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Most Extreme Runs? - Page 11

post #301 of 329

Here’s a different “extreme” run.

 

Go to Beaver Creek, CO and hit the Birds of Prey downhill course after its freshly groomed.  Try to keep it above 70 mphski.gif

 

That will put hairs on your chest. 

post #302 of 329

You honestly can't say "Most Extreme Runs" and not include Taos. The ridge, yes, is very extreme. But there's several runs on mountain that are terribly challenging as well. Walkyries Chute is full of rocks, trees, and is easily 40 degrees. Then you have Longhorn which is longer and steeper than Al's Run (apparently longhorn doesn't get enough publicity). Then right beside Longhorn is North American which is a constant 1500 vertical feet Double Diamond (Triple Diamond at a lot of other resorts) in trees the entire way. Then you have runs like Sir Arnold Lunn, Pierre's, Bambi Chutes, Werner Chute, Pollux, Castor, Winston, Pipeline, and plenty of unmarked terrain. All lift serviced. I just don't think you can beat how much expert terrain Taos has. Almost 50% of the mountain is rated Double Black. The ULTIMATE expert paradise. drool.gif

post #303 of 329
40 degrees isn't extreme unless a fall equals certain death.
Edited by markojp - 11/9/12 at 6:18am
post #304 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck675 View Post

You honestly can't say "Most Extreme Runs" and not include Taos. The ridge, yes, is very extreme. But there's several runs on mountain that are terribly challenging as well. Walkyries Chute is full of rocks, trees, and is easily 40 degrees. Then you have Longhorn which is longer and steeper than Al's Run (apparently longhorn doesn't get enough publicity). Then right beside Longhorn is North American which is a constant 1500 vertical feet Double Diamond (Triple Diamond at a lot of other resorts) in trees the entire way. Then you have runs like Sir Arnold Lunn, Pierre's, Bambi Chutes, Werner Chute, Pollux, Castor, Winston, Pipeline, and plenty of unmarked terrain. All lift serviced. I just don't think you can beat how much expert terrain Taos has. Almost 50% of the mountain is rated Double Black. The ULTIMATE expert paradise. drool.gif

 

One thing that was mentioned in the “Hardcore Ski Resorts” thread that may apply to this:

 

First, a high % of that expert terrain is accessed by hiking. Some are short hikes, but many, like Kachina, take a long time to get to. Do you put an asterisk next to Taos, and others like T-Ride and Silverton, because so many of these expert runs require quite a bit of hoofing? It’s arguable.

 

There’s something to be said about places like Snowbird, Crested Butte, Jackson and Squaw where you get off the lift and are quickly into the pucker terrain. 

post #305 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

There’s something to be said about places like Snowbird, Crested Butte, Jackson and Squaw where you get off the lift and are quickly into the pucker terrain. 

 

You could add Big Sky to that list.

post #306 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

One thing that was mentioned in the “Hardcore Ski Resorts” thread that may apply to this:

 

First, a high % of that expert terrain is accessed by hiking. Some are short hikes, but many, like Kachina, take a long time to get to. Do you put an asterisk next to Taos, and others like T-Ride and Silverton, because so many of these expert runs require quite a bit of hoofing? It’s arguable.

 

There’s something to be said about places like Snowbird, Crested Butte, Jackson and Squaw where you get off the lift and are quickly into the pucker terrain. 


The idea that all of the "extreme" terrain at Taos can only be accessed by hiking comes up so often in these types of threads.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  As many people have already mentioned, there are countless lift-accessible runs that will give even the most experienced skier goosebumps....North American, Ernies, Pierre's, Werner's, The Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chute, The What Chutes (all 5 of them and What Trees), Pipeline (which to my knowledge is not marked on the trail map but it does have a sign at the entrance off of Bambi), and many, many more.  When you throw in the West Basin Ridge (which has 100s of different lines, many of which are littered with mandatory airs, and is accessible by a 5-10 minute hike comparable to the Palisades at Squaw) you have what I consider to be an extreme mountain. 

 

Now, Squaw Valley undoubtedly has some of the most famous extreme lines in North America (Beck's Rock, The Gun Show, Schmidiots, Eagle's Nest, McConkey's, Chimney, etc, etc, etc).  But, the thing that hardly ever comes up is the fact that the only reason these lines are even skiable is because they very quickly open up into a wide open bowl.  IMO, this drastically minimizes the risk factor and consequently the intimidation factor.  Lets take a look at 2 videos.  First, lets look at a video of a typical Palisades session.  

 

 

 

Now lets take a look at a guy picking his way through Bamboo Spine at Taos. 

 

 

Now what is the major difference between the two?  Well in the first video, you can see that most lines down the Palisades require a straight line into a mandatory air.  Scary right?  Well, maybe if you don't like going fast or catching air.  But in my opinion, these types of lines are just plain fun.  They don't require the skier to do a whole lot when it comes to specific skills.  Skiing down the fall line on the base of your skis is a very basic skill.  Airing out of most of these lines is comparable to doing a straight air over a 20-30ft table top in the park (a bit more advanced of a skill but still not what I would consider to be extreme). 

 

Now in the second video we see a very different approach to this line.  We see a guy methodically picking his way down a spine off of the West Basin Ridge.  Doesn't look terribly "extreme" right?  WRONG!  The reason he is taking his sweet time is because one mistake could result in death.  Rather than a wide open bowl a few hundred feet away, this guy has trees, rocks, and cliffs that must be carefully maneuvered in order to avoid killing himself.  

 

IMO, the word extreme implies some amount of risk.  I also believe that the risk of death is just about the most extreme risk one can take.  The riskier a line or trail, the more extreme it is.  

 

And beyond the little Squaw/Taos comparison above, EXTREME TERRAIN CAN BE FOUND AT ANY RESORT!  Quality of snow/lack of coverage is probably the most significant factor that contributes to how "extreme" a trail is.  A seemingly standard trail can become rather extreme if it becomes a solid sheet of ice or if a lack of coverage leaves it riddles with "unmarked obstacles" like rocks and roots.     

post #307 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

The idea that all of the "extreme" terrain at Taos can only be accessed by hiking comes up so often in these types of threads.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  As many people have already mentioned, there are countless lift-accessible runs that will give even the most experienced skier goosebumps....North American, Ernies, Pierre's, Werner's, The Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chute, The What Chutes (all 5 of them and What Trees), Pipeline (which to my knowledge is not marked on the trail map but it does have a sign at the entrance off of Bambi), and many, many more.  When you throw in the West Basin Ridge (which has 100s of different lines, many of which are littered with mandatory airs, and is accessible by a 5-10 minute hike comparable to the Palisades at Squaw) you have what I consider to be an extreme mountain. 

 

Great post Hippie. I must say, that second video was nasty. Absolutely nasty. I hope things get chilly down your way so you can get after that kind of stuff!

 

Great post Hippie. I must say, that second video was nasty. Absolutely nasty. I hope things get chilly down your way so you can get after that kind of stuff! 

 

That pic you posted in the Hardcore Resorts thread is exactly what I think of under “extreme”. It’s not just a 30 second straight line to cliff run. It’s technical and time consuming. You really have to use your head to keep yourself safe on that kind of stuff.

 

Just hoping the storms fill in TSV so I get some time down there, looks like I got a lot to learn about that place. 

post #308 of 329

I liked the Taos footage, but I think you are underestimating some of those lines at Squaw. They are so much more intimidating when you see them in person.  Have you?

 

Also, McConkey's does not finish into into a wide open bowl - there are trees that must be avoided right after the 40 foot air at the bottom.  It's extremely technical.  Here's Mike Wilson hitting it a few years back...

 

post #309 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

I liked the Taos footage, but I think you are underestimating some of those lines at Squaw. They are so much more intimidating when you see them in person.  Have you?

 

Also, McConkey's does not finish into into a wide open bowl - there are trees that must be avoided right after the 40 foot air at the bottom.  It's extremely technical.  Here's Mike Wilson hitting it a few years back...

 


Yea you are absolutely right with regard to Eagle's Nest...one of the scariest lines at Squaw for sure (and probably all of North America).  I have never skied it and probably never will, but I have skied many of the other gnarly lines at Squaw.  When the conditions aren't great, all of them can be treacherous.  When there is a ton of snow, however, it is an absolute free for all.  

 

But I'm still sticking with my original argument....Extreme terrain can be found everywhere.  In many cases, snow conditions are what contributes to how easy or extreme something is.  Dropping 50+ footers into bottomless pow with a wide open runout is one thing, but dropping 30 footers to a hardpack landing riddled with trees and rocks is just a bit more extreme by my estimation.  In a side-by-side comparison, Taos wins over Squaw hands down.  I honestly think that anyone who disagrees simply hasn't skied at Taos, or spent their entire trip lapping chair 4.  

 

Also, my argument should in no way be interpreted as "Taos is better than Squaw."  They are obviously both amazing places.   

post #310 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

 

One thing that was mentioned in the “Hardcore Ski Resorts” thread that may apply to this:

 

First, a high % of that expert terrain is accessed by hiking. Some are short hikes, but many, like Kachina, take a long time to get to. Do you put an asterisk next to Taos, and others like T-Ride and Silverton, because so many of these expert runs require quite a bit of hoofing? It’s arguable.

 

There’s something to be said about places like Snowbird, Crested Butte, Jackson and Squaw where you get off the lift and are quickly into the pucker terrain. 

 

I see where you're coming from, but Taos just announced an expansion that has already been approved that will bring two new lifts to the mountain; one to the top of Kachina and one to West Basin. So that argument will only be valid for ten more years max.

post #311 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck675 View Post

 

I see where you're coming from, but Taos just announced an expansion that has already been approved that will bring two new lifts to the mountain; one to the top of Kachina and one to West Basin. So that argument will only be valid for ten more years max.


Whether or not Taos is actually going forward with these lifts has yet to be determined.  The proposal was approved by the forest service, but nobody knows for sure if the mountain is going to pull the trigger.  IMO, both lifts are a terrible idea.  Maybe I'm oldschool, but I really think you need to earn your turns down Kachina.  The hour hike is definitely a challenge and part of the romance of skiing the peak.  The West Basin lift is just a plain waste of money.  The hike from the top of Lift 2 takes about 5-10 minutes tops.  The entire West Basin ridge is expert terrain.  For a mountain that is constantly criticized for having a lack of beginner terrain, I personally think that a development project that benefits experts exclusively is an ineffective use of resources.    

post #312 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


Whether or not Taos is actually going forward with these lifts has yet to be determined.  The proposal was approved by the forest service, but nobody knows for sure if the mountain is going to pull the trigger.  IMO, both lifts are a terrible idea.  Maybe I'm oldschool, but I really think you need to earn your turns down Kachina.  The hour hike is definitely a challenge and part of the romance of skiing the peak.  The West Basin lift is just a plain waste of money.  The hike from the top of Lift 2 takes about 5-10 minutes tops.  The entire West Basin ridge is expert terrain.  For a mountain that is constantly criticized for having a lack of beginner terrain, I personally think that a development project that benefits experts exclusively is an ineffective use of resources.    


icon14.gif  I remember when I skied Taos with a friend and looking at left Kachina and right towards West Basin and opting for the much shorter hike across High Traverse, maybe upwards some.  It was nice up there, probably 18" fresh, only slightly tracked up when we got there.  There was an intimidating cornice we had to drop and it was pretty steep.  My friend had a tough time but was proud of his accomplishment.  I'd like to hit the peak of Katchina someday, lift served or not, but a lift makes that prospect far more likely as I get older and older. 

 

Is it really that much steeper than the West Basin terrain?  If it is we definitely made the right choice that day as my friend barely survived wherever it was we stopped hoofing and dropped in there. 

post #313 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


...I'd like to hit the peak of Katchina someday, lift served or not, but a lift makes that prospect far more likely as I get older and older. 

 

Is it really that much steeper than the West Basin terrain?  If it is we definitely made the right choice that day as my friend barely survived wherever it was we stopped hoofing and dropped in there. 

 

 

I have been passed on the hike by women in their 70's.  There is plenty of time left for you to hike it.  Take a lunch, stop several times and make an afternoon of it.  It is a world-class experience.

 

Kachina is much less steep than the West Basin routes although there are a few spots along the hike and to skiers far right upon descent that are steep.

 

IMO there will never be a West Basin lift.  I don't think the Kachina lift will be built for several years, if ever.  It is nice to have approvals for that sort of thing in the file cabinet though, just in case.

post #314 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


Whether or not Taos is actually going forward with these lifts has yet to be determined.  The proposal was approved by the forest service, but nobody knows for sure if the mountain is going to pull the trigger.  IMO, both lifts are a terrible idea.  Maybe I'm oldschool, but I really think you need to earn your turns down Kachina.  The hour hike is definitely a challenge and part of the romance of skiing the peak.  The West Basin lift is just a plain waste of money.  The hike from the top of Lift 2 takes about 5-10 minutes tops.  The entire West Basin ridge is expert terrain.  For a mountain that is constantly criticized for having a lack of beginner terrain, I personally think that a development project that benefits experts exclusively is an ineffective use of resources.    

 

I've always thought they should explore adding a lift at the parking lot near the children's center that goes to the base of lift 8.  But giving quick access to 8 and then down to 2 and up to the top is probably not as nearly sexy sounding as a lift up Kachina.  I have my doubts that the West Basin and/or Kachina lifts will ever be built unless there is an infusion of new outside money.  I hope that never happens because Taos will lose its soul.

post #315 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I've always thought they should explore adding a lift at the parking lot near the children's center that goes to the base of lift 8. 

Now that is a good idea for a lift.
post #316 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
 I have my doubts that the West Basin and/or Kachina lifts will ever be built unless there is an infusion of new outside money.  I hope that never happens because Taos will lose its soul.

How bout a great big badd assed rope tow?biggrin.gif

post #317 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


Whether or not Taos is actually going forward with these lifts has yet to be determined.  The proposal was approved by the forest service, but nobody knows for sure if the mountain is going to pull the trigger.  IMO, both lifts are a terrible idea.  Maybe I'm oldschool, but I really think you need to earn your turns down Kachina.  The hour hike is definitely a challenge and part of the romance of skiing the peak.  The West Basin lift is just a plain waste of money.  The hike from the top of Lift 2 takes about 5-10 minutes tops.  The entire West Basin ridge is expert terrain.  For a mountain that is constantly criticized for having a lack of beginner terrain, I personally think that a development project that benefits experts exclusively is an ineffective use of resources.    

 

I sure hope you're right. I hiked Kachina for the first time this past year and my god the hike was amazing. Long and very hard, but the feeling I had at the top was well worth it.

post #318 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


The idea that all of the "extreme" terrain at Taos can only be accessed by hiking comes up so often in these types of threads.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  As many people have already mentioned, there are countless lift-accessible runs that will give even the most experienced skier goosebumps....North American, Ernies, Pierre's, Werner's, The Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chute, The What Chutes (all 5 of them and What Trees), Pipeline (which to my knowledge is not marked on the trail map but it does have a sign at the entrance off of Bambi), and many, many more. 

 

Okay, please tell me where the Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chutes, and What Chutes are?! I've skied Taos my entire life and I've always heard those names but I can't seem to find them. Are they by Werner's and Pierre's? Because that area is rarely open. 

post #319 of 329
TEMP
7.9°
24 Hours
6"
5 Day
12"

Master Development Plan

MASTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN


Taos Ski Valley, Inc. is very excited to present Phase 1 of the Master Development Plan. This Master Development Plan details improvements submitted for approval by Taos Ski Valley, Inc to the United States Forest Service. These projects include glading new terrain, the addition of new facilities, the installation of 2 new lifts, and replacing outdated lifts. These projects represent improvements Taos Ski Valley, Inc. intends on completing over the next ten years. Any questions regarding this plan can be directed to Gordon Briner, COO, at gbb@skitaos.org. Descriptions of the proposed improvements, as well as instructions for submitting comments to the Forest Service  for consideration, are included in the scoping notice packet.

TAOS 2010 MASTER DEVELPOMENT PLAN PHASE 1 SCOPING NOTICE(PDF, 345Kb)

HIGH RESOLUTION PROPOSED ACTION MAP(PDF, 15Mb)

post #320 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck675 View Post

Okay, please tell me where the Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chutes, and What Chutes are?! I've skied Taos my entire life and I've always heard those names but I can't seem to find them. Are they by Werner's and Pierre's? Because that area is rarely open. 

 

 

Walkyries (pronounced Valkeries) is immediately east of the 7a unload.  There is a sign and the gate is open from time to time.  Great run.

 

Bambi and What chutes...If I told you....

post #321 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post

 

 

Walkyries (pronounced Valkeries) is immediately east of the 7a unload.  There is a sign and the gate is open from time to time.  Great run.

 

Bambi and What chutes...If I told you....

Bambi Chutes are by Walkyrie's right? I've skied Walkyrie's. I honestly thought Hippie was talking about another chute since they spelled it differently. As for the What Chutes I have no clue where those are...

post #322 of 329

All I know is, I definitely need to check out Taos some time.  It was already on my to-do list.

post #323 of 329

I've looked down some of those chutes by 7a.  Scary stuff.

post #324 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by ck675 View Post

Okay, please tell me where the Bambi Chutes, Valkyrie's Chutes, and What Chutes are?! I've skied Taos my entire life and I've always heard those names but I can't seem to find them. Are they by Werner's and Pierre's? Because that area is rarely open. 


The beauty of Taos is that there are sooo many marked trails that don't appear on the trail map.  I certainly can't post directions to these spots on a forum such as this.  Buuuuuut, the next time you are at Taos, hit me up and I'll show you a few hidden gems that most people have no idea even exist. 

 

Oh, and Valkyrie's Chute is MUCH different from Valkyrie's.  As the name suggests, it is the chute above Valkyrie's.  IMO, this area is the most extreme lift-accessible terrain on the mountain and the opposite ridge that funnels down to the frontside (Werner's, Pierre's, Sir Arnold Lunn, R&R) is a close second. 

post #325 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

The beauty of Taos is that there are sooo many marked trails that don't appear on the trail map.

 

"Meatball"  biggrin.gif

post #326 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkwoodBandit View Post

Given that I can't ski anything these boards would qualify as "extreme" (or whatever), and the fact that The Wave is one of my favorite runs at Kirkwood, I'm going to have to say it doesn't qualify. The cornice at the top can be intimidating, but once you are past that it is actually quite tame: very open and not that steep. Similar things could be said of the majority of the backside. There are much nastier runs heading back to the front side via Thunder Saddle and Lookout, and Tyrone posted some pictures earlier in the thread of some really burly stuff.


Edit: as to "tombstones of ice" I have had bad experiences back there in white out conditions. I ran smack into large, refrigerator sized chunks of dense snow that had been scattered across the bowl by the avi-guns. Never saw them until they were at my ski tips. 
 

 

 

The lst time down and through the funnel midway down the One man chute at Kirkwood was a thrilling experience for me.  The good new I was following Chris Fellows and he told me to turn  uphill to my right after exiting the funnel to slow down.  Probably the lst time I had ever skied a chute at speed that was too narrow to make any resemblance of a turn.  A real adrenaline rush my lst time down.

post #327 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post


The beauty of Taos is that there are sooo many marked trails that don't appear on the trail map.  I certainly can't post directions to these spots on a forum such as this.  Buuuuuut, the next time you are at Taos, hit me up and I'll show you a few hidden gems that most people have no idea even exist. 

 

Oh, and Valkyrie's Chute is MUCH different from Valkyrie's.  As the name suggests, it is the chute above Valkyrie's.  IMO, this area is the most extreme lift-accessible terrain on the mountain and the opposite ridge that funnels down to the frontside (Werner's, Pierre's, Sir Arnold Lunn, R&R) is a close second. 

I'm taking you up on that offer. Walkyrie's chute is the most exhilarating skiing experience I've had. There was about half a foot of fresh and it was still snowing; it was amazing.

post #328 of 329

i would say that if runs without mandatory air are still extreme, I would say that Alta 1/ or Alta 0 at JMR would be among the most difficult. 

post #329 of 329

This is a really good thread, and here’s my opinion. I pulled these slopes from around the web, and on this forum.

MOST extreme runs:

 

·         Schmidiot’s at Shaw. This run doesn’t even allow skiers down it sometime because the grade is so steep the snow has to be heavy to even have a chance. Plus, if you make it down you’re with only a handful of people who’ve completed it before.

·         Body Bag at Crested Butte. This slope is one I found that really has a potential to live up to its name. The hill comes with one of the steepest runs and a 55 degree drop at the beginning.

·         Heart Chute at Kirkwood. Just by looking at the pictures, you can see that the chute is such a do or die situation that I imagine even the best skiers feel a little nervous at the mouth of that beast.

·         Patrolman’s at Kirkwood. Like Tyrone said at the beginning of this forum, it’s a pretty difficult run, with even an experience skier like him having to go get medical attention.

·         Heavenly’s 11 Couloir at Kirkwood. This run looks like it’s just a downhill drop and the amount of skill and bravery to travel down this slope is incredible. One can imagine how many injured skiers had to be taken all the way down on a shaky backboard.

·         Hospital Air at Kirkwood. One of the most extreme jumps one can get on any slope, Hospital Air looks better than most manmade jumps. That, and that it’s so close to all the other slopes I’ve mentioned means that it is sure to be one amazing trip, if you can survive.

 

By looking at this list you can see that I am a little impartial to Kirkwood. The reason I used Kirkwood is because, one, it’s a great place obviously, and two, I found that EpicSki has put together a list of the most extreme runs, and all of these are on it. Another source that agrees with this list is The Daily Beast’s most dangerous runs.

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