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Taos 2023-24, conditions and latest upgrades at TSV

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Well, Fall is here, I just put away my kayak, and golf season is starting to wind down, so it's time to start thinking about Ski Season, and for me, that mostly means Taos Ski Valley. While I do have some other trips planned (Wolf Creek in Dec; and Alta in April), my main love is TSV.

Of course, for trip specifics check out the MOTH (Meet on the Hill) Forum, but I just wanted to get this thread started for all of the early planners in the crowd, especially since @marzNC told me she wasn't planning a trip to TSV this season, so I agreed to get this thread started for this season (Disclaimer: I don't pretend to be nearly as prolific a posted as @marzNC is, but will do my best to keep this thread running).

Here's the first bit to cheer us all on: Taos Gets First Snow of the Season

1695761534920.png


For threads about past seasons, here are the links:
Taos 2021-22, conditions and more.
Taos 2022-23, conditions and latest upgrades at TSV
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Here's another interesting article related to some of the upgrades going in at TSV:
Taos Winter Sports Team Gets $9,200 Bump from Taos Ski Valley’s Retired Chairlift Sale

For those who've been keeping up with upgrade news, TSV is replacing the old Pioneer lift in the Beginner's area with a new fixed-grip triple chair.

They're also replacing Lift 4 with a new detachable quad from L-POA. The old fixed-grip quad chairlift will be repurposed by California’s China Peak Mountain Resort.

So, lots of changes happening at TSV....I'll try to post an update on the progress of the St Bernard rebuild when I get a chance to scope it out.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
For a summary of all that's new for the upcoming season, here's a link to the official TSV Press release.

Spoilers: The Martini Tree Bar will reopen, there will be a Ski Week Instruction/Lodging Pkg, and "an affordable first-timers' pkg ("...a deeply discounted rate to try out the sports for the first time...includes instruction, a novice lift ticket, and equipment rental from Taos Sports.").

They're also opening up 2 new black diamonds and a new double-black diamond trail.

Taos Ski Valley’s opening day is planned for Thursday, November 23, 2023, and the season will run through April 7, 2024.
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Other than dismal reviews about the car rental agencies at ABQ, what else is there to know? I understand from the airport's own website, there's a shuttle 'every 10 minutes" to an off-site area to pick up and drop off. How's the walk from arrivals/departures to the shuttle area... with gear?
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Other than dismal reviews about the car rental agencies at ABQ, what else is there to know? I understand from the airport's own website, there's a shuttle 'every 10 minutes" to an off-site area to pick up and drop off. How's the walk from arrivals/departures to the shuttle area... with gear?
Actually, ABQ is a very nice, manageable airport. From the arrivals/departures gates you walk to the baggage pickup area, which has a separate belt for skis, BTW.

Once you have your baggage, you just step outside to the curb, where the shuttle bus (there is always at least one waiting, in my experience) will take you to the offsite rental car facility. The bus drivers are very friendly, and will help you load your baggage and skis onto the bus. It's a 5 minute trip.

The rental car facility is pretty compact, and is usually pretty efficient, compared with those in other airports (as long as you have a reservation, of course). If you're a loyalty member, you can often bypass the counter and go straight to your vehicle outside in the back. Repeat in reverse for departures.
Expert tip: If you can wait until you get to the rental facility, there are restrooms there, and usually no crowds to contend with.

So there really isn't much lugging of baggage necessary -- ABQ airport is one of my favorites (and when I was a Consultant, I traveled all over the country, so I have a lot of airports to compare it to) in terms of size, manageability, food choices, restroom availability and cleanliness, hassle factor/decor, and rental car facilities.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Other than dismal reviews about the car rental agencies at ABQ, what else is there to know? I understand from the airport's own website, there's a shuttle 'every 10 minutes" to an off-site area to pick up and drop off. How's the walk from arrivals/departures to the shuttle area... with gear?
The shuttle bus from the ABQ terminal to the car rental center is very good. Runs frequently and not really busy in my experience. ABQ is a medium size airport, so the walk from even the farthest gate isn't that far. From baggage claim to ground transportation is a short walk.

The parking lot for the car rental center is one surface lot. Short walk to any car, although usually they bring the car to the sidewalk next to the building. Can be a little confusing to figure out how to exit.

Since I always stay at an airport motel the night before I fly east, if I'm traveling solo I often return the rental car the evening before. Then I take the motel shuttle directly to the terminal for my flight. While the walk in the terminal is relatively easy, wrangling luggage including a double Sportube on and off the shuttle bus isn't fun.

If I have a travel buddy, then I drop them off with all the luggage before returning the rental car. They wait with all the luggage until I get back to the terminal before checking in for a flight.

I use Costco for car rental and haven't had any issues at ABQ. However, it's not possible to guarantee AWD for any amount of money. It's a matter of luck if an AWD is on the lot. Not really necessary but I prefer to have an AWD SUV since I usually stay a few nights in town before moving to slopeside lodging. I know someone who did fine with a 2WD sedan for Taos.
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Actually, ABQ is a very nice, manageable airport. From the arrivals/departures gates you walk to the baggage pickup area, which has a separate belt for skis, BTW.

I have only really flown out of ABQ so your baggage and ski pickup info is very helpful.
Once you have your baggage, you just step outside to the curb, where the shuttle bus (there is always at least one waiting, in my experience) will take you to the offsite rental car facility. The bus drivers are very friendly, and will help you load your baggage and skis onto the bus. It's a 5 minute trip.

I was unable to contact the rental car agency directly to ask some questions about where they are located and was routed to their call center where the agent told me there was no shuttle and the walk was 100 yards. My hinky meter went off so went to ABQ's site, then looked up agency reviews, mapped the address, and posted here where I got more information than any of the research I attempted. Thank you!
The rental car facility is pretty compact, and is usually pretty efficient, compared with those in other airports (as long as you have a reservation, of course). If you're a loyalty member, you can often bypass the counter and go straight to your vehicle outside in the back. Repeat in reverse for departures.
Expert tip: If you can wait until you get to the rental facility, there are restrooms there, and usually no crowds to contend with.
More good information. I believe our vendor has a priority lane.

So there really isn't much lugging of baggage necessary -- ABQ airport is one of my favorites (and when I was a Consultant, I traveled all over the country, so I have a lot of airports to compare it to) in terms of size, manageability, food choices, restroom availability and cleanliness, hassle factor/decor, and rental car facilities.

Perfect. I prefer not to lug too far. I agree its a good little efficient airport inside from the little experience I have. The 7am tequila sunrises at the early AM bar airside was a nice surprise and bathrooms were clean! In 2001,a major carrier I was flying made an emergency landing at ABQ, It was 2:00AM and the owner of that same early morning bar came in from home and opened his cantina for us passengers.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
The 7am tequila sunrises at the early AM bar airside was a nice surprise and bathrooms were clean! In 2001,a major carrier I was flying made an emergency landing at ABQ, It was 2:00AM and the owner of that same early morning bar came in from home and opened his cantina for us passengers.
Wow! That's definitely above and beyond!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
TSV had construction for two lifts this summer. The Pioneer lift for the beginner terrain at the main base was completed during the summer. The loading area is slightly closer to the main base area. Getting to the old loading area required going uphill a little.

August 28, 2023

August 1, 2023

I ride the Pioneer lift at least once when I'm at Taos because it has a great view of the main base. With all the changes in recent years, looks slightly different every season.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
TSV had construction for two lifts this summer. The Pioneer lift for the beginner terrain at the main base was completed during the summer. The loading area is slightly closer to the main base area. Getting to the old loading area required going uphill a little.
That will be a relief. Getting to that lift could be a chore when the snow wasn't ideal. Everything looks so different in the summertime!
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
I hiked Williams Lake yesterday and walked by the new lift 4. It has moved to the right when looking up from the Bavarian. It’s also a little closer to the Bavarian than before. I was glad to see some progress on the replacement of chair 4. A few people were expressing concern thinking it wouldn’t be done for the season.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
I hiked Williams Lake yesterday and walked by the new lift 4. It has moved to the right when looking up from the Bavarian. It’s also a little closer to the Bavarian than before. I was glad to see some progress on the replacement of chair 4. A few people were expressing concern thinking it wouldn’t be done for the season.
Hi RJ -- nice to get some on-the-ground intel! It would be a major disaster if they didn't have 4 done in time -- I would imagine that they're going to haul-butt to get it moving along ASAP, now that it's getting colder. Did you happen to take any photos?

Just found the video on YouTube -- what an amazing operation!
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
I hiked Williams Lake yesterday and walked by the new lift 4. It has moved to the right when looking up from the Bavarian. It’s also a little closer to the Bavarian than before. I was glad to see some progress on the replacement of chair 4. A few people were expressing concern thinking it wouldn’t be done for the season.
Thanks for the update!

I found an article from last year that implied it would take 2 years to complete the new Lift 4. But that didn't make any sense. It's not that big a lift. Does seem late to be putting in towers. The timeline should be clearer once the haul rope is installed. After that, finishing up doesn't take that long. Since Lift 4 often didn't run until early January, or even late January if there wasn't enough snow coverage, there is a bit of a buffer compared to some other resorts.

Did you see a bunch of chairs laid out out somewhere? Could you see the top terminal?
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
Didn’t think to take photos, sorry @TNtoTaos! Didn’t see top terminal or looked for the chairs. I just took a quick look and off I went onto my hike… I should go back to Williams Lake two weeks from now to take a friend who is visiting, I’ll do better then. :smile:
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Woo-Hoo! Snowmaking has begun at Taos Ski Valley -- just got this email! Things are really changing in TSV!
I remember when they barely made any snow, and then only on the most popular green and blue runs, when absolutely necessary!
Screenshot 2023-10-13 at 10.59.20 AM.png
 

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marzNC

Angel Diva
Looks like TSV at least tested the snow guns on Pioneer last night. With the forecast for the next few nights, I expect that will melt off. Hopefully snowmaking is starting in earnest on the upper mountain.

The TSV website has been completely redone. The webcams are under Live on the menu bar.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Looks like TSV at least tested the snow guns on Pioneer last night. With the forecast for the next few nights, I expect that will melt off. Hopefully snowmaking is starting in earnest on the upper mountain.

The TSV website has been completely redone. The webcams are under Live on the menu bar.
Yes, saw that. It's really nice!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Yes, saw that. It's really nice!
Certainly looks better. Works much better on a smart phone screen than the old website. But can't say it's the greatest on a laptop screen. Of course, that's common as websites are designed for small screens more than for a laptop/desktop computer screen. Could be that it works better on another browser than Safari.

Looks like all the ski school info has been updated. Including the new Snowboard Week in early March. That's a new speciality clinic like Race Week and Women's Week, meaning it's only done once a season. A "Classic Ski Week" is $375 (6 morning lessons, Sun-Fri) and is for skiers only. It's possible to book a Private Snowboard Week or a Private Ski Week for up to 5 participants for $1620.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Certainly looks better. Works much better on a smart phone screen than the old website. But can't say it's the greatest on a laptop screen. Of course, that's common as websites are designed for small screens more than for a laptop/desktop computer screen. Could be that it works better on another browser than Safari.

Looks like all the ski school info has been updated. Including the new Snowboard Week in early March. That's a new speciality clinic like Race Week and Women's Week, meaning it's only done once a season. A "Classic Ski Week" is $375 (6 morning lessons, Sun-Fri) and is for skiers only. It's possible to book a Private Snowboard Week or a Private Ski Week for up to 5 participants for $1620.
Still a screaming deal @ $375 for 6 - 2 1/2 hr group lesson at any level.
 

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