Sipapu to Open Skiing and Snowboarding in New Mexico on Saturday
For New Mexico skiers and snowboarders, the wait is nearly over.
Sipapu will launch New Mexico's ski and snowboard season at 9 a.m. tomorrow, November 17, making it the first ski resort to officially open in the state.
Beginning Saturday, mountain officials expect to open the mountain from top to bottom with two lifts, at least five entire or partial trails and a small terrain park, said general manager John Paul Bradley.
Thanks to cold temperatures, aided by last weekend's storm that blanketed over five inches of snow over the resort, mountain crews were able to make enough snow to clench Sipapu’s "First to Open" title for the 11th consecutive winter.
"Sipapu has been the first ski area to open in New Mexico for more than a decade, and that's important for us," Bradley said. "Our staff is made up of skiers and snowboarders, and we – just like the guests we serve – can't wait for winter to get here. We are proud that it begins here first."
Mountain crews will continue making snow throughout the Thanksgiving week and open more terrain once it is ready, Bradley said.
Lifts will turn from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday during Thanksgiving week, November 17-25. The resort will re-open for weekend operations December 1-2; daily operations are scheduled to begin December 7.
Starting Opening Day, lift tickets are $20 for adults (ages 21-59) and $15 for kids (ages 7-12), teens (ages 13-20) and seniors (ages 60-69). Kids 6 and younger, 4th graders (with a report card), 40-year-olds, 60-year-olds and guests 70 and older receive a free lift ticket every day during the 2012-2013 season.
This season, Sipapu will unveil several resort improvements:
Expanded Snowmaking Systems
Nearly every year, Sipapu dedicates resources to its snowmaking system, and this season is no different. Last fall, Sipapu installed a new 1,800 foot snowmaking pipeline from the base area to near the middle of Sipapu's mountain. This pipeline will allow snowmakers to blow snow in more locations and trails at once, which means mountain crews will be able to open more terrain faster.
"Sipapu is committed not only to being open before any other ski area in the state, but we're also dedicated to creating the best early season conditions possible," Bradley said. "This year's snowmaking investment will help us accomplish that."
The Best Tree Skiing in New Mexico
Sipapu's tree skiing has quietly been gaining prominence on the mountain and among the hearts, skis and snowboards of Sipapu's guests over the last decade. The small resort's gladed runs now rival some of the best tree skiing in the state.
Tree skiing, also known as glade skiing, most commonly refers to skiing and snowboarding within the ski area boundaries but away from the groomed slopes, in and among trees. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders retreat to these runs for their solitude, beauty and caches of untracked powder.
During the off-season, mountain crews continued to follow the tree skiing development plan by removing standing dead trees and other trail improvements on its most popular tree runs, including Indecision, Reasonable Anxiety and the Jip and Josh chutes.
The State's Only Organic Terrain Parks
Last year, Sipapu became the first ski area in New Mexico to offer organic terrain parks. Created by Sipapu mountain crews and unique to just a handful of ski areas in North America, the organic terrain parks exclusively use natural elements from the local forest and only natural snow to give guests a completely different kind of terrain park experience.
"We were excited to bring these organic parks to Sipapu because it seems like such a natural fit around here," Bradley said. "We wanted to build something that was in keeping with our environment, and these parks achieved exactly that by using only resources from our mountain and only natural snow. We heard a lot of positive feedback from our guests last season, so we're excited to bring these unique parks back to our mountain."
Committed to Family Budgets
Sipapu is dedicated to being an affordable ski and snowboard destination, and Sipapu continued its commitment to offer lift tickets at the lowest price in New Mexico: adult lift tickets are $44, teens are $37, and kids and seniors are $29. When the lifts start turning on November 17, lift tickets will start at just $15, and early season discounts are available through December 20.
"Sipapu is known for being a family resort, and it's important for us to keep skiing and snowboarding affordable for those families we serve," Bradley said.
Kids ages 6 and under, 4th graders (with a report card), 40-year-olds, 60-year-olds and guests 70 and older receive a free lift ticket everyday. Active duty military receive a free lift ticket nearly everyday.
The resort is also bringing back its popular Free Lodging Days, which allow up to four guests to sleep slopeside for free with the purchase of one $44 lift ticket. For complete details about these and other promotions, visitwww.SipapuNM.com or call 800-587-2240.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort enters the 2012-2013 ski season as New Mexico's fastest growing resort, yet visitors won't have to wait in line for a lift. For complete information about Sipapu, visit www.SipapuNM.com.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort is New Mexico's fastest growing ski resort. Located just 20 miles southeast of Taos and two hours north of Albuquerque, Sipapu offers family-friendly, family fun to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Family-owned and operated since 1952, Sipapu is home to New Mexico's longest ski season and the best deals in the Rockies. The resort is surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Carson National Forest, and features over 40 trails, five lifts and two terrain parks. On-site amenities include slope-side lodging, a full-service ski shop, ski school and gourmet home cooking at the Riverside Café and Sipapu's newest restaurant, Paradise Bar & Grill.
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