Last week I took Cody on a trip to New Mexico to ski a few spots that have always been on the list and visit a very close and dear old friend and his family. New Mexico is unlike any other ski destinations, it’s hard to describe the uniqueness but it’s something every serious skier should strive to visit and experience themselves. New Mexico.....it’s far out man.
Our first stop was Santa Fe. I’ve always been intrigued by this mid sized ski mountain and the state capital city. The town is quaint with its adobe buildings, cafes, art galleries and New Mexican restaurants and the ski area was surprisingly awesome with so much fun, playful terrain and incredible tree skiing. On our first night there we visited Meow Wolf, a visual art experience that Cody and I really enjoyed. Here’s some photos.
Codes in the trees.
Cody tries on a 1k$ ski coat.
More Meow Wolf.
Cody discovers her inner billy goat.
Did I mention the tree skiing yet? Santa Fe just delivers. It seemed like there were hidden little nuggets like this one in between every run there.
The Totemoff likes to party.
New Mexico is like an alternate ski destination dimensional universe where “normal” tends to melt away.
Looking up at the upper mountain from the quad chair.
After two nights and a day of skiing in Santa Fe we headed north to Taos to visit my old friend Eli and his family and to of course, ski the legendary steeps at the Ski Valley.
Taos. Wow. What a mountain. It’s crushingly relentless. It just doesn’t quit. All I can say is that You. Must. Go. It’s a world class ski area with a ski town that has a healthy level of grit (this is subjective of course) and seems to attract outliers and outlaws. Forget that fancy ski town fluff you find in Breckinridge, telluride or Jackson. This place isn’t trying to impress you. It’s funky, it’s weird, strange and a little odd and I absolutely loved that about it. And then there’s the food.....it’s fucking insane if you dig on the Chile. I know I sure do.
This mountain brings the spice!
Eli and us on Kachina Peak.
Orlando’s New Mexican Kitchen.
Taos is a four letter word for steep.
Texas was there. Some had on their fruity boots and shiny suits.
Kachina Peaks true summit. We could see a pack of bighorn sheep just a few hundred feet away from here.
The Bavarian. A German styled on slope ski eatery. The Ski Valley is unique in that the majority of on mountain dining options are actually independently owned. It’s euro like and separates itself from the normal American ski experience. If you ever find yourself here make sure to try the pretzel with beer caso.
Cody dropping into this little pinner.
Hunziker Chute on the right. We skied this one three times. The snow was really good in here.
The view of Kachina Peak from the summit of lift 2.
West Basin Ridge. Typical terrain at Taos. It’s not advised to fall here. This place does not F around.
Kachina Peak from the top of lift seven. We lapped the Kachina chair quite a bit. A lot of locals aren’t a fan of the Kachina Peak chair but as a visitor it really makes sense. If you’re paying for day tickets you wouldn’t want to blow your day hiking and this terrain is an absolute highlight.
After two days skiing at Taos Ski Valley I found myself a little stressed out watching Cody ski no fall zones so we headed over to Sipapu to ski for a couple of hours before driving back home.
This place is about as mom and pop as it gets.
But it has a ton of tree ski runs even if their double blacks are more like Taos blues.
Me wishing I brought out my carving skis.
We skied Sipapu for maybe two hours and then headed home. The snow was junk but it would have gotten good in a few hours as it softened up in the warm sunshine. We had a long drive ahead of us still though so we unfortunately left a little early for that.
This trip was awesome and New Mexico skiing is legit, especially at Taos. That mountain is a classic and should be on every serious skiers hit list. Now go, get there, before it’s the next Colorado like, fluffy ski town. Actually that is probably never going to happen. New Mexico is unique, definitely authentic and worthy as a bucket list ski destination for those that love spicy food and steep terrain.
I dig the time you spend skiing with your daughter. I finally brought my two oldest on one of my trips, to Crystal earlier this year. Best trip I’ve had so far, and it wasn’t because of the epic snowfall that weekend. To be able to share a passion and that kind of experience with your kids is truly special. I feel you on the progeny skiing the no fall zones. My kids aren’t quite into that, but as I take them more places, and into riskier environments, I’ve hesitated and given extra thought a couple times.