Arizona/New Mexico Taos just keeps getting better (for me anyway!)


Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Nov 12, 2015
I watched you coming down that one day from the lift... the lower section not far above the base of the lift. It seemed really narrow. Didn't get my camera out in time to take a pic.

But I don't know for sure which one is narrower... probably the liftline (green arrow) and not Nastar (blue arrow):

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Nastar chute is a gully. The side walls make the run effective wider. Since you can ski up the side and it will turn you over. Think about pushing down and flattening out the gully walls. Much wider than conveyed by a satellite image.
The lift line is a crown. The bump line on the skier right of the lift towers usually does not develop well. The bump line down usually follows the skier left of the lift towers. Effective reduce the run into half the aero view.


Feb 8, 2020
Nastar chute is a gully. The side walls make the run effective wider. Since you can ski up the side and it will turn you over. Think about pushing down and flattening out the gully walls. Much wider than conveyed by a satellite image.
Oh gezz, you really complicating my tape measurment.


Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Nov 12, 2015
Oh gezz, you really complicating my tape measurment.

Sorry, graduate from NYC public school. Still can't read a tape measure.
OTOH, I measure pretty good with my skis. My skis say lift line is much narrower.
Much easier for us to go ski them both next time you are in town.
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Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Nov 12, 2015
As him about singing in the bumps.

We are men. We do not sing in the bumps. The wrong song can lead to body movements that are not coordinated with the rhythm of the bumps. Much like a drunken sailor at sea.
However, we do on occasions express our inner elation while skiing the bumps like @Tony S mentioned above.
You should try it. Seek out @mdf for some tutelage on the subject matter. He brings the right attitude to the task. :ogbiggrin:

Is that the Taos way of skiing bumps I keep hearing about?

They will teach you the proper Taos' way of skiing bumps in ski week.

The technique referenced by @Tony S is the official Epicski/Pugski Whistler Blackcomb I am too tired to ski bumps at the end of day method.


i hiked the ridge... twice...
Feb 11, 2019
New Mexico
@dbostedo thanks for the report and photos. I am in the ski-off one, standing at the bottom in green pants.
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Feb 8, 2020
Great to put names to faces with your photos!
It is hard to recognize people with helmet and goggles. My Ski instructor Chritine came over and started talking to me with her helmet and googles off, and joking with me...I was just sitting out side, I'm like wow this ski instructor is being really friendly with me. After 5 minutes of us cutting up and shooting the BS, I told her "I'm just now recognizing your voice".. :roflmao:

Bill Miles

Old Man Groomer Zoomer
Nov 16, 2015
Hailey, Idaho
Didn't look like that in my one multi-day trip to Taos a long time ago, socked in the whole time. I stayed in a place in Arroyo Seco called the Abominable Snow Mansion.


Booting up
Feb 21, 2023
Boston, MA
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The view from just above the top of the Kachina Lift, the highest point at the resort at over 12,400 feet.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone", he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't gotten to attend a bunch of Gatherings in Taos like you have."

OK - I stole/paraphrased that from The Great Gatsby... but I have been lucky enough to attend the Taos Mini-Gathering a bunch of times... this one was my fifth, and they seem to just get better. (Maybe it's because my skiing keeps getting better! :) )

The view off the backside, out of bounds, from the top of Kachina. Wheeler Peak, center, is the highest peak in New Mexico.
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  • The first Taos Mini-Gathering was in 2018, with very little attendance, and almost no snow. Basically me and @KingGrump and family. I took some lessons, tried a few bumps (there were literally only a few on the mountain), fell a bunch of times, and started to get better​
  • The second Mini-Gathering, in 2019, started to grow even more. Taos had a new high speed lift (their first), we had some legit powder, and almost 30 attendees.​
  • In 2020, the third Mini-Gathering grew again, to about 40 attendees - more people, more lessons, more fun - though I think we might have overwhelmed the ski school a bit!​
  • 2021 was a bad year, only because we didn't hold a Mini-Gathering. I mean, some other bad and weird stuff was going on too, but it was mostly bad because of the missing Mini-Gathering.​
  • The return of the Mini-Gathering in 2022 was pretty darn successful - so much that I've quit counting attendees... it's just a bunch of good people getting together to take lessons and/or ski!​
Which brings us to 2023... It was a week later this year, in the hopes that the Kachina lift would be running. (And it was!) I again took some lessons with a bunch of other SkiTalkers, skied some new terrain I hadn't before, and as I like to say, generally enjoyed the hell out of everything.


As usual, many of the attendees took a Ski-week ... 6 straight days of group lessons from 9:30 - noon. You get sorted in a "ski-off" into groups of similar ability, and go from there. I wound up with the same instructor as last year (just by coincidence) which I was pleased with, as I had great lessons last year. And I did make some more progress this year I think - or will if I keep at it.

I also wound up with @Woodsrider427 and @aveski in my group, and @MarkP 's friend Dave, so that was pretty good too. Several (all?) of the groups had multiple SkiTalkers.

Whitney (@nebraskawhit) and Caitlyn picking up their ski-week tickets
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The ski-off! I went second... I always try to go early and watch everyone else come down
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@Tex!!! We got sorted into the same large group, which then got divided further based on how aggressive with terrain and hiking each group wanted to be... I chose the lowest of those three, as I tend to get over-rated on the groomer, and don't have a lot of experience in steeps and bumps. Tex went with the middle group.
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Some further sorting... @SKI-3PO and Tim Stolt and @MarkP visible here... probably some others I'm not seeing.
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Getting some instruction early at the top of lift 2...Dave on the left, and Rick Baca was our instructor, former Los Alamos electrical engineer... probably why I can relate to him
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More instrruction at the top of lift 4
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@Woodsrider427, Mike, and Dave waiting at the bottom of a pitch
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L-to-R, Mike, @aveski, @Woodsrider427, Dave, and Rick behind the tree, in Hunziker bowl, that we skied several times
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@aveski in the bumps of Hunziker
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Back at the top of Hunziker, with @Woodsrider427 and Dave
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@aveski and the runout after the top of Hunziker on the one soft snow day we had (they reported 3" through the morning)

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After doing Hunziker and a few days of instruction, we started to step up the terrain to the top of Pollux, and traversed to the lower part of Blitz, known as Chicken Blitz, since you avoid the steep trees above. Rick here with @aveski and @Woodsrider427
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Wider view of the guys coming down Blitz
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Rick showing how it's done... calm, steady, smooth... in Blitz. That's what we were going for - controlled speed and good turns all week.
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@Woodsrider427 here pondering the start of this section
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@aveski in Blitz
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Regrouping further down
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The last morning, a couple of groups decided to stop in the same place. From the left, Dave, @Woodsrider427, @Gary Stolt, and Caitlyn (blue/teal pants) in the shot here.
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Lessons at Taos generally involve a lot of mogul skiing, and working on skills to ski moguls even when you're not skiing them. This year was no different... I skied some of the steepest mogul runs I've skied, and really started to enjoy them more this year - especially jumping into the shorter and easier pitches and just skiing them without too much thought. (Bumps that were daunting when I first started going to Taos.) I also got up Kachina lift for the first time ever this year... that's pretty great on a bluebird day. It would be really great with a lot of soft snow.

Then again, everything looks good with soft snow... but Taos can be pretty scenic in general - some folks were comparing it to the Canadian Rockies. I just love it every time I go!
View from the base up lift 1... the mogul run under the lift is the infamous "Al's Run"... which I've still never skied, though I did ski some of the stuff to the right during the week
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View up Kachina from the top of lift 4 area
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Sunny view up Kachina
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Kachina and the Highline ridge from the top of Lift 2
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Sun starting to peek over the ridge
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View down Hunziker Bowl... I think I took too many pics in Hunziker
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View across the hill from the lift going up Kachina... I think this show some of the steepness of the terrain well
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Another view of Wheeler... it's visible from a lot of the resort
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Foggy view of Kachina
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Entry into Hunziker bowl. You get here after a short-ish sidestep/skate/sidestep/skate sequence. But at over 11,000 feet, it's still tiring. :geek::ogbiggrin:
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Another view down part of Hunziker, with a little fresh snow
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Dean in the bumps of Tell Glade, which has no trees
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View down Blitz
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@aveski and @Tony S in Rhoda's run
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I think this is part of lower Inferno
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@nebraskawhit and instructor on the backside. Whitney is an experienced snowboarder, learning to also ski.
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Some interesting bumps on Kachina... pretty sure I fell just below these.
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Wider view of the Kachina terrain. The Gazex tubes were installed after they had a fatal inbounds avalanche on open terrain on Kachina in 2019.
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View off the backside after a very short hike up from the top of the Kachina lift
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Part of the view
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Lower part of Hunziker Bowl
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Looking up Rhoda's

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Chair Pics!

I tend to take a bunch of pics on the chair... it's something to do, reminds me who I got to ski with, and is fun to review... though I didn't take nearly as many this year as other trips...

Industry Demo Day

There was an industry-only demo day held for a couple of days while we were in Taos. We couldn't demo any skis, but I took a couple of pics and thought it might be of interest to some which companies were there.


Some friends drove down from Colorado, and came out from Rhode Island. And we (as we've done before) rented a house in Arroyo Seco. This puts you about 15-20 minutes drive from both Taos Ski Valley and the town of Taos itself. It's a nice location as long as you don't mind the drive, especially given that the Ski Valley village is relatively small.

The house was wonderful, with a great patio area, hottub, and 4 bedrooms, and worked great for our group of 7.
View in the back yard with fire pit going... and Lucky walking into the shot.
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We had a huge fancy hottub, so had to get a few robe pics... @MattSmith, @nebraskawhit, Me, Caitlyn, Lucky, Jess, Steve.
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Last day, last run - Steve, Caitlyn, Whitney, Matt, Jess
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Since we had a nice house rental, and people driving in after a Costco and Albertson's run, we ate in most of the time. But we did get out to a couple of favorite restaurants... In Taos, we went Taos Taproom ( it's a pizza place with a lot of nice beers on tap, and not too expensive. Get the house focaccia loaf as an appetizer if you're a bread fan. In Arroyo Seco, we went to Aceq (, which I really like. It's a bit pricier, but everything is always really good. And the whole group really liked it I think.

At the resort, lunch was at the cafeteria, or at the Bavarian sitting outside if the weather was nice. That's my favorite - unfortunately, one of the days we planned on it, it was closed for a private event. Good thing we also went earlier in the week.

And après was at a few different locations... Taos Ale House, Rhoda's, Hondo, or a new one, the Rolling Still Distillery. The Distillery is tiny, but has good cocktails and local liquor, if that's your thing, that can incorporate green chile, like everything in New Mexico.​

Happy Hour at Rhoda's with Adele, Maria, Steve (@Lake Louise Steve), Vinny (@Poolskier Vinny), and Pavel (@Pasha)
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The Canadian crew at lunch at the Bavarian... they came down from Calgary for this! (For Taos... not just for lunch at the Bavarian, though it IS good.)
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Bavarian again, with Steve, Lucky, Jess, and Matt
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Odds and Ends

Flying from DC, you can sometimes get some nice views
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This is the sign at the top of Kachina if you hike up from the lift
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Requisite SkiTalk sticker shot
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Afternoon skiing... lots of big/random groups... here you see @Unpiste, Steve, Jess, @aveski, @SKI-3PO, @Tony S, @mdf, Caitlyn, @MattSmith, and @nebraskawhit far right on snowboard... probably a couple of others hidden behind them that I can't identify
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Caught this group from lift 8... I believe when there's a group like this, we call it a "quiver" of SkiTalkers
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Well it was another fantastic Gathering... and it went way, way, way too fast. My skiing continues to improve, I had a great time with friends, we had terrific snow (despite what some of the spoiled westerners might tell you), and I can't wait to do it again next year!​

One last view from Kachina on the last day, with @Woodsrider427 and Rick
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Awesome trip--will use this when I eventually get out to Taos. Been a dream of mine since I was a kid!