2 Days to Go

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Our snowguns were still going strong at 10 a.m. this morning.

We're down to our final two days before our Opening Day, and I'm pleased to report that last night's snowmaking was excellent. We weren't sure what kind of temperatures to expect: at 4:00 yesterday afternoon, we were at a relatively balmy 41.3 degrees. By 7:00 last night - just three hours later - the temperatures dropped to 20.8 degrees. I have never seen that sort of temperature swing happen so quickly. Needless to say, we took advantage and started making snow. We were anticipating a low of 27 degrees last night, and it actually dipped all the way to 19 degrees. As a result, we made some really great snow throughout our base area.

We're still planning to have Lift #2 (our magic carpet that services the Practice Slope and surrounding terrain) open, and we will definitely have the magic carpet and ski school teaching area beginning Saturday. Our terrain park manager (Isa - who doubles as one of our veteran snowmakers) is finalizing our terrain park plan and will build it tomorrow. He's looking to have two lines, and each line will have two features with an additional feature in the middle. We'll have a couple of jumps, a flatbox rail, side wall and a barrel.

Snow is in the forecast for this weekend, although we're not expecting more than a couple of inches out of it. Then again, last night we expected 27 degrees and we got 19. We always hope for the forecast to work in our favor.

See you on Saturday!

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The pink, highlighted area shows the terrain we will have open this Saturday, November 15.

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What Will Be Open

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Our snowmakers have been busy these last few nights. Temperatures have been considerably warmer than usual this time of year, although our team has done a fantastic job to make snow at every opportunity.

With four more days until Opening Day, we're now finalizing our plan for our Opening Day schedule. While other ski areas in the country have been delaying their start dates, I'm very proud to announce we will, in fact, be open this Saturday, November 15, as scheduled. Our plan is to open Lift #2, which will service the Practice Slope, Lower Thumper, Lower Bambi, possibly part of Don Diego and possibly the beginner magic carpet and ski school area. We will convert Lower Thumper to a terrain park, and we'll be finalizing our park plan this Thursday. Our goal is to have an even bigger park than we did last year.

We pride ourselves in having one of the most dedicated snowmaking teams around, and I'm proud of this crew for working so hard to successfully make our opening date. If you know a snowmaker, be sure to tell them thanks.

If you're anything like us, you're counting down the days (4) and even the minutes (5,000 or so) until we open. We're excited to announce that as part of our opening weekend festivities (to see the full list of what's going on, click here), we're also going to add an extra day to our inaugural weekend operations: the lifts will turn on Saturday, Sunday AND Monday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, it's time to pull out the skis and snowboards: winter will begin this weekend, only at Sipapu!

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Our Coldest Night Yet

Last night, we experienced the coldest night yet of our snowmaking season, and we were able to make great progress on the mountain. We had more guns on the mountain last night than we've ever had before - thanks largely in part to our sister mountain, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Their staff shared a few snow guns with us in support of our quest to be the first ski area to open in New Mexico on November 15. I'm grateful to Pajarito and their mountain team. Thanks, guys.

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Last night's low dipped down to 22 degrees, which is great for our snowmaking purposes (depending on humidity and the wet bulb, we typically need a minimum of 28 degrees in order to make snow).We made some fairly significant piles of snow, and I'll be pushing those piles out later this evening when the ground fully freezes. This will be the first time we take the snow cat for a spin in the 2014-2015 winter season. We knock down those piles for a simple but very significant reason: our snow guns push water droplets into the air which - when it's cold enough - convert to snow and accumulate in large piles. After a while, the piles become so large that we lose hang time. We want to give those tiny droplets as much time as possible to turn into those snowflakes we all love to slide on, which is why I'll knock those piles down and start pushing out the snow.

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Tonight snowmaking continues, and we'll keep making snow every minute we can this week and next. To watch our work live and on our mountain cam, click here

Think Snow!

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Snowmaking Continues

Our snowmakers made snow on the Practice Slope last night.

The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm in the Southwest - which has been excellent for mountain crews finishing their fall projects, although it has been challenging for snowmakers. Last week, we even had an evening where the temperature was 31 degrees at the shop (which is cold, although we typically need temperatures closer to 28, depending on humidity and the wet bulb, in order to make snow), and at the top of Lift 2 - just 200 vertical feet from our shop - the temperature was 41 degrees. While inversions are very common on this mountain (where it's actually much colder on the lower part of the mountain than it is up high), I've never seen a 10 degree difference over 200 vertical feet.

Last week, we started making snow on the Practice Slope.

We have nearly our full fleet positioned on the lower part of our mountain, which is where we've seen the coldest temperatures, and we're making snow at every available opportunity. We made snow last night and it looks like tonight we'll be at it again, too.

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  1. Snowmaking Season