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.
The snow has been absolutely phenomenal this week. If you haven't seen the latest snow report, we picked up nearly two feet of snow in this week's storm. At one point, it was snowing two or three inches per hour.
And, I have to tell you: the skiing is ridiculous.
I can't talk it up enough: we've got such amazing snow right now. If you love skiing deep powder, you'll want to be skiing Sipapu this week.
The weather today was cold, but it felt like the mountains were squeezing every last snowflake out of this monster system that blew through the Southwest. Even after 20 inches, it continued to snow today!
Photo by Instagrammer @jesscoat - be sure to tag your Sipapu pictures with @SipapuNM!
It goes without saying that El Niño has absolutely delivered in our segment of the Rocky Mountains. We've now received over 13.5 feet of snow for the season. If we closed our mountain today (we won't), this would be the 5th snowiest winter in over a decade. And it's barely February! There's more snow still to come!
I have my favorite powder stashes on this mountain: what are yours?
If you're making plans to be at our resort this weekend, don't forget that the New Mexico Ski Bike Festival happens this Saturday and Sunday, and LY Snow Skates will be doing FREE snow skate demos on Saturday, too. Plus, we'll be giving away a Sipapu vacation as part of our Super Bowl Sunday lift ticket sale and party! Be sure to check these out in between those powder runs.
This Saturday, January 23, we'll open our much-anticipated Don Diego terrain park. This new park has become a favorite around here, and a nice compliment to our beginner park (located on Faline) and our two organic terrain parks (not to mention New Mexico's only terrain parks). Don Diego (named after the trail where it is located) will be our biggest park yet this winter: it will offer 12 features including a brand-new three-barrell rail, courtesy of our friends at Never Summer.
We've had guests ask us how we engineer these parks, and our answer is simple: we create them based on what our guests tell us. Every year we try to top what we did the year before, and I'm pretty sure we're going to do that again.
We've been building out the features over the last few days, and we're eager to drop the ropes on the park - and just in time for tomorrow's terrain park competition, the annual King of the Hill event, courtesy of NMX Sports.
The conditions continue to be incredible; this mountain is in really sweet shape! For those of you yearning for a gap in the snow, you'll be enjoying it this week: our weather station says we'll be seeing blue skies with lots of sunshine and we know there will be plenty of great snow. See you on the mountain - and in our terrain parks!
Photo courtesy of @steezystud
10 feet of snow.
That's how much our ski area has received so far this winter.
The last time we amassed 120 inches of snow in January, it was the 2004-2005 winter - and we hit that YTD total by the end of the month. This time, we crossed that milestone just eight days into January!
Here's what Sassafrass looked like earlier today. Thanks for the tag, @thenightowl58
Needless to say, the conditions here have been absolutely fantastic, and we continue to have every trail and every lift open - and we're working on opening every terrain park, too. Just today, we dropped the rope on what we once called Pedro's Terrain Park. Historically located near the new top terminal of our first-ever quad lift, this park is made for beginners. After re-evaluating our park location options, we decided to move Pedro's away from the lift and to our new trail, Faline. This trail (which is named after a Bambi character, but it's so close to the phrase Fall Line that we are calling it that internally!) will offer a superior slope angle, and we've positioned the park between Towers 3 and 4 on the skier's right. As of today, we have three features on our new Faline (ahem, Fall Line) Terrain Park: a box, a rainbow rail and a jump. We'll be adding a couple more later this week.
Instagrammer rosa_lee420 in one of our two organic terrain parks
We're also working on our biggest terrain park, Don Diego, and are gunning to have that open around MLK weekend.
In the meantime, we're pretty excited around here for 120". After today's snowfall, we'll see how much we add to that YTD total. Here's to another 120" or more this winter!!!