The weather has been warm this week at Sipapu, although I'm excited to see a change in the weather pattern starting this weekend. We'll have a good shot of getting snow this Saturday, Sunday and Monday - and by the looks of the Sipapu weather station (click here to see it), we could get several inches out of it. We'll keep an eye on things and keep you posted on how it develops.
In addition to the upcoming snow, this weekend will be pretty special at Sipapu: Saturday marks the 2nd Annual Lloyd Bolander Day. Lloyd Bolander was Sipapu's founder, visionary and leader, and he passed away January 2014. While we miss his presence, we are so grateful that he, together with his wife, Olive, had the vision to start this small ski area in our canyon. The Bolander family started a fund to support area school children to learn to ski - something Lloyd was absolutely passionate about - and a percentage of all lift ticket sales on Saturday will directly benefit this fund. We hope you can make it and take a few runs in Lloyd's honor. On Sunday, we're also hosting the Pine Cup Ski Race - and I'm confident Lloyd would have loved that, too.
Last Saturday, we opened our legenday snow castle and, as always, it was a magnent for kids (and, quite frankly, a few grown-ups, too). At two stories tall, this castle is really big and provides plenty of places for kids to play, with its steps, tunnels and slides. Thanks to the popular Disney movie, Frozen, we saw quite a few Elsas running around on Saturday! We'll keep this castle up for at least a couple more weeks - we typically take it down in early March, when we use the castle snow for our base area.
This picture gives you an idea of how big our snow castle is - it's around two stories tall!
Last weekend, Sipapu picked up 6" of snow, and it looked very white around here on Friday and Saturday. As always, we are grateful for the snowfall and continue to have all 41 trails open.
The view of Lift 1 on Saturday, January 31.
We really used those 6" of natural snowfall in our organic terrain parks (to learn more about these parks, click here), and by this weekend, we expect to open three new medium-sized jumps in Flight School and an additional feature in Playground. Playground's feature is a wall of snow that will be about a four-foot tall spine, and it will alllow skiers and riders to land on either side of it. We've been thinking about this feature for a while and are excited to unveil it this weekend.
Sipapu's organic terrain parks are growing! Park staff will add new features on Playground and Flight School.
Don't miss this weekend's 2015 SkiBike Festival, sponsored by SkiBikeFun. We've been proud to be the festival's exclusive host for years, and we couldn't be more excited to bring multiple skibike manufacturers to our mountain on Saturday and Sunday. As with every year, we'll do a special moonlight skibike parade at 5 p.m. - it's the only time we'll run the lifts after hours, and we do it just for skibikers. The event organizers are also planning a fun poker run, which is new this year. Everything - the demos, the clinics, the parade, the poker run - is free! For details, click here.
Also, save the date for Sipapu's most popular family event, February Fun Fest, February 14-16, 2015. This is an annual tradition at our ski area, and we spend about a week building our famous snow castle. We'll start our "snow castle watch" on Saturday when we pile up the snow and begin building it. (You can "watch" our progress here or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages all next week). The final castle will open next Saturday, February 14, and it typically stays up until the first few days of March. Be sure to arrive in costume on Saturday - it's another Fun Fest tradition! See you at Sipapu!
Bluebird days at Sipapu!
It's snowing at Sipapu! It started at about 5:30 this morning, and we cleared 7.5" off the stake at 3:30 this afternoon. This storm system is a slow-moving one, and we are smack in the middle of it. I just checked our weather station, and it looks like this snow will continue tonight and into tomorrow morning. We are expected to get 8" - with any luck, we'll get that and then some.
The mountain has been engulfed in this snow cloud all day.
In the meantime, we continue to work on the Don Diego Terrain Park. We opened it last weekend with tremendous success: the traffic flowed really well, and guests seemed very pleased with our largest park. In particular, we received a lot of great feedback on the new A-frame with the two urban jumps. As our terrain park manager Isa said, you definitely want to bring your "gnarly boots" for this park. It's legit.
Over the next few days, we will continue to open our remaining features, and we will have everything completed in time for this weekend's King and Queen of the Hill terrain park competition. I understand at least one lucky winner will pick up a 2015-2016 Power Pass with benefits at our four ski areas: Sipapu, Pajarito, Purgatory and Snowbowl. This is our biggest terrain park event of the season, and if you love terrain parks, you won't want to miss it.
In terms of the rest of the mountain, everything we're grooming looks very nice. The coverage is excellent, and we've got a good, clean product for you out there. I spoke with someone who skied the bumps in our trees yesterday, and he said it was an absolute blast.
We'll continue to keep you posted on the snowfall as it accumulates - watch our snow report for updated information. In the meantime, check out the conditions live on our mountain cam here. Better yet, join us: Sipapu is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Powder day at Sipapu!
I'm proud to announce that beginning Saturday, we will open our largest terrain park, Don Diego. This intermediate-to-advanced terrain park is our most aggressive and superior park ever - not only because of the big features but also in their link-ability. Our terrain park manager explains that skiers and riders will be able to link more features in this park than any other park in New Mexico.
Starting Saturday, we will have the following features open:
10-foot round torpedo rail
10-foot long box
20-foot A-frame box (with a dragon tongue, or a three piece feature, including two urban take-offs and a straight mount)
38-foot tabletop gap jump
Over the upcoming days, we'll continue to add the following features:
8-foot 6" wide flat rail (also featuring a dragon tongue)
14-foot flat rail
10-foot gap with a barrel bonk and jump
This park has taken a lot of time and careful planning, especially by our terrain park manager, Isa. Last year, this park included 14 features and this year, we're planning for 11. We made the decision to trim down because our guests told us that the 14 features felt a little tight. Thanks to the added breathing room, skiers and snowboarders will have a little more space to go bigger than before.
Don Diego is Sipapu's fourth terrain park. As a quick reminder, here are the descriptions of all of our parks:
Sipapu's newest and largest terrain park
Skill Level: Advanced to Expert
Location: On Don Diego
Features: Eleven features, including a 10-foot round torpedo rail, 20-foot A-frame box with a dragon tongue (including two urban take offs and a straight mount), and one huge 38-foot tabletop gap jump. Additional features include a 20-foot jump, 18-foot gap, a 10-foot long box, 8-foot 6” wide flat rail, 14-foot flat rail, 10-foot gap with a barrel bonk and jump.
Organic and all about airtime
Skill Level: Beginner Freestyle to Intermediate
Location: Serviced by Lift #3
Features: A half-dozen distinct jumps ranging from 10 to 20 feet plus a canon.
One of the jumps in Flight School. Photography courtesy of Tony Maples
Sipapu's second organic park
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Serviced by Lift #3
Features: C-Wall—a 30-foot wall ride (inspired by our terrain park manager’s boardercross race circuit days), quarter pipe wall ride, hitching post tap, two 16-foot flat rails, one canon and one tree tap.
One of the two flat rails in Playground. Photography courtesy of Tony Maples
Perfect for beginners or those improving their skills
Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate
Location: On Bambi, just past Thumper on skier’s left
Features: One 8-foot jump, 8-foot rainbow rail and a 6-foot flat box.
Stay tuned for more announcements about Sipapu's parks - and let us know which parks and features you like best! Also, if you see Isa or Sasha, be sure to tell those guys thanks. They've worked overtime to give us some incredible terrain parks this season.
Also, don't miss next weekend's King of the Hill terrain park competition, when all of the features will be open and some incredible prizes are up for grabs, including a 2015-2016 Power Pass! Tomorrow we'll have a healthy lineup of events, including the Black Diamond Telemark Festival, SkiBike Demo Days, SkiBlade Demos, the Freeheel Fray (Sipapu's FREE skin-up, ski-down race), and Santa Fe Brewing (plus their awesome Happy Hops Hunt) and Taos Mesa Brewing will both be on site, pouring their brews. Finally, enjoy it all while listening to an apres ski concert by local group, Squre Peg. Click here for our full list of events!
See you on the mountain and in the parks!