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Heading to Maine in March..need some guidance... - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Having been just about everywhere now, I don't like Sunday River like I used to. I will, however, call bs on its trail junctions being worse than K-Mart's. There are a few nasty areas, but for the most part there's some long sections of trails (some trails are top to bottom without a junction) whereas at Killington there aren't many trails like this at all.

Also, when the snow stinks most places, the groomers are typically better at Sunday River, imo.

Sugarloaf rocks though, especially in March when the sun actually gets above the peak.
post #32 of 45
I don't think that anybody is trashing Sunday River. I skied SR 2 days and boarded 1 day and I hit it just perfectly with about a foot of snow on day 1 and 5 inches on day 3. The tree skiing over in Oz was fabulous.

However, my wife is a low intermediate skier and I had to traverse over to the middle of the mountain lunch time and at the end of the day to hook up with her. The up & downs and runouts to go from ridge to ridge are beyond boring and too time consuming. Yes, the snow making and lift service is superior to Sugarloaf, but the Loaf's runs are generally longer and it is easier to ski the more challenging terrain and to meet up with skiers of lesser abilities than is SR. The choice of ski-on-off accomodations (particularly condominiums) is superior at the Loaf. And while there are more restaurants choices at Sunday River, I have yet to find a Gepetto's at SR, which services all needs of food and drink.

All in all, however, we are lucky to have the choice to ski and ride at a Sunday River or Sugarloaf in Maine, or a Sugarbush or Stowe in Vermont. So, Phil, if you take the Maine trip, go to both and report back to us next March. There is no question that this debate is what keeps ski mountains open, and we do not need any more closures. And, if you are lucky enough to hit fresh snow, then, either mountain will be fabulous.
post #33 of 45

Sugarloaf Plan

Like everyone else, I think Sunday River is just not that hot. I've skiied there a number of times, and every time I did (after driving up from Boston), I've felt disappointed. Sugarloaf, on the other hand, blew me away. It was just wonderfully laid out, unlike Sunday River.

The other problem is that it is really hard to get from anywhere you'd want to go in Vermont and then over to Sugarloaf. I think Smugglers Notch, Jay, and Sugarbush are great, but it's just hell to go East-West up there. So I think that's out.

Frankly, I think your best option is to try to get up really early in the morning out of Phillie, and drive the 6 hours to Boston. (if you leave at 7, you'll be there at 1). Take a couple hour break, stretch your legs, have a nice lunch (I can suggest places--I just moved out of Boston after having lived there for 10 years), and then do the next 5 hours. It's just nuts to spend any time at Sunday River, and it really won't cut your trip down by more than an hour, and then you'll have to deal with cutting across the state, which is no joke--especially if there's snow.
post #34 of 45
Thread Starter 
Don't get me wrong. I hate passing Vermont and doubling my trip time. Now to figure out a way to do 3 days at loaf and 2 at the river.
post #35 of 45
Take me to the Rivah

I didn't realize how many SR haters there are here.

I agree Sugarloaf is one of the best in New England but SR is not any worse then Mt Snow and Killington.
post #36 of 45
And ditto that SR does a very good job of keeping the mountain skiable when conditions are bad
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
Take me to the Rivah

I didn't realize how many SR haters there are here.

I agree Sugarloaf is one of the best in New England but SR is not any worse then Mt Snow and Killington.
Actually, SR is better than Mr. Snow and Killington. However, in the opinion of a number of skiers, it is just not the best ski area in Maine. Nothing wrong with that.
post #38 of 45
Sugarloaf is definatley #1 in Maine and it is my favorate but he might as well hit SR since he hasn't been there in awhile.
post #39 of 45
Also, as much as I like Sugarloaf, I don't think its trail layout is ideal. None of the trails for instance go straight from top to bottom. A lot of the trails will head straight down the fall line, and then stop and you have to traverse one direction or the other.
post #40 of 45
ummmmmm. That's not true first of all. Narrow Guage and Tote Road are examples off the top of my head that go straight to the bottom. The reason that most don't go top to bottom is because there isn't a lift that goes top to bottom so it's not like you could really do laps. The simple reason for this I would guess is the wind; they don't want to take away the middle of the mountain just because it's windy at the top.
post #41 of 45
Narrow Gauge is excellent, but it's a flat at the top with a messy intersection where the x-cut comes across from the top of the double. Then it's flat at the bottom. Tote Road is truly top to bottom, but it's the anti-fall line trail; it follows the flattest route down.

Sugarloaf offers some great uninterupted runs: narrow gauge from the superquad, gondi line from the snowfields, and a couple trails in king pine. You're only talking 1500 feet though, not much better than something like excalibur or obsession at sunday river. I like those trails because you can hop off the lift, rip them up and hop back on the lift for another lap. That being said, for steep groomed runs, gondi line and white nitro beat the hell out of anything at sunday river. Sugarloaf also doensn't require nearly as much traversing; you do need to traverse or skate in more than a few places though.
post #42 of 45
Well, here's my 2 cents. I live in the Boston area, and have my choice of where to ski in New England. I have skiied pretty much every "big" mountain in New England, and find myself always going back to Sunday River. I have been going to SR for about 20 years, and while I can appreciate some of the criticisms here, I have never been let down at Sunday River. Yes, the place has had it's ups and downs with changes in management style and what-not. However, the quality of snowmaking (and grooming) has provided for great skiing when alot of other resorts in New England were subpar. Likewise, there is a tremendous variety of terrain to satisfy most any skier (and yes, I will concede that there is limited real expert terrain). Like any ski resort, it helps to know your way around the mountain, and after 20 years I guess that I know this mountain well -- my advice for busy weekends is to get out on the mountain when the lifts open, and whale away for the first hour and a half of the day -- even on MLK weekend, I can get in 5-7 runs before the rest of my friends and family have made it out of the condo. I cannot honestly critique Sugarloaf, because the 2 times that I went there, I got skunked (rained in January 1 year, and in March another year...). And yes, the black bear porter at the Sunday River Brewing Company is a must.
post #43 of 45
I agree and like SR too but I think the Brickhouse Red Beer is the best.

But I can get Long Trail Hibernator on tap at the Sugarloaf Inn and my wife can get the Seadog Blueberry Ale.
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
I agree and like SR too but I think the Brickhouse Red Beer is the best.

But I can get Long Trail Hibernator on tap at the Sugarloaf Inn and my wife can get the Seadog Blueberry Ale.
Crap, I like Seadog Blueberry Ale too. I guess I must truly be metrosexual .

-Craig
post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
Crap, I like Seadog Blueberry Ale too. I guess I must truly be metrosexual .

-Craig
Nah

It is a good beer even for guys.
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