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Taos easy hike-to suggestions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So, for a 50+ upper intermediate/lower expert, looking for something with no more than 20 minute hike time that'd be do-able for my ability. Trying to check off these bucket list items before decrepitity sets in any further. Looks like theres ton's of hiking stuff at Taos, hoping to get some advise to narrow down the best bang for the slogbuck. Thanks.

post #2 of 13

Juarez is the quickest+easiest shot off the Ridge, and probably a good match for the "upper intermediate/lower expert."  It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to get there, more like 10-15.  


Though it's a shorter hike, most of the West Basin consists of steep chutes.  St. Bernard or Fifth Chute (next to Zdarsky) are probably the easiest out there within a 20 minute hike.  Stauffenberg is closer and a rite of passage,  but the entrance especially can be a bit challenging.  

 

Farther out the Highline side, you might consider Corner Chute - not too rowdy, very pretty, and lots of fun.  

post #3 of 13

The best way to get a guided your of the area is to sign up for a ski week. It's only $109 for 6 days of instruction - starts on Sunday but you can still join in on Monday. If your vacation does not start on those days you can still sign up for a 3 lesson pack for $99. At your level it should be a private - so you can get a custom guided tour. 

 

BTW, TSV has one of the best ski school in NA. 

post #4 of 13

the easiest way down off the ridge by far is also the furthest out, Kachina Main Street. It's a 45 minute to an hour walk, but well worth it for the views. the steepest and hardest part of the hike is the part that gets you to Juarez, the second easiest way down. the rest of the hike from Juarez to Kachina is a slide/skate/boot pack. It is a slog. take a lot of water and take your time to enjoy the scenery and you'll be fine.

post #5 of 13

If you take the cat track over to the back side you ski right under Juarez and Los Ninos Heros, so you can see exactly what you will be skiing if you hike the ridge and continue to the left past the radio towers at the top.  I agree with Bob, those are the most wide open and easiest runs off the ridge.  If you continue hiking in that direction you will be skiing trees unless you go quite a ways.  Once you crest the ridge everything to the right is very steep, and as you continue farther left it gets steeper and narrower, so your best bet is actually one of the shorter hikes on the less steep (easier) right side of the ridge.  You can also scope out those runs from the chairs on the backside before doing the climb. It should be about a 20 min. hike.  Many people do it carrying skis on their shoulder, but if you have a small pack with carry straps it is nice because you can use both poles on the steep kick steps.  It also helps to unbuckle your top buckle.  The first part of the hike is steep but short, and then you traverse the ridge for the second half, which is only a slight incline, but may be windy.

 

Even though I have long legs my mantra on the climb is "baby steps."  It is much less stress on your legs, and just as fast to take two small steps instead of one big one when climbing the steep kick steps.  Enjoy!

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Once you crest the ridge everything to the right is very steep, and as you continue farther left it gets steeper and narrower, so your best bet is actually one of the shorter hikes on the less steep (easier) right side of the ridge. 

 

I meant one of the easier hikes on the left side of the ridge when you look up at it. Sorry!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post

the easiest way down off the ridge by far is also the furthest out, Kachina Main Street. It's a 45 minute to an hour walk, but well worth it for the views. the steepest and hardest part of the hike is the part that gets you to Juarez, the second easiest way down. the rest of the hike from Juarez to Kachina is a slide/skate/boot pack. It is a slog. take a lot of water and take your time to enjoy the scenery and you'll be fine.

 

Looking at the trail map, lift 4 is the closest to Kachina Peak - it's easier to go up from Lift 2 and hike the ridge?

 

Thanks to all, you'all Rock. Thinking I'll check the highline trails from Honeysuckle and decide which has the better conditions and assess it's do-ability.

post #8 of 13

Furball, no real way to hike to Kachina from Lift 4.  Pretty much straight uphill...

post #9 of 13

KingGrump has it right, buy a 2 hr private.  An instructor named Carl Shulman is the energizer bunny of hiking. 

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by easygo View Post

KingGrump has it right, buy a 2 hr private.  An instructor named Carl Shulman is the energizer bunny of hiking. 

 

+1 for Carl Shulman. He WILL hike with you.  

Carl is one of the nicest guy you will ever meet.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by easygo View Post

Furball, no real way to hike to Kachina from Lift 4.  Pretty much straight uphill...

 

Furball, Easygo is dead right on the nose. The TSV trail map is very deceiving. A instructor will fast track you into the right lines in no time and keep you out of the weeds. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by easygo View Post

Furball, no real way to hike to Kachina from Lift 4.  Pretty much straight uphill...

 

Unless your name happens to be Dave Hahn, piece of cake then.

post #12 of 13

I posted some pics last year of my trip to Taos which include many of the runs mentioned: http://www.epicski.com/t/111216/taos-3-4-3-6

Just so you know, Kachina was amazing but i almost gave up several times. I'm a flatlander but in pretty decent shape... so I thought. Took me 1 hr 45 min!!!! My buddy who is an avid rock climber/hiker but also flatlander took 1 hour 15 min. Prob rec stickin to Juarez and Ninos Heros, great snow, nice and open, and short hike. have a great time. My favorite place to ski.

agreen

post #13 of 13

Go to the Highline ridge (turn left at the 'Y' which you reach after the 5 minute hike from the top of lift 2,)  and walk another 5 min to Juarez which is wide and not too hard. 3 minutes walk past Juarez, put on your skis and traverse about 5 minutes into Corner Chute. (a little tighter with some trees at the top, but it tends to hold the snow longer).  Mom is correct (IMO) that once on the ridge, Mainstreet is technically the easiest way down, but it it requires a long hike (I'm 57 & it takes me almost an hour from lift 2) - earlier poster was correct - don't even think about starting that hike from Lift 4 (unless you're doing it after the season ends & the lifts have stopped).

 

If you turn right at the 'Y', Stauffenberg & Zdarsky are 3 minutes away and are the easiest runs in that direction (though more technical than Juarez, Corner chute  & Mainstreet).'

 

No-one mentioned Hunziker - go up lift 4, traverse left 400m and walk up 2 minutes (don't bother to remove your skis) to reach Hunziker bowl which is enjoyable and easier than anything I've mentioned so far.  Instead of dropping left into Hunziker bowl, you can go straight on towards totally Weired (Sp??) - also easy-   and after that you can stay high and traverse round skiers right to El funko which is more challenging but fun if the snow is good.
 

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