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Taos Ski/Snow Valley - 3.18 & 3.19

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Flew out to 'Querque on St. Patrick's Day.
Garrett scooped me up at the Sunport for our 2.5 day "man date".
Crashed at Casa De Garrett.
Got up hella early and road tripped to Taos the next morning.

3.18
Saw lottsa Indian Casinos and mock adobe houses on the drive
Got to Taos around 9ish, took our time gearing up.
Felt mildly subversive riding my Lib Tech NAS (narrow a$$ snowboards).
First run we hiked to St. Bernard and I got whupped in the chute.
Next run hiked to another chute, this one with more trees.
Worked around the mountain.
Ate lunch.
Skied some more.
Took a pee break.
Skied some more.
Vibe was mellow considering it was the final day of skiing only.
Crashed in Taos that night.
Town is dead after 9pm.
Bummer

3.19
Got up sorta hella early.
Drove to Taos.
Parking lot was packed.
Good number of boarders, mostly young guns in loud clothing.
Took our time gearing up.
Took the double chair, which stalled several times cuz gaper boarders kept falling off the chair.
Hiked for turns first thing.
Skied a bunch.
Got props throughout the day for my Libby sticks from the boarders.
Met a few ornry locals who lamented the "end of an era" and bitched about snowboarders mucking up the place.
Honestly, for the amount of people in the parking lot the lift lines were sparse and the runs (with the exception of the main groomer blues and greens) were relatively empty.
Took a pee break.
Skied some more.
Ate lunch.
Debated renting snowboard boots and demoing a Burton set-up to say we'd snowboarded the first day. Opted to hike Kachina Peak instead.
13,000 ish elevation and a lotta vert later...just about killed this flatlander, but I made it and was stoked.
Saw a big horn ram grubbing on grass at the top.
Semi-ripped the bowl down.
Skied a bit more.
Quit and got a lager at the Martini Tree.
Again, surprisingly mellow considering the "historic" nature of the day.

Only question: will Taos Ski Valley become "Taos Snow Valley?" (they already changed their slogan to "Ride Taos" instead of "Ski Taos."


PS
Before anybody cries "This TR is worthless w/o pictures", Garrett and I went to ski. Thus instead of snapping wonderfully casual shots of us hanging out at the lodge, standing at the top of the lift, or enjoying apres events, we opted to ski. Afterall, that's what we're here for, isn't it?

post #2 of 15
Thanks for the TR Dookey. Sounds like a good time! The best good news is that even the crazy "first day of boarding" was pretty mellow -- kinda hard to be there and NOT be laid-back.

I've been keeping an eye out for a TR ever since Wednesday, as we were in Taos the week before and saw some of the preparations and beta-testing -- benches at the tops of lifts, snowboarding instructors giving lessons to other instructors/employees/locals, promotions, etc.

DEP
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
PS
Before anybody cries "This TR is worthless w/o pictures", Garrett and I went to ski. Thus instead of snapping wonderfully casual shots of us hanging out at the lodge, standing at the top of the lift, or enjoying apres events, we opted to ski. Afterall, that's what we're here for, isn't it?

Nope.
Lame.
Sorry:


Note dookey: Skiing is secondary [as stated in very, very fine print on the back of lift tickets] to the capture of casual shots at the lodge, standing at a lift and [especially] apres events...and then sharing in the form of a TR on EPIC.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Nope.
Lame.
Sorry:


Note dookey: Skiing is secondary [as stated in very, very fine print on the back of lift tickets] to the capture of casual shots at the lodge, standing at a lift and [especially] apres events...and then sharing in the form of a TR on EPIC.

post #5 of 15
It was odd that there were so many people there on the 19th, but the liftlines (with the exception of a portion of the morning at 4) were small and the runs still not really up to Crowdorado crowdiness. I wanted to film some crazy insane crowded gaper on gaper action...but I didn't see any. I mean sure there were a bunch of lift stoppages and so on, but the crowd was actually very mellow and friendly.

dookey was a lot of fun to ski with again, and I was impressed with how well he did with the hiking. The guy walked off a plane from sea level at 11 one night, and before 10 the next morning he was cruising up the ridge at 12k feet like it was his job. Nicely done.



So after lunch on the 19th we decided it would be fun to get some Kachina action. It was actually pretty neat...I think a lot of the new snowboarder folks went up earlier in the day, but we saw some nice guys riding sideways that were having a great time, including a guy who was making a second lap up there. dookey wasn't kidding about the snowboarders commenting on the NAS...at least a dozen people were intrigued by that. dookey nails the obligatory epicski (in)action shot here, with the caveat that there is quite a bit of action required to reach this location:



That was fun. Being oddly and uncharacteristically sober in the bar (SRSLY, I thought it was going to be an insane party, but everyone was pretty mellow and spread out amongst the TSV establishments.) I noticed this old ski patrol pic in the bar and had to take a pic for volantaddict:



We were really pretty busy skiing, so I didn't take many photos. I didn't even get a photo of a snowboard...though I assure you there were many.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
see, "we" did take a few pix...(actually Garret did).

the moral to this TR is that Taos is pretty sweet. I wouldn't hesitate to hit it again. There's really some nice terrain tucked in the canyon (most of it you have to trek a bit to, but that means less folks on the runs) and the vibe is pretty mellow.

G-man is good to ride with, too. Just make sure you have your A (or at the very least B+) game on, though. Dude's an ex-race kid and a tech junkie.




PS
I will say that 2 days of sucking Garrett's vapor trails totally upped my game as this past weekend in Tahoe I was not the least bit hesitant to slide into a chute @ Sugarbowl or duck off piste into the re-frozen nanky-na-na moonscape. That and the fact that I think I've finally dialed in my freakin' NAS. Of course detailed MA at the upcoming LGC4 may prove otherwise!
post #7 of 15
Pics a posted and it looks sweet:

Maybe a little Taos, Telluride and Wolf Creek road trip will be in order next season.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
not really sure what my plans are for next season...this season still has a lotta life left (May 31st is projected close for some Tahoe resorts).

plus i have a deal with myself to ski at one or two resorts a year that I've never been to before (this has been a banner year with 7 new resorts thus far: A-Basin, Targhee, Snow King, Snowbird, Snowbasin, Soda Springs, and Taos).

Wolf Creek is on the list, though...
post #9 of 15
I warned you about Garrett, Dookey!!!
Out of all the new places you have gone rank em, and tell us why.
The hike upto Kachina is pretty tough eh..
post #10 of 15
I'm glad the whole thing wasn't as crazy as everyone anticipated. I just got back from my Southern hemisphere adventure to the surprise that it's almost as warm here as it is there right now :

Still, hitting Taos this Sunday for sure, and Saturday if I can get away from work. Praying for new snow but it's not looking good at all.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeX View Post
Out of all the new places you have gone rank em, and tell us why.
I'm not a huge fan of ranking things, but I'd have to say that this season my best days have been at the smaller resorts.

Snow King, Jackson Wyoming
got laced with $10 tickets. nobody was there. spent most of the day as the only guy on the runs (along with Jgiddyup). Hiked up to their chutes, which was cool. Bonus was that I went back out and ripped some laps night skiing.

Soda Springs, Tahoe
2 lifts. Beginner place on the road to Sugarbowl that largely attracts non-skiers for their tubing/sledding facilities. One face that wasn't groomed on a storm day-after, so there was a sweet field of fresh waiting to be farmed. I farmed from 9 am until 2 and managed to still get a fresh line for my last lap. Vert was meager, but having a field of fresh practically to yourself is a wonderful feeling.

Grand Targhee, Wyoming
Skied with Harkin Banks Jr. This young teen (13, I think) whupped my a$$, but it was worth it. He and his pops gave me (and Jgiddyup) the full tour of their mountain. Def want to go back and hit the hike-to bowls.

Taos, NM
Rode 2 days with Garrett. This mountain is cool. I got a really good feel for the diversity of terrain thanks to G-Man dragging me down chutes, through Pam Anderson sized bumps, and hike-to bowls. Really mellow vibe all around, which is much to my liking. And not crowded in the least (granted we were there on a T/W, but still).

Snowbird, Utah
skied it twice, both times with Bushwacker and Bkln. SERIOUS vert. This mountain is no joke. Lungs and leg burning seriousness.

Snowbasin, Utah
Swanky for a small resort (but then that's the Sun Valley influence). Liked the terrain, but wish it was a little more mom 'n pop feeling. They have the worst selection of ski socks in the base shop, too. Also the day we were there the Olympic Downhill tram was shut. That looked like it serviced some epic terrain. Still, had a blast with Bush and Brkln

A-Basin
Rode with Bong in October for the mandatory early season WROD. Didn't get to try much of the mountain. Will rectify that in a week.
post #12 of 15
There are enough trip reports on Taos to agree with everything you said about Taos, but the one thing that everyone seems to agree about is that particular vibe..You can feel it..we are up at Telluride right now, and one of the first things my wife, and I said to each other was the large difference in THAT vibe..It is not here, like Taos..Why? I don't know..Glad you had fun though

Lee
post #13 of 15
The big day has come and gone. It was an "event" with 4400 people on the mountain that day. TSV is sold out at 4800.

I saw a few boarders this past week, maybe 1 boarder for 25 skiers. Most of them were competent but a few were going down the trails sideways.

All in all it was very anti-climatic. I expect to see some boarders on powder days and holidays but not many at other times.
post #14 of 15
My first trip to ski New Mexico was the week of the 19th. We decided toskip the first snowboard day at Taos, fearing "Chaos in Taos" (that does rhyme, doesn't it?) although we were staying in town and went to Angel Fire instead. Big mistake. Nice small mountain, but its three lifts were completely overwhelmed by spring break Texans -- 20 min. lines. Taos the next day was basically ski onto the lift, but the snow by then was firm even by eastern standards. Then 3 days at Wolf Creek. Nice snow, beautiful cruisers, and a lot of fun even for non-hikers. And $26 tix for seniors!
post #15 of 15
I was at Taos today and didn't see that many snowboarders. I rode the lift with one only once and I'd say the ratio was 5-to-1 or so. Still, the mountain looked a little younger with the new crowd, which is definitely good.

I saw a couple of changes that amused me, I see Taos has made appropriate changes for the new times.

So the new customers understand


And the self-arrest mannequin is now sponsored by Burton:
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