501(c)(4) organisation, we do need customers to keep us running. Our season’s passes prices are kept as low as possible and only bring in enough money to cover about 1/3 of our annual budget. We really need to sell more season’s passes to develop a local following and more steady income source (less prone to weather fluctuations). We also need to sell more day tickets, but we tend to already reach our maximum desirable capacity (no lift lines, but the lodge can get crowded at lunch, for example) on our peak days. We are thus trying to get the word out about how great the skiing is at Pajarito on those days when it seems you have the whole mountain to yourself. Word-of-mouth, facebook, and all sorts of other ways of getting the word out can really help us with this.

      Mailing us beverages or food would be wonderful, but realistically it would be more efficient to donate to our recovery fund (see below) and let us buy what we need locally. However, there are surely friends of Pajarito out there who have some connections with businesses and might be able to convince them to cut us a deal on supplies. Whether it is hard goods like gloves, chainsaws or paint, or other goods and services such as renting a sawmill to cut some of our fire-killed trees into lumber, we can use all types of help in locating deals. Think creatively, and try to think local and small business. We would much rather be “sponsored” by a local sandwich shop or microwbrewery, than by a national chain. Part of our mission is to be a resource for the local area (anything in Northern New Mexico).

      Financial Help:
      We have a donations account set up with Los Alamos National Bank titled “Pajarito Fire Recovery Fund.” While the lifts are insured, the Fire Recovery Fund will go to the considerable rehabilitation and remediation that is required in the areas where spot burns took place. Anyone who writes a check with that name or does a teller deposit at the bank can designate that the monies go into “Pajarito Fire Recovery Fund.” These deposits are anonymous and not tax deductible at this time.
      http://www.lanb.com/Contact-Us.aspx LANB Routing Number | 107001012
      Los Alamos National Bank
      1200 Trinity Drive
      Los Alamos, NM 87544
      Fax: (505) 662-1044

      Moral support:
      Just being our friend, posting here with ideas or offers of help, is a huge help! Every little bit of moral boost is good for us. Not just the ski area staff and regular volunteers, but also all the members and season’s pass holders. It really gives us a boost to know that people who grew up here and moved away, find that Pajarito Mountain remains in their hearts.

  2. To entice any potential business donors – will there be any publicity for them? Name on a list or icon/image on a poster/pamphlet/web page?

    1. That is certainly something we are considering. At this point, we don’t have a solid plan. Let us know if you have any ideas you think we should consider.

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