Monday, March 31, 2008

Taos Opens to Snowboarders

Jeb hiking Kachina PeakThey said it would never happen. Skiers thought they would always have Taos Ski Valley to themselves, but on March 19th, 2008, Taos opened permanently to snowboarding.  I headed home to see a bit of the action first hand, and to discover if pigs really do fly.

As a frequent snowboarder, I can remember wishing Taos would open to snowboarding and ditch the exclusive attitude fostered by many of its locals. Having to travel to other resorts when NM's premier resort was in my backyard just seemed like cruel punishment for wanting to shred pow on one stick. 

Ironically though, I packed my skis for this trip. How contrarian of me, I know, but on nail-biting, steep hard-pack where Cadillac-sized bumps quietly wait to throw the unsuspecting tourist, it just makes more sense to have four edges at your disposal than two, n'est pas? 

Burton and Forum set up demo booths at the base, and an air of camaraderie and liberation filtered through TSV. Timbuk2's Ryan H. and I hiked Kachina Peak (12,481'), chatted up some stoked rider chicks (who consequently went careening down Main Street on their butts), and tried to keep up with local stud Fred F. on the groomers. My liftee friend Dennis asked, "Why aren't you snowboarding bro?" "Well..." I paused, "It's Taos." Respect to the Blake family for taking the plunge.

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