On a snowy day in early December I decided to face my demons, well, one of them anyway. Since we moved to a downhill skiing Mecca nearly two years ago, I have been terrified of the sport. I begrudgingly went skiing with my husband and two of my children the Friday after Thanksgiving the past two years, but was tense and terrified the entire time. After my most recent experience this past November, I decided I had had enough of the fear and I was going to conquer it. I have always been a take the bull by the horns kind of person; in fact I started hiking up mountains due to my fear of heights. Now you can’t keep me away.

Taos Ski Valley Ski SchoolWhat does this have to do with camping, you ask? Only that it is about enjoying the out of doors in all types of weather and I am thinking there may be other campers who share my fear and/or my interest in skiing. Also, the Taos Ski Valley, where I took my lesson, not only has one of the most competent and exceptional ski schools in the United States, they also have spots in their massive parking areas in which they allow users of their resort facilities, i.e. hikers and skiers, to park small or large campers and RVs to stay in while enjoying their resort.

On the heels of my most recent skiing experience, I decided to enroll in a Yellowbird Group Ski Lesson, designed for adults with little to no skiing experience. I felt I needed to start at the very bottom. In fact, once they learned I knew how to put on my skis, I was moved up to the Yellowbird 2 class, so you really need to know nothing about skiing to fit right in!

We started at the Magic Carpet, protected from winds by a toasty canopy

We started at the Magic Carpet, protected from winds by a toasty canopy

I met my instructor, Karen, at the appropriate time in front of the Ski School. I was more than a little nervous, but she quickly put me at ease. Understanding my anxiety, we started out at the Magic Carpet, the “bunny hill” ski lift that moves like an escalator but does not gain as much height. We spend about half hour practicing making a wedge as we descended the baby hill, then Karen decided I was ready for more of a challenge.

We headed over to another hill, longer but still not steep. It simply gave me more of a chance to actually ski before heading back up to the top. I really enjoyed this second hill and became very competent at skiing down it without even having to check my speed. Always a white knuckle skier in the Skiing at Taos Ski Valley, NMpast, this was something I had never before experienced! In fact, the biggest challenge I faced on this hill was the chair lift. Designed to accommodate children as well as adults, it is lower to the ground than a typical lift so to disembark, an adult must push themselves up and off. This was a trick that it took me awhile to master.

To be continued…

Not in the mood to camp in the parking lot of the ski resort? Browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico RV camping resorts.

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1 comment

  1. Dave Planitzer

    Glad that you are conquering your skiing fears. That's on my bucket list hopefully before I get too old to do it.
    I see that you may do some camping this year. I'm sure you will post your adventures and look forward to reading them.
    We hope to get back to your area (it's also on the bucket list) as we love Taos to Sante Fe area. but need to spend more than the few days we stayed the last time we were there.