Spring Break continues at Sipapu! Between the blue skies, the extended hours (we're open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow - beginning Sunday, March 20, we'll operate from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through the end of the season) and all of the kids out of school, it feels pretty celebratory around here.
And there's a lot to be excited about! If you missed last weekend's 13th annual Cardboard Derby, you should check out these photos. As always, our guests demonstrated that they're not only passionate about skiing and snowboarding, but they're also really into cardboard and duct tape. Thank you to everyone who participated (be sure to check out the championship event happening at Purgatory on March 26!)
Photo courtesy of Aiden Bain.
While it's always great to see many new faces, it's really fun to see some returning guests, too. I bumped into Rusty Goates from Sweetwater, Texas, on Saint Patrick's Day. See that hat he's wearing in the photo below? He purchased it at Sipapu 27 years ago, and he skis with us every year. Seeing return guests year after year make them family, and so there's certainly a homecoming feel about the place.
Rusty Goates, thanks for calling Sipapu home for 27 years!
Up next on the docket, we've got the Pond Skimming Contest this Saturday, and we're getting ready for our Easter festivities (our mountain will have its first-ever sunrise service as well as our annual Easter Egg scavenger hunt). Furthermore, while it is warm outside, there's still plenty of snow out there. We're doing a tremendous amount of grooming right now, and we're eyeing the next storm cycle, which may bring snow as early as next week.
Thanks, everyone, for making Sipapu your Spring Break home!
Spring is in full swing at Sipapu, and there are a lot of activities happening at our resort! As we approach the Spring Break season, here are a few things I would check off your list during your stay:
This marks the 13th year we've done this event, and each year it keeps getting better. Here's the gist of how it works: individuals or teams of people build vessels using cardboard, duct tape, paint, string or twine ONLY, haul them up the mountain and navigate them down our course. Points are awarded based on how close each vessel comes to a bull's eye at the bottom (click here for the full list of rules). If you're thinking about participating, here are a few tips:
The best prizes go to the most creative vessels. I've seen some of the best performing vessels get pulled out of a dumpster the night before our event. And while the best performing vessels get points, the most creative vessels get the best loot. This year, we're giving away vacation packages, cold hard cash ($250 courtesy of People's Bank and two $100 VISA gift cards, courtesy of Admiral Beverage) and more!
This race is not about speed. Judges inspect every vessel to make sure only the appropriate materials are used. If we spot anything that looks like wax or anything designed to increase your speed, your vessel will be staying on the sidelines.
Save time by registering early and online. This will save you a lot of time on Saturday! Click here to do it.
Check out this video of the 2013 Cardboard Derby! For more inspiration, look at these photos.
Some might think that daylight's savings means they're getting an extra hour of sleep. We like to think of it as getting an extra hour of skiing! So, from Sunday, March 13, through Saturday, March 19, our lifts will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for our full operating schedule.
If you love live music, you will want to visit the Riverside Cafe on Saturdays for Open Mic Nights. Our own Jenne McIntosh leads the lineup (and if you haven't heard her, you absolutely should), and we always see (and hear) some incredible talent, both from the local community and our guests. This weekly event is free.
Sipapu has just rolled out a couple of new Spring Break programs that are perfect for those with a Spring Break happening March 28-April 1. The new Yeti Club is a ski and ride camp made for kids ages 6-10. Purchase a day or two at a time, or purchase the full week - either way, your kids are going to have a blast! Click here for more information or to register online. Plus, we've added a ton of family-friendly events that week (click here to learn more), and we've also unveiled a special $99 season pass that gives you unlimited access to Pajarito and Sipapu March 28-April 3.
If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out Sipapu's newest lift. Our mountain's only quad (a lift that can seat four people at a time) was made for families, and it's perfect for those learning to ski or snowboard. This lift services some of our ski school instructors' favorite teaching terrain; plus the new trail under the lift, Faline (or, as we call it, Fall Line), is home to our beginner terrain park as well as the Santa Fe Ski Team's training area (to learn how you can train at Sipapu for the Santa Fe Ski Team, click here). And, don't forget: if you've never tried skiing or snowboarding, your first three lessons are FREE.
To see all of the activities happening this month, check out our calendar of events. Have fun out there!
This week's winter storm dropped 2" of snow at Sipapu, and the powder blended really nicely with the layer of snow underneath. While the conditions have been spring-like, the 2" of snow was just enough to really refresh the terrain. It looks good out there.
When it comes to spring skiing, Sipapu is one of the best places to enjoy soft snow. Our mountain's unique position in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains helps our slopes to warm quickly, which means you're skiing soft snow (rather than hard pack) earlier. For those of you who like bump skiing, I highly recommend Oops, Flower and Lower Rufus around mid-afternoon. The conditions are just right during that time of day!
We continue to see lots of people enjoying our big snow castle (just this morning, as I finished grooming, I counted seven smiling, waving kids perched on the top of the castle!) The warm temperatures have taken their toll on our signature landmark, and we may take the castle down earlier than expected. Most of the steps (which are photographed below) have been worn down by lots of kids' (and some parents') ski boots, so it's a little more like mountain climbing than stair climbing at the moment. We'll keep our eye on things and make a decision after this weekend.
This is what the snow castle looked like earlier this month when it first opened. Most of these steps are pretty packed out, although the slides are still working perfectly! Thank you, Facebook fan Rachel Manzanares!
The next storm could come as early as Tuesday!
The snow castle is open!
Last Saturday, we opened our snow castle and - as always - it was a big hit with both kids and parents alike. It took us less than a week to build, and this year we made it about 2 stories tall with 5 slides, 4 rooms and lots of steps. Every year, our snow castle is a little different, and our castle craftsmen (which also double as mountain operators and snowmakers!) use chainsaws to carve the snow. This year, we were inspired to create a dragon at the top - complete with teeth and a slide underneath! We've received several questions about how long the castle will remain open: at this point, I anticipate keeping it open until the last week of February (and it will come down no later than March 4). The castle takes our crew a lot of time to build, and seeing the faces and hearing the laughter from our guests make it all really worthwhile. We love this tradition at Sipapu.
Photo (left) of the snow castle as our mountain crews started building it, and (right) of the finished product. (PC: Jenne McIntosh)
Another important tradition also returns to Sipapu this Saturday: it's our third annual Lloyd Bolander Memorial Day. Lloyd Bolander was the founding father of this resort, and since his passing, we've set aside one day a year to celebrate his legacy. And, really, while one day is dedicated to Lloyd, he's never far from our thoughts. This winter, I've thought of him often with our new quad (see: Our First Quad Lift is Now OPEN!) Lloyd was so passionate about teaching others to ski, especially kids, and this new lift (and the teaching terrain it services) is absolutely geared toward beginner skiers and families. We know he would have loved this new addition at Sipapu.
Something else we know Lloyed would have loved: all of this snow. While the weather has turned warmer, the snow is holding up nicely. As a matter of fact, the extra snow this year has prompted us to expand our operating schedule: Sipapu will be open for daily operations through Sunday, April 3! Our scheduled closing day will continue to be Sunday, April 10, weather and conditions permitting.
We hope you join us this weekend - and especially on Saturday as we celebrate our founder. A portion of all lift ticket proceeds benefit the Lloyd Bolander Fund, which the family started to help youth ski programs and needs.