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It’s no hocus pocus, but you can ski in New Mexico! Nested in the Enchanted Circle which centers around Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the state, is the renowned Taos Ski Valley in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Extending 250 miles boasting ten 14,000-foot peaks, rest assured you won’t run out of runs. Full of bone-dry powder stashes, you’ll find mellow meadows to descend, big bumps to ride, chutes to dive into, and epic steeps to tame. While a magician never reveals his secrets, your guides sure will—let them show you the best hidden gems of the area.

  • Ski with certified AMGA/IFMGA guides

    Regardless of your backcountry skill level, there are limitless terrain options and terrific pro guides

  • Complete a classic ski descent

    Whether it’s powder, spring corn, or the stash of your dreams, expert guides are here to help you do a great run

  • Million dollar views while skiing

    Snow-clad peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains surrounding you

Available itineraries

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing

Have you been craving to go off-piste, but you’re a complete novice to the backcountry? This is a specially designed half-day for you near the Taos Ski Valley to get into the nitty-gritty of ski touring. Having familiarized yourself with backcountry ski gear and some basic techniques, head to fresh snow and feel the thrill of carving your first tracks. You'll get the full intro: getting in and out of touring bindings, applying and removing climbing skins, how and what to pack, setting an uphill track, kick turns, as well as the basics on how to use beacons, probes, and shovels. Your guide will find ideal smooth lines for simple travel and descents based on your comfort level. You can expect the day to last between 3 to 4 hours.

Full-Day Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour

If you already have the basics of ski touring down, but you have very little or no experience, this one’s for you. There’s plenty of beginner-friendly terrain options and bunny slopes for you to practice on near the Taos Ski Valley. After a revue of the various types of gear that allow us to travel safely through the backcountry, you will do some simple travel and descents based on your comfort level. Expect the day to last between 6 to 7 hours. Join your guide for a day in untracked powder, acquire a new set of skills, and ease into backcountry skiing!

Full-Day Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

If you already have the basics figured out, this trip will get you into the goods with confidence following our professional guides. Terrain choice, variable snow skiing techniques, and basic avalanche awareness will be covered. Relatively short to moderate approaches to access classic backcountry terrain. And all of that you can find in Northern New Mexico, where plenty of challenging terrain awaits, ranging from steep terrain to narrow chutes. Going to the wilderness with an AMGA/IFMGA guide is your best bet, so go for it and let them help you overcome technical hurdles you might be struggling with! The day lasts 6-7 hours in total.

Full-Day Advanced Backcountry Ski Tour

This trip is designed for those looking for endless powder and steep drops all day long. Traveling with the local guides may allow you to connect multiple peaks, drainages, and slopes in just one day. Advanced tour will focus on covering a wide variety of higher and steeper terrain in Northern New Mexico near the Taos Ski Valley—go ahead and search out the best skiing areas! Expect the day to last 7-8 hours.

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Meet your guide

Mountain Skills Rock Guides
5.00
Mountain Skills Rock Guides
AMGA Certified Guides
The Mountain Skills Rock Guides have provided permitted, certified, and insured guided rock climbing tours of the Red Rock National Conservation Area and northern New Mexico for over 20 years.
5.00 (2 reviews)
christopherzab (source: Trip Advisor)

We had a wonderful experience with the back -country skiing in Taos with Mountain Skills. Our guide for the day, Hannah, did a terrific job; with help from Nick, teaching us about avalanche awareness and snow make-up and what causes avalanche. We were equipped with all necessary gear making for a safe outing into the wilderness where we skied 1st tracks in 2 ft of snow. I would highly recommend this group as a way to experience the back-country.

Lauren G (source: Trip Advisor)

We did a day of introductory backcountry skiing with John Kear and had the best time! John is awesome – I would highly recommend backcountry skiing with John, no matter what your experience level. We skied through beautiful terrain and learned a ton, including on avalanche safety and how to use backcountry ski gear. Can’t wait to get back out there

Things to know

  • What you get in this adventure:

      • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • Half-day or full-day guided backcountry skiing tour
        • Introduction to backcountry skiing (3-4 hours)
        • Beginner backcountry ski tour (6-7 hours)
        • Intermediate backcountry ski tour (6-7 hours)
        • Advanced backcountry ski tour (7-8 hours)
      • Backcountry permits
      • Avalanche safety equipment

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment (possible to rent)
      • Transportation to the meeting point
      • Food and snacks
      • Accommodations
  • To enjoy these backcountry adventures in Northern New Mexico, you’ll need to have a decent fitness level. You’ll be skiing on varied terrain for at several hours (if you choose the intro tour) or 6-7 hours (if you choose any of the other tours). While backcountry skiing is a full-body workout and it can be strenuous, your guide will help you choose the right terrain for your experience and fitness level.

  • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with solid blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Backcountry skis and skins (can be rented)
      • Backcountry boots boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment — beacon, probe, and shovel (if you do not have it, your guides will provide you with it free of charge)

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Backcountry skis, boots, poles, and skins
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
      • Helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • Two pairs of waterproof gloves
      • Hat or a beanie
      • Buff
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Lunch and food you can eat on-the-go
      • Sunscreen
      • Camera — optional
  • If you need backcountry skis, skins, or boots, you can contact Alain and Peggy at Le Ski Mastery in the Taos Ski Valley. Make sure to reserve them in advance, be fitted, and pick them up the day before your trip.

  • Group sizes and pricing:

      • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1. With the advanced backcountry ski tour, the maximum is set at 3 participants.
      • Costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family. 

    Ski touring in Northern New Mexico can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • For the intro and beginner backcountry skiing tour, the minimum age requirement is 10 years old.
      • For the intermediate and advanced tours, the minimum age requirement is 12 years old.
      • If your group has minors over the age of 10, they need to be in the presence of a legal guardian.

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to backcountry skiing in Northern New Mexico, most people fly into Taos Regional Airport, which is 40 minutes away from your meeting location. There’s also the possibility of flying into Albuquerque International Sunport, a 3-hour drive from your meeting point.

    You’re going to meet your guide at the Bavarian Lodge parking lot, 100 Kachina Rd, Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525, United States.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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