A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune in participating in the Taos Super Ski week program. This is 6 full days of ski instruction and coaching at Taos. The program has been around a long time and is headed up by Alain Veth, the Taos assistant technical director of the Taos ski school. At the peak of Taos's popularity, there used to be 3 super ski weeks during the ski season but, now, there is just a single week.
My initial perception wasn't so favorable because when I called several weeks in advance to register for the Super Ski week, the phone response was simply that I should show up and no reservation was necessary. Given that I would be spending a lot of hard earned money to pay for the plane tickets, lodging, as well as taking a week off from work, this response did not convey the impression that the resort was very serious about their ski camp or in their customer service. Further, there was very little online information about the quality of the Taos Super Ski week program including on EpicSki, albeit, there was high regard for the Taos ski school in general. Given the generally high regard for the Taos ski school, the length of the Super ski week program (6 full days!) and since the cost was quite inexpensive at $450, I decided to commit and attend. This was my first time skiing at Taos.
The Taos Super ski week runs from 9:30am on Sunday morning to 3pm Friday afternoon. So, approximately 15 skiers met up on a sunny Sunday morning at the base of Taos. The program started with a ski-off on an intermediate groomed run so that the instructors could evaluate each skier and assign them to the appropriate group and ski instructor. Taos classifies skiers from levels 1 to 10 so we were eventually divided into 4 groups - a beginner group and a level 6, 8, and 10 group.
All groups were given racing training - slalom on Tuesday morning and GS on Wednesday morning. Our GS training runs were filmed and reviewed in front of everyone on Thursday. The rest of Thursday morning, we raced on a Nastar course against a Taos pacesetter (who happened to be a Super ski week instructor). On the afternoons and the other days, my group was given intensive instruction which focused on mogul technique and improved edging and carving on a variety of different terrain across Taos, including Kachina Peak. Our instructor also engaged in a lot of Q&A with us so that we could get specific answers to our ski questions as we were skiing.
I learnt a tremendous amount during my week at Taos and it way surpassed what I expected to get out of the program. I thought my mogul skiing was already decent, but the Taos emphasis on functional skiing technique was very helpful and enabled me to make my mogul turns more effortlessly. I had never raced before so I was skeptical that the racing portion of the Super Ski week would be very interesting to me. In fact, the reality is that any deficiency in our skiing is so much more apparent on the race course and on film, that I've become a complete convert on the value of race training in helping our recreational skiing technique.
Bottom line is that I am convinced that the Taos Super Ski week is not only the best value in ski instruction in the country, but it is superior to any other private ski instruction that I've taken in the past. For those that are looking to improve their skiing, I highly recommend this program without any hesitation whatsoever!