Ernie Blake, founder of Taos Ski Valley, thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he discovered the basin that would eventually become the home of TSV. We understand why.
To really understand this, the first thing you need to know about Taos (and surely the first thing any experienced rider will tell you), is that it offers inbounds terrain every bit as steep and technically challenging as anything found in Colorado or the greater mountain West. (Many people would say more so.)
Taos’ West Basin and Highline Ridges, as well as the famous and imposing Kachina Peak, offer steep chutes, tight trees, aesthetic spines, and fast, open bowls. And in order for us to seriously put a piece of gear through its paces, we need access to serious and varied terrain. Taos has it.
In addition to its impressive topography, Taos is situated within northern New Mexico’s dry, high-alpine environment, which produces some of the lightest powder on the planet. So when it comes time to test fatter gear, Taos often serves up both super light powder and bluebird skies.
If you don’t feel like hiking the Ridge, head down off either side of Lift 2 or into the lower front side of the mountain to get into some steep trees or fun glades. And if trees and bumps aren’t your thing, you can always head over to the backside of the mountain and Kachina Bowl for some groomers.
Taos may not rival a megaresort in terms of acreage, but it is plenty diverse in terms of terrain. With a variety of aspects and exposure types to explore all over the mountain, no matter the conditions, there’s something fun to ski or ride—and something challenging to find—all season long.
Taos Ski Valley is a skier’s and rider’s mountain, and the terrain is a huge reason why Blister identified Taos as one of the best places in North America to test gear.
But another big part of the reason we love TSV is the attitude—or lack thereof. Taos’ welcoming and friendly atmosphere is evident the minute you step off the shuttle at the base area. It is clear that the staff loves being there and is excited to share their mountain with you. You’ll find no corporate vibe or sense of entitlement, as Taos aptly calls itself the “un-resort resort.” (Really, we couldn’t think of a better way to say it.)
Tucked away in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, anyone who has been here will agree: Taos Ski Valley is an awesome place to be, and an even better place to ride.
A few of BLISTER’s Trip Reports from Taos Ski Valley: