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.
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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I'm proud to announce that we will be building a new chairlift this summer for the 2015-2016 winter! We've been talking about and planning for this lift for some time, and I am very excited to finally share the details with you:
It’s Sipapu’s First Quad and Made for Families
Our new lift will be a quad, a chairlift that can accommodate four skiers or snowboarders at a time. Virtually everything about this lift is family-friendly, even down to the seating arrangements: now a mom, a dad, and two kids can all ride on the same chair.
I actually just finished surveying the site with our managing partner, James Coleman, and he said it best:
"We are building this lift for families. It is perfect for parents and kids to ride together, and it gives those who are learning easy access to some of our best beginner terrain."
Which leads me to my next point...
It Is Ideal for Beginners
The beginner lift carries guests 330 vertical feet and services beginner trails like Bambi and Lower Bambi, and intermediate trails including Thumper and Rolling Rock, giving families and novice skiers and snowboarders an easier way to practice their skills before progressing to more advanced terrain.
This marks the 6th Lift at Sipapu and the 3rd New Lift in Less than 5 Years
The new chairlift (which will open sometime in 2015) is part of a long-term strategy to introduce more skiers and snowboarders to winter sports. For more than a decade, Sipapu has offered a unique Learn to Ski FREE program that offers first-time skiers and snowboarders a free ski school lesson with a lift ticket purchase. This free lesson program is the only of its kind in New Mexico and among a handful in the United States. In 2010, our ski school teaching area introduced Sipapu’s first magic carpet – a conveyor lift that glides flush along the surface of the snow. The response to this carpet was so overwhelming that we added a second carpet in 2013 on Sipapu’s Practice Slope.
The New Lift Comes With a New Run
In addition to the new lift and its superior beginner terrain access, we will add a new intermediate or advanced run directly under the lift, which will bump our trail count to 42.
Be On The Lookout for Construction Updates
We will post regular construction updates on this blog and our social media pages (follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and we have also set up a construction update line at 800-587-2240, ext. 1. For those guests who are on site and would like to watch our progress, please stay a safe distance from all workers and machinery, and please make yourself known as you approach and leave the construction area.
Disc Golf Course Changes
We have already started work on this project, and disc golf holes #2 and #5 are not accessible at this time. I suggest playing hole #1 and then going directly to hole #6. We will continue to keep you posted on the construction and how it affects our world-class disc golf course. (Click here for a map of our disc golf course.)
Access the New Lift All Season Long with a Season Pass!
Don’t forget that you can enjoy unlimited access to this new lift and our entire mountain on a season pass. The sale ends May 15! Click here for details.
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Many exciting developments are happening at Sipapu - we'll keep you posted about them here!
John Paul turned over the keys to his blog so I could update you all on our season pass sale. But, first and foremost, on behalf of our entire team at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, I want to personally thank everyone for giving us the most successful season in our resort's history. During the 2014-2015 winter, we saw more skiers, snowboarders, families and friends than we ever have before, and we are grateful to you all for being a part of it. Thank you.
This winter was busy - and not just because we had more guests riding our lifts. As you may know, over the last several months James Coleman, Sipapu's managing partner, and his ski resort management team began overseeing operations at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area while acquiring Durango Mountain Resort (once the deal was complete, Coleman promptly changed the ski area's name back to its original title, Purgatory). The team is also in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl.
With this change and the addition of new sister resorts, we have significantly expanded our season pass products, and they are now on sale through May 15. Here are a few ways our products have changed - and why it's good to snag one now:
This year, we introduced the Power Pass, and this is truly the most powerful pass in the Southwest. Power Pass guests can enjoy unlimited access to all four resorts: Sipapu, Pajarito, Purgatory and Arizona Snowbowl (which include over 13,000 acres, 26 lifts, more than 200 trails and 13 terrain parks). The Power Pass also includes its own set of unique perks, including 3 FREE days at Taos Ski Valley, Loveland, Powder Mountain and more. To see the full list of Power Pass benefits, click here.
p.s. The season pass products we offered last year - the New Mexico Power Pass PLUS, the New Mexico Power Pass, the Value Pass, Sipapu's popular family passes - are still available, too.
New Age Categories
With the introduction of the Power Pass came some slightly different age categories. These new changes apply to the Power Pass only (and not the New Mexico Power Pass products or any of Sipapu's other season passes). We've fielded a few questions about these changes - here are the biggest age category shifts over last year:
Young Adults (ages 18-29)
If you were born in 1986 or earlier, you have reason to rejoice: the Power Pass discounted student price has been extended to age 29. If you're over age 29 and enrolled in a minimum of 9 undergraduate credit hours, you still qualify for this discounted price, too.
Parents of Teens (ages 13-17) or Kids (ages 7-12)
If you purchase a Power Pass (again, not a *New Mexico* Power Pass) for yourself and your child, and if your child is between the ages of 7-17, your child receives (and you score!) a less expensive pass.
Here's Why You Should Buy Your Pass Now:
You Will Save Money
Now through May 15 is the best time to get the lowest available price on these products. Let me repeat: these season passes will never be lower than these prices, right now.
You Will Enjoy New Summer Benefits
The Power Pass includes amazing summer benefits, including the Total Adventure Ticket (which gives each passholder daily access to up to five of Purg's plethora of summer activities, including the alpine slide, the zipline, a ropes course, scenic chairlift rides and a lot more). This benefit is only available if you purchase your Power Pass by May 15. Again, this is an exclusive to the Power Pass - not the New Mexico Power Pass products.
Also, with every Power Pass purchase, you receive scenic chairlift rides at Arizona Snowbowl (where the views are absolutely stunning), and every Power Pass, New Mexico Power Pass PLUS and New Mexico Power Pass includes a $5 discount off Pajarito's summer chairlift rides, too.
It Really Is the Best Pass in the Southwest
There is no other season pass that can offer unlimited skiing and snowboarding in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona, and there is no other pass that offers the incredible perks available only on the Power Pass and the New Mexico Power Passes. While your skis and boards may be entering hibernation mode, there has never been a better time than this to guarantee an epic winter with a season pass.
Got a question about our new season pass products? Feel free to leave it here, or click here to purchase your season pass today!
March is one of the best times to ski or snowboard. It's a festive time at our resort, with Spring Break in full swing and our extended lift hours (our lifts turn from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through this Sunday - after that, we switch to 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the remainder of the season. Click here for details about our operating schedule), plus some of our best events, including last weekend's Cardboard Derby (click here for photos), last Sunday's Never Summer snowboard demo and this Saturday's Pond Skimming Contest, too. Click here for our complete calendar of events.
Speaking of Never Summer, they just delivered a sweet feature for our Don Diego terrain park. We removed the 40-foot jump and put the new bench in its place. Many of our guests have been talking about how they love features that offer a lot of options, and this one provides four ways to ride on it - all of them designed for anyone, be it beginners to those who are more advanced. To learn more about it, check out the video below:
With spring skiing in full swing, temperatures are warm (in the 50s), although the snow pack is hanging in there. We plan to continue operating Lift #4 and Lift #3 (in addition to Lift #1 and our magic carpets) all of next week, although we expect to open Lift #3 in the morning and Lift #4 in the afternoon. We made this decision as a direct result of what our guests were telling us: they have been enjoying the snow on Lift #4 in the afternoons, so we're swapping our schedule a bit to accommodate that.
We'll begin building the pond for our annual Pond Skimming Contest on Friday night, and the *free* event begins on Saturday at 1 p.m.