Santa Fe

The view from the top of Ski Santa Fe under a full moon.

I have been burned by the sun, but the moon never hurt me.

I’ve interviewed the rich and famous in sports, politics and entertainment without being nervous, but the moon, the moon is someone I’ve always looked up to. How shiny and how intimidating.

The hike to the top of Ski Santa Fe was easier than I imagined, having done the ride down a few hundred times by now. Uphill seemed more straightforward in snowshoes or those skis with the detached heels, but snowboard boots were really fine. I tend to move at the same pace uphill and early as I do downhill and late.

I stopped once when a groomer rolled by like a steel mountain dog prowling for a drop of anything. I was overly worried about my board slipping out of my hands and down the hill. I had a headlamp I didn’t need. A handful of skiers whisked by me on their way down. I always listen to music up here, but not tonight.

This was the full moon toward the end of February. The ascent is warm until the peak flattens and the old pines no longer hold back the wind. Up there, the cold is a little violent. I wish I had brought a warm sip of wine, though the view is plenty intoxicating.

Glowing Santa Fe, galvanized in gold.

I froze my hand to take a photo worth keeping, then turned around and asked the moon what all this is about.

They said Earth is a hard rock to drag around. I imagine so. The sun does this most days, which we find unnatural. There’s also no fun in that, which is true.

You’re supposed to get the age of the person you’re interviewing. That’s something editors usually want to know, but I didn’t bother with that.

I did ask for a hint about the road.

They said keep your head up, because it goes on forever.

The moon warned me to be careful out there, but I had already gone straight down. See you next month, or maybe sometime later.

My mind that raced on up in preparation for the big interview was rather blank for the descent. I know this hill well in sunlight and even the fog, but dancing in the dark through the moonlight is somehow a more peaceful dimension. The adult in me sharpened my edges in preparation. Tree shadows crossed my own. I tried to stay quiet.

In total, I might guess we lasted 90 minutes. Maybe two hours. That’s not really how time works up on the mountain, though.

They said there’s another full moon in March. The snow is still good. I do recommend asking a few questions.

(6) comments

Gary Looft

The next full moon is March 28. Would like to join others who are going.



Carol Miller

I remember a young person being killed while night skiing at Ski Santa Fe some years ago. This article no doubt rekindled a lot of pain for the family and other readers who remember.

Stefanie Beninato


Nancy Lockland

I thought it was a beautiful written article

Rebecca Clay

Beautifully written -- thank you, Dillon.

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