THE SKIING: Awesome!
Three dozen Ski Club members, plus our youngest member yet, 2 year old Emma, set out for Taos, New Mexico on February 4 from Reagan National. This is one of the largest domestic trips we have had in recent years, and members were rewarded with consistently great weather and enough ski terrain for all levels. Virtually every day was a “bluebird” day with sunny slopes and moderate temperatures.
We were also rewarded with nary a lift line all week! While we didn’t receive more than a couple of inches of new snow during the trip, Taos had already racked up one of its best season’s snowfall by the time we arrived. Although a smaller ski area with 1300 acres, the varied terrain includes plenty of long steep cruisers, powder bowls, tree runs and chutes at the 12,481 feet summit of Kachina Peak. The Kachina Peak chair was put in a couple of years ago, but before that, club members on earlier trips had to hike up more than an hour to experience the extreme double black diamond terrain it offers to the most intrepid skiers.
Please follow the YouTube link below for a video description of our ski trip to Taos, New Mexico on February 2017!
Snowsports Lesson Week
Taos is the only resort in America that offers a full week ski lesson package—an incredible value for the Club. 34 out of 36 club members, including our most expert skiers, availed of these half-day lessons every morning at 9:30. Lessons were followed by skiing on your own with friends and practicing what you learned. After a “ski off” Sunday morning to place us in small groups, we skied with the same instructor all week – unless we needed to move up or down to a more suitable level. Average groups were 5-6 skiers, but most of our novice and new skiers got private or semi-private lessons all week. This was a great opportunity for our beginners, who came away feeling confident of their newfound skills, and ready for next year. The Taos instructors were uniformly expert teachers and able to improve members’ skills during the week, regardless of where they started. It was also like having our own dedicated mountain guides all week. Most participants felt this was a major highlight of the trip – and something they would return to Taos for in the future.
Some Club members took a break in skiing at mid-week and enjoyed exploring the charming southwestern town of Taos, 20 miles from the Ski Valley ski village. Others took the opportunity to rent a car and experience the art galleries, churches, shops and unique adobe architecture in fabulous Santa Fe. Some members even stayed an extra week in Santa Fe to experience all that city has to offer.
THE LODGING: Snakedance Condominiums
The Snakedance Condo was a perfect slopeside place to stay in the village. We stayed in one and two bedroom condos. All units had been renovated and offered large living rooms, modern kitchens and bathrooms. The Snakedance is a ski in/ski out property, nestled right at the base of the main lift. The complementary ski valet at the property was very efficient and accommodating, and for about half the members who rented equipment at very competitive rates, the rental shop was conveniently located next door. There was also a small on-site grocery to keep our kitchens stocked with food – along with a great selection of wines.
The group gathered most evenings in the hot tub or enjoyed the spa and fitness center.
THE FOOD: Tasty options in the Village
Other than breakfast which was cooked in the condos, members had a choice of several good restaurants for lunch or dinner. The favorite for lunch was the Bavarian, accessible from the slopes and with a large outdoor seating area for soaking up the ample sun every day. Other favorites were the St. Bernard, Rhoda’s, Tenderfoot Katie’s and the restaurant at the brand new Blake Hotel. The St. Bernard had great live music we enjoyed one evening.
GROUP DINNER: a great spread!!!
“Great spread” applies to both the food and their house. Our group dinner was hosted at the home of Roger and Diane, the GM of the Snakedance. Their home is a fabulous tribute to the unique Southwestern architecture. The food and drink was special as was the company, which included key members of the Snakedance family responsible for making our stay so comfortable.
And on the way to dinner, we made a stop at the famous Gorge Bridge over the Rio Grande to experience sundown over the Sangre de Cristo range in spectacular fashion.
SUPER BOWL – SUPER GAME – SUPER PARTY!
We arrived in Taos just in time to catch Superbowl 51 on Sunday. This was the epic game with the Atlanta Falcons playing the New England Patriots. We held our Superbowl party in the Trip Leader’s Condo – and talk about a memorable game … The Patriots came back in the 4th Quarter from a 25-point deficit – the most in history, to win it 34 to 28. The first-ever Superbowl overtime meant we could continue to eat, imbibe and enjoy each other’s company even longer. And Tom Brady showed the world “it’s never over ’till it’s over”.
TAOS: THE END
Our last couple of nights, we enjoyed a pizza party together at the Hondo Restaurant, and a final “Clean Out the Fridge Party” on Friday night back in the Trip Leader’s Condo. There was an incredible amount of food in all those fridges! Next time, we should start cleaning them out on Thursday!
A large number of Club members expressed their desire to return to Taos in the next couple of years, so this trip is sure to be repeated. And we drank to that! Our last day on the slopes, our instructors inducted us into an old Taos tradition, which was to have a “martini on the snow” – and luckily we all stayed off the rocks in those Taotian chutes! If you want to find out why they hide martinis in the woods for Taos skiers, you will have to sign up for the next trip!