They said it was coming. And they were right. Godzilla has arrived—at least in Santa Fe. Over the past three days, storms caused by the giant El Niño dumped more than three feet of snow on the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near New Mexico’s capital and Outside’s home base. This is the snowiest November many of us can remember, and the skiing has already been an all-time high. Especially this past Tuesday after a Monday-night blizzard.
As is custom on big snow days, most of the Outside office (including both the magazine and Web editors) organized for a dawn patrol up Ski Santa Fe, our local area 30 minutes outside town. It took two hours to get up the 16-mile road—several cars got stuck or had to wait for the plow to clear the road—and another hour-plus to skin up the hill, but everyone’s patience paid off. At the top of the mountain, we skied through powder so deep that dogs were buried and had to be put in backpacks and carried down. Face shots were unavoidable.
I captured the day on my iPhone 6 because I like how easy it is to use out in the snow. I stuff it in my midlayer chest pocket so it stays warm against my chest and the battery doesn’t freeze, and I can whip it out much faster than a regular, bulky camera. Plus, it doesn’t get in my way when I’m skiing and doesn’t require a special camera bag.
Photo: Mike Thurber, the outdoor program coordinator at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, gives Mud (who belongs to former staffer Kyle Dickman) a ride down in his backpack after the pup got buried in snow well above his head. Sometimes you have to work to find the best photos. Sometimes they just appear in front of you.