ITaost’s a wonder that a place like Taos Ski Valley even exists. When Ernie Blake spotted the snowy basin in 1954 from his single-engine Cessna 170 airplane, the mountain was remote, rugged and raw. A lot of it still is.

“I’d call our area a wild chunk of mountains that have been chiseled out by pure will-power of the Blake family to be a skiable resort,” Veteran Taos Ski Patroller Ricus Ginn said.

Ernie and his wife Rhoda began to “chisel” out the New Mexico ski area into the surrounding landscape while living in an eleven-foot camper at its base. Truly humble beginnings for a truly humble place, the resort remains one of the few family-owned and operated ski areas in North America. While it’s one of the premier ski resorts in the West, the Blake family has managed to transform the area into a polished, destination ski resort and still preserve its rough, raw character.