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!!!
Another year is coming to a close and - as with every year - it's hard not to think about the things that happened over the last 12 months - and consider what we're going to do beginning January 1. Here are my own favorite highlights:
Sipapu Opens its First Quad
Without a doubt, this was the most exciting part of our ski area's year. This took months to complete, and we opened it on November 25 - the day before Thanksgiving. We've been thankful ever since. This lift was part of a massive $10 million multi-mountain capital campaign that brought new lifts, new trails and new snowmaking to virtually every resort in our Collective. Click here to read more about the lift.
First Open in New Mexico
Our November 14 open date marked the 13th time we were open before any other ski area in New Mexico, and we were able to open our main lift, Lift 1. This is always a celebratory event, and this year was no different.
The Snow. Over 100" on the Season!
This winter, we've already seen over 100" of snow, which is the most snow I've seen this early in the season. The coverage has been phenomenal!
A New Pump for Improved Snowmaking
This may not sound very exciting, but our new pump has made a tremendous impact at our resort. This addition has improved our snowmaking efficiency exponentially. What this means for you is that you enjoy better conditions faster.
Photo courtesy of the Taos News
Sipapu Hosts the New Mexico State Disc Golf Championships
We are incredibly proud of our world-class disc golf course, and we've enjoyed being the host of this state tournament for years.
Growing Our Terrain Parks
We've made a strategic decision to really grow our terrain parks, and in 2015, in addition to our two organic terrain parks (New Mexico's only organic parks!), Sipapu opened the biggest ever Don Diego terrain park. We love that park and are already making plans for this year's set-up. It's scheduled to open MLK weekend.
The snow castle.
This is one of those unique features about our resort that our guests love - and you can't find anywhere else in the state. Last year's castle took about 10 days to complete, start to finish, and we had it opened from President's Day weekend through the first week of March. We'll do the same thing again this year.
A New Season Pass. A New Collective.
This year was a unique one for our small resort. In addition to handling operations at Pajarito, our company acquired Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colo., and Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Ariz., making our group the largest ski area operator in the Southwest. We promptly added all four resorts on our new season pass, which we called the Power Pass.
When I look back on this year, I'm reminded - more than anything - of the people that call Sipapu home. Our guests, our staff, our friends, our families. You are the ones that make Sipapu so Family Friendly, Family Fun. Here's to a fantastic year - and an even better 2016!
We've just finished making snow on key spots that are serviced by Lift 3, and I'm proud to announce that starting tomorrow, December 23, we'll have all 6 lifts running, 41 of our 42 trails open and two additional terrain parks (we're opening our two organic terrain parks, New Mexico's *only* organic parks), bringing our terrain park count up to three. Our terrain park crew is literally building out our new park features just as quickly as we move our snowcats. By tomorrow morning, I'll have a better idea of how many features we'll open (as of now, we're looking at up to 6 features per organic park). Click here for our trail map to see how you can access these parks.
Nice shot of our ski patrol station at the top of Lift 1 and some grooming detail. Photo by Instagrammer @jonahmarkthompson
We're really excited to have the entire mountain open and available to all of our guests, especially in light of the snow that's coming our way. We've already picked up several inches over the last few days: here's what our weather station says is up next. Keep in mind that our weather station sometimes underestimates the amount of snow we actually receive (sometimes by a lot - we were planning for 14" in the last storm cycle that brought us two feet!!!) Click here to see the latest from our weather station.
No matter what, it will be a fun, snowy holiday week at Sipapu. We hope you can join us!