Snow Trax: Ski season wraps up

Full story: The Santa Fe New Mexican

When temperatures in the lowlands climb into the 60s and 70s, people's thoughts turn away from skiing to fishing, golf, tennis and gardening.
Comments
1 - 11 of 11 Comments Last updated Mar 8, 2014
Georgia from Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ

#1 Mar 16, 2009
Can someone tell me more about Jeff Gladfelter? I have one of his photos, called Chili Ristras & I tried to Google more about him.
Any website I can go to?
Thanks for any help!
CBKay

Santa Fe, NM

#2 Mar 17, 2009
Georgia from Phoenix wrote:
Can someone tell me more about Jeff Gladfelter? I have one of his photos, called Chili Ristras & I tried to Google more about him.
Any website I can go to?
Thanks for any help!
All I know is what the article states and that he was an incredible photographer. He phtographed a lot of great skiers in the area, among other things. He and his son, who was 5 at the time, were killed in a car accident 20 or so years ago.
Bumpa Del Dia

Naperville, IL

#3 Sep 26, 2010
Heffe' was a local character in Fanta Se known to haunt the snow caves around the back side of the ski area called Nambe' chutes (13k')at night. I understand he was also responsible for the "Cabin" located between Molly Hoagan and Bonzai Pipline. Sleep all night, & ski all day! The only time I actually saw him was when I was visiting Santa Fe in '85 and watched him ski under my chair on Roadrunner. At the time I was at best a novice skier, but admired his style to such an extent that I snapped a couple pictures of him with my crummy box camera. Four years down the road I regressed in life- well maybe not; but anyway I moved to Santa Fe from Chicago, went on a credit binge and got a real crummy job working in the Ski Area's rental shop. Damn.
By then Jeff had passed but his friends were still around and everyone had great things to say about him. Every so often someone gets married or something and I get to catch up with all my old Buds. All I can say is because I didn't know him I try not to judge him by his dumb ****, reckless driving, but by all his superlatives.
hgladfelter

Newnan, GA

#4 Jun 17, 2011
I am Jeff's sister, Heather. Jeff and his 5-yr old son Kevin were killed in a car wreck outside of Santa Fe. The accident happened on August 7, 1988. Jeff's son died the next day on 8/8/88. Jeff was a phenomenal skier and when his son was born, two weeks later he had his son in a backpack carrier skiing down the diamond trails at the Santa Fe ski basin. By 5 years old, his son was an incredible skier. I wonder what Kevin would have done with this gift from his father.
Mary

Calgary, Canada

#5 Oct 22, 2011
Georgia from Phoenix wrote:
Can someone tell me more about Jeff Gladfelter? I have one of his photos, called Chili Ristras & I tried to Google more about him.
Any website I can go to?
Thanks for any help!
Jeff died in a car crash in 1987 or 88 with his 5-year-old son, in NM. His wife--my husband's daughter--survived.
Mary

Calgary, Canada

#6 Oct 22, 2011
Jeff died in a car crash in 1987 or 88 with his 5-year-old son, in NM. His wife--my husband's daughter--survived.
Michael Rosenthal

Barcelona, Spain

#7 Jan 29, 2013
I knew Jeff personally even before he took up photography. I was a ski instructor at Santa Fe Ski Basin back at the end of the 70's and I used to ski with Jeff, his buddies Ralph, Sam and another dude whose name escapes me. They were all much better skiers than I was, but that was good for me as it helped me improve and also overcome my fear of the steep and narrow when they led me to some narrow tree-lined chutes off the side of the big poma lift line. They also would jump off of the Pope's nose which I never had the balls to try, however. We also skiied at Los Alamos and Taos together too.
They were a bunch of young guys who were fun to be around and enjoy the snow with.

When Jeff became a photographer he put his all into it and spent all his time up there, in all seasons skiing or hiking, and shooting. I was a photographer also back then but I shot the Opera and ads and not scenic stuff too much. I remember that Jeff and Ralph would at the end of the season after the Basin closed Jeff and Ralph would hike up to the top of the mountain to ski down. I did that once with them and it was grotty, gloppy cement snow that you could rip an ACL in.

I remember when Jeff and his son were killed in a head on crash on the Old Pecos Highway. Santa Fe was still not that big back then, and long time residents all knew each other, so It really hit all of us hard. I especially felt awful for his wife, who lost not just here husband but their son. Life can be cruel and it was then in snuffing out the flame of a young guy with a lot of heart and talent.

RIP Jeff, We will never forget you. I know your spirit is still walking and skiing in those mountains.
Robert Zone

Metairie, LA

#8 Jan 30, 2013
I met Jeff at Young Junior High in Santa Fe and in the Boy Scouts (Troop 21) in the early 70s. As scouts hiking and backpacking throughout the Sangre de Cristo mountains I am certain Jeff developed his love for the outdoors and surely our "snow camps" where we buried our sleeping bags in snow to keep warm in the subzero temps he developed his love for snow habitats. Even though I lost touch with Jeff (aka "Glad") after high school my Mother bought me a set of his ski basin photographs years from his wife years later as a gift - and which I now proudly post in my New Orleans home. I will Never forget my friend and think of him whenever I have the opportunity toI see the aspens changing colors in the fall in Santa Fe.
Denny Cicak

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Jul 30, 2013
Jeff and I were friends. He was a great person to ski, hike, camp, shoot photos, and hang out with. His photographs were locally recognized as excellent, and appeared in magazines like New Mexico Magazine and the Santa Fean. He sold them often at arts and crafts shows on the Santa Fe Plaza. I was the subject in some of his ski action photos. I sang and spoke at the funeral for Kevin and Jeff. I couldn't have had a better friend when I was new to Santa Fe.
Denny Cicak

Albuquerque, NM

#10 Jul 30, 2013
Jeff and I were friends. He was a great person to ski, hike, camp, shoot photos, and hang out with. His photographs were locally recognized as excellent, and appeared in magazines like New Mexico Magazine and the Santa Fean. He sold them often at arts and crafts shows on the Santa Fe Plaza. I was the subject in some of his ski action photos. I sang and spoke at the funeral for Kevin and Jeff. I couldn't have had a better friend when I was new to Santa Fe. Three of Jeff's prints still hang in my home. One of his notable skiing achievements, probably a first, was together with Peter Donahue, skiing from the summit of Santa Fe Baldy down the Lake Katherine chute to the lake on the east side of the mountain. A nice article appeared in a Santa Fe paper about that.
Alan Gladfelter

Colorado Springs, CO

#11 Mar 8, 2014
I'm Jeff's brother...need to respond to your comment about reckless driving. This was not the case. Jeff was returning home along the old Las Vegas highway with his wife Paula and son Kevin. He was killed in a head on crash. The other driver was in a pickup truck and had "peeked out" from his lane (assuming he was looking to pass). Unfortunately, both vehicles collided and the other driver was also killed, God rest his soul.

Jeff and I were very close. I always regret that he at the last minute turned down an opportunity to climb Mt Ranier in Washington State that weekend with me. He would instead have been flying home to Santa Fe the next day. I have missed skiing and climbing with him but still carry on those passions through the years. He was an extraordinary man, brother, father, husband, son and friend to many. We will one day be together again!
Bumpa Del Dia wrote:
Heffe' was a local character in Fanta Se known to haunt the snow caves around the back side of the ski area called Nambe' chutes (13k')at night. I understand he was also responsible for the "Cabin" located between Molly Hoagan and Bonzai Pipline. Sleep all night, & ski all day! The only time I actually saw him was when I was visiting Santa Fe in '85 and watched him ski under my chair on Roadrunner. At the time I was at best a novice skier, but admired his style to such an extent that I snapped a couple pictures of him with my crummy box camera. Four years down the road I regressed in life- well maybe not; but anyway I moved to Santa Fe from Chicago, went on a credit binge and got a real crummy job working in the Ski Area's rental shop. Damn.
By then Jeff had passed but his friends were still around and everyone had great things to say about him. Every so often someone gets married or something and I get to catch up with all my old Buds. All I can say is because I didn't know him I try not to judge him by his dumb ****, reckless driving, but by all his superlatives.

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