Although the coldest time of the year is over, winter enthusiasts can now think about planning their next vacation. David Contarino, political strategist and consultant from Louisville, Ky., is one of them. As an extreme skier, David Contarino recommends Taos Ski Valley.
According to David Contarino, Taos Ski Valley is a world-renowned ski resort in New Mexico that offers a ski experience unlike any other. The peaks around the Taos Ski Valley are sacred to the Native Americans, and the ski area is considered one of the most challenging in North America. There are dozens of trails that are just too tough for most folks, says David Contarino, but dozens more that are perfect for intermediates and beginners.
Taos offers European flair blended with the culture of the Pueblo Indians and Hispanics. No wonder, because the resort was founded by the German-Swiss Ernie Blake, says David Contarino. Homesickness must have plagued Blake, since a Hotel St. Bernard and Edelweiss can be found there.
The mix of cultures makes this ski area very charming, says David Contarino. But according to David Contarino, Taos Ski Valley is best known for its vast amount of tracks for extreme skiers. The area is comprised of four ski resorts and 110 trails—50 percent of them expert. David Contarino favors the trails off the West Basin Ridge, Zdarsky and St. Bernard. For those searching for sheer thrill, David Contarino recommends the narrow ridge between Stauffenberg and Stauffenberg Trib. The best non-Ridge spots are R&R and the narrow trails of What Chutes, adds David Contarino.
David Contarino admits that skiing requires a reasonably good level of fitness and a healthy physical condition, which is noticeable after the first few days by more or less intense muscle soreness. Hot showers or warm baths, preferably a hot tub under the clear New Mexico skies, are a must after a full day of skiing, says David Contarino.
Kids are always welcome at Taos Ski Valley and most of them can master difficult slopes with the right instruction, says David Contarino who started his own kids at a very young age. “Both my kids were skiing double diamond trails off the Ridge at 9 years old,” says David Contarino. “Of course, I taught them!” Taos Ski Valley also has one of the best ski schools in the nation. It offers a variety of courses and programs for children and adults. According to David Contarino, experienced instructors share their knowledge with innovative teaching techniques.
According to David Contarino, who lived in New Mexico for more than 15 years, Taos Ski Valley is the perfect place for those looking for an adrenaline rush. Most trails are narrow, very steep and full of bumps, says David Contarino. “And watch out for trees, “adds David Contarino. No wonder the ski resorts’ official sign says, “Taos, a four-letter word for steep.”
“It’s no surprise to me that skiing is the No. 1 sport in many countries around the world,” says David Contarino. Breathtaking, panoramic views and unforgettable experiences on the slopes with family and friends are priceless, he adds. “There is no better way to spend a winter day,” says David Contarino.