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!
After picking up nearly 3 feet of snow in December, we've been able to open virtually 100% of our named trails (there are one or two places where a small portion of a trail is closed). The conditions continue to be excellent, and we're wrapping up our snowmaking operations. We're hitting a few high traffic hot spots over the next couple of days, and we'll soon make a big stock pile in the base area for our February Fun Fest snow castle. Very soon, however, we'll put the guns away and begin snow gun maintenance for next winter. This is typically a summer project for us, although we are planning a couple of major mountain improvements (stay tuned for those exciting details), and we're eager to get our snow gun maintenance completed now so we can focus on those new initiatives after ski season.
We've finished making snow on Don Diego, which is where our fourth terrain park will be located (click here to read a recent blog about all of our parks, including New Mexico's only organic terrain parks). Our staff will be closing this run sometime next week to finish building out the Don Diego park and we expect to open it by next weekend, January 17, just in time for the annual King of the Hill terrain park competition (happening January 24). We have a ton of events happening over the next few weeks, and most of them are free. Click here for our full events calendar.
Snow is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday!
Sunny days at Sipapu and no lift lines! This is a great time to get a deal. Click here for more info.
The holidays are always a great time to be skiing and snowboarding - and doing it on 11" of new snow (which we picked up over the weekend) makes it all even more festive. We've had nearly 100% of the mountain open and all 5 lifts running daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - the only runs that are closed are Don Diego (we're building the new terrain park on this run - it's our biggest terrain park and it is scheduled to open mid-January), and Lower Gamble (we're making a little more snow on this popular run. We expect it to be open in a couple of days).
Thanks to the additional snow, we've built out our organic parks to include a few more features, including a log tap, an 8-foot vertical wall ride and a hitching post. We continue to hear fantastic feedback surrounding all of our parks, and we think they're really pretty awesome. We'll see what happens with this next storm cycle (scheduled to arrive at Sipapu on Thursday) - we could finish our organic terrain parks after a little more snow (we're only lacking a couple of features at this point).
We love this photo of one of our guests in our organic parks. Provided by Instagram fan @tonymaples #sipapunm
As with every holiday season, it is busy. While the mountain is holding up really well, this is one of those rare times where you will encounter lines. If you are planning to visit Sipapu this week, here are a few ways you can spend more time on the mountain:
Come early. Our ticket office and ski school desk open at 8:00, and you can beat the crowds (not to mention increase your chances of snagging the first chair) by arriving shortly after these doors open. I suggest getting your tickets, rentals and ski school lessons early and then enjoying a breakfast burrito while you wait for the lifts to start turning.
Plan ahead. If you know exactly what lift tickets, what lessons, what rentals you need, we’ll zip you through the line much faster.
TIP: If you are staying multiple days, purchase your lift tickets, rentals and lesson packages the day before. Mention this at the ticket window, and they will tell you how you can get squared away the day before.
Pick up your rentals on your way. You'll rarely hear me or anyone else around here suggest you should get your rentals anywhere but at Sipapu, but during this time of year, we do sell out. Rental lines can be long, so save yourself some time by picking up your rentals at your local ski shop before you arrive.
Carpool. Our parking lot is getting full. Getting a ride with a friend will help minimze the time spent hoofing it to your car.
Pack a lunch. We always want our guests to visit the Riverside Café for a meal, although on busy days, it might be the perfect time to brown-bag it.
If you just want a SipaBurger, come early. Our restaurant is the busiest starting around 12:30. If you can grab an early (or late) lunch at the Riverside Café, you’ll spend more time on the mountain and less time in a restaurant line.
Give our employees a pat on the back. I want to personally thank our staff for their hard work everyday - and especially during this holiday week. When lines get long, please know this: we have a dedicated team of men and women who are doing their very best to give you the very best ski or snowboard day possible. A word of thanks or encouragements really does go a long way. Several of our guests have already treated our staff to high fives, muffins and cookies. You know who you are - thank you, and we appreciate it.
In light of all of this, I also want to say thank you to everyone who celebrated the holidays with us this week! We've had a great time with all of you.
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