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Taos in Jan/Feb? - Page 10  

post #271 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck675 View Post
 

But even if you go right now, there is more than enough to keep an expert skier entertained for days. The entire Highline and Tresckow ridges, the lower AND upper front steeps, lorelei, the pierre's/werener/longhorn ridge line, Hunziker bowl.. 

 

Yes, there will be more open later. But let's not act like Taos isn't great right now!

 

For years, Tony Crocker, who has admittedly been to TSV only a couple of times, goes out of his way to badmouth the place when he has little to no personal knowledge of what he's talking about. He quoted someone on his website that indicated Adriana was a liar because she was the marketing director.  Of course it was under the guise that all marketing directors tell big friggin' stories all the time.  I brought that little problem to his attention several years ago and he replied that he didn't say it but someone else did.  By placing it on his website he endorsed the opinion of the original author.  In my view, he has no cred.  Now that TSV has a Wall Street owner who is well versed in business, I can only hope he schools TC in the law of torts for his opinions which may be damaging to business.  TC holds himself out as an expert on snow and ski resorts, which opens him up to much greater liability for what he says.  I'm surprised that the owner of this website allows him to keep badmouthing TSV the way he does.  

post #272 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
 

 

For years, Tony Crocker, who has admittedly been to TSV only a couple of times, goes out of his way to badmouth the place when he has little to no personal knowledge of what he's talking about. He quoted someone on his website that indicated Adriana was a liar because she was the marketing director.  Of course it was under the guise that all marketing directors tell big friggin' stories all the time.  I brought that little problem to his attention several years ago and he replied that he didn't say it but someone else did.  By placing it on his website he endorsed the opinion of the original author.  In my view, he has no cred.  Now that TSV has a Wall Street owner who is well versed in business, I can only hope he schools TC in the law of torts for his opinions which may be damaging to business.  TC holds himself out as an expert on snow and ski resorts, which opens him up to much greater liability for what he says.  I'm surprised that the owner of this website allows him to keep badmouthing TSV the way he does.  

 

Oh yes lets encourage ski resorts to start suing people who express a negative opinion about their area. Give me a break.

 

I haven't been to Taos this year but I have I've been to Taos many times and lived in northern New Mexico for 18 years. Taos is fun but it was often snow challenged, at least in the last 20 years. It is also a rather small mountain at only1300 acres. Go, have fun, but don't expect nirvana. Taos is as much about the northern New Mexico vibe and character as it is about the skiing. If you don't like to hear that then sue me :)

post #273 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
 

 

For years, Tony Crocker, who has admittedly been to TSV only a couple of times, goes out of his way to badmouth the place when he has little to no personal knowledge of what he's talking about. He quoted someone on his website that indicated Adriana was a liar because she was the marketing director. 

I'm calling total :bs:on this.  My source of Taos snow stats is Taos ski patrol since 1971.  I state explicitly that I count snowfall from November-April.   If the November-April average is 261 and marketing wants to say the annual average is 300, I don't have a problem with that. If they say it's 400, then I see a problem.   I recall replying to this precise argument in another thread.   In that same thread I mentioned that I was hosted on a press trip by Adriana in 2007.  I never discussed snow reporting with her because I did not see it as an issue at Taos.  I did raise the controversial issue of the day, the snowboard ban, and got a candid and insightful answer that was a prelude to the ban being lifted only one year later.

 

Quote:
 Of course it was under the guise that all marketing directors tell big friggin' stories all the time.  I brought that little problem to his attention several years ago and he replied that he didn't say it but someone else did.  By placing it on his website he endorsed the opinion of the original author.

In 1995 when I wrote the article for Powder magazine, the editor used the sentence "Ski area snowfall figures are often "white" lies..."  No one ever said "all," and in fact I have since changed the adjective on my website to "occasionally," because after 19 further years of collecting data, I am confident that only a handful of areas claim snowfall averages significantly beyond what can be supported by hard evidence.  

Quote:
In my view, he has no cred.  Now that TSV has a Wall Street owner who is well versed in business, I can only hope he schools TC in the law of torts for his opinions which may be damaging to business.  TC holds himself out as an expert on snow and ski resorts, which opens him up to much greater liability for what he says.  I'm surprised that the owner of this website allows him to keep badmouthing TSV the way he does.  

No one sued Powder magazine in 1995 when my work was the 10-pages-with-no-ads cover story.  No marketing director at any ski area has contacted me to dispute my numbers or even blogged here or in other ski media disputing them.  The handful of ski areas that grossly exaggerate are better off ignoring me, because the vast majority of travel media are content to regurgitate what's fed to them without any critical analysis. A public dispute with me would draw unwanted attention to that exaggeration. Do they want to argue with their own ski patrols?  I'm sure not, and the lack of direct challenge to my figures over the past 19 years is surely an argument that few if any of the numbers are very far off.

 

With regard to TSV, I was told without prompting by locals on at least 2 of my 3 visits about "the 70-inch-rule" in terms of good coverage on expert terrain.  This is a fact of life for steep and rocky mountains, applies just as much at Jackson, Squaw, Snowbird, Crested Butte, etc.

 

By the standards of western destination resorts, averaging 53% open on New Year's Day is an unusually low figure.   For New Mexico/West Texas locals, for whom Taos is a recurring weekend destination, I have no doubt that 53% of Taos offers plenty of good skiing, and probably more good skiing than the alternatives within driving distance. 

 

For the destination visitor flying in for one trip per season, the equation is different.  It makes little sense to choose now at 53% and the 38-inch base vs. February/March at 90+% open on 5-8 feet of base.  And since the 53% is in fact normal by historical record for early January, the typical destination visitor reserving ahead in the fall has an easy decision to prefer February/March. 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 1/6/15 at 12:16am
post #274 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

I'm calling total :bs:on this.  My source of Taos snow stats is Taos ski patrol since 1971.  I state explicitly that I count snowfall from November-April.   If the November-April average is 261 and marketing wants to say the annual average is 300, I don't have a problem with that. If they say it's 400, then I see a problem.   I recall replying to this precise argument in another thread.   In that same thread I mentioned that I was hosted on a press trip by Adriana in 2007.  I never discussed snow reporting with her because I did not see it as an issue at Taos.  I did raise the controversial issue of the day, the snowboard ban, and got a candid and insightful answer that was a prelude to the ban being lifted only one year later.

 

In 1995 when I wrote the article for Powder magazine, the editor used the sentence "Ski area snowfall figures are often "white" lies..."  No one ever said "all," and in fact I have since changed the adjective on my website to "occasionally," because after 19 further years of collecting data, I am confident that only a handful of areas claim snowfall averages significantly beyond what can be supported by hard evidence.  

No one sued Powder magazine in 1995 when my work was the 10-pages-with-no-ads cover story.  No marketing director at any ski area has contacted me to dispute my numbers or even blogged here or in other ski media disputing them.  The handful of ski areas that grossly exaggerate are better off ignoring me, because the vast majority of travel media are content to regurgitate what's fed to them without any critical analysis. A public dispute with me would draw unwanted attention to that exaggeration. Do they want to argue with their own ski patrols?  I'm sure not, and the lack of direct challenge to my figures over the past 19 years is surely an argument that few if any of the numbers are very far off.

 

With regard to TSV, I was told without prompting by locals on at least 2 of my 3 visits about "the 70-inch-rule" in terms of good coverage on expert terrain.  This is a fact of life for steep and rocky mountains, applies just as much at Jackson, Squaw, Snowbird, Crested Butte, etc.

 

By the standards of western destination resorts, averaging 53% open on New Year's Day is an unusually low figure.   For New Mexico/West Texas locals, for whom Taos is a recurring weekend destination, I have no doubt that 53% of Taos offers plenty of good skiing, and probably more good skiing than the alternatives within driving distance. 

 

For the destination visitor flying in for one trip per season, the equation is different.  It makes little sense to choose now at 53% and the 38-inch base vs. February/March at 90+% open on 5-8 feet of base.  And since the 53% is in fact normal by historical record for early January, the typical destination visitor reserving ahead in the fall has an easy decision to prefer February/March. 

 

 

Blah, blah, blah.  So some local told you something years ago.  Other locals, including the Epic ambassador, have told you differently many times on this website.  You ignore that.  Wonder why?

 

The difference between you and a food or movie critic is that they actually go to the restaurants and theaters.  Would a food critic slam Bobby Flay based on what he was told by the hired help?  No.  For you to have any credibility, you have to go to the resorts and base your opinions on first hand knowledge, not what you learned 10 years ago or what you were told by somebody.  Just because a burrito is bad today doesn't mean that it will be bad tomorrow.  Critics have an obligation to update the data they use.  Go ski the ridge with a 50" base and then report on the facts instead of relying on what somebody told you years ago.

 

Earlier, I posted a quote by the TSV CEO.  You immediately refuted that without having any personal knowledge of the facts.  If you were just some internet troll with an opinion, that would be perfectly okay.  But you are a blogger on all things related to snow and ski resorts. You owe it to the public to have sound opinions, not opinions based on what others tell you or based on your personal misconceptions from limited knowledge of a ski area.

 

I have no problem with the concept of what you do.  I simply believe your opinions are not based on the facts, which means your just talking out of your a$$.

post #275 of 639
Quote:
I have no problem with the concept of what you do.  I simply believe your opinions are not based on the facts, which means your just talking out of your a$$.
Seems the only thing up for dispute is the skiability of Taos between 50-70 inches of base? All the other facts are born out.

I recall Tony C's advice for the OP was to go to Jackson in Jan and Taos in March instead of the reverse He didn't suggest the OP go somewhere else. Don't see the hate just a dispute over what's skiable at 50 inches.

Consider that no one, even Tony, goes to an area like Taos several times over the years and hates it. Like Taos means all the things that it's been coping with over the years that have people not want to choose it. It can be very tough to convince friends to pick it over other areas. Like Jackson, Aspen/Snowmass, Big Sky, and Cali before the drought. That's not even counting multiple areas on the doorstep of Salt Lake. Or I70 in Colo.

You'd help your case more by addressing the 50 inch debate and the great things about Taos then tirades about what a poor food critic he makes.
post #276 of 639

I have never skied Taos personally on less than 65 inches of base.  Obviously I like the mountain, as I've been there 3x and expect to return. 

Quote = Tog:
It can be very tough to convince friends to pick it over other areas.

I recall during a discussion at Mammoth about possible Gathering sites, Taos was rejected by many due to fears about snow reliability.  I argued in Taos' favor, with the caveat that said Gathering would be preferable in March. 

 

Quote = MJB:

Blah, blah, blah.  So some local told you something years ago.  Other locals, including the Epic ambassador, have told you differently many times on this website.  You ignore that.  Wonder why?

Why don't you calm down and read what I actually wrote? 

Quote = Tony Crocker:
For New Mexico/West Texas locals, for whom Taos is a recurring weekend destination, I have no doubt that 53% of Taos offers plenty of good skiing, and probably more good skiing than the alternatives within driving distance. 
Quote = TSV's report for today::

Mountain Status:

  • Lower Front Side: 9 groomed, 24 open (34 total)
  • Upper Front Side: 5 groomed, 17 open (22 total)
  • Back Side: 7 groomed, 23 open (32 total)
  • Highline Ridge: 0 groomed, 9 open (16 total)
  • West Basin Ridge: 0 groomed, 1 open (13 total)
  • Number of Lifts Operational: 12

MJB mentions the West Basin Ridge.  If MJB is offended by my suggestion that an expert once-a-season destination visitor might prefer to schedule Taos when more than 1 out of 13 runs there is open, he's being myopic.

 

What's going on here is hometown hill provincialism.  I see this all the time at Mammoth.  Mammoth is my home hill, but when my son tells me he was up there last week and the wind stripped a lot of snow off the steep runs we like, I have no problem telling people, "Hey, it's not great up there, maybe you want to wait a little while or go somewhere else until there is more snow." Some people, when I point out strengths and weakness of their home mountain, act as if I've impugned their mother's morals. 

 

I notice this particularly among some Jackson locals. I like that mountain too and expect to arrive there around January 20 for several days.

post #277 of 639

Well, if you're thinking about going this year, you should be in good to go. I skied Taos just a couple weeks ago (the day after Christmas), and wow, it was fantastic. Storm day, boatloads of fresh powder, and good times were had by all. They are enjoying a VERY good early season.

post #278 of 639
I haven't been to Taos in ~15 years. Last time we were there in late Jan. and took the ski week lesson program which was really great. We loved the mountain, but it hadn't snowed in about 3 weeks and cover was a bit thin, but we got a hell of a lot of vertical! Finally going back again this year, but we're taking Tony's advice and hitting it late Feb., 2/24 & 2/25 to be exact. So really looking forward to it! Just 2 days at TSV though since we decided to do a big stupid road trip from there, up to Durango for 5 nights so we could get in a day at Silverton and a cat day with San Juan Untracked. Also planning on doing a day trip (or two) from Durango to Wolf Creek if the drive is not too ridiculous. Then heading back to ABQ for our return flight. It might be a stupid plan for all I know, but at least it's a plan and I think we'll find something deep in late Feb at one of those places anyhow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

Well, if you're thinking about going this year, you should be in good to go. I skied Taos just a couple weeks ago (the day after Christmas), and wow, it was fantastic. Storm day, boatloads of fresh powder, and good times were had by all. They are enjoying a VERY good early season.
post #279 of 639
Double check on the date I was last there, it was 1994! Got some old slide scans saved so here are a few with some old school hardware.

First, our fabulous instructor, Gabrielle:



Me on the old 205cm Volkl P9 Slaloms:



Mandatory stretching before our lesson:



One of my favorites at the bridge over the Gorge outside town:



And finally, I guess we did get some snow, one morning anyhow:

post #280 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

As of New Year's Day Taos was 53% open on a 38-inch base, where it remains with the current widespread western dry spell. Those are dead average stats for New Year's.  My general recommendation to favor February/March seems appropriate this season. 

Glad our trip is planned for mid-Feb then.  Don't let us down, Tony! 

post #281 of 639

Just got back from a mini-road trip from Taos to I-70 land. As for snow cover, it seems as though Copper has a bit more. But much of that "seeming" has to do with how the mountain is shaped. I mentioned in a different Epic Ski thought thread concerning Taos' change of ownership that another matter was of greater concern:

 

While the new management should be lauded for ballsyness for the new lift up Kachina Peak and lauded for a remake of their snowmaking system, which has transformed the nature of certain high volume trails, there is neglect in other areas that shape the skier experience there. What caught my attention during the xmas rush at Taos was that they could not get their big snow park going because the new snowmaking equipment was (justifiably) employed elsewhere. They also didn't open up the Nastar hill even though cover was perfectly adequate (which is a shame because the hill is actually steep enough to run slalom).

 

My trip to I-70 land was just after the holidays - that blessed dead spot in the ski season. Yet rat population at the parks was considerable. Nastar and dime a dance race courses were set with attendants in place. I noted that a damp cloudy afternoon where I might have left the mountain at Taos and gone down to town to watch tennis qualifiers was actually kind of exciting at Copper Mt. because they had park and race features set up and running, People were encouraged to work on their technique and perhaps try new things.The mountain was a more interesting and lively place. People were honing their skills.

 

There is a sleepy quality to Taos. The ski school does its best to liven things up with their ski weeks, but the absence of a thriving park and race culture contributes to a strange funkiness at the area which I would love to see changed.

post #282 of 639
I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.
post #283 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.

You should move to the White Mountains of NH then.
post #284 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.

You should move to the White Mountains of NH then.

Because there is better terrain than I can find in the west? ROTF.gif
post #285 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Because there is better terrain than I can find in the west? ROTF.gif

I didn't say it was skiable, just taking the logic of your argument to the extreme.
post #286 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Because there is better terrain than I can find in the west? ROTF.gif

I didn't say it was skiable, just taking the logic of your argument to the extreme.

I appreciate that, but probably not for the reasons you intended.
post #287 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I appreciate that, but probably not for the reasons you intended.

It's OK. I've lurked here long enough to know that people out West don't have a sense of humor when talking about their precious mountains.
post #288 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.

 

On a spring day couple of seasons ago, I drop into the gully between Hunziker & Totally Wired with a 24 year old hot shot visitor from Vail. After watching him bounced from rock to rock from the bottom of the gully in horror. He skied up to me and excitedly ask me did I see the rock in the gully. I told him quietly that he is not suppose to ski over them. I guess they never taught him that in Vail ski school.

 

As Warren Miller said – A six foot base won’t cover a seven foot rock. I neither complain about the trees being there nor hit them when I ski the trees. Rocks deserve the same respect.    

post #289 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I appreciate that, but probably not for the reasons you intended.

It's OK. I've lurked here long enough to know that people out West don't have a sense of humor when talking about their precious mountains.

From what I've seen here, you've got a ways to go before you can meaningfully critique other people's sense of humor, eastern or western.
post #290 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

From what I've seen here, you've got a ways to go before you can meaningfully critique other people's sense of humor, eastern or western.

Note it's my turn to appreciate what you wrote, but not for the reasons you intended.
post #291 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.

 

I agree with your hypothetical, but right now Taos has 34" and Copper has 44".   That makes a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the terrain open.  Until Taos has more snow, I'd rather ski Copper.  

post #292 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

I agree with your hypothetical, but right now Taos has 34" and Copper has 44".   That makes a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the terrain open.  Until Taos has more snow, I'd rather ski Copper.  

 

True. Nevertheless, 100" of snow at Copper would cover up all the terrain. Maybe some of those rocks back in Copper Bowl would still show up though. I remember skiing Alta really early one season, and lo and behold if the Ballroom wasn't a bunch of chutes! A lot more interesting than a bowl, imo. ;)

post #293 of 639
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'd rather ski Taos with 50" than Copper with 100" because terrain > snow.

 

Originally Posted by tball View Post

 

I agree with your hypothetical, but right now Taos has 34" and Copper has 44".   That makes a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the terrain open.  Until Taos has more snow, I'd rather ski Copper.  

The above statements are directly related, and it's really not rocket science.  If Copper had the 34" and Taos the 44," Taos would still have less terrain open precisely because it's the steeper, rockier, and yes, Bob Lee, more interesting mountain.

Quote:
As Warren Miller said – A six foot base won’t cover a seven foot rock.

Thus it makes no sense to choose the "more interesting mountain" at a time when the more interesting terrain is not covered yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

I skied Taos just a couple weeks ago (the day after Christmas), and wow, it was fantastic.... They are enjoying a VERY good early season.

Taos has had an average early season.  The 53% open is close to average for this time of year and the 34 -inch base is actually a bit worse than average.  If it's such a great early season, why isn't the Kachina chair open yet?  Answer: Because the current base is not adequate to open that terrain to the public.  10-15 years from now I predict we will see that the average opening date for the Kachina chair is in late January.

post #294 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
Quote:
As Warren Miller said – A six foot base won’t cover a seven foot rock.

Thus it makes no sense to choose the "more interesting mountain" at a time when the more interesting terrain is not covered yet.

 

 

It's is covered - you just don't realize it's covered in accordance to your ability. If the trail is not "broken" in term of snow coverage, to me it's covered - it is good to go. Other may disagree but then it's their loss. I'll ski it and have fun doing it. :cool

 

I have skied Taos on good years and bad years, one thing I've come to realize is that there are always an abundance of rocks. Just don't ski over them.   :D

post #295 of 639

I skied TSV today but I didn't realize how pathetic the conditions were until I read the comments from the people who haven't been there and/or don't know anything about the place.  I thought the conditions were pretty darn good but I'm eternally grateful that I now know better.

post #296 of 639

Some folks have to check their spread sheet at the end of the day to see whether they had a good time skiing. OTOH, I'm simple and definitely too stupid to know how to read a spread sheet. Me, I just go by the feel of my skis and the smile on my face while I'm doing it.   

post #297 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Some folks have to check their spread sheet at the end of the day to see whether they had a good time skiing. OTOH, I'm simple and definitely too stupid to know how to read a spread sheet. Me, I just go by the feel of my skis and the smile on my face while I'm doing it.   

 

I don't really care about base.  If the ski patrol opens it, that's good enough for me.

post #298 of 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

Some folks have to check their spread sheet at the end of the day to see whether they had a good time skiing. OTOH, I'm simple and definitely too stupid to know how to read a spread sheet. Me, I just go by the feel of my skis and the smile on my face while I'm doing it.   

 

I don't really care about base.  If the ski patrol opens it, that's good enough for me.

 I agree with you 100%. Let them stay home. :D

post #299 of 639
If the Kachina lift is not open are you allowed to hike or is there not enough snow for the hardy souls either?
post #300 of 639
I seem to remember hearing that there will be no more hiking to Kachina, period. I could be wrong.

According to TWC, substantial amounts of snow are expected for TSV next Mon-Wed. I'll be there Friday, so this is incredible newe.
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