In my last post (see January  19, 2014) I was sharing an experience I enjoyed in early Skiing at Taos Ski Valley, NMDecember 2013 after two miserable downhill skiing adventures. Deciding to face my demon, I undertook a Yellowbird Group Ski Lesson at the Taos Ski Valley. My instructor, Karen, was not only competent and professional, but she was nurturing and kind as well. After starting on the bunny hill, we moved on to another gentle, but slightly longer slope. We skied there until lunch, took a break, during which Terry and I had a sandwich at one of a number of restaurants at the resort. It was only then that I noticed how cold my hands had become. I had been so focused on skiing, I had not even felt cold. After lunch, I met Karen at a new ski lift as she had decided I was ready to take on yet another challenge.

I should mention that as the temperature was only 20 degrees, it was very early in the season and it was snowing significantly during the entire lesson, I was Karen’s only student that day. Therefore, in spite of the fact that I paid the lower price of a group lesson, I had her to myself the entire time, which I found was a tremendous benefit to my progress. The snow also helped to slow my speed, which was a welcome occurrence. It was the perfect day for ski school!

Skiing at Taos Ski Valley, NMAfter lunch we met near the Strawberry Hill ski lift. In spite of the fact that Strawberry Hill was quite a bit steeper than the very gentle slopes on which I had spent my morning, Karen did a wonderful job instructing me. In fact, as we were descending the hill, she always gave me something to concentrate on or an exercise to do so I didn’t even have time to get nervous. By the end of the day, I felt so comfortable and relaxed I was even able to ski off the highest point of the hill with no fear, a fact that amazes me to this day!

Taos Ski Valley, NMNow, I did not take on the highest or even the medium runs. Nor did I even ski all of the gentle ones as many were not open that early in the year. However, I now see skiing as the pleasurable activity that many others enjoy and I look forward to the experience rather than looking at it with fear and trepidation.  I see this as the beginning of my skiing experience, not simply something to endure and avoid as often as possible. I can’t say enough about my excellent teacher and the high caliber of instruction at the Taos Ski Valley Ski School. If you have ever entertained the desire to learn to downhill ski, even for a brief moment, or are looking for yet another way to enjoy the outdoors, do yourself a favor and check it out. You can find them at

Still not in the mood to camp in the parking lot of the resort as a number of skiers do each winter? Browse Woodall’s listings of New Mexico RV camping resorts.

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