If u could move anywhere, where'd you go? (AKA Taos Expanded

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If u could move anywhere, where'd you go? (AKA Taos Expanded

Postby Greg Heil » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:43 am

Edit: This is now also known as, the "Where do you want to move" thread.

The U.S. Forest Service has approved Taos Ski Valley’s request to expand its expert terrain by 60 percent with two new lifts that will take skiers to popular high alpine areas currently accessible only to hikers.

The plan also calls for upgrades to three other lifts, thinning of trees to expand two new glade areas for advanced intermediate to expert skiers, construction of a permanent tubing facility, a snowshoe trail system and a lift-served mountain bike trail for summer visitors.


Read more here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle ... story.html
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby John Fisch » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:21 pm

I'm not sure this is a good idea. The hike to the ridge is tough, steep, and often requires postholing in deep snow while climbing in heavy ski boots and carrying your gear. But it keeps the ridge clear of crowds and keeps lower level skiers from getting in over their heads.

I took my teenage daughters (expert skiers) on a Taos ski vacation winter before last and we did laps on the ridge most of the day. Sure, we didn't get in as many runs, but we certainly appreciated each one more. It was also a great daddy-daughter bonding experience.

This may well diminish the ridge experience for die-hard skiers. It will certainly eliminate part of what makes Taos so special.

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45815

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45820&album=tag&tag=

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45817&tag=user%3Askibum
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:54 pm

skibum wrote:I'm not sure this is a good idea. The hike to the ridge is tough, steep, and often requires postholing in deep snow while climbing in heavy ski boots and carrying your gear. But it keeps the ridge clear of crowds and keeps lower level skiers from getting in over their heads.

I took my teenage daughters (expert skiers) on a Taos ski vacation winter before last and we did laps on the ridge most of the day. Sure, we didn't get in as many runs, but we certainly appreciated each one more. It was also a great daddy-daughter bonding experience.

This may well diminish the ridge experience for die-hard skiers. It will certainly eliminate part of what makes Taos so special.

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45815

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45820&album=tag&tag=

http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/photo.php?photoID=45817&tag=user%3Askibum


That does sound unfortunate! Are their no other OB ridges that are easily accessible?
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby John Fisch » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:54 pm

That depends specifically on where they put the new lift to the ridge--the ridge forks two ways. I'm guessing they'll put it up the side where I took the pics that are linked in my original post. But even if they do, that will make it much easier to get to the other fork as well (the other fork has about the same grade, but many more trees, rocks and cliffs for the truly skilled and/or insane). One lift to any part of the ridge will cover all that's left of the permit area. The ski area is surrounded by the Wheeler Peak Wilderness area, so there's no way Taos Ski Valley could expand to offer new ridges.

The quote below sums up my dilemma perfectly:
"Officials hailed the action as crucial for helping the northern New Mexico ski area keep pace with competitors in Colorado."

I like to go to Taos specifically because it is not like Colorado. :roll:

I don't really care for homogenization in my skiing any more than I do in my singletrack!
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:26 am

skibum wrote:The quote below sums up my dilemma perfectly:
"Officials hailed the action as crucial for helping the northern New Mexico ski area keep pace with competitors in Colorado."

I like to go to Taos specifically because it is not like Colorado. :roll:

I don't really care for homogenization in my skiing any more than I do in my singletrack!


I hear you on that. I'm looking at possibly moving to Salida in a year or so (among other places), and while the ski area (Monarch) isn't nearly as massive as some of the summit county resorts, thats one of the things that really attracts me to it. While I wish it had more vertical drop (it's about a thousand feet), it looks like it's a true locals resort and gets 350" a year average and, from what I hear, has great OB tree skiing! I love skiing powder in the trees...
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby John Fisch » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:00 pm

Yeah, Monarch's a great little place--especially if you're willing to hike a bit.

Monarch also has plans for some expansion.
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ ... nd-terrain
It won't add any to the vertical, but it will spread the place out a bit more and offer some more variety, along with supreme views.

As you say, Monarch gets plenty of snow and it comes in the form of hyperlight powder and due to the altitude, the snow quality really lasts between storms.

And when you still get bored with Monarch, you'll be 1:45 from Breckenridge (it takes me 2:00 from the Springs), scarcely two hours to Vail and under two hours to Crested Butte, which is beyond fantastic. As yet another bonus, you'll only be 2 hours from Wolf Creek, which averages a whopping 465" per year of the lightest powder imaginable. In Colorado's drought year last year, they opened on Oct 8 with a 30" base of all natural snow, beating all the places with snowmaking by weeks.

I'm sure you already know of Salida's singletrack attributes--year round riding, incredible variety, everything from desert scrub to high alpine epics. I can't imagine a better place for a year-round adventure junkie!
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:58 am

skibum wrote:Yeah, Monarch's a great little place--especially if you're willing to hike a bit.

Monarch also has plans for some expansion.
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ ... nd-terrain
It won't add any to the vertical, but it will spread the place out a bit more and offer some more variety, along with supreme views.

As you say, Monarch gets plenty of snow and it comes in the form of hyperlight powder and due to the altitude, the snow quality really lasts between storms.

And when you still get bored with Monarch, you'll be 1:45 from Breckenridge (it takes me 2:00 from the Springs), scarcely two hours to Vail and under two hours to Crested Butte, which is beyond fantastic. As yet another bonus, you'll only be 2 hours from Wolf Creek, which averages a whopping 465" per year of the lightest powder imaginable. In Colorado's drought year last year, they opened on Oct 8 with a 30" base of all natural snow, beating all the places with snowmaking by weeks.

I'm sure you already know of Salida's singletrack attributes--year round riding, incredible variety, everything from desert scrub to high alpine epics. I can't imagine a better place for a year-round adventure junkie!


Yeah I do, and this is EXACTLY what I'm thinking!!! I'd be able to ride my MTB rear-round so I could still write articles here during the winter, but there would be PLENTY of skiing to do. And like you said, Salida is very close to a lot of different places, making weekend trips super convenient!

I didn't know about the expansion plans at Monarch. That's encouraging to see growth! And thanks for the snow analysis... I've actually never skied Colorado before (have skied Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Alberta, for western states).

So Salida is currently topping our list, but Bend, OR is kind of a wild card. I've heard amazing things about Bend, and we plan on checking it out next summer!
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby maddslacker » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:26 am

mtbgreg1 wrote:
skibum wrote:I hear you on that. I'm looking at possibly moving to Salida in a year or so

Salida is a neat little town, and FWIW it also has hot springs. :D

If you do move there, we'll be expecting you to race the Vapor Trail 125 and write about it. :D
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:07 pm

maddslacker wrote:
mtbgreg1 wrote:
skibum wrote:I hear you on that. I'm looking at possibly moving to Salida in a year or so

Salida is a neat little town, and FWIW it also has hot springs. :D

If you do move there, we'll be expecting you to race the Vapor Trail 125 and write about it. :D


Was that yesterday or today? I REALLY want to do a dirty century once I get my degree over with. Why not make it 1.25?
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby maddslacker » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:34 pm

mtbgreg1 wrote:Was that yesterday or today?

Yes...

http://vaportrail125.com/
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby bonkedagain » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:04 pm

Not sure how this topic got going on this biking forum, but what the heck... :)

I love Taos! They have a lot of great runs and it still has a small resort feel. Anytime they get good snow I will head down there. Last season they even started running adds in Colorado bragging about how they have snow and Colorado doesn't. It is about a four hour drive for me -- the same as Wolf Creek -- and there is so much fun terrain there. I don't hike the ridge -- I got all my OB hiking out of my system in my younger days -- but they have plenty of lift-served butt-pucker runs to keep you entertained.

We used to have a second home up near Salida and I have put many hundreds of miles on my bikes up there over the years. Definitely a fun place to hang out. Beware that their school system has a terrible reputation, so if you plan on raising a brood in Colorado you may want to to think about that.

I have skied Monarch so many times I could practically do it blind-folded (season't pass four years in a row). Reasonably fun place, but I don't think I could ever ski there again unless they get a really good dump; I have simply extracted all the fun I can out of the place.

Similarly, Wolf Creek can get huge dumps. I have day-tripped the place multiple times when they have gotten a good dump. It's worth a spur-of-the-moment trip, getting up early and hitting the road since a big dump usually means the pass to the west gets closed and there will hardly be anybody there. Otherwise, it is pretty tame when the powder has been packed down and not worth the trip, IMO.

Speaking of Salida, I will be working on another trail build up there in a couple weeks. Come on out and help build some more bike trail. See the details here.
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:42 pm

bonkedagain wrote:Not sure how this topic got going on this biking forum, but what the heck... :)

I love Taos! They have a lot of great runs and it still has a small resort feel. Anytime they get good snow I will head down there. Last season they even started running adds in Colorado bragging about how they have snow and Colorado doesn't. It is about a four hour drive for me -- the same as Wolf Creek -- and there is so much fun terrain there. I don't hike the ridge -- I got all my OB hiking out of my system in my younger days -- but they have plenty of lift-served butt-pucker runs to keep you entertained.

We used to have a second home up near Salida and I have put many hundreds of miles on my bikes up there over the years. Definitely a fun place to hang out. Beware that their school system has a terrible reputation, so if you plan on raising a brood in Colorado you may want to to think about that.

I have skied Monarch so many times I could practically do it blind-folded (season't pass four years in a row). Reasonably fun place, but I don't think I could ever ski there again unless they get a really good dump; I have simply extracted all the fun I can out of the place.

Similarly, Wolf Creek can get huge dumps. I have day-tripped the place multiple times when they have gotten a good dump. It's worth a spur-of-the-moment trip, getting up early and hitting the road since a big dump usually means the pass to the west gets closed and there will hardly be anybody there. Otherwise, it is pretty tame when the powder has been packed down and not worth the trip, IMO.

Speaking of Salida, I will be working on another trail build up there in a couple weeks. Come on out and help build some more bike trail. See the details here.


Thanks for the break-down!

Beware that their school system has a terrible reputation, so if you plan on raising a brood in Colorado you may want to to think about that.


Interesting... didn't know that about Colorado. While I don't have any kids yet (and hopefully won't for a while), not sure if we'd do public school or not when we do have them. My wife is a certified English and Social Studies teacher, and I think the more she teaches the more she thinks homeschooling would be a better option with the way public education is going.
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby maddslacker » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:08 pm

mtbgreg1 wrote:Interesting... didn't know that about Colorado.

He meant Salida in particular. The Denver 'burbs where you visited us in June have the top schools in the country. (Specifically Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties)

[edit]
Colorado, by law, also allows online schooling and partially funds it with 'public school' money. All home-schooled students are allowed to enroll in extracurricular activities such as sports or drama through their local public school. AND for high school mountain biking, they can either join their local school's team or race as an independent.
[/edit]
Last edited by maddslacker on Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby Greg Heil » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:11 pm

maddslacker wrote:
mtbgreg1 wrote:Interesting... didn't know that about Colorado.

He meant Salida in particular. The Denver 'burbs where you visited us in June have the top schools in the country. (Specifically Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties)


Salida has a MTB race team though ;)
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Re: Forest service approves plan to expand Taos ski area

Postby maddslacker » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:13 pm

See my edit :D
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