Kachina Peak at Taos Ski Valley reopens after deadly avalanche

February 14, 2019

TAOS — Taos Ski Valley has reopened Kachina Peak a little more than three weeks after a rare inbounds avalanche killed two skiers there.

Over the weekend, skiers and snowboarders posted photos on social media to mark the reopening of the mountain’s 12,481-foot peak.

Taos Ski Valley Vice President Chris Stagg said the peak’s challenging set of steep runs, cliffs and couloirs reopened for hikers Saturday, and the lift was running Sunday, drawing crowds.

The area was shut down following the deadly avalanche Jan. 17, just a few days after the Kachina Lift had opened for the season. The avalanche was the first to take lives inbounds since the resort was founded in 1955.

Over the past few weeks, the resort’s ski patrol team has been detonating explosives and traversing the snow in order to reduce the risk of a slide. Officials said the same precautions were taken the day of the avalanche.

While the U.S. Forest Service continues to conduct a review of what caused the accident, the ski valley has declined to provide further comment on the tragedy or what policy changes it might spur.