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Sugarloaf ME, 16 April 2007

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Based on weather forecasts, we (my son and I) decided to give Sugarloaf, Maine a try today. Went up on Sunday afternoon, after one last check of the ME/VT forecast. The roads were a little iffy in places, but not too bad a drive. I was glad my wife had insisted we leave early enough to drive in daylight.

There were about 4 inches of powder on the ground when we went to sleep. THis morning there was quite a bit more (8 or 12 maybe, esp on the hill). It was a little heavier, but I'd still give it the benefit of the doubt and call it powder. It skied like powder.

Sugarloaf planned to run 3 lifts - a detachable quad that goes most of the way up, a double that goes 1/2 way, and a T-bar that starts at mid-mountain.

The mountain didn't open on time - double on wind hold, quad had icing in the towers or something like that. The double ran off and on, mostly off, starting sometime around 9 am. Finally, at 930 we (and everyone else on the mountain, maybe 100 people) were waiting at the double when the quad opened -- it is visible from there and slightly downhill -- a real chinese downhill! We were on the 6th chair.

We got 3 good powder runs in the first hour, some on the quad, some on the T. (The double never did reopen).

The weather started to go downhill -- big sleet pellets (graupel), eventually a little rain. : After another hour we went in for lunch. When we came out, it was out-and-out rain at the bottom.

(It was still a mix higher up).

We went up the quad after lunch. Our second time up, the liftie at the top held up a whiteboard with "CLOSED FOR WIND" he had just written.
(It was very windy...)
So we changed plans quickly and went to the T-bar.

At the top, some people were hiking up, but we decided to do T-bar laps. The snow was very interesting - damp cut-up powder with a thin layer of wet sleet on top - made strange noises when you skied over it. Unfortunately, when we got back to the T-bar they had closed that too. They told us it was for safety since it was icing up, but... (I had just been there, and it was very skiable). I suspect they closed cause there were only a half dozen of us on the upper mountain and no way for anyone else to get up there. They closed the mountain about 1 or 130.

The parking lot was an incredible mess of sticky snow and slush. My son helped shovel out a stuck car while moved the car up to the hotel so we could change to dry clothes (even though we were checked out). I wore my flip-flops to go inside; I figured if my shoes were going to fill up with slush water, I might as well have well-drained shoes.

It looked like most of Maine was flooded on the way home. The shoulder had washed out on part of Rt 27 and it was eating into the travel lane. There was standing water across the Maine Turnpike at one spot.

Summary -- even though I was bummed they kicked us off the mountain, those first 3 runs were worth it. Especially since it's half way through APRIL.
post #2 of 7
Good to hear you were able to get a few runs in. The storm was pretty big, better safe then sorry.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know. I suppose not being able to get patrolers back up the hill isn't a good situation.
(The wind hold on the chair was definitely legitimate.) I was just dissapointed because we had just discussed on the way up how nice surface lifts are in bad weather.
post #4 of 7
Hi mdf,
we left Sugarloaf Sunday morning to get back to our flooded basement in Wilmington. Saturday was insane up there! Ok, it was the Reggae fest with soooo many people, but by noon time we actually did not have to wait longer than 5 minutes in any of the lines. The snow was incredible, no scratching sounds anywhere on the mountain! White Nitro was covered with snow! Not ice like it always is.
134/134 trails open on April 14th is tough to beat.
I wish that mountain was a little bit closer...
post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
Summary -- even though I was bummed they kicked us off the mountain, those first 3 runs were worth it. Especially since it's half way through APRIL.
A read that truly defines “a glass half full”. If there was an award category on this forum most outstanding attitude despite conditions…I would nominate you and your son.
post #6 of 7
And to think that I was almost going to piss off my boss and call in sick to stay one more night to ski on Monday.

Saturday was a glorious day at Sugarloaf! Sunday was promising but the visibility and crusty conditions spoiled it a little bit for me...
post #7 of 7
vrcka, glad to see you had a great day at the loaf. I was there that day, as well. The snow conditions were really like something out of this world!! It honestly compared to the Utah conditions we had for our trip in March.

I love Sugarloaf. It really is a skiers mountain with lots of different terrain from long beginner, scenic runs to fantastic intermediate runs to trails like White Nitro from the top. Don't ya just love that trail!! I do!!
On the other hand I love Timberline trail from the top. Green Green Green.

Hope you make it back next year and have a great summer!!
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