On February 15, a group of 22 skiers and snowboarders set out for beautiful Taos, New Mexico. We arrived in Albuquerque on schedule and were met by our driver to start the 3-hour trip to Taos Ski Valley. The trip was made more enjoyable by complimentary sandwiches, chips and drinks on the bus.
We arrived on time at the Snakedance Condominiums, which offer everything needed for a fantastic trip. The staff was friendly and extremely knowledgeable. They provided us with a welcome reception, and a presentation on everything we needed to know regarding the ski village, the mountain, lessons, and rentals. The ski conditions were perfect, with a 70”+ base, and all trails and lifts open. 17 people from our group took advantage of the world renowned Taos Ski week, which provides a two-hour lesson each day. The nicest thing about the Ski Week is that it is for all levels of ability, from “never seen snow” to “double black diamond skier”. After the initial ski-off, groups of 4-7 skiers were formed, and the lessons commenced.
The group made a point of meeting for lunch each day, either on the mountain at The Bavarian or at the base, at The St. Bernard, and then skiing together in the afternoons. The weather was warm and sunny all week, and we sat outside nearly every day! We had several dinners together as well, at a variety of venues. One of the best was at the home of Roger and Diane Mariani, the developers and now managers of Snakedance. Hosting ski clubs at their lovely home has become a tradition, and they seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. We also had the privilege to make a stop on the way to view the amazing Rio Grande gorge at sunset, making a perfect photo opportunity.
Half of the group took a mid-week break, spending Wednesday exploring the town of Taos and the historic Pueblo, or soaking in the natural hot springs at Ojo Caliente. The hot springs and spa treatments were especially enjoyable after three days of skiing! With eight different pools of varying temperature and mineral composition, plus a mandatory “quiet” policy, it was the perfect place to unwind.
Thursday and Friday were fantastic ski days as well, with a contingent of the group venturing for one last go at Kachina Peak. We had a wonderful dinner at 192 at the Blake on Thursday, with all 22 people taking part. The atmosphere, food and drink were all wonderful! The following night was a “clean out the fridge” party in the trip leader’s condo. It seems most of the refrigerators only contained alcohol, but we managed to eat something too! The bus trip back to Albuquerque on Saturday morning was smooth and easy, with all travelers making their flights and arriving safely back in DC that night.