4th of July Weekend: Can't Miss Activities at and Around Sipapu

With 4th of July just a few days away, here are a few ways to celebrate the holiday weekend at and around Sipapu:

riopuebloFREE Casting Clinics:
On Saturday, July 2, the Solitary Angler of Taos will offer a FREE casting clinic from 10:30 a.m. to noon. These hands-on lessons cover the fundamentals including: how the fly rod, reel and line work together, how to cast overhand and backhand, and how to shoot line out and strip line in. Call the Solitary Angler to reserve your spot at 575-758-5653. Or, if classes aren't your thing, do a little fishing on your own in the Rio Pueblo or our private, stocked fish pond. Learn more here. (Cost: FREE. Location: Sipapu)

Try your hand at disc golf: discover why Sipapu's disc golf course was named one of the most scenic courses in the country. The course is FREE for all guests and open everyday. If you're new to the sport and looking for a few ideas on how to get started, be sure to read our latest blog by local pro Jason Weldon (see: Meet Jason: Disc Golf Pro, Sipapu Tournament Director and Sipa Roll Dodger). Learn more about Sipapu's disc golf course here. (Cost: FREE. Location: Sipapu)

secobeyondtaosThe Quirkiest 4th of July Parade in Arroyo Seco: Beginning at 12 pm sharp, this annual parade surprises viewers every year with its unexpected floats and unusual costumes. Parking is limited, so come early! Festivities run from 10 am until 4 pm along the main thoroughfare, Hwy 150. Don't miss one of our favorite ice cream stops, Taos Cow. For a full list of area parades and activities, click here. (Cost: FREE. Location: Arroyo Seco, 33 miles northwest of Sipapu).

Fireworks in Taos:
Every year, the Town of Taos Volunteer Fire Department sponsors an hour-long professional fireworks display. The show begins when the sky is dark, usually around 9:15 p.m. (Cost: FREE. Location: Taos, 20 miles northwest of Sipapu).

Looking for some more ways to enjoy your Independence Day at Sipapu? Check out our list of activities at or around our resort, and be sure to visit some of our favorite off-the-beaten-path gems that are near Sipapu.

Meet Jason: Disc Golf Pro, Sipapu Tournament Director and Sipa Roll Dodger

weldonprofileThis weekend, Sipapu hosts the popular Rio Pueblo Disc Golf Tournament, a unique tournament that includes rounds on three courses (Two Gray Hares, Picuris Pueblo and our own disc golf course). This year, the Rio Pueblo sold out in a record-breaking 37 minutes! I had the opportunity to talk with tournament director Jason Weldon about the upcoming event, Sipapu's 20-hole disc golf course (named one of the most scenic in the country) and his tips for beginners.

Jason is a general partner of Elite Brothers Disc Golf and a Latitude 64 Soldier, and when he's not overseeing events all across the state (three of them are at Sipapu), he's running Sipapu's weekly disc golf doubles on Thursdays (click here for details) and - well - playing a lot of disc golf. Here's what we discussed:

SIP: When did you start playing disc golf at Sipapu? What do you enjoy about it? hole18

JW: I started playing disc golf at Sipapu in 2007, and the first tournament I ever played was the New Mexico State Doubles Championships (which was - and still is - also at Sipapu). Sipapu soon became my favorite place to play disc golf. The course offers many different shots that require pinpoint control if you want to score low! The other challenges of the course are the step greens on almost every hole.

SIP: Do you have a favorite hole at our resort? Which one is it and why?

My favorite hole at Sipapu has to be hole 14, it’s the only hole on the course that requires two perfect shots to get a par. That being said, hole 18 (pictured right) is one of the most beautiful holes in the state. Most players can’t resist throwing a second shot. Hole 18, AKA Let it RIPP, is 568 feet of pure downhill fun with huge ponderosa pines lining both sides of the fairway.

SIP: Explain the Sipa roll if people don't know what that is - and why we dread it so much.

JW: The Sipa roll usually happens after a missed putt that literally stands up out of nowhere and takes off down the mountain.

SIP: If there are first-timers reading this, what kind of disc should they look for (or rent from Sipapu)?

JW: For new disc golfers and old, Sipapu has a fantastic selection of golf discs for purchase from Latitude 64, Dynamic Discs, and Westside discs. For all new disc golfers, I recommend they start with the lower speed discs putters and mid-range discs. Sipapu also has many rental discs to choose from.    

SIP: Any other tips for those thinking about trying the sport?

JW: Be ready for all types of weather. The old saying in Northern New Mexico is, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. Most afternoons - especially in July and August - monsoons will roll in and give the mountain a much-needed drink. On that note, be sure to bring plenty of water: many of the holes at Sipapu's course require a decent uphill hike, and you want to stay hydrafted. Also, at most disc golf courses, you would start on hole #1, but Sipapu is a little different: you start on hole 20. It's located directly across the river from the lodge. Lastly: have fun!

Jason Weldon is a general partners of Elite Brothers Disc Golf, which was started in 2013. EBDG offers premier disc golf tournaments across New Mexico, including the former Pendaries Fall Classic, former Pendaries Village Open, Rio Pueblo Open (hosted at Sipapu), Sipapu Summer Slam (hosted at Sipapu), and the New Mexico State Doubles Disc Golf Tournament (hosted at Sipapu). For more information about Elite Brothers, visit www.elitebrothersdiscgolf.com

Summertime is Mountain Project Time

For our guests, summer at Sipapu means relaxing vacations, trout fishing, disc golfing and lots of family time - all in the cool Sangre de Cristo mountains (it's 70 degrees today)! For our mountain operations team, summer means primarily one thing: mountain projects, and they are in full swing at our resort. Here's a little behind the scenes look at what's going on:

lift5june2016Lift maintenance: we're currently doing a lot of testing to ensure everything will work as it should when winter returns. Out of nearly every project we're doing, you hear us talking first and foremost about lift maintenance because it takes so much time and it's so critical to our operations. Imagine if you neglected to change the oil in your car - what would happen? Our lifts would experience similar results if we failed to do our lift maintenance, so we're pretty fastidious and diligent about it.

New motor: our new lift, Sipapu's first quad (photographed left), is getting a new 125 horsepower electric motor this summer, and we're preparing for our lift manufacturer to install it. You may wonder why a lift that's less than a year old needs a new motor. The reason is pretty simple: our 100 horsepower motor did just fine last winter, although we anticipate using that lift even more next winter (especially early in the season when we expect to using use Lift #5 to access some of our "first to open" routes), and we want to ensure this lift can handle the added capacity.

Re-vegetation: anytime we move earth (such as last year for our trail widening projects or when we installed our new snowmaking pipeline), we're committed to laying seed and cultivating new growth once the project is completed. rollingrockrevegLet's say you added a new sprinkler system to your front lawn. How would it look if you finished the project only to not do anything with the landscape? Your yard would lose some serious curb appeal. At our ski area, we not only want our mountain looking good, but we want to ensure our trails ski well and avoid erosion. Good re-veg work will assist us in all of these areas (as seen in the picture on the right - this is the new growth on Rolling Rock, and it's looking good).

Preparing for the Howdy Extension Project: if you missed the news (see: $20 Million in Mountain Improvements Since 2015), Sipapu is part of a $10 million multi-mountain capital improvement campaign that will bring mountain improvements to Sipapu, Pajarito, Purgatory and Snowbowl. As part of that campaign, Sipapu will complete the Howdy Extension Project, which will extend both Howdy and Lower Bambi while adding nearly 5 acres of skiable terrain. As part of that same capital campaign, the base area team is remodeling Sipapu's historic lodge; work has started on this project and will be in full swing after the July 4 holiday weekend.

And while we always have a lot going on with these mountain projects, they won't interfere with your family vacation at our resort. We look forward to having you with us!

Snowmaking season is less than 18 weeks away!

Disc Golf Returns to Sipapu

discgolfadventures1The disc golf baskets are in at Sipapu, and we have had already many people playing our course (which was named one of the most scenic courses in the country). For those of you who have visited us before, here are a few changes you'll notice when you check out the course:

* All baskets are in with the exception of #7 (where we are doing additional grading work). Once you complete basket #6, please proceed directly to #8.

* All tee pads are installed with the exception of pads #1 Recreation, #2 Advanced, #5 Advanced and #8 Advanced. We removed these pads last year while we were building our new lift, and we will be doing additional re-vegitation work in these areas over the upcoming months. All of these baskets, however, are open.

Sipapu's disc golf course is FREE for everyone. This popular alpine course includes river crossings, challenging mountain terrain and beautiful wildflower meadows. You can rent a disc in our general store and try a basket or two - or all 20! Click here for more information.

Our mountain is also the proud host to several disc golf events, including:

Weekly disc golf doubles
Date: Every Thursday now through October 6
Time: 5:00-7:00
Cost: $5
This weekly event is popular with both locals and visitors to our area. Enjoy a dinner at the Riverside Cafe after your round!

Rio Pueblo Open
Date: June 25-26, 2016
This annual tournament sold out in approximately 37 minutes! One of the reasons it is so popular is that it includes rounds in three distinctly unique disc golf courses all located just a few minutes from our resort, including Two Gray Hares, Picuris Pueblo and Sipapu. Limited lodging is still available - call 800-587-2240 for details.

Sipapu Summer Slam
Date: July 16-17, 2016
This is a PDGA C-tier event and, like the Rio Pueblo Open, sold out very quickly! Limited lodging is available - call 800-587-2240. Guaranteed $500 Skins match for top 4 pro scores and top advanced score!

New Mexico State Doubles Disc Golf Tournament
Date: September 17-18, 2016
Cost: TBD
Registration has not yet opened for this annual state classic, but we expect it to sell out. Check out the tournament director's website to learn when registration opens, and book your lodging at 800-587-2240.

See you out there!

Photos courtesy of Disc Golf Adventures