Chama Chile Ski Classic canceled, Sno-ball Balloon Rally still scheduled for Feb. 24-25


By Mary Ann DeBoer
Special to The PREVIEW
Another first for the record books, the 45th Chama Chile Ski Classic and Winter Fiesta in Chama, N.M., has been canceled due to a lack of snow at the event’s race site.
The event was originally scheduled for the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in January, then rescheduled for Feb. 24-25, before being canceled.
Many Pagosa Springs residents have participated or helped out in past ski classic events.
According to Ernest Vigil, business owner and native of the Chama Valley, the snow levels in the mountains above Chama are the lowest he’s ever seen in his life (56 years).
Warm weather and dry conditions have kept the race site snow levels at around 1 foot or lower the entire season. This was not enough to groom a quality course for the Ski Classic’s 10 cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking races.
Sno-Ball Balloon Rally Feb. 24-25
Every year, Chama hosts a balloon rally the last weekend of February. This year, according to Murray Conrad, the Sno-Ball Rally coordinator, there will be 11 balloons in Chama.
The pilots and crew are meeting both Saturday and Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m., to access the wind and weather conditions, with a launch over the Chama area shortly after, if the weather conditions are favorable.
There will be a pilot briefing and raffle on Friday evening at the High Country Restaurant in Chama.