New Mexico is open for the 2014-2015 ski and snowboard season!
Opening Weekend was fantastic.
Roughly 48 hours before we opened, we had just enough snow to open our two magic carpets, three trails and a terrain park. Given the unseasonably WARM fall we've had (and in light of many ski areas throughout our region delaying their opening days), we were pretty proud of this.
Then, the night before we opened, Mother Nature gave us a break and we opened on Saturday with 4" of new snow. This seemed like a promising start.
A few hours later, Mother Nature unleashed about another foot of snow (I'll be checking the snow stake later tonight to get the final total). This was even better.
Tonight, we're looking at the coldest temperatures yet - a low of 9 degrees, and it could get colder (when our mountain is covered in snow, it helps to bring the temperatures down. Plus, snow reflects the sunlight rather than absorbing it, which also helps cool things down). I fully anticipate we'll run our snowguns for at least 24 hours. When we log 24+ snowmaking hours, our snowmaking productivity soars.
Sipapu Lodge - November 16, 2014
I spent nearly every minute today grooming nearly every trail on our mountain. And I have to tell you: it looks amazing out there. The snow we received over the last 48 hours has been very nice, very heavy. That being said, we've made very little snow above our Practice Slope before tonight, and we are putting all of our efforts into taking advantage of tonight's cold tempratures to make snow on the top of our mountain. This means that while we will open again tomorrow, we'll operature our two magic carpets only.
It should be a different story when we re-open on Friday, November 21.
Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend and made our Opening Day and Opening Weekend so much fun. We're proud to be the first ski area open in New Mexico for the 12th year running!`Here's to a snowy season, everyone.
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November 16, 2014
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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