Taos Ski Valley Extends Season
Snow in New Mexico? Better believe it. One of the best ski resorts in the West is celebrating the good spring conditions by pushing back closing day and slashing prices on lift tickets.
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It’s been a weak-sauce winter across the West, with California resorts closing early and the Rockies experiencing a precocious spring thaw. The only place that’s escaped the drought? New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley. In fact, the snow there has been so big—260 inches so far this winter, when they usually average 305 inches for the entire year—that the resort just announced it’s extending the 2015 season for one more weekend.
Closing day was meant to be April 5, but with recent storms dumping 11 more inches of snow on an already plump base, Taos will fire up the lifts again on April 10 through 12. And tickets are selling cheap: The adult day rate will be $49 ($10 off Taos’ standard spring pricing). Flash a season pass from any other resort in the country and pay just $40.
“The skiing’s been fabulous here this year,” says Jesse Keaveny, TSV’s chief marketing officer. While the Sierra Nevada snowpack has hit record lows (just 9 percent of average), Taos has enjoyed plenty of powder days. Consistent early season snowfall laid down a solid foundation. Then, a late-February storm cycle deposited 77 inches over 12 days. One of those days measured a whopping 21 inches in 24 hours. “The great powder conditions have evolved into great spring skiing,” says Keaveny.
The new Kachina Peak lift is also helping to extend Taos’ season. Installed this year, Kachina’s chairs climb to 12,450 feet and reach high-elevation slopes that hold snow long after the base area has melted out. The expansion doubled TSV’s advanced and expert lift-served terrain. Instead of hiking for an hour to Kachina Peak, skiers and riders can now catch a five-minute ride up 1,100 vertical feet to access a broad cirque filled with open bowls and steep chutes—the terrain Taos is famous for. Kachina will remain open April 10 through 12, along with chairs one, two, and four. “All of that will still be skiing very well,” promises Keaveny.