Winter enthusiasts will carve their first turns of the season when the lifts open at 9 a.m. this Saturday at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort, located 20 miles southeast of Taos and just over two hours north of Albuquerque. The November 15 opening date will mark the 12th consecutive time northern New Mexico’s oldest ski area has opened before any other ski area in the state, and it will be the earliest opening in recent resort history.
Mountain Manager John Paul Bradley said he will open the mountain’s two magic carpets, three or four trails – including the mountain’s beginner hill, called the Practice Slope – and a small terrain park on Saturday.
“For years, Sipapu has not only been the first ski area to open in New Mexico, but we’ve been able to open our main lift starting right out of the gates,” he said. “Opening our Practice Slope is the way we always used to do things, so it feels a little nostalgic to do that again. As with every year, we – like all of our guests – can’t wait to get the 2014-2015 winter started, and we are proud to kick off New Mexico’s ski and snowboard season at Sipapu.”
Bradley said he expects to open the main lift, Lift #1, in the upcoming days as temperatures continue to cool and his snowmakers get more opportunities to blanket Sipapu’s slopes with snow. He credited his snowmakers – which, he says, are still working around the clock to get the mountain ready – for successfully securing New Mexico’s opening date.
The magic carpets will operate this Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the resort will be open everyday for Thanksgiving week starting Friday, November 21, through Sunday, November 30. Daily operations are scheduled to begin on Friday, December 5.
Starting this weekend, all lift tickets are discounted: adult tickets are $25, teens (ages 13-20) are $19, and kids (ages 7-12) and seniors (ages 61 and older) pay just $15. As with every season, kids ages 6 and younger, 4th and 5th graders and guests who are ages 40, 60 or 70 years and better receive a free lift ticket everyday. This year, 5thgraders get a free lift ticket by presenting a report card, too.