Lizi the Super Sipapu Search & Rescue Dog


Guests at Sipapu seem to have an extra big smile on their faces lately. And it's not just the super fun time on the slopes. It's the latest addition to Sipapu's friendly staff: Lizi the snow-loving, snowmobile-riding, super-trained search and rescue dog.


Lizi is a nine year old female border collie whoused to do search and rescue in Yosemite National Park. She retains an Area 1 Search Certification through NASAR, the National Association for Search and Rescue. Lizi can search for an individual who is injured, and at the end of the day for someone who is missing and needs to be found.


While working, she frequently rides a snowmobile around the mountain with her handler, Holly Baits, a Patroller at Sipapu. When Lizi finds the injured or missing person, she ping pongs back and forth between the person and Holly until everyone is safely together. Amazingly, Lizi can repel from chair lifts and even from helicopters in backcountry search and rescue situations.


Lizi performs a weekly training routine, and has a favorite toy—a fire hose bumper that she gets exclusively during search and rescue efforts. When Lizi is with a Patroller, feel free to approach her. You are welcome to talk to her and pet her. Lizi is very friendly, and we are very happy and fortunate to have her as part of our Ski Patrol team.


Hitting the Slopes with the Kids

Skiing and riding together as a family is one of the greatest and most memorable experiences a powder-loving parent can have. And with Kids Ski FREE Week just around the corner (January 16-21), we'd like to share some tips for making your family day on the slopes successful.

More Snacks Mean Less Tears.
Kids need regular calorie intakes—especially when they are active. Whether they’re shivering, sweating, cruising through the bump runs or waiting for mom to catch up, they’re burning calories, and quickly. Load their pockets (and yours) with snacks packed with protein, like nuts, cheese and granola bars. The Brave Ski Mom has some great snack ideas. Sipapu’s Riverside Cafe offers a great menu selection, including most kids' preferred drink of choice: hot chocolate, extra whipped cream.

Learn to Layer.
Check Sipapu’s weather station before heading out. Even when you think you're prepared, It never hurts to toss an extra layer in the trunk because temperatures and conditions can really vary within a day. Here’s a good layering guide, and keep in mind that your kiddos really don’t need the most expensive gear out there. Base layers are the most important and are widely availablejust avoid 100% cotton! Layering correctly is important, and it really doesn’t have to be expensive.

Get Boots On Early.
If you’re less than an hour from the mountain, get your kids in their ski boots well before you get to the ski area. It’s a universal truth that kids’ ski boots take a quick 2 minutes to get on at your home or hotel room, but 20 frustrating minutes when you’re in the ski area parking lot. Be sure to have some really cozy, comfortable shoes in the car to wear after the ski day is over, too.

Never Stop Learning. 
The big goal should be developing lifelong skiers and snowboarders. Professional ski school instructors teach kids foundational skills that will improve their abilities and create good habits that they can apply and enjoy the rest of their lives. And frankly, kids often learn best when they’re receiving direction from someone other than a parent. Check out Sipapu’s Ski School programs here, and remember: if you or anyone else in your family has never tried skiing, Sipapu offers FREE Lessons for First Timers ages 7 and older.

Skiing is Fun.
Above all else, have fun. Some of your very best childhood memories may be of skiing, laughing, and having fun with your parents and siblings. Hitting the slopes with your kids allows you to create similar memories your own kids. We sure hope to see you and your family on the mountain for Kids Ski FREE Week.


Fresh Snow and Freestyle Events

Last night was a very productive night of snowmaking. To make good snow, we need the right combination of variables and we had just that last night: cold temperatures (the low was 9 degrees!) and dry air. We’re focusing our snowmaking efforts under Lift 1, and we're hopeful to have Lower Gamble open this weekend. Because we’re working under the lift, we need low gun angles to blow under the lift line. Temperatures are projected to remain cold and we may continue to make snow tonight and tomorrow evening.

The winter mountain crew has been busy! We completed the move of Don Diego Terrain Park to Badgers Burrough to rave reviews. We currently have eight features, including a fan favorite: the Disco Dance Floor (a flat board framed in metal), plus 2 flat rails, 1 round down rail, a small box and 2 rollers. On January 13, we’re hosting the USASA Southwest Freeride Series Rail Jam we’ve dubbed Marshall’s Madness in the park. And on January 21, competitors will be back in the park for the Don Diego Slopestyle Competition. And you don't have to be a member of the USASA to show off your freestyle skills at our King of the Hill Terrain Park Competition on January 20th.

I’ve really enjoyed saying hello to some of you on the mountain and at the resort this holiday season. Yesterday, I spent a few hours skiing with my three year old daughter and a friend of hers. She wore a leash for half a day while she got back into the rhythm and is now power-wedging her way down the mountain. We did laps on Badgers while she was focusing on making turns to earn a highly coveted gummy bear on the lift ride back to the top.

When you're not on the slopes, do your snow dance! Snow is in the forecast for this Saturday. And Happy New Year!


Lift 1 Opens Tomorrow!

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Mother Nature brought cold temperatures -- with lows in the single digits -- to the region, and our mountain crew is taking advantage of it, making more snow for the slopes! With low humidity and cold temperatures, it’s been prime snowmaking conditions all week. Sipapu crews started making snow on Monday and continue to run the snow guns around the clock, allowing the resort to open more terrain. 

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Starting on Saturday, Dec. 9, we'll open Lift 1, a quad chairlift, offering top to bottom skiing, plus additional intermediate and beginner trails.  This weekend, Sipapu is hosting the inaugural Stefan Seigman Memorial Race, a USSA sanctioned alpine slalom race. “Sipapu is honored to host this event and continue to support the Santa Fe and University of New Mexico Ski Teams,” stated John Paul Bradley, mountain manager of Sipapu. Sipapu will continue making snow and opening additional terrain as conditions allow.