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.

We're Part of a $10 Million Capital Campaign

Earlier this morning, our team announced that Sipapu is part of a $10 million multi-mountain capital campaign this summer, which will bring new lifts, new trails and new snowmaking infrastructure to nearly every ski area in our family of Southwest ski resorts (which includes Sipapu, Pajarito, Purgatory and Arizona Snowbowl). When this announcement was made, we also revealed another mountain improvement that I'm excited to tell you about:

Sipapu has been approved to complete a project we've called the Howdy Extension. This project will effectively extend Howdy to connect it to Lower Bambi (click here for a trail map), which will create an additional five acres of skiable intermediate and beginner terrain. We've been talking about this project for years, and I can't wait to get it started.

As part of this massive campaign, Sipapu is also adding its first quad (for details about Sipapu's new chairlift, see: Introducing a New Lift!), adding/improving trails and expanding our snowmaking infrastructure.

To read the full summary of what's happening with the $10 million capital campaign at all four of our resorts, click here.

SIP 10million-low-rex

While we prepare for the Howdy Extension project, we also are getting ready for Poma and our new lift. Poma's project manager will arrive on Thursday, and we expect lift towers to be delivered soon. Starting next week, our teams will start digging holes for tower foundations: we'll start at the top of the new lift and work our way down the mountain. As Poma completes each foundation, our team will follow behind them, grading the mountain and completing the re-vegetation.

Sipapu New Lift
This photo shows the progress on our new lift line, and you can see the re-vegetation completed on Rolling Rock to the right. Next up: lift towers!

As a quick side note: we've removed the following tee pads for construction. We expect these pads to be removed until we host the New Mexico State Doubles Disc Golf Championship, which happens September 19-20.

Recreation Pad #1
Recreation Pad #2
Recreation Pad #5
Advanced Pad #5

Rolling Rock is Complete


This week, we completed Rolling Rock (see: Rolling Rock and Countdown to Poma's Arrival), and I'm really proud of this sweet trail. Our crews topped the project off by re-vegetating (which includes removing rocks, sticks and roots; raking the hill; and spreading seed and straw) and we expect new grass to start sprouting anytime.

The new Rolling Rock is complete. The only thing missing from this run is snow.

As we prepare for Poma's arrival, we're also working on a Bambi expansion project, which includes widening parts of this green run from 13 feet wide to 30 feet wide, and adjusting the slope angle to be more beginner-friendly. With the new lift, we know more skiers and snowboarders will be on this trail than ever before, and we want them skiing it, riding it and loving it. I'm pleased with the work that we're doing here.

This week, we've also been doing quite a bit of prep work for Poma's arrival (for information about Sipapu's first quad chairlift, see Introducing a New Lift), doing trail grading and clearing to meet the requirements of our lift manufacturer's final survey.

For those of you who play or are interested in playing Sipapu's world-class disc golf course, all tee pads are currently in. If that changes, we will notify you here and on our disc golf page.

We continue to be excited about all of the improvements that are happening at Sipapu this summer - we hope you are, too.

Rolling Rock as of July 13, 2015.

Here's what Rolling Rock looks like today. I can't wait to ski it!

Countdown to Poma's Arrival

We continue our work on Rolling Rock (for more information on this improvement, see: Rolling Rock), burying stumps and making sure our slope angle is just right. When it comes to establishing a slope's angle, we take quite a bit into consideration, like how guests will ski it (and love it), how a snow cat will handle the trail, how we'll manage the snow. Once all of the trees were cleared out, we got a good lay of the land and most of Rolling Rock has a nice fall line; some parts are getting re-sloped. 

One thing is for certain: this trail will be awesome.

The new Rolling Rock could be great terrain for race teams as they train at Sipapu: the new terrain is fairly steep, fairly wide, and a solid intermediate trail. Plus, this part of the mountain is not used very much, which will make it attractive to teams (or our guests who want to feel like they have the mountain to themselves). We don't anticipate making snow directly on this trail because it holds the snow really well, much like Butterfly, Howdy and Beep-Beep. We will, however, make snow above and below that trail - so the infrastructure is there, should we need it.

We're heading into our final days before Poma arrives, and it is looking very good around here. All stumps are off the lift line from the top Bullwheel to Tower 2, and all that's remaining are slash piles. Once Poma arrives, we'll start digging and getting ready to pour concrete for our tower foundations.

Trees coming down the mountain. We use trucks and a dozer to haul slash piles.

Last weekend, Sipapu was proud to host the Summer Slam disc golf tournament, and one of our regulars, Marcos Castillo, took home first place. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the sold-out tournament, the Summer Slam organizers and especially to Marcos. For a re-cap of the event, be sure to read this week's Taos News article.

Sipapu Summer Slam champ Marcos Castillo. Photo courtesy of Gabriel Weinstein, Taos News.