Taos Ski Valley plans to cut two new double black-diamond runs and a new beginners' hill during this season and next. This is the first terrain expansion at Taos in many years.

Opening this winter, the first of the new runs, named North American, will be accessed near the top of lift one and spill out onto the return trail. This double-black diamond glade will feature a 1,400-foot vertical drop sure to thrill any ripper. The second run will be cut in summer 2009 and will honor Ernie Blake, founder of Taos Ski Valley.

A new 400-foot beginners' area called The Burrough will open this season for novice skiers and snowboarders,and will include a moving carpet. The area will be located east of the base of lift 1 and will feature the flattest terrain ever offered at Taos Ski Valley.

Taos' famous Ernie Blake Ski and Ride School will use the more conveniently located beginner's hill to teach novice skiers and riders the basics. The Burrough will expand into 1,200 feet of lift-served beginner terrain in the near future as part of Taos Ski Valley's base area expansion.

"With these changes, our terrain will have the perfect balance of new challenges and old favorites for our expert and beginner visitors," said Gordon Briner, Taos Ski Valley General Manager. "The updates will complement and complete our mountain but will not change the intimate, friendly atmosphere of the resort."

Visit the Taos Ski Valley Web site for information during the 2008-09 season.