Posted by Robin Azer | March 4, 2019
SKI THE CHANGE: Taos Ski Valley is undergoing the largest capital improvement in the resort’s history. What’s unique about this venture is their attention to sustainability, for both the people and the planet. Taos is focused on growing better, not bigger. This way of thinking leads to the distinction of the first and only B Corp Ski Resort in the world.
Located in the northeastern part of New Mexico, Taos Ski Valley delivers everything from easy-access beginner terrain to top-notch rugged-mountain, destination skiing. The world is taking note.
“Kayak’s round-up of the top trending ski destinations in 2018, and Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, is right at the top of the list.”
Taos Ski Valley is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at the start of the Rocky Mountains. The inherent nooks and crannies provide a near-endless opportunity to seek out all levels of terrain but definitely, favor the expert. The options unfold slowly, with much of the terrain hidden from view at the main base.
The lower front side is a diverse selection of beginner-friendly terrain and slopes that skiers and riders of all ability levels will enjoy. The Kachina Peak Chair supplies the 4th highest lift-served summit in the United States at 12,481 feet, offering up numerous fingerlike chutes. A short hike off the Chair 2 lift opens up a bevy of expert terrain including the 60 acres of aptly named Wild West Glades. If you’re looking to change it up, Chairs 7 and 8 are a great option to give your legs a rest on some nice open cruisers.
“The fall lines here run gloriously long and steep, with the upper reaches of the mountain comprising some of the best expert terrain anywhere.”
Powderhounds take note, the snow quality at Taos is the coveted blower-light variety, thanks to a semi-arid climate and high elevation. The average annual snowfall is right around 300 inches. With mostly north and northeast-facing slopes, the natural snow preservation means runs stay viably deep into the season.
In addition, Taos has 100% snowmaking capabilities covering all of the beginner and intermediate terrain ensuring a great experience all season long.
“Taos is 60% north facing, high, shaded and steep, so snow preservation is excellent.”
In 2017, Taos Ski Valley became a designated B Corp, the first and only ski resort in the world bestowed with such distinction. This certification is a strict process, hinging on a company’s social, environmental, and economic performance. Taos is redefining success with a commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses, focusing on waste reduction, and attention to the value-add of happy employees. In other words, using business as a source of good for all.
“By protecting our natural environment and promoting positive connections with local communities, Taos believes the entire outdoor industry will continue to thrive while being stewards of the planet for future generations.”
Taos offers a number of entertainment options after a day on the slopes or a day of rest. 192 At The Blake is centered around a communal fireplace, this inviting, intimate dining room radiates international flare. The Bavarian Lodge is the spot to hit for one of the best in après-ski. Or, refuel while enjoying the near-famous Chile burger on the deck of the St. Bernard.
The ‘Soul of the Southwest’ Taos is 18 miles down the road. A mecca for artists of all mediums, the town boasts over 30 galleries and 3 museums – a true artists colony. The town maintains a vibe unlike any other ski destination and has the honor of having the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark, as a key cultural experience for guests visiting Taos. Enjoy distinctive cuisine, a lively nightlife, a thriving music scene, and adobe architecture.
Taos Ski Valley is a hidden gem just a short drive south of the Colorado border, that, so far, is off the radar of the throngs of people heading to the mountains each winter. Experience bluebird powder days without the letdown of long snaking lift lines. Solace seekers benefit even further with short boot packs away from the lift, to far-reaching terrain.
“North America’s Best-Kept Secret Ski Resorts in 2018.”
Flight Network, talking about Taos Ski Valley
The turquoise skies of Taos shine brightly almost 300 days a year. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen. The sunshine is said to cast a near-mythical glow, attracting both skiers/riders and artists alike.
With the rugged terrain, high-elevation dry powder, proximity to the town of Taos, an industry leading environmental initiatives, it may not stay a ‘best-kept secret’ for long. This is the year to put Taos on your list!
Trail Breakdown: 24% beginner| 25% intermediate | 51% advanced/expert
Summit Elevation: 12,481 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,281 feet
Snowfall: 300 inches
Photo credit to Taos Ski Valley, Ski Taos, and Taos Properties