As a snow sports professional, I believe I am qualified to offer the following advice.
Steep is usually the first word that comes to mind when skiers see Taos Ski Valley for the first time. Because the mountain is so steep, much of the terrain isn’t groomed. No grooming means moguls, which can be challenging for many skiers. Keep in mind the following tips and you’ll get the most out of your day on the mountain.
- Make a plan. Every run has options. Pick a line based on your ability and confidence to make the turns.
- Look ahead. Don’t just look at the bump under your feet. Look three or four bumps ahead and be prepared.
- Absorb the terrain with your legs. Flex as you go up the bump and extend as you go down. This allows your feet and legs to control your skis.
- Plant your pole just before the top of the bump where you’re going to turn. Plant it near your downhill foot and pull it out as you initiate the turn. Don’t leave it in the snow or your hand will be out of position trailing behind you.
- Follow the banked turns on the big bumps. Shortcuts will put you in the most difficult part of the bump. Big bumps have big holes.
- Find the right spot on the bump to make your turn. You should be able to pivot your skis under your feet.
- Maintain an athletic stance perpendicular to your skis at all times. It’s much easier to turn when you’re in the right position.
- Get on the new ski early. As soon as you crest the bump, you need to be on the inside edge of the new ski. If you’re late, you’ll drop into the pit and gain unwanted speed.
- Adjust your turn size and shape. No two bumps are exactly alike. Choose the turn that gives you the best set-up for the next bump.
- Take a lesson. Taos Ski Valley has one of the best ski schools in the country.
After a day of skiing the bumps treat yourself to and Irish Coffee or Hot Toddy at the Blonde Bear Tavern.