Pajarito Mountain Collects 5 Million Gallons Of Water

Taken July 24, this photo shows the Pajarito staff doing a direct pond depth measurement. Photo by George Lawrence


Last week was an impressive water collection period for Pajarito Mountain.

They pumped 62 hours straight (from Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. through Thursday at 8:30 p.m.), and the staff made a direct pond depth measurement Friday. They took this measurement to George Lawrence, former Los Alamos Ski Club president and a local expert when it comes to water at Pajarito Mountain (he was also instrumental in the design of Pajarito’s original pond.)

Lawrence has created a model of the pond as it is actually built, and he utilizes a volume-versus-depth table (for the as-built pond geometry) to help staff measure the amount of water in the pond.

According to Lawrence and Pajarito General Manager Tom Long, there is now 5 million gallons stored, and it could be close to 6 million gallons by the end of this week. Furthermore, if the monsoons continue, they could fill all 10 million gallons by the end of the summer.

In addition to this exciting news, Pajarito Mountain also announced earlier this morning that Pajarito is part of a $10 million multi-resort capital campaign. Three of the four ski areas in the southwest collective (Sipapu, Purgatory and Snowbowl) are building new lifts, and every ski area is adding new trails and improved snowmaking infrastructure.

What this means for Pajarito:

More Water for Future Snowmaking. With last spring’s run-off and this year’s unseasonably rainy summer, staff has been laser-focused to capture every drop they can. They’re now on pace to collect more water than ever gathered before, which means the team will be able to make snow as the snowmaking system was designed to do.