First to Open | Snowmaking Begins!

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Our mountain ops team is going full-force as our Opening Day (November 11th) approaches. Snowmaking started at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday evening and continued through 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning. Conditions were in our favor to fire up the snowmaking system for the first time this season: temperatures hovered around 23 degrees, the wet bulb sitting between 17-22 degrees and humidity was low. We were able to run 17 guns on Butterfly, Thumper and Lower Bambi as we focus on key intermediate and beginner terrain off of Lift 5 and Lift 2.

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With the forecasted cold front rolling in on Thursday and Friday, we will take full advantage of those freezing temperatures and be ready to make snow. Then we will begin pushing and spreading all of those huge snow piles, adding to our growing base layer.

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I’m as eager to hit the slopes as you are! Sipapu is on target to be the first resort to open in New Mexico (for 15 years in a row!), and with a season that extends into the second week of April, it has the longest season in the state. As our team prepares the mountain for opening day, we will be sure to keep you posted. Check our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram regularly for the latest updates.

Ten Days Until Snowmaking

The leaves have changed and this fresh chill in the air means just one thing—snowmaking is about to start.

Sipapu Fall Leaves 2017

Snowmaking Readiness

Sipapu’s snowmaking crew usually starts to make snow exactly 30 days after A-Basin starts to make snow. They started on September 24, so we have our eye on October 22 to start snowmaking at Sipapu. Later this week, we’ll  park the snow guns in their optimal places on the mountain. The Farmers Almanac calls for a 1.5” wetter than normal October, which is good news for our crew.

Mowing Grass and Clearing Trees

About 85% of the mountain has been mowed. Mowing helps distribute grass seed, and we want to ensure that an excess of grass doesn't poke up and melt the snow. This is critical to ensuring that Sipapu opens early in the season, and maintains our snowpack through the spring. We’ve also finished cleaning all downfall trees off the trails.

Lift Inspections This Week

Getting the lifts repaired and maintained is so critical to a successful ski season. Lift inspections happen this week.

We’re about ten days away from snowmaking and less than five weeks away from opening day. We just can’t wait to open up Sipapu—and New Mexico—for the 2017-2018 ski season on November 11, 2017. The mountain will be ready. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your Season Pass before the first snow.

First Chair in 47 Days

 

Guests at Sipapu get an extra perk at this time of year—spectacular fall foliage throughout the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains. But our winter operations team has little time for leaf looking. While you enjoy another round on our world-class disc golf course in the fresh mid-60’s afternoons, here’s what’s happening behind-the-scenes as Opening Day—November 11—fast approaches.

Snowcat Maintenance

Our snowcats have been in through routine maintenance, including oil changes, lubrication, filter changes, hydraulic hoses, tire replacement and track work. Imagine what would happen if you never changed the oil in your car. Our snowcats (and lifts, too) would experience similar results if we didn’t do our maintenance. It’s a lot like taking your car to Jiffy Lube, except that our cats have to operate without fail in below zero temperatures and extreme conditions.

Snowmaking Readiness

As you know, Sipapu prides itself on being the first ski area to open and the last to close in New Mexico. In order to achieve that, we repair and maintain our stellar snowmaking infrastructure during the summer, including our sixteen snow guns. According to the almanac, it should be both colder and wetter than normal. We’ll start placing the guns around the mountain around October 15. We typically begin making snow sometime in the middle of October, of course depending on the weather.

Beginner Trail and Magic Carpet Updates

Small enhancements can make a big difference to beginners. This winter, you’ll find a new hand rail on the ski school magic carpet to give our beginners a little extra support and confidence. Plus, we’ve completed a trail widening effort that widens the bottom Beep Beep by a full 15 feet. That should give everyone a little more elbow room.

Did someone say something about fall? The changing season really is stunning at Sipapu. But, all my crew and I see is snow! We’re about 3 weeks away from snowmaking and 7 weeks away from opening day, November 11th. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your Season Passes and Power Products this week. Our Season Pass and Power Products Sale ends this Friday, September 29.

Speaking of snow, our sister resort, Arizona Snowbowl, was the first ski area in New Mexico—and the United States—to make snow! Snowmaking operations began Saturday, September 23. Stay tuned to learn when Sipapu will begin our snowmaking season.

Arizona Snowbowl is first ski area in the country to begin snowmaking. 

80 Days until New Mexico is Open!

For our guests, Summer at Sipapu means a relaxing hike or ride, trout fishing the Rio Pueblo, friendly rounds disc golf and heaps of laid-back family time--all in the cool Sangre de Cristo mountains.

For our winter operations team, summer means just one thing: get ready for winter. Expansion and renovation of Sipapu’s historic lodge, plus lift and trail maintenance and snowmaking readiness are in full swing. While you soak in the last few weeks of summer, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our ski season preparations.

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A beautiful rainbow frames the new main entrance to Sipapu’s renovated lodge.

Expanding and Renovating the Lodge
We are so excited for guests to see our renovated historic lodge, with its 2,141 square foot addition on the west side, including a new Rental Shop, Ticket Office, restrooms and a locker room, plus more retail and gathering space. We see it as a place to welcome you to our mountain and a space for you to make memories after spending the day on the slopes. Construction is on schedule to be completed for the upcoming ski season. View our photo album showcasing some of our favorite parts of the “new” old lodge.

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Lift Maintenance
Right now we’re doing a lot of testing to ensure all lifts will work as they should when we open for winter. The reason we talk so much about lift maintenance is because it takes so much time, and is so critical to our successful operations. At this time, we’re about halfway through the work necessary for opening day.

We’re about 8 weeks away from snowmaking and twelve weeks away from opening day. New Mexico will open for skiing and snowboarding on November 11, 2017. Make sure you’re ready by grabbing your Season Passes or Power Cards/Power Packs before the first snow.