Getting Ready for Poma

Our team continues to make outstanding progress with the tree clearing project as we prepare to build our new lift. At this point, over 90% of the stumps have been removed, and we've got several slash piles on the ground, ready for skidding. Our goal is to have the cooridor for the new lift ready for Poma's next visit, which will happen next week. Poma will do their final survey during this time. On their following visit after next week, Poma and their team will begin building our new lift. We're excited and eager for this next phase.

Making progress. This June 10, 2015 photo shows the work that's been done to date on the new lift line trail (pictured right).

We refer to this project as our "pick up sticks" work because that's what we're spending a lot of time doing: picking up downed trees, limbs, debris, and rocks. But while this "pick up sticks" project is a big one for us, it's part of what we do around here. Our founder, Lloyd Bolander, was a big believer in keeping his trails as debris-free as possible. Legend has it, he wanted to be able to ski his mountain on a heavy frost, so his philosphy was to keep Sipapu's trails pristine. We're following his footsteps (or ski tracks, however you want to look at it) because, like him, we want to be able to ski and snowboard on a heavy frost, too.

Certified straw for silt fencing and revegetation projects during the lift construction. You're looking at 664 bales here, and we'll need two more of these deliveries before the summer is over.

Sipapu's disc golf course is still in full swing (and we are preparing for the upcoming Summer Slam tournament on July 11). As a reminder, here are the tee pads that are currently closed, due to the lift construction project:

Recreation Pad #1
Pro and Advanced Pads #2
Advanced and Recreation Pads #5

These pads will be closed indefinitely as we complete the lift construction, but all baskets and the remaining pads are open and ready to play!

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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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