The Helicopter Returns

For those of you who missed it, we had a helicopter at Sipapu two weeks ago. Our lift manufacturer brought the chopper in to transport concrete from our base area to each tower foundation. As we expected, the work went quickly: the helicopter delivered a total of 60 yards of concrete, which meant 60 trips back and forth between the base area and the mountain. It took right at 2.5 hours to complete.


Next week, the helicopter returns: this time, to set all of our lift towers.

As we prepare for the helicopter's visit, part of our team is working to assemble the towers, and we have several people working to install new snowmaking line. This week, we've buried over 600 feet on Loose Caboose, and it was definitely a challenge. We moved boulders that were equivalent to medium-sized cars! Next, we're doing quite a bit of earth work and grading on our new trail under the lift line. We're starting at the top stations and working our way down, re-shaping the mountain to make this new trail fantastic for everyone. If you are at Sipapu and watching the construction, please be aware during our grading: rocks are moving (we've created big slash piles in strategic places on the mountain to act as a big catcher's mitt for anything tumbling down). As always, please make sure one of our crew members see you when you come and when you leave.

We'll let you know once a date has been confirmed for the next helicopter visit at Sipapu - it will happen next week! In the meantime, check out these photos from our last helicopter visit:


The Helicopter Will Be Here August 28

This Friday, August 28, we will have a helicopter on the property to transport concrete for our lift towers' foundations. Watching helicopters come and go from the mountain is one of my personal favorite parts of the lift construction process. We do not anticipate using helicopters for the tower installation, so this will be your best (and possibly only) chance to see a helicopter aiding in our construction. Here are a few things you need to know if you are on site:

For your safety, Sipapu's mountain and parking area will be closed on Friday, August 28, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This includes everything from the hotel to the base area, and all parts of our mountain (including our disc golf course and the Rio Pueblo within this area).

All base area facilities, including our lodge, restaurant and store will be OPEN and maintain their regular hours during this time. To access these facilities, please drive to the front (north side) of the lodge.

The lift tower foundations as they were being built. The helicopter will fly in concrete for these foundations.

The two parking areas that are north of the lodge (the one directly in front of the lodge and the second that's across Highway 518) as well as the parking areas near the Apartments will remain open during this time.

If you would like to watch the action, the best way to do it is from the parking lot that's north of the lodge and across Highway 518. From there, you  can hike to a higher viewpoint and see the entire lift line as well as the helicopter taking off and landing. If I were you, I'd start watching well before noon. The earlier, the better.

Depending on how high you hike, you can see views like this from across Highway 550. Perfect helpicopter viewing spot!

For your safety, please do not not attempt to access any restricted areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including the mountain and our base area).

All lodging guests will be able to access their rooms during this time. For more information, please call 800-587-2240.

The Towers Are Here

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Future home of our new lift's bullwheel.

When I pulled up to work this morning, it was 45 degrees. If it had been just 5 degrees colder (and less humid), we could actually be making snow. It's a reminder that fall temperatures are coming - we're less than eight weeks from moving our snowguns to the mountain!

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Getting ready for rebar installation.

In the meantime, work continues on our new lift. We've been unloading and installing reinforcing bar (rebar) in our new tower foundations. We expect this to be inspected later this week and start pouring concrete starting next week.

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The new lift towers have arrived and are ready for installation!


This New Trail Will Be Awesome

Here's what the new lift line (and Sipapu's 42nd trail!) looks like today. Imagine this, covered in snow:

Here's what it will look like when you're at the top of our new lift. Who's ready to ski/ride this?

In addition to being the home to our new lift's towers (see: Introducing a New Lift!), this will be a new intermediate trail for our mountain. Even without skiing it, I can tell you with confidence: this will be a FUN trail.

Some have asked how we select names for our trails, and it's different each time. Some trail names are obvious: you probably recognize them as Disney characters. Others (like Sassafrass, Howdy, Razzmatazz and Brandy) are actually names of beloved dogs that belonged to the Bolanders (Sipapu's founding family) or their friends. Indecision was coined after we couldn't settle on a name we all liked best. Every trail name sparks a memory, and this one will be no different. To date, we haven't named this trail, but we will soon.

If you haven't seen NOAA's latest precipitation outlook, you will want to hear this: for the 2015-2016 winter, our region (including New Mexico, southern Colorado, Arizona and California) is anticipated to see above average precipitation and below average temperatures this winter. Click here to read NOAA’s full statement.

Here is what NOAA is predicting for the 2015-2016 winter season!

Our lift manufacturer, Leitner-Poma is back on the mountain, and we're now digging holes for the foundations of our lift towers. Poma will start at the top of the mountain and work their way down. Meanwhile, our crew is finishing the Bambi (one of those popular Disney-named trails) re-grade project. This beginner trail now has a nice swath of terrain that is 30-35 feet wide (more than twice as wide as before), which we think our beginner skiers and snowboarders will really appreciate.

I loved this shot that Sipapu Instagrammer @steezystud captured of our mountain not long ago.