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Taos advice needed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I will be in Taos this sunday-tues. Its been about a week since the last snowfall but they are predicting a few inches tonight/tomorrow and again thurs/fri with heavy winds clearing up for the weekend. I havent been there in 21 years so would like to get some advice on where to ski, where does the wind typically blow the snow to, and best conditions on sunny warmer days. My buddy and I are comfortable on single diamonds but will prob try some doubles if the conditions are decent. We were there when we were 18 years old and I remember hiking up and skiing Hidalgo which was awesome. I dont think the west ridge was open back then though. Thanks for any help.

Agreen

post #2 of 8

If you're looking for single blacks, the Ridge (which requires some hiking) might be out of the question.  There are probably some better people to answer, but I do believe some of the stuff on the West Ridge (opposite Kachina Peak)  is a little wider and less pitchy, i.e. Staufenberg (sp?), but I'm not 100%.  

 

There is always Hunziker Bowl which can be accessed with some sidestepping and/or poling (or you can take the skis off)...it's a 2 minute "hike" which I believe is single black and can be nice if it is not too skied off.  

 

Taos has no shortage of black runs and if moguls and steep trees are your things, you should have no problem finding some good snow.  I believe the conditions should be great for your trip, as I believe the're getting snow now and expecting more early next week.

post #3 of 8



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

I will be in Taos this sunday-tues. Its been about a week since the last snowfall but they are predicting a few inches tonight/tomorrow and again thurs/fri with heavy winds clearing up for the weekend. I havent been there in 21 years so would like to get some advice on where to ski, where does the wind typically blow the snow to, and best conditions on sunny warmer days. My buddy and I are comfortable on single diamonds but will prob try some doubles if the conditions are decent. We were there when we were 18 years old and I remember hiking up and skiing Hidalgo which was awesome. I dont think the west ridge was open back then though. Thanks for any help.

Agreen


Have a grand total of 3 days at Taos so take with a grain of salt, however, two were last month.  Awesome place!  Get there early for best visibility, much of the terrain gets shady in the early afternoon because of northern exposure and steep canyon setting.  Typical of most places, the best snow is often in the trees.  Taos has lots of great black diamond glades, Lorelei Trees, Castor (lift served & steep), and Corner Chute (one of the easier routes down from Highline Ridge, requires 1/3 mile hike/skate/glide beyond Hidalgo), more steep glades on lower mtn to skiers left of Al's Run.  Hunziker is a good tip and fun single black terrain with rock outcroppings and little traffic.  I experienced nothing but gorgeous sun with no wind in Jan, so can't help you on the wind avoidance question.smile.gif

 

Link to some pics and comments from visit to Taos:  http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=65451

post #4 of 8

^^^^Nice TR in your link!

post #5 of 8

One of the easier runs off the ridge is in fact Kachina Peak, also the longest hike. But well worth it for the view alone. Just take water!!!

 

the other easy run off the ridge is Two Bucks chute. Personally, I don't like Juarez or Hidalgo even though they aren't too steep and are open runs, but they can get skied off because everyone sees them and they are exposed to the sun.

 

Hunzinger bowl is nice. If there is a little new snow, don't go down the obvious bump run immediately to your left after the little "hike", instead, take the long traverse around almost as far as you can go and you can get some nice turns down a steepish face. If you take the next traverse before the bottom and go wayyy all the way across, just above El Funko, there is a little opening in the trees that takes you to another really sweet little face that is often not skied and may hold some freshies for you. El Funko can be good too.

 

Great tree runs all over Taos.

 

Valkeries Trees fun, not too steep.

Lorelei Trees very steep on skier's right in the woods but many ways to go down Lorelei - you pick.

North American - nicely spaced trees at the beginning, really sweet, but funnels into a gully, so you may have to pick your way through that. Also, lower mountain so not so good unless there is good coverage.

Polux and Castor are both nice, but face west I think and can get refrozen if it's been warm and no snow

My personal favorite is West Blitz Trees.

Jean's Glade and the un-named trees below lower inferno are often not skied too hard and can be nice.

 

Test you quads on Longhorn by skiing it with as few stops as possible.

 

You can hike and head to the West Basin Ridge, but instead of hiking all the way up where it splits off from West Basin to the Highline Ridge, take the high traverse through the trees. (it's not all that obvious, you have to look for tracks to your right as you are hiking.) It'll put out on Stauffy below the very steepest part, so you can avoid the major Yikes zone until you are more comfortable. Or you can go for the tree slots of Fabian and Oster.

 

Have lunch at the Bavarian at least once.

 

Most of all: have fun!

post #6 of 8

When I was up there a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me the easiest way down.  (I think tehere are quite a few people in over their heads up there cause they "have to" do the ridge.  I had them take that first entry off highline, because there is a flat spot after the drop off.  Then you go off to the right and rejoin the main route (forget if it is Hildago or Juarez).

 

I agree everything before the gate rope gets to much traffic, and too much ugly traffic.

 

I did Ninos's Heros, which was fun and challenging.  (The choke looked kinda hairy, so I bypassed i throgh the trees.)

 

Amusing story -- I saw a patroller on the topp, so I stood there cause I wanted to see him drop in.  And stood there.  Finally, I gave up and finished the run.  Later it occured to me that he was watching me to make sure I was alright. 

 

 

Sorry for the typing - I finally joined the modern world and got a tablet, but typing on it is an inxact science.  And positioning the cursor for fixes is really frustrating.  It is nice to leave the laptop home, thugh.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

 

You can hike and head to the West Basin Ridge, but instead of hiking all the way up where it splits off from West Basin to the Highline Ridge, take the high traverse through the trees. (it's not all that obvious, you have to look for tracks to your right as you are hiking.) It'll put out on Stauffy below the very steepest part, so you can avoid the major Yikes zone until you are more comfortable. Or you can go for the tree slots of Fabian and Oster.

That's a great tip and wish I knew it when I was there.  Not only shortens the hike, but also allows you to check out some tasty looking West Basin Ridge black diamond terrain (Stauffenberg chute) that you look at all the time riding Lift 2, but skip the extreme part up top:

DSCN1814.jpg

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all the helpful hints. I will be sure and post a trip report with pics and hopefully video when I return. Thanks again.

agreen

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