On Saturday March 11, the annual Cardboard Derby returns to Sipapu for its 14th year! This popular family-fun event challenges both creativity and ingenuity as participants attempt to build the best cardboard snow vessel on the mountain. Oh, and this year we’re raising the bar by offering DOZENS of awesome prizes, including free entry to Purgatory Resort’s Cardboard Derby on March 18!*
Yep—the Derby is that much fun!
The Rules are Simple
#1: Your vessel can only be made of cardboard, duct tape, string or twine and paint. No wax allowed!
#2: Everyone in your team must remain in your vessel from start to finish
#3: Each Derby vessel may be assigned to one individual or one team only
The possibilities for creativity are endless!
While the Derby is a blast for participants, it’s also a spectator favorite!
Kids and adults love the thrill of watching teams barrel down the hill in their homemade cardboard vessels. Every year participants get more creative and knowledgeable in crafting their vessels, making it an increasingly fun event to watch.
Tips for building your derby racer:
- Sled-shaped vessels tend to get the best momentum
- Duct tape on the bottom of your vessel increases momentum
- There are different kinds of cardboard ;-)
- Weight distribution matters. Rear-weighted vessels tend to spin 180 degrees, sending participants down backwards
- Weight = speed. Adding bodies to your vessel will make it to go faster
Themed vessels are always a blast to watch.
Need some inspiration? Check out this Derby video.
Register in advance. It will save you time on Derby Day!
8:30am Day-of registration at Sipapu's Base Area. Cost is $10/vessel
9:00am Individual and Team check in. Vessel inspection
10:00am Mandatory participant meeting on the back patio of the Lodge
10:30am 14th Annual Cardboard Derby start time
All you need is cardboard, duct tape and a little imagination!
*Please note that 2016/17 Power Pass holders will not receive two FREE lift tickets.
For more information, visit our Cardboard Derby page.
See you on Derby Day and may the best (and most creative) derby-goer win!
Our annual President’s Day Weekend celebration is Feb. 18-20! Grab the family and mark your calendar—this favorite Sipapu tradition is one you don’t want to miss!
The Snow Castle (Sat., Sun. & Mon.)
The highlight of the festival is the giant snow castle our mountain crew crafts by hand. This huge structure is a feat in snow architecture, complete with slides, stairs, flags and plenty of places for kids and adults to play on! Every year the castle is different—last year’s castle was 2 stories tall with 5 slides, 4 rooms and more steps than we could count! Our castle crew is hard at working preparing for this year’s castle, which is scheduled to open Saturday, February 18 at 9 a.m.
Parents and kids enjoying last year’s castle.
There are many stages the castle goes through before it’s unveiled!
The Treasure Hunt (Sat., Sun. & Mon.)
Get ready! The treasure hunt will have you scavenging the castle to find laminated letters that spell CLOWN. If you’re a true sleuth and find them all, bring them to ski school in exchange for awesome prizes!
There’s plenty to smile about at Feb Fun Fest! Photo: Instagrammer @roybalgram.
The Costume Contest & Parade (Sat. Only)
Do you love costumes? We do! Dress up in your most creative costume and meet at the top of Lower Gamble at 12:30 p.m. From there, join the parade and ski down to the base area where spectators will be eagerly watching! At 1:30 p.m. we'll announce costume contest winners at the snow castle. Winners will be awarded medals and prizes, including vouchers for lift tickets, the Riverside Café, and Olive's General Store. After the parade, enjoy a piñata and balloon animals in the base area!
Everyone’s invited, from vikings to aliens!
It's always a good idea to wear costumes that are easy to ski in!
For more information, visit our February Fun Fest event page. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for castle updates. We’ll see you on the mountain (and castle) soon!
If you haven’t experienced our terrain parks lately (or ever!), now is the perfect time. The conditions are phenomenal and the parks now boast more combined features than ever before! We currently have 5 parks open, including Flight School, Playground, Don Diego, and the two newest additions, Badger’s Burrow and the limited edition Thumper Rail Jam!
Instagrammer @bencevert enjoying a bluebird day in the park! Photo: @tonymaples.
Just added this year, Badger’s Burrow is a beginner terrain park ideal for skiers and snowboarders looking to take their skills to the next level. Badger’s Burrow Terrain Park is located on skiers left of Badger’s Burrow trail, right beneath Howdy. The park has 3 jumps, 1 box and 1 rail, and a 4’x8’ disco box coming soon! Our goal is to eventually increase Badger’s Burrow to a 6-feature park!
Here’s what our Terrain Park Manager, Isa, says about Badger’s Burrow: “It’s a progression park with beginner features designed for skiers and riders who want to really dial in their basic skills before moving on to intermediate-level features.”
Tailgrab off of the shotgun feature in Flight School, one of our organic parks. Photo: @tonymaples.
Our newest terrain park, Thumper Rail Jam, is located at the bottom of Thumper. The park was requested by and designed specifically for the USASA event held here in January. This park is an advanced-intermediate to expert-level rail jam style course perfect for rail and box skiers and riders. After the USASA event was over, Isa and I decided we wanted to keep Rail Jam open for as long as conditions would allow to give guests a professional grade course to practice on.
Thumper Rail Jam has 6 features, including a 14’ long box, a 6’ flat beam to a birdhouse box, a 6’ step down I beam, a 20’ 2-piece step down flat rail, a 22’ Never Summer Triple Barrel Down Rail and a 6’ urban mount flat rail.
Here’s what Isa says about Thumper Rail Jam: “This park was designed specifically for skiers and riders seeking an urban, street-style course. It’s difficult to find an expert-level rail course to practice on, so our goal with Rail Jam is to help prepare skiers and riders for more advanced rail jam style competitions. Rail Jam is one of the most link-able parks we’ve ever built at Sipapu!”
Instagrammer @adamicking505 riding the Never Summer rail on the new Rail Jam course. Photo: @tonymaples.
Thumper Rail Jam will only be around for as long as conditions allow, so come check out this state-of-the-art park before it’s gone! But don’t worry—even after we take Rail Jam down, the park’s legacy will live on, as we plan to add its features to Don Diego and Badger’s Burrow.
To stay up to date on terrain park openings, check our Snow Report.
See you on the slopes and don’t forget to tag #sipapunm in your park photos!
This season, experience Sipapu like never before! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to manage recreation and wilderness areas, come ski with a Carson National Forest Ranger every Friday through March 10! This informative event is FREE when you purchase a lift ticket! We had the pleasure of asking Paul Schilke, a Recreation and Lands Staff Officer who will be leading the trips, a few questions about the event. This is part one of our interview:
Our latest storm brought us 14 inches of fresh powder!
Q: What are some of your duties at Sipapu as a Carson National Forest Ranger?
A: I’m the Recreation and Lands Staff Officer, which means that I and the rest of the Recreation Team are responsible for managing recreation, campgrounds, motorized and non-motorized trails, wilderness areas, special use permits and ski areas. We are also in charge of cleaning and maintaining recreation sites, interacting with the public to educate them on campfire safety and etiquette, managing timber and the provision of fuel wood and forest products to the public. Although I’m in the office a lot, I also spend time in the field interacting with the public and encouraging people to visit and use their National Forests responsibly.
Q: How many years have you been a Ranger? How long have you worked for the Forest Service?
A: I’ve worked for the Forest Service since 2005 in the field of Recreation Management. Before I began my current position at Carson National Forest, I supported the Williams Valley Snow Play and Cross Country Ski Area with the rest of the Recreation team in the Alpine Ranger District of the Apache National Forest. I can only use one arm, so I’m not able to shoulder the difficult task of running the trail grooming equipment. When the primary wilderness and snow ranger was on leave, I encouraged co-workers and volunteers to help groom the ski trails. It’s nice working with the crew at Sipapu. They already have the grooming and snow management well planned. They also have an excellent ski patrol team that provides deep knowledge of downhill skiing and first aid services beyond my own. Sipapu receives high grades for being family and safety oriented.
Me and the rest of the Forest Service team doing some Fall maintenance! I’m on the far left.
Q: What runs will you take participants down?
A: My partner and I are open to trail requests! During the regular season we usually ski or ride down Sassafras to Howdy to either Bambi or the newest trail, Badger. If folks are up for a second run we take Sassafras to Oops to Salt Lick. If I have an advanced group of snowboarders, sometimes we’ll head down Rufous.
I like to start out on Sassafras and progress from there.
Q: What is your favorite trail at Sipapu?
A: I like Gamble Glades, Brandy, Paul’s Folly and Pinball. Gamble Glades is one of my favorite trails to take participants down for the Ski With a Ranger event. I also enjoy Pinball because it reminds me of cross country skiing, which I love, although the turns can be pretty tricky.
Thanks for reading and see you on Friday for Ski With a Ranger! Check back later for the second part of my interview with Officer Paul!