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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (3) Whistler vs (14) Taos

The Curbed Cup, our competition for the ski town of the year, is kicking off with 16 ski towns vying for the prestigious trophy. This week we'll have two matchups per day, and all the results and the full tournament bracket will be reviewed on Friday. Voting for each pairing ends 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence!

Whistler photo by David McColm courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb, Taos photo via Taos Ski Valley

In the next Curbed Cup match up, we have the heavyweight Whistler, British Columbia against Taos, New Mexico. Whistler is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and in many ways the resort town is better than ever. Its the setting for a hot new reality show, it remains the largest ski area in North America, and the Whistler real estate market is booming. That's all on top of some of the best skiing around, from steeps like Spanky's Ladder to well-groomed cruisers that will have your legs burning. Whistler has something for everyone, which will make this top-notch ski town hard to beat.

Taos, New Mexico, however, just might be up for the challenge. Taos Ski Valley has big plans for the future. After being sold to billionaire Louis Bacon in 2013, Taos has since opened a new lift on Kachina Peak and started construction on big resort renovations. The ski area joined the Mountain Collective this winter and is set to benefit from this year's monster El Niño. Down the hill, the town of Taos has an appealing, quirky vibe and some of the best New Mexican food around. There are epic hot springs nearby and the overall experience of skiing Taos should definitely be on your bucket list.

Poll results

· All Whistler Coverage [Curbed Ski]
· All Taos Coverage [Curbed Ski]