The future at Taos Ski Valley became a bit clearer recently, as the resort submitted a master development plan to the U.S. Forest Service for its review.
The plan, which is required by the Forest Service every two decades, includes a new lift up Kachina Peak, which has only been accessible by a 45-minute ridge hike. The proposed fixed-grip chair would run from the top of Lift 4 to the ridgeline of the peak at 12,481 feet in elevation and bring several hundred acres of above-treeline skiing and ‘boarding to those who wouldn’t make the hike.
Since the resort operates primarily on public lands, it is required to submit any alterations for review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – despite the fact that the Carson National Forest already has accepted the plant. The recent submittal of the first phase of its plan signals the start of the NEPA process, which begins with a public comment period.
The plan also includes replacement of Lift 5, the old double chair from the base, and Lifts 4 and 7 on the back side. It also calls for a new, short lift that would take skiers and ‘boarders up into the West Basin. Glades would come into play on east and west boundaries, as well as a mountain biking trail, tubing area, and drop-off and parking improvements.
If approved, all these proposals await funding, according to resort management, so it may be a number of years before “hiking the ridge” becomes a thing of the past.
For the TSV plan, click here.
To view a map, click here.