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Spent 5 days there during fairly low snow conditions with about of foot of new snow the night we arrived and 6 inches later in the week. It was cold and windy for most of our stay which meant that...
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The 09/10 Taos Conditions/TR/GTG Thread - Page 7post #181 of 2083/26/10 at 8:09pmGood to hear Les did not have to pay a fortune to a locksmith or be stuck for another day (broken binding and all). Looks like I may make it for the final weekend, who else is planning to be there?
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #182 of 2083/28/10 at 12:09pmpost #183 of 2083/28/10 at 12:53pmpost #184 of 2083/28/10 at 2:24pmI've been trying to improve my skiing so I can keep up with my nine year old so I took two ski weeks. The two different instructors were both fantastic and have changed my skiing. They thought that I definitely skied faster and more efficiently than before. However, my nine and six year old also took lessons and they are now even faster and better. I am not sure that I will ever catch up. I'll just have to get used to hearing them call for me to hurry up. We all skied some truly heart pounding terrain.post #185 of 2083/28/10 at 5:55pmConditions were great yesterday and they're currently predicting another FOOT next w/e, so that will be a must.
However, I was told today that TSV will be extending it's season by a week
Anybody confirm that ?post #186 of 2083/28/10 at 6:19pmpost #187 of 2083/29/10 at 12:03pmQuote:Originally Posted by simonbda
I'd say it depends on what you want out of the hike-to terrain. The Kachina Peak hike is nice, beautiful views, the skiing is not too hard, but it's damn long! Depending on what type of shape you are on it can take 45 mins to 1:30 hours hiking at over 12,000 feet.
A short hike (10 mins or so) will take you to the West Basin ridge, but all the runs there are steep and tight. 5 more minutes of hiking would take you to the Highline Ridge. The easiest run off the ridge (IMO) is Juarez, which is steep but wide open.
If you want to say "I've been there", go to the peak, it won't dissapoint. If you want to challenge yourself and try different lines, try the shorter hikes.
Thanks simonbda, that was just the sort of advice I was looking for. However, we totally disregarded it.
Thursday March 25 - three inches of fresh snow reported. Perfect blue skies. A nearly deserted mountain. Does it get any better?
An apparently rarely skied field just above Lower Stauffenberg.
Panoramic look over the West Basin Ridge.
A narrow, 45 degree chute... We declined the honor, and went down somewhere near Thunderbird instead. The snow in the trees was extremely heavy however, and with the short spaces available for making turns, gave me some trouble.
Friday March 26. No pictures of this day. It was overcast and super windy - NWS said 20 to 30 mph winds, with 40 mph gusts. Going by a ridge like were Zagava starts resulted in sandblasting of any exposed skin. We spent the day off lifts 4 and 7, doing Hunziker and El Funko, and goofing off at the terrain park on Maxims. Maybe it's just Taos, or maybe it's snowsports in general, but the impression I got was that the really dedicated park rats, doing jumps and back/forward flips and spins and whatnot, were all on skies. The snowboarders seemed rather sedate in comparison. Weird. Anyway, that storm had a beneficial side...
Saturday March 27.
Here's the view out our window that morning. Snow like that in town surely meant great things for the slopes. Indeed, the resort reported six more inches of snow. We were expecting the place to be packed, but it really wasn't busy at all. We were speculating that the tourists had already finished their trips, and the locals were ready for winter to be over...?
(Only iPhone pics this day, I left the SLR at the condo.)
We decided to do the Highline Ridge this day. There were more people in line to start the hike than there was to get on Lift 1!
Looking back towards the top of Lift 2. Kachina was closed (we could see some bomb and avalanche evidence above Lift 4) so we went down through the trees on the North Face. What a blast - everything was light and fluffy, and minimally tracked out. There were still plenty of fresh power tracks available the whole Hidalgo/Juarez slope. The winds were relatively light, and the sun even peaked out a few times.
We finished up the day on North American, after declining Longhorn (looked like simply a long mogul field?) It's now one of my favorite runs - secluded and peaceful, neither too steep nor too shallow, the trees neither too close nor too sparse...
Sunday March 28. Sadness, time to drive home. Some nice morning sun shining through frost on the trees.
I can understand the resort not staying open late past the normal closing day - there really weren't too many people out there for these great conditions. (Compare that to what I heard about spring break - the office stopped selling lift tickets because there were so many people...) But for those considering a final trip to Taos to close out the season - go. There's plenty of great snow.post #188 of 2083/29/10 at 12:56pmpost #189 of 2083/29/10 at 4:06pmpost #190 of 2083/30/10 at 5:24ampost #191 of 2083/30/10 at 8:25amThread StarterNice report Elistan, I really like the picture below! I'm glad you had fun with the great conditions. I still don't know if I'll make it there this weekend, but at least I'll try for Sunday.post #192 of 2083/30/10 at 9:25am
As told to Rick Richards by Ernie Blake
EARLY RUNS AND LOWER FRONT
AL'S RUN- Named for Al Rosen, the famous Taos surgeon politically instrumental in getting the Ski Valley off the ground. He skied with an oxygen mask and tank for twenty years until his death in 1982.
CHICKEN ALLEY- Shortcut around Snakedance. Self-described.
DON'T TELL- George Hatch, mountain manager, gave the name to this run next to Tell Glade.
EDELWEISS- The edelweiss is the hard-to-get flower of the Alps; it is the distinctive flower all over the Alps.
FIRLEFANZ-"Firlefanz" is a German term for something extra, like silver threads on a Christmas tree.
HANNES SCHNEIDER- Hannes came over here in December of 1938, after having been arrested by the Germans after they took over Austria. He was locked up in a concentration camp where hey was bought free by Harvey Gibson, a New York banker. Gibson came from North Conway, New Hampshire. He had Schneider organize a ski school there, run by his star teachers from St. Anton who he had sent over here. He invented the Learn to Ski Week. A colorful man, he was a wise-guy who had black curly hair and very dark skin, much more Italian looking than Austrian. He skied at great speeds and was a great natural jumper, jumping offs cliffs and over houses. He was one of the first who put to use the ideas of Mathias Zdarsky, who had published a manual on skiing in 1897. He did it in practical terms and made the elegant stem christie form what was a clumsy snowplow turn. Schneider returned to Austria in 1955 and died there at the age of sixty-five.
INFERNO- Named after the famous race, still run yearly, started by the Great Britain and the Kandahar Club in Murren, Switzerland. It is an old race, and one of the longest, most vertically differential runs in the world.
JEAN'S GLADE- For Jean Mayer.
LONGHORN- Texas cattle. First run from the tops. Avalanches easily.
PORCUPINE- That animal in the tree.
POWDERHORN- The device you carried your gunpowder in.
PSYCHO PATH- A path for "psychos". Named by Wolfie Lert.
RHODA'S REVENGE (from Chilton Anderson)- "Rhoda's Revenge came about when we'd go off the top of Al's Run to sweep, or just go up and make a run in powder, Rhoda would disappear, and then, all of a sudden, she would be with us again. We'd ask, "How and where the hell did you come from?" And she'd just sort of smile sweetly, and we'd go and ski down. It wasn't until a long time later that we realized that Rhoda had found this little cut-off so she didn't have to ski the first steep part of Al's.
SHOWDOWN- An army term, or gunfighter term.
SNAKEDANCE- Named by Wolfie Lert for the Hopi dancers.
SPENCER'S BOWL- For E.J. Spencer, my favorite English teacher and coach form my school, in the Engadine, Switzerland.
STRAWBERRY HILL- Called Beginner's Meadow, Idiotenhuegel. Lots of wild strawberries in the summer.
TELL GLADE- Named for William Tell, the crossbow-shooting marksman, who is also the liberating Swiss hero of the Rossini/Schiller opera.
WHITE FEATHER- Historically, a white feather was the symbol of cowards during the Boer War. In England, gentlemen who didn't volunteer for queen's army in this fight were considered cowards and were sent white feathers by their girl acquaintances. So that's this easy run that we built.
RUNS FROM THE TOP- 1965
BAMBI- "Bambi" goes back to the Disney movie, as the timid one. It's for slow skiers
BLITZ- This is the German term for lightening. A steep run which unfortunately sometimes avalanches.
BONANZA- A bonanza
CASTOR & POLLUX- These twins of Greek and Roman mythology gave their names to the bright stars in the constellation Gemini. They also gave their names to two rock passages in Murren; we knew that from the Ski Club of Great Britain. Now they are two side-by-side double black diamond trails here in Taos.
DEREK'S PULLOUT- Named for Derek Hale, a patrolman here in the 1970s. Better swimmer than skier and represented Puerto Rico in the Pan-American games. The spot above the turn between Bambi and Zagava gratefully utilized by all novices.
HONEYSUCKLE- Named for the flower.
LORELEI- Lorelei is the blond German siren who combs her hair in the sun, sitting on a tall rock in the Rhine River singing songs that lured the poor German fisherman in their rickety fishing boats to their deaths in the whirlpools of the river. "Lorelei" here is the same thing; it is like a beautiful woman who is very admired but who is dangerous. There's a giant rock field on the right with narrow spots likened to a woman's figure.
MUCHO GUSTO- Named in honor of our Mexican friends.
REFORMA- Reforma refers to the Mexico City boulevard that honors Benito Juarez and the law and order he brought to the Mexican people with the Revolution.
SIR ARNOLD LUNN- A British skier largely responsible for making skiing a competitive sport and who set the first slalom course in 1922. He organized the first Kandahar Race in St. Anton, Austria, in 1928, and the first FIS Alpine World Championships at Murren, Switzerland. Through his efforts, slalom skiing was recognized in the 1936 Olympics.
WERNER CHUTE- For Werner Duetta, caught in a slide in 1971.
WINSTON- A double black diamond for the World War II giant.
YUNG CHO-One of the first paid ski patrolmen. He was the first Korean Olympic skier, and here he shoveled bumps.
ZAGAVA- John Zagava was the partner of Harker in the original Hondo Lodge in 1946, nine years before we got here and walked about with Pete Totemoff.
EASY TRIP- Named by Georgia Hotton in 1971.
EL FUNKO- Named for a local businessman who was not an especially gifted skier and may well have fainted at his first sight of this cliff-like run.
HUNZIKER BOWL- My favorite run, never to have a lift. Named for Paul Hunziker, the Swiss engineer who designed the first Kachina lift and who was killed in an airplane accident on the way to inspect the lift.
JAPANESE FLAG- One of the many flags at the Ski Valley; this one used to survey the Kachina lift area.
KACHINA BASIN- Named for one of the deified ancestral spirits believed among the Hopi and other Pueblo Indians to visit the pueblos at intervals.
LONE STAR- Named in honor of the Texas flag.
MAXIE'S- For the late, great, New Mexican balloonist, Maxie Anderson, who made the first Atlantic crossing in a balloon.
PAPA & BABY BEAR- Two of the three original trails together on Kachina. "Mama" is now part of another trail.
PATTON-"Patton" is in honor of my commanding general, George Patton. He was the greatest American leader of the war, and American general who had balls, which most of them didn't. He didn't give his troops time to recover and the chance to reorganize; he followed up completely regardless of the exhaustion of his troops. It seemed inhuman to us at the time, and we were very bitter about it, but it was wise. I think the role he played as the brutal, loud-mouthed general who tried who tried to speak like a low-class soldier was a fake.
RUBEZAHL- Rubezahl is a red-haired, one-eyed East German giant who takes money from the rich bankers and manufacturers of textiles and gives it to the poor working charcoal burners and weavers, a schnitzlized Robin Hood. The first and longest run all the way down the backside.
SHALAKO- Named for Indian dancers celebrating a Zuni mystical being of extraordinary stature.
STREETCAR- Named by Tony Mitchell in 1971.
TOTEMOFF- "Totemoff" is named after Pete Totemoff, an Aleut Indian from Alaska, who worked with Buzz Bainbridge at Santa Fe. He was with me when we first looked at Taos Ski Valley from the air and on the ground. He was a great skier and became a great veteran ski racer later.
WALKYRIES- From Norse mythology: the Walkyries were the wood nymphs who tended the battle-slain warriors and led them to Norse heaven- Valhalla. This is a great run if you hit it after a powder snow; otherwise, there is knee-bashing through the trees.
WINKELRIED- A Swiss who led farmers with no breastplates, nothing, just knives and axes in 1386 ro murder the Austrian army. He martyred himself against a wall of lances so his compatriots could be victorious.
FABIAN-"Fabian" was named for Fabian von Schlaberndorff, a technician, who plotted to kill Hitler. He was not militray. He put a bomb on Hitler's plane disguised as two bottles of Cointreau. Fabian was ultimately captured and tortured monstrously by the gestapo who were sure he had something to do with the scheme. He denied everything; he didn't give them any names. He came out a wreck, but he recovered and became a Supreme Court justice. He wrote a book, They Almost Killed Hitler, which had arrived already in bookstores in 1946.
HILDAGO- Named for the Mexican martyr and patriot-priest who perished in his attempt to bring about Mexican Independence in 1810.
JUAREZ- The notably honest and gifted pure-blooded Indian from the extreme south who brought justice and recognition to the Indians and mixed-blood populations of Mexico.
NINOS HEROES- Young Mexican cadets who all died in defense of Chapultepec Castle during the Mexican-American conflict of 1846.
OSTER- "Oster was a German colonel, later general, who was the second man in the German Military Intelligence Service. He realized what Hitler stood for early on and sabotaged the German war efort by warning the Danes that the Germans were planniong to attack on the 10th of May, 1940. They didn't believe him because he had several times before told them that the attack was coming, and they thought he was a fake sent by the Germans to deceive them. Oster was executed just at the end of the war by Hitler's men.
SPITFIRE- Named for the German World War II fighter plane.
STAUFFENBERG- "Stauffenberg" was the general who was nearly successful in placing a bomb, 2.2 pounds of high explosive, more powerful than dynamite, in Hitler's bunker. It was the 20th of July, 1944, but unfortunately, that day Hitler's meeting was not underground, but in the barracks above ground which blew apart with the explosion, but didn't kill Hitler. It burned him, his clothes and his eyebrows, and his eardrums were pierced. His hair was singed, and his clothes were just gone, but he was not seriously wounded. Hitler was able to speak that night on the radio and stop the resulting uprising. Everybody, including the police, had been arrested, and not a shot was fired, to my knowledge. After midnight, the victors had to turn around and let the people go. Actually, there was not much revenge on the ones who had done the arresting because most had been taken by suprise and not resisted, and the were happy to forget. Stauffenberg was shot by a firing squad. He was 38 years old. He was very bright and came from a very distinguished and impressive Southern German Catholic family.
TRESCKOW- Another supreme patriot who conspired to eliminate Hitler.
ZDARSKY- The Austrian engineer, Mathias Zdarsky, born in 1856, who wrote the first really usefull ski manual in 1897. He contributed the snowplow and the rudiments of the stem turn, and he was one of the first to go to a metal binding with toe iron and a device the permitted tightening.post #193 of 2084/1/10 at 5:29amThank you for the name explanations. Now I'll never have to wonder. Anyone know anything about a lift being put in up to the Kachina peak. I think its a terrible idea. When I was up there, it was great to watch the big horn sheep grazing so peacefully. I think a lift would have a detrimental impact to the beauty and harmony of the place.
Hope the last weekend is great for everyone. TAWpost #194 of 2084/1/10 at 5:53amQuote:Originally Posted by taw
Thank you for the name explanations. Now I'll never have to wonder. Anyone know anything about a lift being put in up to the Kachina peak. I think its a terrible idea. When I was up there, it was great to watch the big horn sheep grazing so peacefully. I think a lift would have a detrimental impact to the beauty and harmony of the place.
Hope the last weekend is great for everyone. TAW
You're welcome. There are dozens of other runs with names, some posted, some not. The scoop on a Kachina lift is something like this: Ski areas have to develop long-term plans to allow for any expansion. The lift to Kachina is in the plan but will probably never be built. It just keeps the options open. The long-term plan is kind of a wish list, not exactly a real plan. Has to do with the multiple burocracies and environmental groups that an area has to contend with to do anything.
The area around Williams lake is also in the plan, much more likely to see that open up than see a lift up the peak, turning it into a huge mogul field.
Heading out in a couple hours with my wife and neice, she is 3 and getting on skis for the first time Saturday. (My neice, not my wife!)post #195 of 2084/1/10 at 6:28amQuote:
Storming here now. Taos may get some of this system later today or tonight.post #196 of 2084/1/10 at 8:02pmForecasters have been steadily downgrading the amount of snow we'll get from this storm, right now they're saying just a couple of inches. I'll be up there on Saturday if anyone want to meet up for turns.
On other issues -Richards' book on Ernie Blake (quoted accurately by Snowfan) mistakenly says the Spitfire was a German plane - of course it wasn't, it was British and one of the RAF's main fighter weapons against the Luftwaffe in the battle of Britain ( as a Brit I have to point that out) plus from what I read of Ernie Blake I can't see him honoring a Nazi war plane after he named other runs after anti-Hitler conspirators.
Also on the TSV development plan is the OK to put a lift in from the lower parking lots to the West Basin somewhere, but as Snowfan says, the poop I get from the employees is that probably neither of them will ever get built. For one thing, I can't see how they would ever get return on the major capital investment it would take. TSV only maxes out on skiers a day or two each year, so how does opening up more terrain increase their revenue ?post #197 of 2084/2/10 at 7:01ampost #198 of 2084/5/10 at 8:54am
Taos picked up an inch here, a foot there from the storm. Conditions were, uh, FAST. Dust over concrete unless in the trees. This is Stauffenberg followed by 5th chute/Zdarsky, like Elistans pic. What you see is not always what you get, so I passed and went to St. B.
My tracks in the middle. Next pics Blitz Trees and my ugly mug, Fridays weather was stormy and a bit chilly.
Chloe, the little ripper before and after...
And a new addition to the herd while we were away...its name?
Thats Spanish for "The Nino". (Got that from TGR.)
Hope to ski with you next season TaosMath, sorry to have missed you. Ended up skiing with Simon and several of his friends on Saturday, real fun. Hiked and skied Tresckow north face (I think that's what its called???). Steep, rocky and way fun. Snow was variable but found great spots here and there, ended the trip with two banzai runs through North American...What a great season.post #199 of 2084/5/10 at 9:09ampost #200 of 2084/5/10 at 12:05pmThread StarterGreat skiing with Eric on Saturday, the runs at the North Face were definitely the highlight of the day. That and the 36oz beers at the Bavarian at 4pm.
What a great season this was, I skied on my powder skis for two months in a row. El nino definitely delivered.post #201 of 2084/5/10 at 4:15pmQuote:
I hope to ski a whole day with you next season Simon, instead of just a few runs. That group you were with was a blast.Quote:
Yes, thanks for reminding me. We did not imprint the others very well, and they are livestock/pets. I'm hoping to get my moneys worth out of this one, cheaper than a seasons pass. Just have to figure out how to get him to get me up the hill.
Edited by Snowfan - 4/5/10 at 4:34pmpost #202 of 2084/23/10 at 3:29pmpost #203 of 2084/23/10 at 3:50pmQuote:
Great idea...Looks like they picked up 6-12 out of this latest storm. I talked with an instructor my last day there, she said since its Government land, hiking and skiing after closing is not prohibited and that lots of folks keep skiing Kachina long after closing. Sounds fun to me, might give it a try.post #204 of 2084/23/10 at 3:59pmpost #205 of 2084/23/10 at 5:57pmpost #206 of 2085/2/10 at 5:24pmChecked out the webcam today, fresh snow. Watched 2 people taking off their skis as 2 more skied up to them. I'm thinking skinning up the groomers to the top and skiing down might be a hoot.post #207 of 20810/8/10 at 2:31pm
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