The balmy weather continues as we make our way up to Taos Ski Valley. This is much more of a resort area, and the general steepness of the terrain gives it an adventurous feel. We figure that the sense of adventure might extend to an embrace of backcountry skiers, but on our way up we encounter a “NO UPHILL TRAFFIC” sign. We’ve seen a few ski patrollers who didn’t seem to care, but we decide to attempt to comply by climbing out of the ski area bounds. We’re soon skiing through the yards of empty trophy houses, then bogging down in a snow-filled creek. Eventually we give up and return to the ski area. At the Phoenix Grill we find signs for the Williams Lake trail – apparently the correct method for backcountry skiers is to drive this far and start up the trail here. I do go up a little ways to get a short backhill run through tight trees, the steep bumps of the ski area ridge still looming above me.
Split boarding doesn’t seem to bother my knee. That seems fortunate, but this warm weather is taking away the snow. Taos reports more snow than most other areas in the state, and even here it seems like the more exposed runs are starting to suffer. If we don’t get some real snow storms soon, I think this may be our last outing on the skis for a while.
I try mounting my camera on my waist belt for my run today. This seems promising, the footage is definitely smoother, but I maul the camera when I crouch down to go through gaps in the trees, and my arm randomly floats through the frame now and then.