I am the first person to recognize the many shortcomings of my favorite hill. And I certainly don't need a national poll to validate my personal preferences for terrain, atmosphere, aesthetics, and management style. But I have to say it's really nice to see that Saddleback is finally getting some serious respect from the wider ski community, outside of the Portland / Bangor orbit. Ski Magazine's annual resort issue arrived in my mailbox the other day, and for the first time in memory, Saddleback made a serious showing in the rankings among eastern ski areas.
In the combined rankings, it naturally (thankfully, even) did not make the top ten. However, it did score a full-page spread directly opposite #2 - Stowe - by virtue of being "top ranked adventure mountain." (See page 127, if you have the paper copy.) More significantly, I was frankly surprised at how well it scored in certain key categories. Yes, I know. Other Maine and NE resorts scored much better in other categories. I can see that and understand why. But the ones I've listed below ... well, they tell a story.
"Snow" - #5 (Sunday River, 8; Sugarloaf, >10)
"Scenery" - #6 (Sunday River, >10; Sugarloaf, 10)
"Service" - #4 (Sunday River, >10; Sugarloaf, >10)
"Character" - #2 (Sunday River, >10; Sugarloaf, 6)
"Overall Satisfaction" - #2 (Sunday River, >10; Sugarloaf, 7)
"Value" - #1 (Sunday River, >10; Sugarloaf, >10)
[edit - missed "service" on first try]
Edited by qcanoe - 10/24/11 at 5:58pm