Places To Know In The Taos Ski Valley 2015 / 2016

During the summer and fall of 2015, the Taos Ski Valley base area was a muddle of bulldozers, gravel crushers, cranes and concrete trucks. Buildings no longer exist where they once were and new buildings exist where none did before. Nearly all of the construction and demolition in the Ski Valley was of Ski Valley-owned buildings and businesses. Most other restaurants and shops are still in the same place.

nightlife in the Taos Ski ValleyThe Blonde Bear Tavern at the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa is in the heart of the biggest project, the site of the new resort center building. If you want to a peek at the future of Taos Ski Valley and enjoy a meal and a glass of fine wine, the Blonde Bear is the spot. Also in the Edelweiss is Cafe Naranja, where they have coffees, pastries and the best breakfast menu in the Ski Valley.

The Edelweiss neighborhood is home to three ski shops. If you want to avoid the crowds and confusion of the resort’s new, but temporary, rental shop, Cottam’s is a good alternative. You’ll get more personal attention and a better fit. Next door is the Boot Doctors, one of the ski boots in the taos ski valleypremiere boot fitting shops in the country. Poorly fitting boots can ruin a ski vacation. Your feet don’t have to hurt, and they won’t if you get some boot work done here. Alpine Extreme (open daily from 7:30 am), located in the Edelweiss, is the only ski-in ski-out shop in the valley. They have a bit of everything.

As you walk along Thunderbird Road, which is the main entrance to the resort, you’ll pass a number of places. The first spot you’ll pass is Le Ski Mastery, a shop known for excellent ski tunes and demos. Next is the Pizza Shack, and as the name implies, it serves pizza, and pasta, beer and wine as well. They have local delivery in the evenings.

taos mesa brewery tasting room in the ski valleyYou can find chocolates, baked goodies, coffee, tea and smoothies at Molly’s Sweet Escape. They also serve the same made-to-order crepes served at Molly’s Crepe Escape on the mountain. Next door is the Taos Mesa Brewing Company’s Tasting Room. At this cool and cozy space they serve beers made at their brewery outside of the town of Taos.

Taos Ski Valley Post Office and Gift ShopBox Canyon is next door to the Tasting Room, and it’s a place you’ll want to remember. The name is a twist on the Gift Shop Taos Ski Valleypopular rafting section in the Rio Grande Gorge known as the Box. As you might expect, they ship packages, so if you buy something you don’t want to carry home with you, they’ll take care of it. Box Canyon also has a really nice collection of gifts.

Taos Ski Valley LockersAcross the street from Box Canyon, you’re sure to notice the circus tent Taos Ski Valley has put up. This temporary building is the new home of Taos Ski and Boot, the rental shop, Andean Software, the Chamber of Commerce and seasonal lockers. The ticket office and ski school sales will be in a different building, just before the bridge at the end of Thunderbird Road.

With the exception of an entire building disappearing, the area at the base of Lift 1 has seen little change. Tenderfoot Katie’s Food Court, Rhoda’s Restaurant, and the Martini Tree Bar, complete with pool tables, are still there.

The last vapor of the classic, old Taos Ski Valley is the famous Hotel St. Bernard. Accommodations here are rustic and may be hard to get, but it remains a favorite place to hang out. The deck upstairs serves burgers and other things from the grill and has a full bar. Downstairs is a bigger bar and more food. There’s live music every night.

There are a lot of changes and work will continue throughout the season, but Taos Ski Valley is still a small, intimate mountain and it’s hard to get lost in the base area. Though it is worth trying.

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Ski and Snowboard Tuning

ski and snowboard tunesGetting a good tune on your skis or snowboard at the beginning of the season or before a vacation is a good idea, particularly if your equipment got knocked around in the garage or the edges got rusty over the summer. When getting a tune, here are some things to keep in mind.

If every day were a powder day, we wouldn’t have to think about the angles of the edges of our skis and snowboards. Unless you’ve got enough cash for an Alaskan heli trip, or even more for your own helicopter, you’re going to get more hard-packed conditions than powder. So, it’s good to have a little knowledge about tuning and edges.

Edge angles, commonly referred to as bevels, can get confusing and a basic understanding of geometry helps. Having the most comfortable and effective edge angle for the type of skier or boarder you are and where you like to go can affect your day on the mountain. With rare exceptions, the bevel on base edges are 1°. The side edge bevels are what change the way a ski or board handles. A greater side edge bevel creates a more acute angle, which offers firmer edge hold. Most manufacturers set their side bevels on new skis at 1° or 2°. Racers may tune theirs theirs to 3° to 5° or more, depending on the discipline or conditions.

A ski or board with a “neutral” 1° side bevel is better for beginner skiers. This tune performs comfortably in most snow conditions, the exceptions being very hard or icy snow. A 2° side bevel creates  a “standard” bevel. As the name implies, this is the most common and it’s good in the greatest number of situations. This is what you will most likely get from a shop tune. No quality tuning shop will put on a 3° or more (“advanced” ) side edge bevel or change the base edge if you don’t ask for it.

Unless you’re racing, in which case you probably know what you like, here are some typical bevels for different types of skiers and boarders based on a 1° base bevel. These are generalizations, of course.

SkierType        Side Edge

Novice               1°

Intermediate      1° to 2°

Advanced         2°

Expert               2° to 3°

Boarder Type              Side Edge

Novice               0° to 1°

Intermediate      1°

Advanced         2°

Expert               2° to 3°

Freeride             1° to 2°

Park                  1°

Over time, the base of skis and boards loose their structure. When a base is completely smooth, it doesn’t glide as well. It needs some grooves, similar to tire treads, to reduce friction. Typically, the way to give the base a new structure is to run it through a large stone grinding machine. You wouldn’t need to read this if you have your own machine, so you need to go to a shop for this. Base structure holds up longer than edges and therefor isn’t required as often.

A shop will most often use an all temperature wax when giving your skis or board a tune. You can usually get away with this in typical winter conditions. In spring, however, warm snow wax can make a big difference. You may have to ask for it, and surprisingly, many shops don’t offer it.

If you’re going to do it yourself, you have many choices, even for the same snow conditions. High fluoro, low fluoro, graphite, additives. Making a decision can be difficult, and some wax is shockingly expensive. The basic rule is pair the color with the temperature of the snow. For cold snow, anything under 18°, blue is your color. Red is for snow that’s 25° to 18° F. Yellow is for warm, spring snow at temperatures above 25° F.

A good tune with edge, wax and base restructuring is a good investment, even at $50 or more. Will you have a more fun with a well-tuned board or skis? Maybe not, but it will help you ski better while you’re having it.

Information brought to you by the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa – Luxury Vacation Condos in the Taos Ski Valley.

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Yoga for Skiers

It is easy to forget to be good to our bodies when the thoughts of making fresh tracks through the trees are in the forefront of our mind.  With ski season only a few weeks off, it might be time to do a little pre-conditioning and develop a quick routine to get you out the door, skis in hand, before the wheels in the sky start turning.

A good stretch does more than warm you up for a day on the slopes.  It actually improves your skiing, reduces injury, and increases focus.

Yoga provides a balanced means of stretching the muscles that are most used during rigorous skiing (quadriceps, hip flexors and core muscles) as well as those that counterbalance these muscle groups (hamstrings and groin muscles).  Yoga is a practice and, as such, getting the proper stretch involves mindfulness and proper breathing techniques.

The Importance of Prāāyāma

Yoga is about the breath. Each breath is deliberate and follows through inhalation, retention and exhalation.  Performing the stretches at the proper point in the breath and with the smooth and ease of the breath leads to integrity within the pose.  The intention here is to listen to your body, really feel it.  Is it pulling too far left, right, forward?  If so adjust your alignment.  Don’t push – this is called stretching. Feel how the muscle fibers and skeletal system are interconnected and follow the line.  Relax while listening to your breath.  Allow the breath to stretch for you.

When To Practice Yoga For Skiing

Yoga is suited for early mornings when your mind, body and your home are quiet.  Choose a space large enough for your whole body to be elongated in any direction.  Remember, yoga is more than an exercise.  It is not the same as lifting weights, running or biking with your friends.  The more focused your practice is, the more beneficial your stretch will be.  Let go of competition, ride your own personal edge following the pose where it takes you.  Allow your body to fully immerse itself in each pose and watch your breath.  If you feel you are breathing too fast, lightened up.  This is meant to give you an edge not an injury.

Yoga Stretches for Skiers – 30 Minutes Until You Hit the Slopes

The following series of Yoga stretches are designed to focus on the areas of your body that you use most while skiing; your thighs, your hips and your core.

Legs - It is important to lengthen all four sides of the upper leg, hamstrings and quads, inner and outer thigh, to minimize strain on surrounding joints.

1) Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Steps :

  • Stand up straight in the Tadasana or the Mountain Pose.
  • Inhale and raise your arms to the sky in a complete and mindful circle. biceps should be close to your ears and your chin should be up and your should be straight.
  • As you exhale, let you arms traverse the full circle again as you hinge from the hips and reach the crown of your head toward the floor.  If you leg muscles are tight, bend the knees.  As you exhale gently straighten the knees until you feel the stretch.
  • Inhale as your roll your shoulders down and your head up – hands on the floor or your shins.  Feel the space in your back where in the inner muscles of the rib cage connect to your spine and where the lower body muscles begin.  Your “pivot point”.
  • Exhale and return to folded position.  This time taking the pose a bit deeper.
  • Inhale and return to Standing (Tadasana) following that same circle you created with your arms earlier.  If you find your upper body is a bit “scattered” you can still it by coming to standing with your hands together. To increase the intensity of the Forward Bend try clasping your hands behind you back as you hinge from the hips.

Repeat until you feel your hamstrings loosen.

2) Fierce Pose or Chair(Utkatasana)

Steps :

  • Stand up straight in the Tadasana.  Stretch the arms straight overhead and join the palms.
  • Exhale, bend the knees and lower the trunk until the thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • Keep the chest as far back as possible while breathing normally.
  • Maintain the pose for 30 seconds.
  • Exhale and return to folded position.  This time taking the pose a bit deeper.
  • Inhale and straighten the legs, lower the arms and return to Tadasana following that same circle you created with your arms earlier. 

Do 6 reps.

3) Extended side angle pose (Parshvakonasana)

Steps :

  • Stand up straight in the Tadasana.
  • Take a deep breath and spread the feet 4 to 4 1/2 feet.
  • Raise the arms in line with the shoulders palms facing down.
  • While exhaling slowly, turn the right foot sideways to 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right.  Keep the left leg tight and fully elongated.
  • Bend the right leg until the thigh and calf form a right angle and the thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Place the right palm on the floor beside the right foot.  The arm should be covering the thigh.
  • Stretch the left arm over the left ear.  Keep your head up.
  • Engage your core and stretch your hamstrings.   The chest, hips and legs should be in a line.  Stretch your entire back body and feel the opening in your chest.
  • Remain in the pose for one minute.
  • Exhale and straighten the right leg and drop the arms.  As you continue the exhalation return to a wide legged standing position. Inhale.
  • Exhale and return to Tadasana.

Repeat on other side.  Do six reps on each side.

Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)

Steps :

  • Stand up straight in the Tadasana or the Mountain Pose.
  • Raise both arms over your head stretching up as you join the palms.
  • Inhale and walk or jump the feet 4 to 4 ½ feet apart.
  • Exhale and turn your body and your right foot 90 to the right.  Turn the left foot slightly to the right.
  • Bend the right leg until the thigh is parallel with the floor and the shin is perpendicular to the floor.  The knee your be in line with the heel ( not over the toe).
  • Stretch the left leg.
  • Stretch the head up and gaze at your palms.
  • Hold the pose for 20 seconds
  • Exhale and straighten the leg and drop the arms
  • Inhale
  • Exhale and jump back to standing

Repeat 6 times on each side.

Hip Flexors:

1) Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana)

Steps :

  • Sit up straight with your legs together, stretched out in front of you. Point both feet straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Be sure you are sitting straight up on the sitbones with your spine straight. Many people benefit at this point by removing the flesh from underneath the sitbones so as to help remove curvature in the spine.
  • Exhale and bend forward from the hips keeping your spine as elongated as possible and reaching towards your feet with your hands as you come down.
  • If you can reach your feet, the ideal hand position is to wrap your index fingers around the big toes, with the thumbs resting on tops of the big toes.
  • If you cannot reach your feet yet, let your hands fall comfortably on top of the shins or thighs, or alongside the legs on the floor, or wherever they can comfortably rest.
  • For this posture, try to keep the back straight and bend from the fold of the hips.
  • Keep your toes pointed directly upward and together.
  • Once in position, you can gently pull with the arms on the feet or legs, stretching the forehead more towards the toes.  This gives a more complete stretch of the spine and the backs of the legs.
  • As you continue to hold the posture, relax as much as possible, especially in the shoulders and hips. With each exhale let your breath do the work – ideally the abdomen should fall closer toward the thighs, the chest toward the knees and the head towards the feet.
  • Hold the asana for 30 seconds at first and work up to 5 minutes or more.

To come out of the seated forward bend, inhale and stretch your hands past your feet, come up with a flat back stretching your arms and spine up as your body comes up. Exhale and relax the arms down.

2) Head to knee pose (Janu Shirshasana)

Steps :

  • Sit in a simple cross legged pose.
  • Extend the right leg out 45 degrees from the body.
  • Bring the left foot in close to the hips.
  • Slide the right arm over the right leg with the right palm facing up.
  • Inhale reach the left fingers up towards the ceiling, lifting out of the waist.
  • Exhale and arch over to the right, reaching the left fingers towards the right foot, bringing the left arm directly over the left ear.
  • Keep the left shoulder pressing back, allowing the chest to stay open and facing forward.
  • Keep the chin off the chest, looking forward or up at the ceiling. Hold on to the foot with one or both hands.
  • Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
  • Inhale and reach the left fingers up towards the ceiling, exhale release the arm down.

Repeat on other side.

Do five reps on each side.

3) Reclining Leg Stretch Series:

Knee to chest

  • Lie on your back with your legs bent, both feet flat on the floor. Bring the right knee toward you, clasp the knee with both hands, and gently pull it in toward your chest. Hold this position for several moments.
  • Slide the left leg straight. Place the left heel on the floor and elongate your lower body.  Roll the left thigh inward until the kneecap faces the ceiling, spread your toes, and push outward through the ball of the foot.
  • Lift your head and try to touch your nose to your knee while keeping your shoulders on the floor and away from the ears.
  • Uncurl your spine one vertebrae at a time.  Rest your head on the floor and slide the left foot back to starting position.

Leg pull

  • Straighten your right leg above your head and clasp the foot with both hands.  Many people like to hold their big toe to provide a good grip.  If you cannot reach your foot, use a belt or clasp your ankle, calf, or thigh.
  • Press the right leg fully straight, tighten the quadriceps, and extend the heel toward the ceiling. Keep your back flat against the floor.  Then spread your toes and press the ball of the big toe away from you so the leg line spirals inward slightly and is directed outward in the direction the leg is pointing.  Gently pull the leg toward you, flattening the shoulder blades and rounding your chest. Breathe smoothly and deepen the pose with the breath.

Leg to the side

  • Remove your left hand from your right foot and place your entire arm perpendicular to the left side of your body.  Slowly allow your right leg to open to the right. Do not allow your body to tip to the right.  Focus on keeping both hips on the floor and take the leg only as far as it will go without tipping.
  • Stretch your chest away from the waist, flatten the shoulder blades into the floor, rounding your chest, and press both feet away from you. Press the right foot into your right hand so the line of energy extends outward through the leg in the direction it’s pointing, not backward through the knee.
  • Breathe smoothly, feeling each movement of the breath. Bend your legs if this stretch is too intense. Hold the pose from thirty seconds to two minutes.

Do 5 reps on each leg.

Core Muscles

Twist (Bharadvajasana I)

Steps :

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Shift onto your right buttock, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the left. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip, with the left ankle resting in the right arch.
  • Inhale and lift through the top of the sternum to lengthen the front torso.
  • Exhale while twisting your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to keep the lower back long. Soften the belly.
  • Tuck your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just beside your right buttock. Pull your left shoulder back slightly, pressing your shoulder blades firmly against your back even as you continue to twist the chest to the right.
  • Turn your head to the right.
  • With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, using the push of the fingers on the floor to help; with every exhalation twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Exhale and release.

Do five reps on each side.

1) Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)


  • Lie full length on the floor, facing downward.
  • Place the hands face down beside the chest with fingers pointing towards the head.
  • As you exhale, raise the trunk from the floor to from a triangle with the floor – hips high, arms and legs straight.   Ideally, the soles of the feet will remain on the floor parallel to one another with toes pointing straight ahead.
  • Maintain the pose for one minute while breathing deeply.
  • Exhale and lift your head, stretch the trunk forward and slowly lower your body to the floor.  Rest for moment.

Do five to ten reps.

2) Tree Pose

Steps :

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
  • Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
  • Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
  • Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

Do three reps on each leg.

3) Boat (Paripurna Navasana II)

Steps :

  • Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you.  Keep them straight.
  • Place your palms on the floor by the hips fingers pointing towards toes.
  • Exhale slowly while reclining the trunk and lifting the legs from the floor with knees tight and toes pointing forward.  You should be balanced on your buttocks and your legs should be lifted to approximately 60 degrees.
  • Remove the hands from the floor and stretch the arms forward.  Keep the arms parallel with the floor and close to the thighs, palms facing each other.
  • Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Exhale, lower the hands and the legs to the floor.  Relax by lying on the back

Do three reps.

Now that you have a manageable stretching routine, it is time to book you ski vacation. Have fun on the slopes and be safe!

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Taos Ski Valley Progress & Predictions – October 2015

Construction continues in and around the Taos Ski Valley this fall.  New power, gas and fiber lines have been run along RTE 150.  The increased infrastructure will be needed for both planned expansion and the overall population growth as the valley gets a “Telluride Style” makeover.

The ski valley road has been widened in places. Road Construction should be done before the beginning 2015/2016 ski season.

In the village, crews are working seven days a week to get the new garage and initial plaza floors ready for opening day (SAVE THE DATE: November 26th, 2015).  It is amazing to watch the changes take place from day to day and to feel the sense of excitement about the coming El Nino season.

Forecasters are predicting a record El Nino year with the Southwest getting unusually high rates of precipitation.  While the snow is a little slow getting started, the nights are cooling and the winds are beginning to pick up.  Locals are tuning their skis and lodgers are preparing for a spectacular ski season.

With daily adult all day ticket rates set at $86, skiing in Taos is still affordable for any family seeking a ski vacation.  Of course, if you plan an extended visit or repeated “trips up the hill” a pass is the way to go.  Season Passes are still on sale until the end of October.  The ever popular Millennium Passes are only $660 until the end of the month.  Children’s passes are only $350, all season.  The valley is also offering Seniors (65-79, over 80 is FREE) and Military personnel passes for $350 and, as always, children under six ski free with a paying adult.    The season pass offices, now below Tenderfoot Katie’s, are open for those who like to collect their pass early.

Check back for more updates about changes in and around the Taos Ski Valley.

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Summer in Taos

Taos never fails to amaze me with its astounding beauty.  From the snow capped peaks of winter to the forever skies encountered throughout the year, this city of “light” is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring places on earth.

double rainbow Taos, NMWhen I moved here, many years ago, I remember being bewildered by the number of “seasons” that this mountain enclave displayed.  Along with the traditional Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, there was the dreaded “mud season” which befell us each April and May and the exciting “rainbow season”  from late July through early September.

During “rainbow season” hardly a day goes by where we are not blessed with the presence of double or triple rainbows framing our mountain and setting our town ablaze. Thus far this month, I have personally witnessed four triple rainbows and eight doubles.  These present wonderful photo opportunities but, more importantly, they provide with an opportunity to really relish the natural gifts that surround us and remind us of what it is really all about.

night skies of Taos

Photo Courtesy of IGer: @inlightfulimages

Summer also provides us with spectacular celestial shows.  The wide open spaces and protection from light pollution allow visitors to regularly see the Andromeda Galaxy or the Great Nebula in Orion and to enjoy the annual Perseids meteor showers in their full glory.  This provides a perfect way to cap off an evening out on the town with a little extra special romance.

With cool mountain air, expansive vistas, friendly and adventurous people and a plethora of activities including mountain biking, river rafter, fly fishing, hot air ballooning and, of course, hiking; summers are at least as exciting as ski season.  And, we have not even touched on the temples, cultural hotspots or wild flowers.

Why not take a few days to really LIVE a little?  Book a stay at the Powerdorn Inn and Suites and give you and your family or special someone a vacation that will truly be remembered for a lifetime.  Who knows,  the wish you make on that shooting star may just come true.

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Taos Ski Valley Reconstruction

Work is well underway at the base of lift #1.  Although the basement of the new parking garage is still not completely dug, the initial hurdles have all been jumped.

What is in store for the New Taos Ski Valley Plaza?

The “plaza” as it has been named, will be consistent with what we have seen developed in the some of the better known ski resorts of the Rocky Mountains.  Brick pavers will line the store fronts and provide access to a plethora of new shops and “hangouts”.  A new, four story building will take the place of the old ticket windows and underground locker rooms.  Decorative plaster walls and low level Bollard lights will line the banks of the West Fork and a small sculpture garden will greet new arrivals.  Well placed benches, flower pots, bike racks and ski racks will be found along the walkway.  The existing tree house deck will remain (at least for the time being).

Overall, the look seems to be consistent with the village of Telluride, small and contained.  Future plans are underway for further expansion but, the 2015/2016 season will be ushered in with a totally new look and feel while still retaining much of the original flavor that we have come to love.  The addition of retail spaces along the plaza will draw tourist dollars and ensure that the “forgotten items” will be readily available.  It will also provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses that can operate year round.   Ideally, the nightlife will be enhanced thus allowing weary travelers to stay put during the evening hours and, perhaps, share enticing stories of their wonderful ski adventures with friends near and far.

So far, it seems that the entire process has been handled with great care and concern for maintaining the “uniqueness” that is Taos.  I, for one, am filled with anticipatory delight for the coming season.

I also cannot stress enough that NOW is the time to book your lodging.  The coming season will prove to be far busier so in town lodging may no longer suit your skiing needs as the ski valley road may prove to be far fuller, far earlier than in seasons past.  The Edelweiss Lodge and Spa reservations desk is already buzzing with travelers who desire ski in ski out access to the up-and-coming hottest ski resort in the West.  I assure you that you will want to take part.

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Taos Ski Valley 2015 – 2016

snow melt in the Taos Ski Valley

As I drive the all too familiar route to the Taos Ski Valley, I find myself lost in the fond memories of the season past and in the anticipation of the season to come.  The river runs high with the abundant melt of the snows and the peaks still shine snowy white.  Although my skis have been stored, I mused about the idea of one final run off the ridge.  I am not the only one.  A small group of diehards are already on their way up on this fine blue sky day.

The final season of enjoying our quaint little village has come and gone.  The base area no longer resembles the relics of an old European resort.  Nor does it resemble the likes of Aspen or Vail – yet.  The plans are drawn, the vision is laid out and the process is underway.  The deconstruction of the old buildings is complete and the beginning of the new “plaza” is stepping into reality.  The underground parking area is mostly dug and the periphery of the Snakedance has been shored due to erosion concerns.  The largest boulders (some in excess of 10 tons) have been preserved to line the banks of the West Fork and help create an artificial but aesthetically pleasing “riverwalk”.  The park like setting will be a draw to visitors both near and far; Spring, Summer Winter and Fall.

This summer will be slow.  Many of the Taos Ski Valley lodgers are closed while the construction is underway.  The notorious Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina has graciously remained open both for the crews, the curious and the locals.  Autumn will draw few with its bright yellows Aspens and deep blue skies.

The coming winter however, will be bursting with activity.  Gone are the days when you can book a ski in/ ski out with little notice.  With travelers from around the world being enticed to SKI TAOS rooms are already running in short supply during high season.  Menus are being discussed and bars will be stocked to attract the ski après crowds.  It is to be a grand re-opening.  I hope to see you there…

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March Skiing In Taos

With the recent storm dumping over 4 feet of fresh white flakes on our humble Taos mountain, March 2015 is shaping up to be some of the best skiing of the season.  If you have been thinking about one last ski trip to round out the season – it is time to commit!

There has been a tremendous amount of publicity surrounding the opening of the new Kachina Peak Lift.  Mix that with the tall tales of those lucky enough to have already taken the journey and you can bet that demand is at an all time high.  Of course you also have day time temperatures in the low to mid 40′s, a world class terrain park, virtually no lift lines, some of the most affordable ski vacations in the Southwest and the closest thing to European skiing in the US drawing in the crowds.  This all adds up to the perfect spot to spend Spring Break with family and friends.

The Taos Ski Valley Kindercare offers parents a safe and secure place to leave the youngest members of the crew and the Ernie Blake Ski School offers a great solution for those who are new to the slopes or who just want to improve their “game”.

Don’t forget the sunscreen…

For ski in/out one, two or three bedroom vacation condo rentals call the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa.  The “Weiss” is located right beside the Strawberry Hill lift it is minutes from the children’s center, offers a full dinner menu, has spa services on site (as well as a game room for the kids for après ski) and has some of the friendliest staff around.

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Is Taos A Good Place For Beginning Skiers?

beginners terrain in Taos Ski Valley

Beginners terrain in Taos Ski Valley

You have probably heard all about Taos’ steep terrain and expert slopes but, did you know we are also a great place for beginning skiers?  With a renowned ski school full of enthusiastic instructors and plenty of beginner terrain this mountain enclave it is perfect place to learn to ski.

Learning To Ski in Taos

Learning To Ski in Taos

With the expansion of the base area in the past few years, Taos now has an exceptional array of beginning ski slopes.  The three “zippers” give you a chance to get your “ski legs” under you prior to tackling short, easy runs like Rueggli and Pioneer.

Once you have mastered your “pizza” and “french fries” it is time to move on to Strawberry Hill.  This is a great place to practice your turns, get comfortable with your abilities and learn to control your speed.

Having mastered Strawberry Hill most beginners will then want to try something a bit more adventuresome.  That means it is time to head over to lift 1 and take a long, smooth ride down White Feather or head to the back side and go “around the world” via Honeysuckle, Winkelried and Rubezahl.

Yes, Taos has steep terrain but we also have some pretty good beginner terrain as well.  Treat yourself and your family to the adventure of a lifetime – who knows you may just be inspired to reach the peak.

Need help planning your ski vacation?  Contact our concierge for advanced lift ticket purchases, lodging options and general mountain information.

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Taos’ New Kachina Lift – It’s a Whole New Experience

New Kachina Peak Chair Lift Taos

Opening Day of the New Lift

If you have skied Taos in the past you know all about the abundance of steep, hike-to, expert terrain.  With the opening of the new Kachina lift – one of the highest lifts in North America – things just got a whole lot better!  You can now do repeated runs down our famous 12,450 foot Kachina Peak and the various chutes near the top without the grueling 45 minute hike.

The recent opening of the high-speed, three-seater Kachina Peak lift gives you a whole new perspective and, to be honest, makes it feel like a whole new mountain.  The short five minute ride on the new lift provides outstanding views of the terrain and a new understanding of exactly why the peak has gained a reputation as a skiers paradise.  Once you reach the top be sure to spend a few minutes  side-stepping up to the famous peak with its multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags and unbelievable views of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.

Trekking up to the peak for a photo op.Christo mountain range in all directions.

After a brief photo shoot (don’t worry if you did not bring a camera Taos Ski Valley has photographers on site to ensure you get professional shots that will be the envy of all of your friends), it is down you go through some of the most outstanding powder in the state.  For the more adventurous, head right at the top of the lift and try some of the narrower shoots with plenty of opportunities to show off your style.

Of course, if you feel the need, the hiking trail is still available.

apres ski at the Blond Bear Tavern Taos Ski valley

Apres ski at the Blond Bear Tavern Taos Ski valley

After repeated runs down you will no doubt feel the need to recap the events of the day.  For the best après ski on the mountain head over to the Blonde Bear Tavern and indulge in a hearty chicken pot pie, a delicious ¼ burger or some lighter fair like the black bean hummus dip with tortilla chips.  Click here to view our menu.

See you on the slopes.

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