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taos alternative this weekend?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just skied taos today with some friends and we're wondering if there's a resort within a couple hours drive that has better snow. Any recommendations? We're hearing wolf creek for 1.5 hr drive but it doesn't seem advanced enough. Telluride if we can muster up 3 hr drive each way. We're staying in taos. Thx for any ideas!
post #2 of 11
I think you are underestimating those travel times. T ride is close to 6 hours each way. Wolf creek is 2.5 hours each way and I think has great snow. It has some steep but short expert runs. There are a few other ski areas in nm near you but they are more intermediate focused and likely have similar snow to Taos.

Monarch (3 hours) and crested butte (4+ hours) are options too but a bit far for a day trip. Cb has tons of expert stuff. Monarch has some good single blacks and a nice hike to expert area
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by VIX View Post

I just skied taos today with some friends and we're wondering if there's a resort within a couple hours drive that has better snow. Any recommendations? We're hearing wolf creek for 1.5 hr drive but it doesn't seem advanced enough. Telluride if we can muster up 3 hr drive each way. We're staying in taos. Thx for any ideas!

Wolf Creek is by far the best snow in the area, but that is not saying much. Great base, 100% open, but snow is stale after some warming. It is not 3 hours to Telluride, it is 5-6.

Wolf Creek is plenty advanced, plkenty steep, and technical. What it lacks, especially compared to Taos, is sustained steeps. Here a typical advanced run is 200 feet of steep, followed by a green pitch, followed by 300 very of steep. The steep stuff is very steep (knife ridge approaches 60* and is some of the steepest in the state, waterfall gate 3 and some of the numbered chutes are around 45*). Some Waterfall lines and numbered chutes 7-10 get you about 700 vertical of reasonable steep.

The skiing is steep enough to satisfy most people. The problem with terrain comes on deep snow days with unsupportive snow. Wolf gets a loot of snow, 40" storm cycles are pretty common here, and 70-100" ones come a few times a season. When that snow comes in with light dry snow at the beginning of the storm, followed by denser, heavier stuff on top, the result makes the flatter areas a nightmare. Once you slow down and punch through the heavier layer, you get forced all the way down into the snowpack. Most places in CO/NM do not get enough snow to make this a problem at their areas. This only comes up a few days a year, and most deep stuff is amazing- we finished up a 110" storm cycles 2 weeks ago that was total blower all the way down.

Check the guide for more info.

Monarch has fresher snow right now. Monarch is a great mountain, but is short with only advanced terrain lift-served. The trees and the advanced stuff in general does not were a lot of traffic, and it is easy to find soft snow.

Staying in Taos would make it very difficult to drive to good snow, which is US50 and north right now. Best within that drive is Wolf.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. Very helpful! I'm with a group of 6 so I'll run this by them. Sounds like wolf creek the way to go and good to know about monarch too. Cheers.
post #5 of 11

I'd head to Crested Butte.  Stay one night and ski two days, if you can change reservations.  It should be skiing great after 8" this week:

http://opensnow.com/state/CO?type=reports

 

Nothing on the radar though:

http://opensnow.com/state/CO?type=snow

 

CB expert terrain is top notch, faces north and holds snow very well.  Surface conditions should be very nice, but you might post in the CB thread to confirm with locals.  If your group can handle the steep stuff at Taos, you'll have a blast at CB.  

 

If your group prefers intermediate or typical black bump runs, I wouldn't bother with CB as nothing really special there for those folks.   Wolf Creek would be a better choice to find better surface conditions on a variety of terrain.

post #6 of 11
I would agree that getting lodging in CB would be the best option if you are willing. They have been getting a few inches with each of these NW flow storms.
post #7 of 11
On the snow at Wolf today, things are firm but better than expected. Some good chalk on north facing steeps.
post #8 of 11

Monarch for a short drive and softer snow.

 

Silverton for big terrain. They have great s now conditions and it is only a 1/2 hour further than Crested Butte from Taos.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all.  We ended up staying put in Taos.  I tried telemark for my first time to add some excitement to the unfortunate snow conditions.  It was a blast.  Thanks again for the tips.  We make this an annual trip and I think one of the lessons learned was to target resorts where there are some accessible plan B resort options.  And Mom, Silverton is on my bucket list.  Can't wait to ski that one day.  Cheers.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by VIX View Post
 

Thank you all.  We ended up staying put in Taos.  I tried telemark for my first time to add some excitement to the unfortunate snow conditions.  It was a blast.  Thanks again for the tips.  We make this an annual trip and I think one of the lessons learned was to target resorts where there are some accessible plan B resort options.  And Mom, Silverton is on my bucket list.  Can't wait to ski that one day.  Cheers.

 

Glad to hear that you were able to turn it into a good time. A few weeks ago when conditions were raw, I took out a pair of straight skis for a day and had a ball. I also have a snowboard getup that I would like to get to an intermediate level, but not yet. It would be nice for fays when I am with people that can't ski the good stuff.

 

The problem with an "accessible" plan B is in most cases, close by resorts will be in the same boat.

post #11 of 11

Great attitude... Playing on snow is fun. period. And you got some lovely sunshine and warm weather for drinks on the deck!

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