The second and third days that we were in Taos were absolutely beautiful. The snow from the
first day provided a great surface to ski on. That was good because I was taking round 2 of
lessons on day 2. That meant getting off the baby slopes and attempting the
intermediate-beginner slope and then a green-classified trail. (In skiing parlance,
greens are supposed to be easiest, blues are moderate, and blacks are difficult.)
This picture shows me with some of the other people that were in my particular group that
was taking lessons. I'm happy to say that I wasn't the worst in the group, that's for sure.
But conversely, I certainly wasn't the best either. For some people, skiing was easy to pick
up. Yeah, not so much for me...!
Below you can see the lift that served the intermediate-beginner hill. The main lift for the
major slopes held at least three people and was somewhat freaky. If you're the person
sitting in the middle,
you really have nothing to hang on to, and the weight of your skis makes you feel like they're
going to drag you over the edge of the seat. Of course it won't happen if you just sit still
and don't go nuts, but it's still a little unsettling, especially with the ground often a
good 20 feet below. Getting off the lift is rather tricky
too... You have to time it just right and dismount into a slide, and then get out of the way
before the seat you just left runs you over. Thankfully I never had any lift mishaps but it
certainly wasn't for lack of opportunities!
This picture shows me at the top of the green slope that I skied with the lesson group. Now,
greens are supposed to be the "easy" slopes. But that particular slope was no piece of cake.
I learned later that Taos, while a great place for learning to ski, is oddly not the best
place for beginners after they've learned to ski. People told me that the difficulty of the
greens at Taos would probably be classified as blues at other resorts. Makes me think the
ski school at Taos is in league with the local hospitals!
I know this picture is roughly the same as the previous one, but I don't have any more
pictures so this will have to do! Besides I have more to talk about so I needed something
to go with all these words. The last day I attempted a different green slope with some
of the people from the Lockheed group. If you have noticed, Alan is conspicuously absent from
any of my commentary since the first day, because basically I only saw him at the hotel. He
was too good of a skier for me, I guess, and had to go ski with all the people who knew what
they were doing! :-) That was totally cool with me, because I would have held him back
anyway. As for that last green I did, there was a part of the slope that was WAY too steep,
and shared its space with a moguls slope. I really had to take my time down that one, and
in fact, one of the people I was with totally lost control and skied right into the trees at
the bottom. It was pretty dramatic. Later on the slope there was a long straight-away that
was lined by trees that shaded the course. Unfortunately that made the slope very icy and
difficult to maneuver. Even though that part of the course was the least steep on that green,
that's where it was worst to fall because of the hard ice.
I took the awesome picture below outside our hotel in Taos. We stayed at a place in the
city a good half-hour drive from the resort. That wasn't really so bad, but after a long
day at the slopes you were ready to kick back, and the bus didn't really provide space for
that. Our hotel was kind of built log-cabin style, without the
individual cabins. The jacuzzi was about 60% chlorine and 40% water, and probably 90%
men to 10% women, so that was not the best part of the hotel. But that aside, the hotel
was a good choice. And overall my first ski trip was a lot of fun! Initially I didn't think
I'd want to try skiing again, but I have a bit of an itch to give it another go. Maybe at
somewhere more hospitable to beginners, that's for sure. And without the overnight bus
ride... What a whip! :-)