We just moved the electric cable for our snowmaking guns to the mountain - our fleet of snowmaking guns will move into position on October 12. We picked that day because we're seeing a pattern of dry weather over the next ten days. When the ground is really muddy, it's not easy for our vehicles transporting those huge guns up our steep terrain.
Sipapu's updated its fleet with new snowguns for the 2013-2014 winter.
Last year, we started making snow on October 8 - our earliest start ever! This was actually just a test of our new snowmaking pipeline, and we were pleased with the results:
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We made snow on October 8, 2012.
As we prepare for another snowmaking season, we continue to work hard on a long list of mountain projects, including cleaning up downed trees and getting our snowcats tracked. There's a lot of work to be done, and snowmaking will begin soon. As we look at the Farmer's Almanac, it appears that we'll have a solid run in the first couple weeks of November, although we're historically making snow beginning in late October. We'll continue to keep an eye on the forecast and keep you updated here.
We just picked up two new snowcats - one was used for a snowmobile tour operation out of Fraiser, Colo., and a second came from the Breckenride Tubing Hill.
Snowcats are amazing machines - and they're typically on the hill when you don't see them. Most of our grooming happens late at night or early in the morning, and if a snowcat breaks, we're usually fixing it in the dark, in the snow, while our guests are sound asleep. Adding additional snowcats will help ensure that if one goes down, we can still get the job done without compromising our product and especially without you noticing. In addition to giving ourselves more grooming options, we're excited that we'll now be able to put more grooming hours into our terrain parks: our plan is to groom our main park every single night, and groom the other parks more frequently than we've done in the past.
Snowcats being transported from southern Colorado to Sipapu.
Like most of New Mexico, Sipapu got pounded with rain this week. We are always grateful for the precipitation, although it can certainly make our mountain work a little challenging at times. Nevertheless, the Rio Pueblo was raging (see below photos). We've actually seen it much higher - it's come as high as the banks and we've had to place sandbags around our lodge to keep it from flooding. The bridge you see here is a drawbridge, and we can raise it when the water goes that high. It hasn't happened in quite a while, but you never know. We're always hopeful that a nice, wet fall will translate into a nice, snowy winter.
Pictures of the Rio Pueblo this week after the area received quite a bit of rain.
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It is with great pride and expectation that I re-launch The Forecast: Snow, our new and improved blog about how Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort is getting ready for the 2013-2014 winter season. Years ago, we started The Forecast as a way to show others how we prepare our mountain, our staff, our lifts, our snow guns and everything else that makes this place hum. We had no idea that this blog would become so popular. I love it when - even in the heat of summer - I hear people asking us when we're going to start talking about the Forecast.
The thing is, we never really stop.
But here, at last, is our new blog. For those of you who have faithfully followed our updates in the past, you'll see that you can now comment directly on our page. Please ask questions, let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you, and we want to make this as interactive as possible.
If this is the first time you've read The Forecast, please know the following:
If you love to ski or snowboard, this blog is for you.
If you're counting on the days for the 2013-2014 winter season to begin, this blog is for you.
If you can't wait to see snow, this blog is for you.
If you have thought - or are thinking! - any of these things, we've already got a lot in common, and we think you'll love hearing about the ways we're getting ready for the snow to fly.
And I can think of no better way to kick off this blog - written by people who love the snow, for people who love the snow - than by announcing when we'll be opening. For more than a decade, Sipapu has claimed the title of first ski area to open in New Mexico. This year, we're upping the ante: we're not only gunning to be the first ski area to open in the state, we're working right now to open one week earlier than we've ever opened before:
November 16, 2013
We typically open the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but this year - thanks to some upgrades to our snowmaking system - we're scheduled to open Saturday, November 16. And, with a little help from Mother Nature, we're planning to be open from top to bottom, too.
Stay tuned for our regular updates on how we're getting ready. In the meantime, write it on your calendars: November 16, 2013. And, if you're not doing it already, be sure to think snow.
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