Paloma clocks 64mph in 38th Shovel Races

Paloma Gonzales of Angel Fire blazed down the slope at 64 mph, giving her the fastest time of the day for women during the 38th Annual Angel Fire World Championship Shovel Races at Angel Fire Resort Saturday (Feb. 4).

The annual challenge is fairly simple. Competitors sit on the scoop of a standard aluminum snow shovel, handles pointed downhill, and then lift their hands and feet to let gravity take them for a high-speed ride. Each rider gets two shots to clock the fastest time down the front of the Angel Fire ski mountain. Top speeds regularly exceed 60 miles per hour. 

“Shovel racing began as a simple contest here in the 1970s when our lift operators would ride their shovels down the mountain at the end of their shifts,” explained Mike Hess, chief marketing officer, Angel Fire Resort. “It has since grown into a crazy competition on the mountain that includes speed suits, costumes and radar guns! No year is ever the same, as competitors always try and out do each other every season.”

Racers come from all corners of the country. This year over 140 women, men and children competed for the title this year.

This year’s winners

Men’s Overall: Jeff Hamblin of Austin, Texas, clocked over 65 mph and did the course in 13.10 seconds.

Female Overall: Paloma Gonzales of Angel Fire clocked just over 64 mph and finished in 13.8 seconds.

Women in Media: Brittany Costello from KOB TV in Albuquerque, who clocked speeds at over 60 mph and finished in 14.42 seconds.

Pro Men:

  1. Jeff Hamblin – Austin, Texas
  2. Justin Gonzales – Black Lake, New Mexico
  3. Severino Gonzales – Black Lake, New Mexico

Pro Women:

  1. Paloma Gonzales – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  2. Hattie Belichick – Eagle Nest, New Mexico
  3. Kelly Haukebo – Angel Fire, New Mexico

Master Men:  

  1. Lee Pirnie – Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  2. Jerry Cowan – Los Alamos, New Mexico
  3. Jeffrey Breautt – Black Lake, New Mexico

Open Men: 

  1. Garen Curtis – Benson, Arizona
  2. Zac Winningham – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  3. Marc Comtois – Angel Fire, New Mexico

Open Women:

  1. Yumi Johnson – Durango, Colorado
  2. Ellie White – Benson, Arizona
  3. Karen Ternmire – Black Lake, New Mexico


  1. Taner Tibljas – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  2. Trey Tibljas – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  3. Abbey Orndorff – Angel Fire, New Mexico 


  1. Wyatt Breautt – Black Lake, New Mexico
  2. Ryan Pirnie – Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  3. Nadia Hicks – Angel Fire, New Mexico

Little Scoops:

  1. Hayden Weeks – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  2. Kiersten Grisham – Angel Fire, New Mexico
  3. William Bradford – Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Courtesy photos, Angel Fire Resort; all others are by Ellen Miller-Goins