Taos Ski Valley Ski Area


That powder and terrain were exactly what attracted Ernie Blake to Taos. On May 15, 1954, Blake and a friend hiked to the top of what is now Taos Ski Valley where he found skiing nirvana: feet of deep powder and challenging slopes. Blake and his wife
Rhoda officially founded Taos Ski Valley the following year.

Today, the resort is still a family-owned business. Known for its abundance of steep terrain, Taos rates 51 percent of runs “expert level” and above, 25 percent are considered “intermediate,” and 24 percent are rated “beginner.”

But newcomers and less aggressive riders fear not, especially when staring up at the mammoth-sized moguls on Al’s Run; Taos offers one of the top-rated ski schools in the country. In fact, the valley’s wildly popular Ski Weeks bring regulars and newbies together for six days of instruction. Ski Weeks are designed to buff up technique, but an added benefit is the spontaneous and long-lasting friendships that develop.

Taos is known for its steeps, narrows, glades and bump runs. Hardcores can hike The Ridge to Kachina Peak (one of the highest points in New Mexico with an elevation of 12,481 feet above sea level) to find those cherished stashes of powder.

And Taos welcomes snowboarders with open arms—the resort offers a variety of snowboard-centric events, including Women’s Snowboard Camp, which take place on various weekends throughout the season. Expert instructors offer daily snowboard lessons for riders of all ages.

In the early 1950's Ernie and Rhoda Blake were living with their children in Santa Fe where Ernie was managing the brand new Santa Fe Ski Basin. As part of his job Ernie would fly his Cessna 170 into Southern Colorado to work at Santa Fe's sister ski area, Glenwood Springs. His dream was to have a ski resort of his own, so as he flew he searched for a place where he could begin building his vision. Eventually, he found an ideal spot, "the big snow basin north of Wheeler Peak in La Cal Basin. There was a tremendous snow basin...I thought it was an optical illusion." (-Ernie Blake, Ski Pioneers)

After finding the perfect spot, Ernie moved his family to Taos Ski Valley in 1955. From a camper in the base area where they lived, the Blakes began to build what is now a world-class ski resort. The following are a few facts and stories about how TSV grew and about the people and experiences which give Taos Ski Valley its individual character.