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FS approves new Taos lifts

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I happened across this in the local news section of the Santa Fe paper online.  So far nothing current on the FS site.  Anyway, lifts approved to Kachina Peak and the West Basin.  

 

Quote:
Forest Service approves Taos Ski Valley expansion
 
The Carson National Forest has approved two new lifts, a tubing facility and other expansions for the Taos Ski Valley. Acting Forest Supervisor Diana Trujillo signed off on improvements at the ski resort as part of the ski area’s 2010 master development plan.
 
Under the decision the ski area will add a Main Street Lift and Ridge Lift to high-alpine terrain; upgrade three lifts; thin the Wild West and Minnesota Glades areas for advanced-to-expert skiers; build a permanent tubing run on Strawberry Hill; construct a snowshoe trail system; and build a mountain bike trail served by a lift for the summer.
 
“I am confident that, collectively, the projects approved will help Taos Ski Valley to reclaim its competitive standing in the Rocky Mountain region,” Trujillo said.
 
Taos Ski Valley was built in 1955 as a single lift on private land owned by Ernie Blake. Two years later, the ski area expanded into the Carson National Forest. The Blake family now operates Taos Ski Valley under a ski area permit on 1,268 acres of the Carson National Forest.
 
Review the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision and Record of Decision at www.fs.usda.gov/carson.

 

 
Call me elitist, but I like the ridge being accessed only by hiking.  I'll miss that - it makes it special.  
 
Someone in TGR put up a couple of reference docs.  I think they/ve been posted here in earlier discussions, but just for ease of referral:
 
Edited to clear up html issues:

Edited by Bob Lee - 9/1/12 at 7:57am
post #2 of 11

That expansion is long overdue.  I loved skiing Taos, and hope the new lifts increase visitors from out of state.  It is a sker's mountain, for sure.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

That expansion is long overdue.  

 

Why do you say that it's overdue?  Nice for people that don't hike, maybe, but overdue?  

post #4 of 11

Do you know if they plan to begin lift installs anytime real soon?  They would undoubtably be a drawing card for TSV.  Interesting that they left the short hike still a requirement for near side of Highline Ridge.  A short surface tow would have worked for that, but maybe they want to continue to throttle access to some of that terrain.

post #5 of 11

Airport shuttles and beginner terrain new this year at Taos

 

Today's Santa Fe New Mexican Winter Life curcular indicates Taos will be starting shuttle buses this year from both Albuquerque and Santa Fe Airports. So now you can fly in for a ski week and not need a car.

 

Also they have cut new beginner trails and put in a new quad on the beginner hill.

 

Also announced expanded hours for tubing this year.

post #6 of 11

Awesome.  I don't think I'll make it this year but I'll make it soon now the best part isn't gonna be hike only.  Stoked to visit once they put that lift in the hike only has put me off.

 

Unfortunately I am not a fitness guru even though I am not overweight I get pretty darned winded/tired from pick up basketball, pick up/rec league hockey, and skiing powder so hiking isn't an option.

 

If I were at Brekenridge tommorrow and all of it was open I doubt I'd be able to hike that bowl which is the best part (I was 16 when I was there so I did it but couldn't now.)  Actually despite how nice Brek is I'd probably stay at Vail/Copper/Keystone going forward because the hike only thing annoys me.

post #7 of 11

Fly Southwest into Albuquerque plus a shuttle bus to Taos, plus the Taos Ski Week lesson package . . . on the bucket list!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

Airport shuttles and beginner terrain new this year at Taos

 

Today's Santa Fe New Mexican Winter Life curcular indicates Taos will be starting shuttle buses this year from both Albuquerque and Santa Fe Airports. So now you can fly in for a ski week and not need a car.

 

Also they have cut new beginner trails and put in a new quad on the beginner hill.

 

Also announced expanded hours for tubing this year.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RenoRenoReno View Post

Awesome.  I don't think I'll make it this year but I'll make it soon now the best part isn't gonna be hike only.  Stoked to visit once they put that lift in the hike only has put me off.

 

Unfortunately I am not a fitness guru even though I am not overweight I get pretty darned winded/tired from pick up basketball, pick up/rec league hockey, and skiing powder so hiking isn't an option.

 

If I were at Brekenridge tommorrow and all of it was open I doubt I'd be able to hike that bowl which is the best part (I was 16 when I was there so I did it but couldn't now.)  Actually despite how nice Brek is I'd probably stay at Vail/Copper/Keystone going forward because the hike only thing annoys me.

 

RRR, I'm not taking a shot at you but only bringing up the obvious.  If you can't hike for your turns at Taos, you should stick to the lift served terrain.  If a person does not have the skills and/or conditioning to ski the ridge areas he shouldn't, and the hike has done a good job of keeping folks from making silly decisions.

post #9 of 11

Last year was probably my worst in recent history in terms of fitness.  (Put off getting in ski shape for various reasons, and it never happened.) I learned my lesson, and I am already doing better this year than last -- a long way to go to truly fit, though

 

But last year I still managed to hike the ridge at Taos -- I just did it a lot slower than everyone else, and only once or twice per day. [Any other super-slow hikers: please make sure you pull off the bootpack and let others go by.]

There is plenty of good lift-served terrain there already.  The fame of the ridge makes the other terrain a lot less noticed.

I agree with Bob Lee.  Making the ridge accessible will destroy a lot of what makes it special.

 

But I don't know anything about Taos finances.  Maybe special isn't a viable business model.

 

.

post #10 of 11
mad.gif. I'm all for the Minnesota glading and the idea of improvements but I disagree with lift access to kachina and the west basin. Firstly, the reason reason highline, west basin and kachina stay fresh as long as they do, is because you have to earn it. If you aren't able to hike up there, than stay on lift served terrain. There is enough. Secondly, the terrain up on the west basin is gnarly at times and I feel like people who shouldn't be up there will find their way into bamboo or something. I guess I'm just bitter because my playground is going g to get skiied out that much faster. Now its going to get even more agro on those fluffy days wink.gif
post #11 of 11

It's kind of a hot button topic. Both points of view have merit.

 

On the bright side for hikers, however, is that the lift will exit at the extreme skiers right of the ridge on top of Main Street, which is (imo) the easiest line off the ridge and also has that jaw dropping 360 view from the top. this means two things, 1. it will be a big boost for visitors to see a part of Taos mountain that few do and, although it will get bumped up more, it's not the line most people now hike the ridge for. 2. There will still be a prodigious hike to get to other lines like twin trees and corner chute etc. those are the more difficult and the tourists aren't likely to make the hike from either end; they'll stick to main street.

 

The part I'd worry about would be folks taking the new lift to get to upper Hunzinger. From how often it's closed now, that tends to be slide prone and it comes down very steep at the traverse on the lower Hunzinger entrance. that could make for a dangerous traffic pattern.

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