2023 Taos Mini-Gathering: February 4th - February 11th, 2023

dbostedo

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2023 Taos Mini-Gathering, February 4 - February 11, 2023
NOTE : This is a living post and will be changed as new information becomes available (last updated 2/2/2023)​

Taos 020120 096 ACR Conv Pano.jpg

West Basin Ridge from Lift 2, January 2020. All of the ridge is hike-to double-black terrain.


The dates for the 2023 Taos Gathering have been set; we'll be gathering from February 4th - 11th, 2023. Last season, despite a so-so snow year, was a great Gathering. Hopefully going a little later this year will mean more terrain open.

As always, anyone and everyone is welcome at a Gathering and the planning and coordination is minimal. Just show up on the right week, and you'll have some great folks to ski with! And at Taos most folks will likely do a Ski Week (week's worth of lessons). Personally, this will be my 5th Taos Gathering, and I'm really looking forward to it.

If you haven't done a Ski Week before, it's been a good deal, and well worth it. You get six 2.5-hour small group lessons - one each morning Sunday through Friday - for a good price. The price for 2023 is $393 this year including tax, up $37 from last season.

Taos instructors and lesson programs are very well regarded, and I've always had a great time and learned a lot, though YMMV. One thing to note is that for about the same price, if you can get a group of 5 together who would like to take a lesson together, you can book a private Snowsports Week. That would let you not get randomly assigned to a group and make sure you ski with the people you want to.

If you're planning to come, please add yourself in the roll call thread, here:

https://www.skitalk.com/threads/2023-taos-mini-gathering-roll-call.27461/

Lift Tickets

Taos is part of the Ikon Pass, and Mountain Collective Pass, so those are good options. The walk-up rate used to be very reasonable but it's been rising like other resorts. For the 2022-2023 season, the weekday rate is ~$95, with weekend days quite a bit more at $155 - $175. Discounts are available for multi-day tickets.

Ikon Reservations Required
For 2022-2023, Taos is requiring Ikon pass holders to reserve their days. This can be done on the Ikon pass website by going to your account.

(NOTE: The information below was accurate last season... but Taos has been adding buildings and changing the village as it grows. So things are subject to change. The overhead pics are already a bit out of date, but Google maps doesn't seem to have updated the satellite images.)

Taos Ski Valley

Taos is well known for having difficult terrain, with an abundance of steeps and chutes, many of which are hike-to terrain. But there's plenty of tough stuff that doesn't require a hike too. Taos is also known for an abundance of bumps, and many of the lessons will spend time in bumps, at pretty much all skiing levels. And for anyone that doesn't ski the more difficult stuff (like me much of the time) there are some nice groomers, easy trees, and easier bumps too!

You can view the trail map here: https://www.skitaos.com/sites/default/files/2022-11/TSV_Trail_Map_2022-23.pdf


Parking

If you're not staying at the base village, the drive up is typically easy on a well maintained canyon road. And parking is easy, with "cattle car" type shuttles that circulate the lot to take you up to the base.

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Boot-Up

Taos has a nice locker room in the lower level of the cafeteria building. It has pay lockers and cubbies.

Taos 020120 001 ACR Conv.jpg




Daily meet-ups

Typically, folks tend to meetup in the locker room or at lift 1 at opening (9:00 AM) to get a warm-up lap or two in before the morning lessons (which start at ~9:30).

Then after lunch, there's another chance to meet-up and form some groups at ~1:00, again near lift one, as shown in the diagram below. And Taos is not all that large, and there's a pretty good chance you'll run into folks around the mountain during the morning or afternoon too.

1627085054821.png




Past Gatherings

If you'd like to see a bit about prior Taos Gatherings, here are my trip reports from the last couple:


I hope to see a lot of folks make it this season!

Looking down Blitz, a single black
Taos Gathering 2022 193 ACR Conv.jpg


A shared trip report thread has been started here for those attending the Gathering:

 
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KingGrump

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Couple of clarifications and/or FYI.

As always, anyone and everyone is welcome at a Gathering and the planning and coordination is minimal.

1654349142867.jpeg

One thing to note is that for about the same price, if you can get a group of 5 together who would like to take a lesson together, you can book a private Snowsports Week.

If you are interested in booking a private ski week, book early. Otherwise you may end up with Fabio.

1654349290013.png
 

Pasha

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How to get around the mountain (stolen from elsewhere):

Ride up frontside/Al's Run, warmup White Feather down to West Basin.

Take lift 2 to the top of West Basin, look viewers right to see the West Basin Chutes like Oster, etc. To viewers left are Caster and Pollux.

Start down Honeysuckle and look to skiers right to see the lower ridge runs which are on the bootpack from the top of West Basin.

Take a skiers left onto Totemoff to hit lift 7 and then 7A , look to viewers right into Walkyries chute and woods.

Either ski those or do another Honeysuckle variant to get to Kachina Basin lift (lift 4). Up Kachina Basin to see Kachina Peak lift.

There's a number of runs off the East side, skiers right, of Bambi, the cruiser that goes from the top of West basin to the top of Al's Run, that are more obscure. Walkyries Chutes at the top, then Lorelei and Longhorn, typically long leg burner bump runs. Sir Arnold Lunn is a gladed steep pitch in there.

Walkyries, Arnold Lunn, and Lorelei can get you back to lift 7 or The Bavarian, while Longhorn, North American, and Ernies (all steep with some trees) will send you back to the base.
 
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Jerez

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I wrote to ask about the St. Bernard, o e of Taos skivalley's great features. Sadly, this was the reply:

Thank you for your note.

We do expect within the coming weeks to be rolling out the plans for the
future of the Hotel St. Bernard. We'd be happy to add you to our
mailing list to ensure that you are kept up to date as plans unfold.

I can tell you that we will not be open next winter. We would suggest
that you contact our sister property, The Blake, for availability next
season.

Thank you for being in touch.
 

Olesya C

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Yeah, me too. :ogcool:
Hey I am excited that Mrs. Grump and you will be there both weeks. :) I look forward to skiing with you both.

@Dean that is a bummer indeed. @ADKmel and I may ski on the 4th only until lunch so if you are there on the 4th we can take a few runs together. I may be tired and slow on Saturday though after all week of adventures lol
 

ADKmel

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Hey I am excited that Mrs. Grump and you will be there both weeks. :) I look forward to skiing with you both.

@Dean that is a bummer indeed. @ADKmel and I may ski on the 4th only until lunch so if you are there on the 4th we can take a few runs together. I may be tired and slow on Saturday though after all week of adventures lol

Sorry I'll miss most of the pug/ski talkers. I'll be leaving early the 4th to catch a flight to Steamboat.
 

Tex

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I wrote to ask about the St. Bernard, o e of Taos skivalley's great features. Sadly, this was the reply:

Thank you for your note.

We do expect within the coming weeks to be rolling out the plans for the
future of the Hotel St. Bernard. We'd be happy to add you to our
mailing list to ensure that you are kept up to date as plans unfold.

I can tell you that we will not be open next winter. We would suggest
that you contact our sister property, The Blake, for availability next
season.

Thank you for being in touch.
I e-mailed them Aug 2021, and I got the exact same e-mail. Makes me wonder if their auto reply needs to be changed lol.
 

Tex

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BTW, I'm going to try and make this trip. The weekend before this I will be duck hunting, so back to back weekend trips will be hard to pull off but I'm planning on doing it.
 

locknload

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I'm really going to try and make this happen...haven't been to Taos and haven't skied with any of you. What's the lay of the land for lodging...the resort and town are similar to Jackson and Jackson Hole..is that right? Where do most folks stay? Please advise for a Taos newbie.
 
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TS
dbostedo

dbostedo

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I'm really going to try and make this happen...haven't been to Taos and haven't skied with any of you. What's the lay of the land for lodging...the resort and town are similar to Jackson and Jackson Hole..is that right? Where do most folks stay? Please advise for a Taos newbie.

There are typically 4 options... note I'll differentiate here between Taos Ski Valley (TSV) and Taos the town (Taos) which are about a half hour drive apart.

1) Stay in the base village

Somewhat expensive, but nice to be walkable to the slopes, or slope-side. The Blake is the fancy hotel they put in a few years ago and is very nice. Snake Dance, Powderhorn, and Alpine Village suites are central and popular. Plus there are quite a few condos/townhouses for rent. Some of them are a short walk, and some of them are a hilly walk, so you might want to figure that out before booking. (The altitude can be a killer on a long uphill walk back to a condo.)

2) Stay in the canyon down the road

A couple of miles down the canyon road from TSV there is a small group of hotels. I'm not sure which are still operating. Last season I think one or two were closed. The disadvantage here is you still need to drive or take a shuttle to the slopes, and it's a longer drive into the town of Taos is you want to get groceries or hit the restaurants.

3) Stay in Arroyo Seco on another area between the town of Taos, and Taos Ski Valley

This is what I did at the last couple of Gatherings, and what I'm planning to do for 2023. 15 minute drive to ski, 15 minute drive to Taos. There aren't a ton of places - it's pretty rural - but you can find some.

4) Stay in Taos

The town is cool, though not really a typical ski town. It's a little more sprawling, and not as fancy. But there are coffee shops, and restaurants, and breweries, and I've usually made the trip into town once or twice for dinner no matter where I'm staying. The only drawback is the drive to ski.

As far as driving, TSV is up a windy canyon road, a little reminiscent of Alta/Snowbird, though with much less chance of it being a white-knuckle snowy drive. They maintain it well so it's usually fine. Still on a good snow day, it could be a bit treacherous.

As for when to book, last there seemed to be a fear that you needed to book early, hence these early announcements. In past seasons, I've usually booked in September, or as late as October. For 2023, I've just reserved a place as an option.
 
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