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TR Taos Ski Valley (TSV) Jan. 28 thru Feb. 5, 2023

marzNC

Angel Diva
I got to see the Taos uphill policy in action last Sunday morning. I walked over very early from Alpine to put my skis on a rack. I was just in time to see the group of four start out. The woman in the third picture came over as I was walking away and asked me a question about going uphill or downhill. Took me a minute to realize what she meant. She made it very clear that anyone going uphill had to have their skis pointed downhill by 9:00am, which is when the lifts open.

TSV uphill 05Feb2023 - 2.jpeg

Four friends heading uphill at 7:35am on a Sunday morning
TSV uphill 05Feb2023 - 1.jpeg

A man getting ready to click in to head uphill, 7:40am Sunday
TSV uphill 05Feb2023 - 3.jpeg
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
@marzNC what do you mean by “even if the bumps are a bit weird”? Is that in regard to shape? I would definitely love some tips on tactics for large strangely shaped bumps that have big and/or rough drop offs all around them.
The "weirdness" of the bumps right now is mostly d/t the fact that they've had so much traffic since the last significant snowfall, and they tend to get deeper troughs and more irregular in shape as time goes by.

January is always a dry month at TSV -- been going for ~25 yrs, and that is pretty consistent. Snowstorms start up again in Feb, and there are 2 predicted for next wk (Feb 13-16), with Open Snow predicting a total of 18" over the next 10 days, with the majority of that falling after 2/13, which will be a great bumps-refresher prior to Diva West. Hopefully more will fall between the 16 and 26, as well!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
For folks who drive themselves to TSV, whether to check into a slopeside lodge or for a day trip if staying down the mountain, the first time in the parking lot can be a bit confusing. Pays to slow down at the top of the hill just before the road heads down to the entrance of the parking area. Especially if there is any snow on the road.

The mountain road enters into Armadillo Parking (one-way). Bear Parking (mostly one-way) is mostly roped off for slopeside guests for places like the Alpine Village Suites. However, the far end has public parking spaces. The open shuttle goes through Bear. The parking lot shuttle stops at the end of Thunderbird Road. From there it's a fairly easy walk to the main plaza next to Lift 1.

What's not obvious is that if you park in Armadillo and walk, then it's an uphill climb. If you park in Coyote (one-way) and walk, it's a relatively flat walk. Bison parking is not served by the parking lot shuttle.

Each slopeside condo complex has places to park temporarily to unload luggage. For the Alpine Village Suites, that's right in front of the lobby door for people with rooms in the front building. There are a couple 10-min spaces at the top of walkway stairs for people with a loft room in the back building.

Screen Shot 2023-02-09 at 8.32.42 PM.jpg
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Also notable if you are staying at Alpine-- if you check in and unload your car early in the day before your room is ready they will carry your stuff up to your room while you are out skiing. You are still on the hook for schlepping everything back down at the end of your stay, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Also notable if you are staying at Alpine-- if you check in and unload your car early in the day before your room is ready they will carry your stuff up to your room while you are out skiing. You are still on the hook for schlepping everything back down at the end of your stay, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
Depending on the week and what day of the week you check in, it's possible that a room is ready by lunch time.

It's easy to store packed luggage behind the desk at Alpine Village Suites if want to ski before leaving in the afternoon. Check out is at 10:00am. There are times when a late check out is possible but the latest is noon.

A packed ski bag can be left in the ski storage room outside the lobby.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
A few notes about flying to ABQ . . .

There aren't really non-stop flights between ABQ and most of the large east coast cities. Delta has non-stop flights between Altanta and ABQ. Chicago has non-stop flights as well. I fly Southwest for ski trips from RDU and have gone through MDW, DEN, DAL, and PHX, with pros and cons for each connecting airport.

Being retired, I opt to fly out to ABQ a few days early. I stay somewhere other than TSV for at least a couple nights in order to have an easier adjustment to the high altitude. Albuquerque is at about 5000 ft, Santa Fe and Taos are at about 7000 ft, and TSV is around 9000 ft. I also like to ski Taos on Saturday before starting Ski Week lessons on Sunday morning.

For most people flying back to the east coast, flight schedules mean either leaving TSV by early in the morning in order to make a mid-afternoon flight or staying overnight at a motel near the ABQ airport and flying out the next day. People who plan a Taos Ski Week trip for Sat-Sat may need to leave TSV on Friday afternoon.

Santa Fe is a bit closer to TSV than Albuquerque. The Santa Fe airport is tiny. That means getting in and out easier. However, it also limits the options of there are weather issues for flights. Can also mean rental car rates are a bit higher.

The airport shuttle between ABQ and Taos/TSV is running again. It only runs once or twice a day so may not match up well with a flight schedule. Need to allow 4 hours for the ride from TSV to/from ABQ airport.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Here's a better picture of Slim Slidell. He was brought out after the Kachina Lift opened on Feb. 3. At least one person I rode up later on didn't realize it wasn't a real person at first.

On a Sunday morning, I saw a group of tweens that looked like they were playing in the snow while riding up Lift 2. Watching more carefully, I realized that the kids had on Taos Winter Sports jackets. What was happening was that they were practicing self-arrest. The coach had them take off the skis a certain distance up a steep open slope where they weren't in the way. Idea was to climb up, stand up, and deliberately lean back and fall in order to practice getting feet below, on stomach, and coming to a stop. The coach was standing in the midst of the kids yelling encouragement and instructions. The slope was in an area that had untracked snow, so provided relatively soft landings.

Top of Lift 2
TSV Slim Slidell Feb2023 - 1.jpeg
Smaller sign:

STEEP SLOPES ARE
SLIPPERY
SKI WITH CAUTION

Main sign:

SLIM SLIDELL SAYS:
"KNOW HOW TO SELF ARREST!"
1. FEET DOWNHILL
2. DIG IN WITH HANDS AND FEET
3. STOP YOURSELF BEFORE
"YOU CAN'T!"
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
For folks who drive themselves to TSV, whether to check into a slopeside lodge or for a day trip if staying down the mountain, the first time in the parking lot can be a bit confusing. Pays to slow down at the top of the hill just before the road heads down to the entrance of the parking area. Especially if there is any snow on the road.

The mountain road enters into Armadillo Parking (one-way). Bear Parking (mostly one-way) is mostly roped off for slopeside guests for places like the Alpine Village Suites. However, the far end has public parking spaces. The open shuttle goes through Bear. The parking lot shuttle stops at the end of Thunderbird Road. From there it's a fairly easy walk to the main plaza next to Lift 1.

What's not obvious is that if you park in Armadillo and walk, then it's an uphill climb. If you park in Coyote (one-way) and walk, it's a relatively flat walk. Bison parking is not served by the parking lot shuttle.


View attachment 20429
Also, for those not staying on-slope, there is a place where you can drop off all your gear (skis, boot bag, etc) from your car before you go back to the parking lot to park. It saves you the hassle of schlepping all your gear on the shuttle. This is esp useful if there are several people in the car and you want to drop everybody off while the driver goes to park the car (unless you snagged a spot in the HOV - High Occupancy Vehicle - 3+ people area). The driver can then hop on the shuttle or even walk back to the drop-off site, since you might get a spot in Coyote parking a short walk away.

On the little map above, follow the road that's labeled "Bear Parking" all the way up to the top (left), make a hard left turn and there is the "Guest Drop-off", with several ski racks. It is perfectly safe to leave your gear here. Then follow the road to the road labeled "Coyote Parking", turn left, and you'll find a spot that's closer and easier to walk to/from than if you park as you drive in, before dropping gear off.

I do this every day -- it's so much easier, esp if you're not used to walking around with all your gear at 9200' of elevation :wink:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
For a sense of the snow cover the week of Jan. 29, check out the post from late January and early February in the Taos Conditions thread.

Starting Jan. 22, 2023

The Kachina lift opened at 10am, Feb. 3. It had opened for hiking the long way on Sunday, Jan. 29. Going up the Ridge at the top of Lift 2 and then over to the Kachina Peak takes 45 min even for locals in great shape.

The reports I heard from people who went in the first hour on Feb. 3 was that the snow needed to be "skied in." Pretty wind blown so it would break off in chunks. Another description was "breakable crust." Our instructor was quite clear that waiting until after the weekend folks had their fun would be better.

The advice I got from one of the instructors with 40+ years of experience was to wait until after 11:30am tomorrow. She had taken her group up on Friday but waited until about 11:30am. The Saturday crowd usually means a lift line when it opens at 10:00 soon after Kachina opens for lift-served skiing.

Since I've skied Kachina in good snow on more than one trip, I opted out this time. I wanted to spend more time practicing on the front-side black terrain instead. I knew from the first Saturday how long the line can get midday on Lift 4. Not bad but there are no lines to talk about on the front side when the advanced/expert folks are on the Kachina side.
 

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
It was a fun trip. I took another private ski week which was a great fit with @RJ* , Bill and Alice. We had a really good time, had some adventure runs and also worked on the technique too, no new snow the whole week so have not skied as much of double black terrain. For the double black terrain we skied - hiked the Ridge once and skied Wild West glade, also skied Lorelei trees, and Kachina Main Street on Friday. Kachina opened on Friday at 10 am, but we waited until 11;30 am per our instructor suggestion to let it be packed down a bit, and it was quite nice though a bit chunky.

View from the Ridge, overlooking Oster/Spitfire chutes. We didn't ski from here, this was a stop on the way to Wild West glade.

1D38F3AA-2236-4397-BD4E-F19D60E64DB4.JPG
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
It was a fun trip. I took another private ski week which was a great fit with @RJ* , Bill and Alice. We had a really good time, had some adventure runs and also worked on the technique too, no new snow the whole week so have not skied as much of double black terrain. For the double black terrain we skied - hiked the Ridge once and skied Wild West glade, also skied Lorelei trees, and Kachina Main Street on Friday. Kachina opened on Friday at 10 am, but we waited until 11;30 am per our instructor suggestion to let it be packed down a bit, and it was quite nice though a bit chunky.

View from the Ridge, overlooking Oster/Spitfire chutes. We didn't ski from here, this was a stop on the way to Wild West glade.
OMG -- what a view! I doubt I'll ever get up there to see it for myself -- not in this lifetime, anyway, LOL, so thanks for the beautiful shot!
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Thanks for reminding me about the Jays -- I had never seen anyone feeding them prior to this trip. I'll have to remember to bring some nuts or granola for them when I go skiing tomorrow!
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
If I remember correctly @marzNC hiked up and down using the same track, you don't have to ski down. Yes, views from there are great.
What did we ski down the time we hiked the Ridge in 2020?
Also, Kachina Main Street looks good and good coverage without a lot of bumps. Isn't Main Street more of a single black?
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
OK, I found a few photos to share (Note: it was about 20-25° out!):
IMG_2459.jpeg IMG_2461.jpeg
Divas and friends eating outdoors on patio at Rhoda's (can bring own food)

IMG_2468.jpeg IMG_2470.jpeg
Eating outdoors at The Bavarian
 

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