We are a 501c3 non-profit bringing lift-aided skiing and year-round, lift-served recreation to Cuchara Mountain Park, ensuring that fun, affordable, and educational opportunities are available for everyone.

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Come down for our Fall Colors Disc Golf Tournament p/b Bachman & Associates on Oct 9th! The peak of the colors and a great disc golf course. 

Our work to get Lift 4 certified for passengers continues this summer, but Cuchara Mountain Park is open for everyone to enjoy! Come on up for hiking, the amazing views of West Spanish Peak, and disc golf.

Come play on CMP's new Bike Playground!

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Thank you to our partners for supporting our mission to bring affordable skiing and outdoor recreation to Southern Colorado

Corporate Partners

Locations in Trinidad and Denver, Colorado

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Local Partners

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La Veta, CO

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Our Story

The lifts stopped running on Cuchara Mountain in 2000, but the local community is determined to see skiing return. In 2017, the community raised funds to purchase around 50 acres at the base of the old ski hill. This became Cuchara Mountain Park, which restored public access to the area and surrounding USFS lands for outdoor recreation. Within Cuchara Mountain Park is Lift 4. In 2019, the Panadero Ski Corporation was formed to restore the lift and revive the lower slopes of the abandoned ski area.

 

Thanks to generous donors and amazing volunteers we have made significant progress on Lift 4. But before we can return skiing to Cuchara we face costly state inspections, insurance, and other start-up costs. When Lift 4 is certified to carry passengers it will provide access to 7 runs perfect for beginners and families. Our mission is to ensure that skiing at Cuchara Mountain Park is affordable and accessible for everyone. In doing so we can also help support a year-round local economy. But we can't get Lift 4 spinning again without your help!

Please donate today. 

The Mountain

The Mountain went by many names from 1981 when the area opened until 2000 when skiing operations stopped. In its prime, the mountain had 4 chairlifts, accessing 230 acres, with over 1,500 of vertical drop. Today all the old runs on USFS land are accessible for powder chasing backcountry/alpine touring skiing and riding via Cuchara Mountain Park. While we work to get Lift 4 running, we invite folks to come on up and enjoy human-powered skiing. Cuchara Mountain provides excellent terrain for those new to the backcountry to build skills and confidence.

Cuchara Mountain Park (CMP) represents the efforts of the local community, led by the Cuchara Foundation, to raise money for the County to buy the land. The Park is now a Huerfano County Park and offers a range of winter and summer activities. The Panadero Ski Corporation's efforts to revive the old ski area are focused on CMP and Lift 4. Once Lift 4 is ready to spin again it will take skiers and riders up 300ft and provide access to epically groomed runs perfect for beginners, families, and anyone looking to cruise laps. Plans to add a railyard are also in the works. The slopes above CMP will remain reserved for backcountry access free of charge. Skiing at CMP will be a unique and affordable opportunity for anyone from those just learning, those wanting to enjoy some fresh air in the winter, and even the backcountry skiing explorer! 

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Our Progress

It is amazing what a determined group can accomplish. In the past 3 years, we have made a lot of progress repairing and bringing Lift 4 back to life. Summer of '22 we had Dendrite Engineers out to begin our certification process and have made significant progress on the lift. Here are highlights of the work we have done so far:

  • Fixed electric motor control switches 

  • Ran a new 24-pair low voltage cable from the bottom of lift 4 to the top

  • Removed all chairs to x-ray clips for cracks; lubricated cable and bearings; reinstalled chairs

  • Inspected each sheave assembly (wheels on lift pole), greased bearings, and some assemblies rebuilt

  • X-rayed each bolt at the base of every tower to ensure no cracks

  • Purchased 2 used snowcats for grooming + fuel for grooming operations

  • Built new ramps at the bottom and top of the lift to accommodate riders entering and exiting the lift safely

  • Resurrected and repaired part of the old snowmaking system around the base area

  • Replaced a ~500ft 480-volt wire that powers lift, including trenching and burying

  • Built and stocked a ski patrol clinic

  • Cut down bushes and trees on ski runs (will be an ongoing project)

  • Trail and other signage are being made

 

Bringing an abandoned ski area back to life is hard work but we are close to the finish line! We need your help to get make this dream a reality. All of our work is 100% funded by donations and all donations go directly toward getting Lift 4 running and starting ski operations. Please consider donating today!

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© 2022 Panadero Ski Corporation, La Veta, Cuchara, Colorado

37 cuchara avenue east, cuchara, colorado 81055, skiingcuchara@gmail.com