I looked back today and was embarrassed by how long it's been since I've posted anything in either the blog, or in my journal. September of last year for the journal and just before Christmas for the Blog.

I miss writing and I miss taking the time to post images and the like.

I suppose that since I'm on the road so much that is one of the primary drivers for not having time. Generally if I'm staying with the kids and grandson in Phoenix I work all day, we eat and then hopefully get out for a MoJo (frozen yogurt).

Tonight though, I'm hoping to get something started so that at least I get back into the swing of posting and writing. How far I can go back and catch-up is anyone's guess. The fact of the matter is that I do miss having the memories committed to writing. I know that I've gone back and read an entry from time to time and said to myself, "I'm so glad I wrote that down, because otherwise I'd have forgotten this until some random memory might have brought it to the surface.

But to the topic at hand, El Nino and the mountain in our back yard.

By this time last year I had been back to climbing it again, in fact I think I had gotten in at least two trips up during the month of March. After another Friday storm blew through we awoke on Saturday morning to a couple of inches that started to rapidly melt away. I looked at the weather maps and satellite images and decided that the best day for skiing would be on Sunday and we had already talked about heading on up to Taos for at least one day this season.

I checked on the gear and then remembered a conversation that I had with one of the guys just two days before. He mentioned that he had skied on the Sandia slopes just the weekend before. I asked him how it was and he shrugged and said it was fine, not that steep, but that he had enjoyed his time on the mountain.

I stood on my balcony and looked out on the mountain. The solid overcast was shredding and the sky behind was clearing to that New Mexico blue that really is enchanting, especially at high altitude against fresh snow.

I went to the web site and read the invite - Come on up - we have the best snow in a decade.

The snow report also mentioned that they had 14 inches of fresh snow from the last storm.

I thought back to the local ski hill in Michigan that had a vertical drop of 300 feet but was able to give me a run for my money, even if I did have to ride the chair lifts again and again. This place has a vertical drop of 1,800 feet and a view that can't be beat. I yelled out to the wife, "let's do the Sandia's"

She was game.

Hey, it's also in my back yard. I was way too late to get to afternoon skiing at Santa Fe because that takes at least 2 hours from door to door.

Thirty minutes after we left the house we were in the parking lot and slipping into our boots.

Although Mrs should have probably warmed up on a smaller hill, we rode on up to the top and began our mile and a half run to the bottom.

As you can see, the conditions were just marvelous, not to mention that the slopes were pretty empty.

Personally I would have preferred a bit less fresh snow and more packed power, but it was great to be in the sun and fresh powder.

I stopped at a ridge called, of all things, Panaroma point.

You can see a larger image here.

In case you are interested, here is a profile of the afternoon and the google earth overlay.

The short run in the middle was a trip I took up the bunny hill with Mrs who had decided that it was just fine for what she wanted.

Google Earth overlay is here.

Topo overlay is here.

From the topo you can see that the mountain has a pretty uniform drop, nothing really steep except for a couple of runs right at the bottom that come down one of the side ridges.

Would I go back?

You betcha.

I've done a lot of runs with only a 300 foot vertical drop.

If the snow is right, you bet I'll be back.