20 Weeks Until Snowmaking

For nine days, our crew has been working hard to clear our lift line. As I mentioned in an earlier post (see The Process Begins), we have been spending a lot of time removing tree limbs while taking down and skidding the trees that we removed for the new lift line. We have large piles of tree limbs and logs ready to skid - we're gunning to have everything cleared out (with all stumps removed and grading complete) by June 21 when Poma returns to do their final survey. In short: we've got our work cut out for us. The next two weeks will be very busy.

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November 2014 snowmaking - we're counting down the weeks until it begins again!

While this massive project is going on, we're preparing for snowmaking season (just 20 weeks away!) by doing system improvements and ongoing gun maintenance. Winter - and especially snowmaking - is never far from our minds.

Chris Bell, Sipapu's Assistant Mountain Manager, knocks out some work on our snow gun compressors.

Just a quick reminder: if you hike near the new lift line or in places where we have large piles of branches, please do not climb on those piles, and be sure our construction team knows you are there. Thanks!

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Blue Skies

Blue skies are returning to Sipapu, and our team is ready to head back outside. The precipitation in this area has been tremendous these last few weeks: I saw a report that showed snow stakes in our region are 254% of normal! The snowpack in the higher elevations is phenomenal, and you can certainly tell when you see our river: it's really moving.

With the rain finally moving to the east of us, we're bringing in a crew to resume skidding trees as we prepare for our new lift. When I look at our weather station, it looks like we have a two week window of warm, dry days: we plan to take advantage of those temperatures and get as much done as we possibly can.

All of our baskets are open at our world-class disc golf course. Recreation Pad on #1 and the Pro/Advanced Pads on #2 are closed - please plan accordingly.

I just walked through our gift shop, and we have a huge selection of new discs! Be sure to check them out.

Photo courtesy of one of our favorite Instagram followers, @noah_balboah

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A New Lift: The Process Begins

The new lift line has been cut! This is what it looked like under some late-April snow.

The work is well underway for our new lift. The lift line has been cut, and Leitner Poma, our lift manufacturer, was out to the hill earlier this month to complete their survey. They provided us with a final profile of the new lift - an Alpha 80 - and we approved it. It's a pretty neat looking set-up, and we're already excited to use it this winter.

Now the real work begins.

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Here is what the new lift will look like. The quad photographed here is at Canada's Glen Eden ski area.

Leitner Poma will now engineer the lift and purchase parts while our team begins preparing for the new lift's installation. Over the next few weeks, our mountain crews will spend most of their time removing tree limbs, while taking down and skidding the trees that we removed for the new lift line. Furthermore, we'll also take down any additional dead standing or hazard trees. We expect to have much of this complete when Poma returns for their next steps in July.

As many of you are aware, the Southwest has seen its fair share of moisture these last few weeks. As a matter of fact, the US National Weather Service in Albuquerque reports that much of New Mexico is 200-400% above average in terms of precipitation! Taos County is no exception: April and May have been some of the wettest months in recent history. Our own Rio Pueblo river, which flows right by our resort, is really moving and is up about two feet. This is only the third time I've ever seen the water so high.

The mighty Rio Pueblo. Watch the flow live here on our webcam.

Warmer, drier temperatures are expected next week, and we'll resume our tree clearing then once we've dried out a bit.

Also, a quick update to those who may visit our disc golf course for the holiday weekend: all 20 baskets are currently open and accessible. We expect to close a couple of holes again next week - we will keep you posted on those changes as well as all updates surrounding our lift here.

Leitner-Poma completes their surveys at Sipapu.


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Introducing a New Lift!

I'm proud to announce that we will be building a new chairlift this summer for the 2015-2016 winter! We've been talking about and planning for this lift for some time, and I am very excited to finally share the details with you:

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It’s Sipapu’s First Quad and Made for Families
Our new lift will be a quad, a chairlift that can accommodate four skiers or snowboarders at a time. Virtually everything about this lift is family-friendly, even down to the seating arrangements: now a mom, a dad, and two kids can all ride on the same chair.

I actually just finished surveying the site with our managing partner, James Coleman, and he said it best:

"We are building this lift for families. It is perfect for parents and kids to ride together, and it gives those who are learning easy access to some of our best beginner terrain."

Which leads me to my next point...

It Is Ideal for Beginners
The beginner lift carries guests 330 vertical feet and services beginner trails like Bambi and Lower Bambi, and intermediate trails including Thumper and Rolling Rock, giving families and novice skiers and snowboarders an easier way to practice their skills before progressing to more advanced terrain.

This marks the 6th Lift at Sipapu and the 3rd New Lift in Less than 5 Years
The new chairlift (which will open sometime in 2015) is part of a long-term strategy to introduce more skiers and snowboarders to winter sports. For more than a decade, Sipapu has offered a unique Learn to Ski FREE program that offers first-time skiers and snowboarders a free ski school lesson with a lift ticket purchase. This free lesson program is the only of its kind in New Mexico and among a handful in the United States. In 2010, our ski school teaching area introduced Sipapu’s first magic carpet – a conveyor lift that glides flush along the surface of the snow. The response to this carpet was so overwhelming that we added a second carpet in 2013 on Sipapu’s Practice Slope.

The New Lift Comes With a New Run
In addition to the new lift and its superior beginner terrain access, we will add a new intermediate or advanced run directly under the lift, which will bump our trail count to 42.

Be On The Lookout for Construction Updates
We will post regular construction updates on this blog and our social media pages (follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and we have also set up a construction update line at 800-587-2240, ext. 1. For those guests who are on site and would like to watch our progress, please stay a safe distance from all workers and machinery, and please make yourself known as you approach and leave the construction area.

Disc Golf Course Changes
We have already started work on this project, and disc golf holes #2 and #5 are not accessible at this time. I suggest playing hole #1 and then going directly to hole #6. We will continue to keep you posted on the construction and how it affects our world-class disc golf course. (Click here for a map of our disc golf course.)

Access the New Lift All Season Long with a Season Pass!
Don’t forget that you can enjoy unlimited access to this new lift and our entire mountain on a season pass. The sale ends May 15! Click here for details.

Many exciting developments are happening at Sipapu - we'll keep you posted about them here!

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