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New Mexico+ Telluride +CButte +Purgatory??

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hiya all, hope you diehards are excellent.  Been away from this site for a bunch of years, but gearing up for a father/son LONG ski holiday, after no skiing for 6 years (ouch)!  Son was 7yo, now 13 and bugging the h. out of me to switch to boards.  Yep, I'll give in after he skis 3 days on two planks to make sure he's up for the switch.

 

Long, Steep Groomers preferably.

 

Okay, nitty-gritty: 12/24-1/12, landing in Santa Fe, here's rough draft:

 

1.  Ski first 2 days Santa Fe, Ruidoso (snow coverage is gonna be excellent says farmer's almanac)....

 

2.  Next 4 days Purgatory (26-29).

 

3.  Next 5 days Telluride (12/30-1/-3).

 

4.  Then Crested Butte 4 days.

 

5.  Finally Taos 5 days.

 

Really, really appreciate your input.

 

All the best.

post #2 of 27

Not really sure what your questions are, but I don't understand why you'd make the trek down to Ski Apache in Ruidoso.  Everything else on the itinerary has you travelling in a relatively logical pattern, except for that one.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Gracias jaobrien6, yes I know about the trek to Ruidoso, basically just to do it once in my life,  May continue to El Paso for 1 day, again 'cause never been there.

 

Questions really just to get opinions on the LONG,STEEP GROOMERS at each choice.

 

Dos Purgatory get very crowded Xmas time, say, compared to Telluride and Crested Butte?

post #4 of 27

I remember your many ski trip planning posts from the distant past!  You still have the bug even after a six year hiatus.icon14.gif

 

You'll get this from others:  if you can, wait until last minute to commit to which resorts you will visit as snow conditions at that time can vary from place to place.  I took a long trip to NM and CO in Dec/Jan of 2012 visiting five different ski areas for one to three days each.  It was a time of subpar conditions and no doubt the best skiing was at the highest elevation resorts.  Taos was the best during that particular trip and has a large pool of moderately priced and underutilized motels in the nearby town of Taos because it is a bigger draw in summer.  Purgatory/Durango also has this dynamic.  Just a guess, but most of the places you are looking at are on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to huge holiday crowds, so again think about the order of the roster based on last minute snow conditions.  Might put Wolf Creek under consideration because it is known for good early season conditions and may be a holiday crowd beater, but has less terrain than the others on your list.

Another suggestion in subpar conditions is to consider resorts that are known for lots of snowmaking and grooming.  But if there is great natural snow everywhere then throw caution to the wind and go where ever you want.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

JamesJ, I also recall your spot-on advice, always supportive of my planning.  And yes, very much yes, I have the bug, in a bad way!

 

Will certainly plan as close to eta as possible, and Wolf is in the back burner for sure.

 

You, skiing a lot?

 

Kind regards.
 

post #6 of 27

Ruidoso? Ski  Apache? It's a long drive from Santa Fe to El Paso and not what I would do on a ski holiday... But to each his own.

 

Ski Apache's most exciting runs are the road to and from the ski hill and the gondola that seems made from an old traveling carnival ride. (Only Sugar Bowl has one that rivals it.) They do have groomers and a fabulous view . Also it's in the wrong direction from Sant Fe to Durango.

 

Personally, I would exchange Wolf Creek for Ruidoso. They have some long groomers, not so steep, but that time of yearwill be likely to have the best snow of all the resorts you mention. Great intro to powder resort. Also you have to drive right by Pagosa Springs from Santa Fe to Purgatory. Stay at the Fireside Cabins in Pagosa. great deal and very sweet. No crowds.

 

Monarch is on the way to Taos from Crested Butte. Also no crowds and an inexpensive cat skiing operation out of that resort if you are ready for an adventure by the time you are done at CB...

 

To summarize, I recommend:

 

Santa Fe 1 day

Wolf Creek 1-2 days

Durango 2 days

Telluride 3-4 days

Crested Butte 3-4 days

Monarch 1 day w/Cat skiing

Taos whatever's left.

 

And if the snow sucks, just stay in Wolf Creek.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Mom, on the ball, as usual!  Ok, Ruidoso is history.  What about Angel Fire and Red River, better than Wolf?

 

Tks for lodging suggestion near Wolf.

 

By "rest of time" at Taos, are you insinuating it is the best of your list...?

 

Best.
 

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post

Ok, Ruidoso is history.  What about Angel Fire and Red River, better than Wolf?

 

 

 

Nope.  The enchanted circle drive from Taos to Red River to Angel Fire is very pretty, without a doubt.  However the skiing is inferior to Wolf Creek.  I really like Mom's suggested itinerary, but didn't feel like doing the math to see how many days that gives you at Taos (after factoring in travel time as well).  

post #9 of 27

Not sure what your definition of "steep" groomers is, but Purgatory has lots of flats that can make boarding a drag.  It is not a mountain but a benched ridge, so anytime you are on a steep pitch it has flat sections above and below it.  Lots of traversing and flats to get off the top of and too the bottom of a couple of the chairs.  Compared to Telluride, Crested Butte and Taos it will be a big disappointment.  The Butte advertises the "best corduroy in Colorado" and has some long steep runs, as does Telluride.

 

Monarch does not have a lot of vertical but is on the top of a pass so usually has good snow, and there are lots of good consistent fairly steep runs. If you stay in Gunnison it is much cheaper than the Butte and you can get lift ticket deals at the motels that are not available in the Butte.  It is an  easy drive the Butte and to Monarch from Gunni.

 

Wolf Creek historically gets more snow than any other area in Colorado or New Mexico.  Not a lot of vert, but since you'll be in the area you may want stay tuned for a powder dump there.  Neither Telluride, Purg or the Butte get giant crowds for X-mas compared to most major areas, but there will be some lines. Purg is notorious for their lifts breaking down a lot, and they are reportedly not putting any money into the area this summer.

 

Telluride has very expensive lodging and lift tickets, with no way to beat it but stay out of town in Rico or Ridgeway.  Motels in those towns used to give 1/2 ticket deals but I don't know if that is still the case, although it is probably worth the price to stay in Telluride. It is mind blowingly beautiful, and you can walk to the lifts from town or the Mountain Village.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

 

 

You'll get this from others:  if you can, wait until last minute to commit to which resorts you will visit as snow conditions at that time can vary from place to place.  

I`d advocate this a lot of the time also, but NOT during X-Mas/NY week as lodging can get booked at that time.  Looking at this years calendar, I would expect Dec 22 to Jan 1 or 2 to be in high demand with most places pretty slammed by Dec 26 or 28.   

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

MEfree30, you're probably right, I'm looking into deals as we write, but some resorts haven't posted yet.

 

mudfoot, thanks for info on Purgatory, I HATE traversing, Heavenly comes to mind, a nightmare of traverses!  I'll see how it goes, possibly go only 1 day just for the hell of it.

 

Stayed at that old Monarch place, really, really tired in every aspect, and this was 15 years ago!  tried to ski but it was dumping and windy, chickened out.  But who knows this time around.

 

Would anyone like to expound on TAOS, I was under the impression it was a slow-lift, ungroomed skier´s palce.  Do they groom as much as the next guy?

 

Best, all.
 

post #12 of 27

Taos probably has more slow lifts than most major resorts, but I never felt it was a drawback. It is known for its ski school and has lots of groomers, but also plenty of steep (mostly bumped) runs, including some glades and chutes both off the lifts and off the Ridge, which requires about a 20 min. hike.  It is a great area with lots of good skiing but requires a good base because of the rocks and sun exposure.  If you go on a big snow year you'll love it, but on a thin year it can be a bit of a rock festival.  Taos, the town and the ski area, have a unique vibe that is really enjoyable.

post #13 of 27

Taos is wonderful in an old school way, with some very brawny terrain:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1339&mode=rss

post #14 of 27

When you revealed that you didn't ski Monarch because it was dumping and windy, it said a lot -- and you should know that many who are posting actually like those conditions (including me).

 

Maybe you skip monarch, since cat skiing will definitely not be groomed!  (Who knows though, once once you have ventured out off the manicured piste at Wolf Creek and onto the soft deeper snow, you won't be looking for steep groomers so much any more!) That old hotel is indeed tired, but you could stay in Salida. The Super 8 is (still?) owned by a hotelier who managed one of the fancier places in Santa Fe and it's cheap.

 

Taos is a wonderful place. It has some good, steep groomed runs, but their grooming is not the best. (Santa Fe has better grooming than Taos.) Since you won't be hiking the ridge, the whole coverage/rock issue probably won't affect you.

 

Wolf Creek is much better than Angel Fire unless you are into the park and pipe. (AF is the only mountain that I actually turned my lift ticket back in!) I have not skied Red River, but have visited there in the summer and it does seem like they may have some steeper runs that could keep you busy for a day, but do you really want to spend so many ski days driving??  Purgatory is not one of my favorite mountains and it is exacly as described, but folks i know who like groomers do like it, so it might be worth it for you.

 

CB and T-ride will be your best bets for the kind of skiing I'm guessing you are looking for.

 

It is definitely worth staying in T-ride as it is one of the most beautiful ski areas in the lower 48 IMHO. the drive from Ridgeway in winter can be a pain, so stay in the town itself. there is no advantage to staying in Mountain Village since the gondola goes right from the town to the ski area; super convenient and the little city is so cool. 

 

CB is different. The town is really cool too, but it is a more of a schlepp to the lifts and you might want to stay at the mountain village there and take the bus downtown for entertainment.

 

The nice thing about this itinerary is that (with the possible exception of T-Ride and CB) the places you are going to are very, very different from each other.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

Okay, given my penchant for LSG, and my go-to mountains being Snowbasin and Mammoth, how do Taos, Tride, Cbutte compare in grooming and "bigness", natural fall-lines, etc.?

 

And would y'all concur with jaobrien 6 re: scratching Red River and Angel, maybe doing Monarch?

 

Cheers!
 

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

Gracias Mama, for egging me unto the glories of powder.  I've missed out on this skiing, just never got the hang of it.  If there was one magical piece of advice for finally feeling comfy in powder, what would it be?

post #17 of 27

Lucky Kid

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post

Gracias Mama, for egging me unto the glories of powder.  I've missed out on this skiing, just never got the hang of it.  If there was one magical piece of advice for finally feeling comfy in powder, what would it be?

Fat Rocker & Slow Motion

 

JF

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Fat Rocker & Slow Motion

 

JF

 

+1 icon14.gif

 

I agree, but don't go too crazy with the width or the amount of rocker.  Compared to what you are probably on now it is like having training wheels in the powder.

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

Fat Rocker and Slow Motion. And +1, could you pls clue me in, have no idea what you're talking about????rolleyes.gif
 

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post

Fat Rocker and Slow Motion. And +1, could you pls clue me in, have no idea what you're talking about????rolleyes.gif
 

Fat = Skis with a waist width of about 95mm & wider.  I agree with Mudfoot to not go too crazy with the width, more than 120mm is getting pretty wide.

 

Rocker = Skis that have built in reverse camber by design (like a water ski).  A more versatile rendition of these are skis with conventional camber & a turned up tip or tip & tail (early rise).

 

The combination of width & Rocker/Early Rise, allows the ski to float, steer & pivot easier in deeper snow.  This in turn allows a skier to manage & enjoy fresh snow using a more conventional (ie. packed snow) technique.  It allows the less skilled skier to enjoy variable conditions with a lot less frustration & the skilled, versatile skier to go where they never imagined!

 

 

Slow Motion = PATIENCE!  To enjoy ungroomed, unpacked snow in all its forms requires one to learn how to float in the 3rd dimension.  Along with being on the snow (2 dimensions), we need to deal with being in the snow at the same time.  Untracked snow does not like us to twist, muscle & rush things.  It wants us to float, carve & gently caress it.

 

Now, (if you are actually serious) that is the simple answer.  If you want to complicate things you could try the search function.  There are plenty of varying opinions on this forum about this topic.

 

208731_10150168791783357_505253356_6655006_2156130_n - Copy.jpg

 

JF

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Slow Motion = PATIENCE!  To enjoy ungroomed, unpacked snow in all its forms requires one to learn how to float in the 3rd dimension.  Along with being on the snow (2 dimensions), we need to deal with being in the snow at the same time.  Untracked snow does not like us to twist, muscle & rush things.  It wants us to float, carve & gently caress it.

 

Love this explanationicon14.gif

post #23 of 27

Each type of deep snow has its own rhythm, depending on its consistency, which can vary with location and time, even on the same run.  It takes some patience and focus to tune into the snow.  If your turn rhythm matches that of the snow it becomes almost effortless, but if it doesn't then you are literally fighting the snow to make each turn.  Trying to force your skis to responded faster or slower than the conditions allow gets tiring very quickly.  Fat rocker skis will give you a bigger forgiveness factor, and less resistance in the fight, but you still need patience to wait for the turn to happen on its own terms for that particular snow condition.  Most snow conditions have several speeds that are optimum for your equipment and weight, but it takes some patience to figure out what they are.

post #24 of 27

+1 for all the advice. But really, it's a matter of mileage. you gotta get in it to get it.

 

Ski and Bow Rack in Pagosa Springs ususally has a good selection of demo rocker powder skis so you can try it without a big investment in new skis.

 

I also found the old video tapes by Lito Tijeras (?) Flores on how to ski bumps and powder very helpful, even if it was done a long time ago and before real powder boards. Gives nice little exercises for "intro" to powder.

 

A pow lesson at WC might be a good idea too. It's such an inexpensive mountain that you could get a private for the two of you with what you save on lift tickets and lodging from CB and T-ride. The thing about WC is to be adventurous. ditch the trail map and go explore and don't be afraid to hike or traverse or duck into trees. With the possible exception of the Waterfall area, which is clearly marked by gates and warning signs, you can't really get yourself into too much trouble there.

 

Sorry, never been to Snowbasin or Mammoth. But if you ski the Tahoe area, I'd say CB and Taos are to Sugar Bowl as T-ride is to Squaw? (those are the only two there I've skied, so others may have better comparisons.)

 

It's all good as the kiddos say...

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Wonderful, and better yet, exciting info. on powder, muchas gracias y'all!  Now, reality-check time:  I'm a pretty fit sometimes runner, sometimes swimmer (4 national records in the DR), 57 y/o cranker.  Powder still learnable at this stage?????  Mind you, I will take lessons at Wolf, seems like the perfect training grounds.

 

Haven't been to Sugar Bowl, seems nice though.  In the East (phil's and james deluxe if you care to join the fracas, now's the time), Sugarloaf and Mt. St. Anne.  And Stowe of course.  hate Killington!

 

Cheers!

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

208731_10150168791783357_505253356_6655006_2156130_n - Copy.jpg

 

JF

 

Completely off topic, but I've gotta say, nice pic 4ster.  It makes me hungry for next season and stirs fond memories of great turns on No Name.  It looks like you were rock'n the rocker and working some faily dense snow in style.  I didn't get near enough of the deep stuff last year and your pic is not making the summer any easier to wait out.  Thanks for the stoke!  icon14.gif

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

 I didn't get near enough of the deep stuff last year and your pic is not making the summer any easier to wait out.  

Isn't that the truth....

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