Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taos Ski Vacation - Days 2 & 3

Well, in the end, the mountain won.

After stumbling around White Feather the first afternoon, I decided to use Day 2 for practice. So I stuck around the beginner's area, Strawberry Hill. It's not quite the bunny hill, as it does have some reasonable slope, but it is short and wide-open. This makes it very different from the runs on the mountain, which are long and narrow.

I got to where I felt pretty good on controlling my speed and making my turns with less space by the end of that afternoon, so I thought I was ready to head up the mountain for Day 3.


I had planned to stay on the White Feather run, but my brother-in-law convinced me to go up to the Honeysuckle run on top of the mountain. In retrospect, a bad idea, even though it was marked green. Green in Taos is just tougher than green in Breckenridge. After a couple of falls on the side of a steep slope, I was already completely wiped out, and I still had two-thirds of the run to go. I needed a nice long rest at the lodge at the half-way point to make it down the mountain, and altogether it ended up taking me about an hour-and-a-half just to finish the one run.

It's clear that Taos just isn't made for my skill level. I can stand, I can do basic wedge turns, I'm starting to get more confident on my parallel turns. But Taos just doesn't have much for skiers between rank amateur and intermediate/advanced. I needed a green run with less slope and more room, and there just wasn't anything like that on the mountain. I didn't have nearly as much trouble at Breck.

Otherwise, the resort was in great shape, the condo was close and convenient, and the weather was almost perfect. Cool and clear, with no wind until the end of the last afternoon.

But it's also clear that I'm just not in shape for skiing. I don't have nearly enough endurance. Falling down - and getting back up - just takes too much out of me, and that's not good in a place like Taos where the runs are very lengthy.

So I don't know if I'll tag along on the next ski trip. I may just stick to the beach from now on.

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