October 17, 2019

Red River Ski & Summer Area Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

red-river-ski-logoBy Jo Mixon

Can you spell fun with a capital F-U-N? Well that is exactly what we experienced when we were invited over to play on four summer adventure features at Red River Ski & Summer Area. First we visited Bob and Casey at the Pioneer Flyer. They strapped us into this two person chair and pulled us backwards up 70 feet over the pond and Pioneer Rd. to a tower on the face. We lingered there for a bit enjoying the scenery, then went flying back to the base at about 35 mph. We screamed and laughed all the way down. It was great!


Me and Karen Kelly, Director of Marketing and Guest Services @ Red River Ski & Summer Area


Pioneer Flyer


View from the top

Next we went for summer mountain tubing. It’s like snow tubing but on a fast track instead of snow. It’s a blast! We rode the Gold chairlift up and raced down the two 800 foot trails. I have to admit it was crazy fun! It went much faster than I had anticipated and my tube went round and round and round until I was laughing hysterically. We’d get to the bottom, grab our tubes and head back up the chairlift. It seems we all brought our inner child with us!


Gold Chair to Summer Mountain Tubing




The Hidden Treasures Aerial Ropes Course was next. It has three sections. The first is 20 feet off of the ground, 2nd level is 40 feet off of the ground and the top and hardest level is 60 feet off of the ground. First there was “Ropes Course 101” as we geared up and snuggled into the harnesses that were to be our safety devices. The crew made sure we were all tightly wrapped and sturdy with a hard hat upon our heads. Then off we trekked for this adventure.

I have to be honest….at the moment I stepped off of the steady secure base of this course, onto the wobbly small wood-footing, reaching for the first rope, I began talking to my 61 year old self, “Self, what were you thinking?!?” I understood immediately why they call this a Challenge by Choice. It is challenging, you do push yourself to limits you might not normally go and it is completely your own choice to take that first step! I also now understand why it can be used as a team building exercise. The comradery of all of us on the course became instant and bonding! We cheered for each other when one would accomplish a section at a time, as did the crew. We encouraged each other, we laughed and struggled and even showed fear together as we challenged ourselves to finish. And once we did finish, we all high fived with excessive jubilance! We did it! I cannot express how awesome that feeling was! You just need to go challenge yourself!



Team One: Gabrielle Nelson, me, and Wende Woolley


Team Two: Harley Farris, Kimber Glover, John Hail,
Greg Langham (my grandson), me, and Karen Kelly (Director of Marketing and Guest Services at Red River Ski & Summer Area)


Proper Footwear for the aerial park!





Yes, we are 60 feet in the air!





Zipping to the end!


Some of the Awesome crew at Hidden Treasures

Karen Kelly has been at Red River Ski & Summer Area going on four years. She is so excited about all of the new and fun features. She invited us because she wanted us to experience the actual hands-on activities. We talked about the team spirit of the ropes course as we lunched together. Karen agreed and said the UNM Lobos Ski team does the course as well as many corporate boards and company staffs. And for us, we felt like family when it was completed because we shared a common success! I learned that Red River Ski Area was born in the 1950’s. There were a few owners prior to, but in 1988, Drew Judycki, a young skier from Massachusetts became sole owner. He had been with the Red River Ski Area for three decades. He put his heart and soul and muscle into the business! After Drew’s untimely passing in 2008, it continues as a family-owned and operated business, managed by a senior management team that includes Drew’s son Linton, daughter Lauren, and his brother Denny. The Red River Ski & Summer Area is focused on exceeding the expectations of each guest. They are working on expansions and improvements and continue to retain their small ski village charm that was its trademark when the doors opened 50 years ago.

We ended our day in Red River with a nice serene ride up the chairlift to the top of the mountain. There were many trails to wander and hike. They are building a new quad that we watched from a distance. After a refreshing drink at the The Lift Restaurant, we slowly and pleasantly rode back down to end a perfect day of adventure in Red River!


Scenic summer view of Red River from the chairlift


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