How Forgetting My Phone Led to an Unforgettable Day of Skiing

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I never sleep well at altitude. Bleary-eyed, I wander into the dining room of The Blake, Taos Ski Valley’s newly minted hotel. Adorned with woven Pueblo tapestries and leather-studded furniture, the lobby sits at a respectable 9,200 feet above sea level. I live at sea level.

After a cup of coffee, I remember it’s my last ski day and I start shoveling fried potatoes into my mouth before bolting to my room to gear up. It’s my first visit to Taos and I haven’t quite figured out the flow of the place; where to go and when. But I’m supposed to meet a local skier, John, who promises to help.

I grab my skis and head out to the infamous base area. All you can see from the base of Lift 1 is Al’s Run, a fantastically steep and sustained bump run that has the power to intimidate beginner skiers. I walk past the famous “Don’t Panic!” sign—a…

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