Taos, NM Conditions Report: New Years in New Mexico

Keenan Grady | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
The view from the top of chair 2 looking towards the newly accessible Kachina Peak
The view from the top of chair 2 looking towards the newly accessible Kachina Peak

This is simply a recap of skiing for the last few days in Taos, NM during the end of the Holidays and New Years.

On the drive South from Denver on December 29th, the sky displayed a spectacular array of colors.  None of those colors was as pleasant as the impending storm cloud, darkening the sky over New Mexico.  Every few miles closer I got, the darker the sky became.  After passing through the town of Taos, the actual snow began.  Light at first, as it flurried over the red dirt-covered roads.  After passing Arroyo Seco the flakes thickened.  Creeping up the mountain soon became a task- struggling to continue at 25 MPH in a 40 MPH zone.  At this point: the snow was becoming nuclear and the stoke levels were through the roof.

Taos ready to ring in the New Year
Taos ready to ring in the New Year

 

Skiing on the 30th was a classic stormy day.  Not too much vis, but excellent snow conditions (praise el Nino!)  Even despite the holiday crowds, the snow maintained its quality throughout the day.  The 31st was an unbeatable day of powder and New Mexico blue-bird skies.  More terrain was opened for the day thanks to the new snow fall and ski patrol’s efforts for keeping the resort safe.  Particularly the zones to skiers right of Hunzinger Bowl, which allowed for some knee-deep, picture-perfect turns as well as excellent visibility for hiking and scoping cliff landings.  (Unfortunately I didn’t have time to photograph the powder as I was  too busy skiing it).

The beginning of a beautiful Taos ski day
The beginning of a beautiful Taos ski day

The New Years Eve Celebration at the base area was a total riot.  A laser light show to get people riled up kicked the night off.  Skiers proceeded down snake dance (the bump run to the base of the resort) with road flares for the typical New Years show.  The highlight of the entire show was during the 20 minute firework display- ski patrol supplemented some of the visuals with some 2 lb dynamite charges to really provide a bit more boom.  

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Skiers headed down Snake Dance with road flares

 

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Skiers wondering how the fireworks just got so much louder

 

The 1st was yet another beautiful blue-bird day with some chalky hero snow to ski on for all of those ambitious enough to catch the first chair of the new year.  The next exciting factor here at Taos is that the terrain park is set to open the morning of the 2nd with 80-90% of the features open.   The park crew has been absolutely killing it and working overtime to make this happen; the fruits of their labor should be quite sweet.  I’ll have more updates to follow after I can get my skis wet on the jump and dull my edges on the variety of rail.  Cheers, and happy New Years to all!


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