Sipapu slopes open for business

  • Location: Vadito, NM
  • Season: Nov. 19, 2021-TBD
  • Info: sipapu.ski

It may seem unseasonably warm outside for late-November, but that isn’t stopping the crew at Sipapu Resort, which opened for the season on Nov. 19, making the first ski resort in New Mexico to do so this year and one of only a handful in the country.

The team at the resort has turned up their snowmakers, and with a little help from the deep shadows cast over the slopes, managed to gather (and keep) enough snow to open Lift 2 (aka the “bigger Magic Carpet”), which offers skiers 110 vertical feet of early-winter adventure.

The Sipapu team says they are hoping that cooler temperatures will allow them to open the more advanced Jackalope lift soon. 

“Winter is short in New Mexico, and we want to enjoy it,” said General Manager John Paul in an email. "Every minute on the snow is another minute skiing and snowboarding. While we may only have a little terrain open, it's enough to get out and have more fun and kick off skiing in New Mexico."

Rising temperatures have been a challenge for ski mountains in recent years. After a summer that saw record setting temperatures across the state, the ski/snowboard season has not gotten off to a good start, temperature-wise. 

The weather on opening day, however, is set to drop below freezing (48-degrees high/30-degrees low) which should only help Sipapu retain its newly-created 157-foot base.

Visit sipapu.ski for pricing and additional information.

Taos Ski Valley steps it up a notch

  • Location: Taos, NM
  • Season: Nov. 25, 2021-April 25, 2022
  • Info: skitaos.com

One of the most celebrated ski mountains in the country is opening its doors today (Nov. 25). Taos Ski Valley spent the offseason investing in new, state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, renovating the plaza and adding a ton of new features.

“This winter our visitors will enjoy the benefits of Taos Ski Valley’s renaissance while still having the pure mountain experience that has defined our resort for almost seventy years,” said TSV Chief Executive Officer David Norden in an email. “Our goal is to deliver a world-class adventure on an intimate scale.”

Among the new developments at the mountain this season are the Eis Haus ice-skating rink (located in the plaza with built-in spectator seating and fireplaces), dinner sleigh rides and new pro guided mountain experiences (for intermediate and experts only).

Perhaps most exciting, however, is the Ski Strong Gold Medalist Experience. “Exclusive to Taos, Olympic Gold Medalist Deb Armstrong will host four, three-day Ski Strong sessions that offer skiers a transformative and thrilling experience,” said Taos Ski Valley in a news release. “With sessions available for all levels of skiing, this once-in-a-lifetime package includes a welcome reception on the first evening and three days of personal ski coaching directly by Armstrong, along with daily lift tickets and equipment rentals.”

Broadening activities at Angel Fire Resort

A quick jaunt over the eastern range and winter enthusiasts find themselves at Angel Fire Resort, which opens its proverbial doors on Dec. 10.

With a base elevation of 8,600 feet, a peak elevation of 10,677, and 2,077 feet to ski down, this mountain isn’t messing around. Except when it is. Angel Fire Resort offers a number of winter activities for families, kiddos, and non-skiers/boarders. 

With activities that include snowman-making contests, ice sculpture demonstrations, relay games and snowball fights for kids, there is plenty of fun to be had for those who just want to mess around.

There is also a new bar at the base called Zia that will serve s’mores and hot chocolate. 

After a great turnout last year from skiers and those looking for a winter getaway, we are amping up our plans for this winter season," said Greg Ralph, director of marketing, in a news release. "While we love that we are known as the most family-friendly ski destination in the southwest, we're seeing an increase in families coming to Angel Fire to simply enjoy time in the snow. Along with skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and night skiing, we are also creating fun, interactive, entertainment opportunities for families and couples who come to Angel Fire Resort." 

More than half the ski mountain is for intermediate and advanced skiers, but there is also a four-lane tubing hill, guided snowshoe hikes and New Mexico’s only night skiing. 

For a full list of activities, visit angelfireresort.com.

Red River set to open Thanksgiving week

Red River Ski Area, a family-owned resort also home to the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, is set to open on Wednesday (Nov. 24), according to redriverskiarea.com.

According to Taos News archives, the resort opened in the 1950s and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2019.

While Red River didn't respond to a request for information on its season as of press time, its voicemail states that sales are currently being done in person while an online booking system is underway.

"If you are skiing or snowboarding with us during the Thanksgiving holiday and need to book a lesson, we will be opening phone reservations for Group and Private Lessons on Monday, November 22nd," reads a notice on its website. "Lift Tickets, Rentals, Lessons, and Winter Tubing will be available for purchase in person upon arrival."

This smaller resort's season typically runs through March 20.

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