Anywhere you can hike you can ski tour, providing there’s snow. Relatively easy forest service roads, switchback hiking trails, and suitable backcountry on public lands are all fair game for ski touring.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains surrounding Ski the Aspen Vista picnic ground or the Big Tesuque Campground parking lot and travel uphill through the aspens toward Tesuque Peak, just outside the point. To avoid the long climb, some backcountry or pass required) and then hike the short climb to Tesuque Peak for the ski down to Big Tesuque Campground. They then hitchhike back to the ski area. Experienced skiers ply the steep and deep terrain at the Nambe Chutes and Heaven’s Hill below Lake Peak.

Around Taos Ski Valley, Bull of the Woods Trail leads to Bull of the Woods Pasture, where a yurt is avail able for rent through the Southwest Nordic Center can continue to the expert steeps at Gold Hill. The most popular ski touring route in New Mexico is the Williams Lake Trail, which begins at Taos Ski Valley’s free parking lot at the intersection of trek just upslope of the Bavarian Restaurant and pass through the Williams Lake Trail log gate. Some of the best places to learn how to alpine uphill travel,” says Alpine Sports’ Jeremy Cole. “If you follow their safety rules and stay to the side, you can skin up the runs without taking the lift. It’s a great way to learn the equipment, practice techniques, and get in shape within the safety of a patrolled area.” travel within safety guidelines. Taos Ski Valley permits uphill travel in the morning within strict and Red River Ski & Summer Area allow uphill travel only with prior authorization. getting into alpine touring,” Cole says. “People tell you to not go out alone, but what do you do when you’re just beginning and don’t know anyone? But New Mexico has some great resources for learning how to alpine tour. Come into the shop, start at the people. It’s a great backcountry community here.”

Avalanches are a major concern with alpine touring, and while New Mexico doesn’t experience as many avalanches as states such as Colorado and Utah do, the risk is always present on slopes 30 degrees or steeper.






Santa Fe New Mexican