Royally fun - Albuquerque Journal

Royally fun

Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort’s snow castle is a kid-magnet.

Built by Sipapu staff members every February, this two to three story-high, 5,000 square-foot snow structure provides endless hours of fun for children who enjoy climbing its stairs and sliding down its many snow slides.

“We started the process of putting the snow castle together on February 8 by making a huge pile of snow,” said Stacey Glaser, the resort’s marketing director. “We cured the snow on Sunday. On Monday our snow castle workers took out chain saws and started carving the snow. All the people who work on the castle have other jobs at Sipapu, so we don’t have a really regular work schedule for it … we’ve figured out that it takes about 125 people hours to make it.”

The Sipapu snow castle opens to the public at 9 a.m. on Saturday as part of the ski resort’s February Fun Fest. This special weekend, filled with kid-friendly activities including costume contests, face painting, a scavenger hunt and penny toss, attracts hundreds of people to Sipapu annually. All non-skiing activities, including access to the snow castle, are free of charge.

Decorated with colorful flags and shaped somewhat like a pyramid, with a wide foundation that narrows as it gains height, the Sipapu snow castle is located at the base of the mountain. It’s checked out for safety on a regular basis and maintained when necessary. While children of all ages are constantly crawling all over it, adults also can’t resist this winter play structure.

“Just as many adults enjoy the snow castle as kids,” said Glaser. “We get visitors from throughout the state and out of state who come to Sipapu during February Fun Fest to see the castle.”

The snow castle never looks exactly the same from year to year, which is a reason so many families make an annual trek to Sipapu. What remains constant is the rule that anyone who uses the snow castle’s natural slides can not bring a sled. “Only sliding on your body is allowed,” Glaser added.

The snow castle is open all day long, with no particular closing time enforced. The ski resort keeps it operational through close to the end of the first week in March.


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