Taos: Ski It If You Can
February, 2003

It's one of the last old-school, skiers-only resorts. Your lift ticket dollar haven't been spent on elaborate halfpipes, lift reconfiguration, or regrading. It's all about a traditional ski experience, complete with a little hiking, traversing, and skating. We did the Ski Week, getting six mornings of intensive instruction and guided exploration. We could ski it!

Note: the airport x-ray machines that screen carry-on baggage are rather powerful. My 800ASA film got hopelessly fogged. Beware, now that higher-speed film is more common. These photos were salvaged with some serious GIMP manipulation.

Two Bucks

One advantage of the ski week is that the instructor is also a guide. While most of the clientele practiced PerfectTurns(TM) on the groomers, we hiked for the good stuff, like this steep tree shot named "Two Bucks."


Paul and Susan approach the crest of the ridge. Our guide, Josh Carlson, waits above.

Kachina Summit

Yes, I walked up here.


Off the west ride, one finds a serious of steep, steeper, and stoopid steep gullies dropping down into the trees. The upper sections are... committing.

Huck Your Meat

Paul passes the final exam.

No Lifts

Hiking is an integral part of the Taos experience. Here, Paul and Susan carry their gear along the ridge toward Kachina Peak.

Approaching Kachina Peak

The summit of Kachina Peak (12,500') is scoured by the wind.

Our Group Lesson

Me, Paul, Susan, and Josh pose on the summit. From here, we skied the main face of Kachina and connected with groomers for an epic base-to-summit ride.


We finished our ski week with a visit to the Martini Tree, where our favorite mixed drink is stored under the powdery Taos snow.

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