4” of Fresh Snow and Construction Sneak Peak

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So good to see fresh snow on the lodge! PC: Albert Graves

 

New Snow
Greetings snow-lovers! Our team is excited to announce Sipapu received 4 inches of FRESH SNOW last night! Lifts 2 and 5 have about a 14 inch base depth and are up and running today. Tonight’s conditions are looking great for making snow. Our snowmaking team will arrive at 4:00 p.m. this evening, and as soon as the air temperature is right we are going to give it all we’ve got! Click here to see photos from today’s snow.

 

Opening Day
Thank you to everyone who made Sipapu’s Opening Day a huge success! For the 14th year in a row, we were the first ski area to open in New Mexico. It was great to see so many new and familiar smiling faces out on the mountain. Sipapu really is a community and you are a huge piece of what makes the resort so special. And, welcoming back our winter staff felt like a family reunion!

 

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The UNM ski team getting some turns in up on Thumper. PC: Albert Graves

UNM Ski Team Recap
The University of New Mexico ski team finished up their first training session at Sipapu yesterday. We had gates set up all the way down Thumper, and the snow was really nice and dense for them to practice their turns on. The weather during early season training can often be unpredictable, but it is so crucial to get that practice in! Click here to see them in action!

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Framing progresses quickly on the lodge’s new addition. PC: Albert Graves

New Addition
The new addition to the lodge is beginning to take shape! Exterior and interior framing of the new building is nearly complete. Next week we expect to receive the roofing trusses and will start installing those when they arrive.

We will continue to keep everyone in the loop on snow conditions and construction updates, but in the meantime make sure to check our live mountain cam, website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

See you on the slopes!

Sipapu Opens in 19 Hours and Counting!

Last night was a very successful night of snowmaking and opening day preparations. With a low of 15 degrees and a 13 degree wet bulb, we were able to fire up 17 snow guns last night and into this morning. That’s the most equipment we’ve run this year in a single night of snowmaking! Also, we were able to put two guns up top to start making snow from the top of Lift 1 all the way to the bottom. We experienced a funnel effect last night that happens when it’s colder up on top of the mountain than down at the base. Looking ahead we plan to do a hard push up top with continued cold temperatures forecasted at high elevations tonight. Click here to follow our weather station.

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Mountain crews are making and pushing snow today as the countdown to Opening Day continues!

I’m very proud to confirm that for the 14th year in a row, Sipapu will be the first ski area to open in New Mexico! Now for what everyone has been waiting for! Here’s a map of what terrain will be open tomorrow:

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Here’s what terrain guests can expect to be open tomorrow for Opening Day!

We’ll have Lift 5 (Jackalope) and Lift 2 (Practice Slope) running beginning at 9:00 a.m. In addition, there will be a terrain park with 3 features located between Lift 2’s lift operator shack and the tree island where Thumper intersects Bambi. The features will be torpedo barrel and 2 rails: one will be a 10’ rainbow rail and the other will be a flat I-beam.

Although the little magic carpet will not be running in the base area, we did make snow in the base area last night. This will provide a nice spot for ski school for side stepping and sliding as well as the ski teams will be
able to do their boot training in that space on Sunday and Monday. If you’re thinking about getting lessons this weekend, please call ahead to guarantee your spot at (800) 587-2240. Rentals will also be available tomorrow!

We plan to make and push snow out right up to the minute we open. When you arrive at the resort tomorrow, please use the bridge by the meadow to access Lift 5 or the bridge by the lodge to access Lift 2. The bridge by the mountain operations shop will be closed tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to subscribe to our daily Snow Report to get the inside scoop on mountain conditions, lift ticket specials and more this season!

I can’t wait to see who will be on New Mexico’s first chair tomorrow!

Colder Temperatures, Pushing Snow and Welcoming the UNM Ski Team

Practice Slope. Photo Cred: Brian Martinez

I just got done pushing snow down at the base area and thought I’d give you all an update on today’s snow conditions. Last night, temperatures were originally forecasted to be marginal at best—but when I checked the thermometer around 4:00 this morning, the air temperature had dropped to 27.7 degrees and the wet bulb was reading at 24 degrees! The freezing temperatures mixed with low humidity made for unexpected snowmaking conditions, so I ended up blowing snow from just before 5am up until 9am. I’m really pleased the forecast was incorrect and we were able to have a bonus night of snowmaking!

Here’s how the base area looked after I finished pushing snow piles out this morning.
Photo Cred: Brian Martinez

Although we’ve been making a ton of snow and pushing out piles with the snowcat, we’re currently concentrating our efforts on patching up a thin spot on the middle of Thumper, right along Lift 5. Last night I had three guns focused on beefing up the snow in that spot, and tonight my plan is to focus five guns on that spot. With temperatures forecasted to drop substantially tonight and tomorrow, the mountain operations team is optimistic we’ll be able to supplement the snow in some of the thinner areas.

We are also excited to welcome the University of New Mexico’s Ski Team to Sipapu this Sunday and Monday. The college’s top skiers will be here, setting up gates to begin this season’s race training. We are very proud to have both the Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico ski teams training at Sipapu this year!

As always, stay up-to-date with our resort conditions and updates by watching our live mountain cam and checking our website daily. Follow Sipapu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and of course, make sure to follow our snowmaking progress via this blog!

Happy trails!

Working by the Light of the Supermoon

As you all know, last night’s supermoon was the closest the moon has appeared to Earth since 1948, and our snowmaking team got a front row view! The moon’s reflection off the snow made the phenomenon even more spectacular. By the light of the moon, we fired up all of the snow guns last night, beginning at 9:30pm and working through the wee hours of the morning. The team finished making snow around 8am, focusing their efforts on Thumper.

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Last night’s supermoon, as seen from Taos. Photo Cred: Geraint Smith.

Our mountain ops team is still going full-force as opening day (Saturday!) approaches. After a very successful night, we plan to fire up the guns by midnight tonight and blow snow until late-morning. Then we will begin pushing and spreading all of those huge snow piles, adding to our growing base layer. With the forecasted cold front rolling in on Thursday and Friday, we will take full advantage of those freezing temperatures, to make a final snowmaking push for Saturday.   

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Snowmaking views

This morning I spoke with Brian Martinez, Sipapu’s Retail Manager, about the progress on the Day Room renovation and the new addition to the Lodge’s west side. Following the resort’s 2014 fire, we have been undergoing an extensive renovation on the entire Day Room. We are putting the finishing touches on the project now, with two major inspections (fire alarms and electrical) scheduled for next week. Brian said after we pass those inspections, the Day Room can get its official Certificate of Occupancy and will once again be open for guests. Don’t worry—we will continue to keep you posted on our progress as we finish up—we can’t wait to warm up next to the big fireplace again, either!

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Putting the finishing touches on the Day Room renovation. Photo Cred: Albert Graves.

Brian also informed me that the new addition we are building on the lodge’s west side will add 2,200 square feet of retail space, including new restrooms, a new ticket/rental office, and part of the new rental shop (the other part is in the Day Room). We began pouring concrete this morning and plan to begin framing the building early next week. On Saturday (and until the new addition is finished) we will sell tickets out of the ski school building. Food will continue to be served upstairs in the lodge, and Happy Hour will run as usual from 4pm-6pm in the upstairs bar.

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Pouring concrete for the new addition this morning. Photo Cred: Albert Graves.

Can’t wait to see everyone on Saturday!