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Snow Gods Relent on Grudge - Saddleback Feb 25 2012

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I can be kind of an old grouch about the habitually firm conditions here in the Pine Tree State, especially in years like this one. So I thought it was only fair to fess up on one of the rare occasions when all the stars aligned, a couple of days ago. One of the glories of Saddleback is that the hill is essentially never crowded, even when there are lines at the lifts ... which, mysteriously, were almost entirely absent on Saturday. This shot was taken on Family Secret. Note the un-tracked woods of Dark Wizard in the background.

 

SaddlebackPowderDay.jpg

post #2 of 11
Holy Muleskinner!! I'll be darned...I just made my first ever trip to Saddleback this week and skied it Friday & Saturday (Pow Day)!! Thurs. was at Sugarloaf. We stayed in a gorgeous cabin at Rangeley Lake Resort and the entire way home, yesterday, all we did was talk about how Saddleback is our new favorite resort in the east (and I've skied most of them).

I had been wanting to get up there for years and could not have picked a better day. Saturday was awesome! What a great hill for "better" skiers. It reminded me of a much bigger mad River with better grooming and a very nice lodge (although I've never seen so many people hunkered down inside all day - what the hell is up with that? On a pow day, no less). But it left uncrowded slopes for us and I absolutely loved the terrain. great steeps, classic narrow winding bump runs, killer glades!

Maybe I should shut the hell up? You tell me...but, Saddleback rocks. We were actually half way to Sugarloaf Sat. morning and I had a bad feeling about lifts on wind hold, so I dictated a U-turn for Saddleback and it was a great call. Although windy as hell at the top, the lifts ran smoothly all day.

I only took a few pics which I uploaded to Facebook. I'll try to post a few here later. Go Saddleback!!!!! biggrin.gif
post #3 of 11
Ok here's a few skiing (and non-skiing) pics from Rangeley:

My wife, Yvonne:

450

Our cabin:

450

The skiers (me on far right):
604

Resort with lake in background:

450

Random skier:

698


Second random tele skier (maybe you know this guy):


450

Mrs. Carvemeister apres pow-day:

450
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

the entire way home, yesterday, all we did was talk about how Saddleback is our new favorite resort in the east (and I've skied most of them).



Really glad you made it up and were able to drink the Kool Aid. Absolutely a great experience at a great mountain. Like you, I was mystified by the way everyone disappeared off the hill after lunch. Kind of normal if it had been a Sunday, but on a Saturday powder day during a vacation week it was just strange. But very good for us! (My hypothesis is that most of the crowd was non-hard-core skiers with kids, and that they were just beat after struggling in the unfamiliar 3D environment all morning. I was beat too, but it was far from a struggle! I made myself go bell-to-bell just because with every run we seemed to discover a new grin-inducing line somewhere.) That was not me in my photo, by the way; it was just some random telewhacker who looked like he was having a lot of fun.

post #5 of 11
Yeah very nice lodge, but still not big enough for a crowd like that. I have never seen so many kids inside a lodge at one time in my entire life. However, I rarely ever saw any of them out on the mountain. What do they all ski that lower beginner quad? I guess it's just an affordable place to ski if you have young kids. But it did not affect the skiing - we had many trails all to ourselves.

I loved some of the narrow twisting bump runs too, like Jane Crag, etc. My only regret was never making it over to the Casablanca Glades area since I was trying to keep my wife company for a change, but it seemed like the wind would have blown it knee deep or better in there on Saturday! How does the terrain in there compare to something like Intimadator Glades, which we did ski? The furthest I got over that way was Black Beauty which was fun aside from a few windblown rocky spots.

Great bar upstairs too, and the band was pretty good as well!
post #6 of 11

Looks awesome. Definitely need to get up there some day. Hard to drive past the Loaf though.

post #7 of 11

epic, Saddleback is before Sugarloaf about 1 hour south west right in Rangely unless you come down from Canada, nice pictures guys that place looks great. Hope to also get there someday

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
How does the terrain in [Casablanca] compare to something like Intimadator Glades, which we did ski?


They're quite similar in nature. It's more a difference in quantity than quality. Within Casablanca there are some steeper and flatter spots, and many where the trees are tighter, but overall it's just MORE of what you liked in Intimidator. If you look at the last segment of the short video clip embedded at the bottom of my Saddleback review, that was shot in a piece of Casablanca.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Looks awesome. Definitely need to get up there some day. Hard to drive past the Loaf though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post

epic, Saddleback is before Sugarloaf about 1 hour south west right in Rangely unless you come down from Canada, nice pictures guys that place looks great. Hope to also get there someday



Yeah, you only drive "past" Sugarloaf on the way to Saddleback if you are approaching from the north and east. Considering that probably 99.9% of the North American population lies south and west of Rangeley, Maine, I'm guessing you won't be coming that way. Snowbowler is right that it is close to an hour drive between the two mountains, even though they're quite close to each other as the crow flies. However, don't assume that this means Saddleback is "closer," if you are driving from, say, Portland or Boston. It's not; it's about the same drive time as the Loaf.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 


They're quite similar in nature. It's more a difference in quantity than quality. Within Casablanca there are some steeper and flatter spots, and many where the trees are tighter, but overall it's just MORE of what you liked in Intimidator. If you look at the last segment of the short video clip embedded at the bottom of my Saddleback review, that was shot in a piece of Casablanca.


Cool video clip! Looks like I missed a lot of good glade skiing. Looks even better with the sun shining in those deep woods and the trees don't look as tight as I thought (at least in those shots). I'll have to get back there sooner than I thought. Maybe in late March after I get back from Big Sky!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

 

 



Yeah, you only drive "past" Sugarloaf on the way to Saddleback if you are approaching from the north and east. Considering that probably 99.9% of the North American population lies south and west of Rangeley, Maine, I'm guessing you won't be coming that way. Snowbowler is right that it is close to an hour drive between the two mountains, even though they're quite close to each other as the crow flies. However, don't assume that this means Saddleback is "closer," if you are driving from, say, Portland or Boston. It's not; it's about the same drive time as the Loaf.


FWIW - we made it to Rangeley from Bridgeport, Ct. in 6 1/2 hrs. drive time. Not bad at all and same drive as to the Loaf, as mentioned above. But, roads were dry, no traffic and we drove on a sunny afternoon. Return trip was closer to 6 hrs, if I recall correctly! It's a closer trip than a place like Tremblant, and IMO, a much much better mountain to ski if you're a decent skier. Throw in Sugarloaf at ~ 45 mins. away and I'm having a real hard time justifying why the hell I keep going to Killington so much - It's a freaking madhouse there (especially over at Bear). Oh, I'm so sick of K-Mart, and so in love with the Moose state right now! biggrin.gif
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