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A few questions about Saddleback

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have two days at Saddleback coming up soon.  I've never been there (nor in Maine actually), so I was hoping that someone here who's skied it could tell me a little bit about the place.  There were a few helpful posts that I found through the search, but the most helpful (from this year) essentially said that the place had changed dramatically recently so I'm not sure how much of the old stuff holds.

So, does anyone know:
1. What are some of the can't miss runs?
2. How challenging are the black/double black runs (possibly in comparison to some of the Vermont resorts as I'm familiar with them)?  For some reason my brother, who's going with me, is dubious as to their difficulty.
3. Any tips for getting the most out of my time at the mountain?

Thanks a lot!
post #2 of 11

Hello Marcus....

 

Can't miss runs....America, Grey Ghost, Blue Devil, Red Devil, Supervisopr, Tight Line.....Mule Skinner. Really, all of them. It is a nice ski mountain. Do not be afraid to take the Kennebago quad to the top. Very pretty up there on a clear day.

 

The double blacks are very difficult. Bring your A-game. The blacks are steep...some very steep. Most of the glades are pretty tight and steep. Fun to ski though.

 

The top is a 2 chairlift ride. If it is not busy at the base I like to go to the top and ski to the bottom then take the 2 chairlift ride back to the top. Skiing America down and connecting with Grey Ghost or Blue Devil is really fun.

 

The Kennebago Quad is rarely more than a 2 minute wait. The Rangeley double at the base is a diffrent story. 10 to 20 minutes is not unusual. The plan is to replace this chair with a high speed quad this summer. The mountain is expanding and improving in every facet of the resort. The mountain offers a ton of terrain for the expert and above skier. Intermediates will like the mountain like the mountain and beginners have an area all to themselves serviced by a quad chair. Not much beginner terrain on the main mountain. Overall you will have a good skiing experience.

Now, if you have the time, say a Saturday and a Sunday....Sugarloaf is less than an hour from Saddleback. If you have 2 days to ski, Sugarloaf is a must.!!!! Take my word for it and don't miss the opportunity to ski Sugarloaf. You will be in skier's heaven.!!!! Just do it.!!!!

When are you coming and how long is your stay.??   

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'll be skiing March 10-11, coming in the day before (The ski days are a Wednesday and Thursday).  My brothers and I booked one of their cheap ski and stay packages, so the lift tickets are included.  One brother and I aren't time pressed though, so if conditions are good and we're having a blast, there's a chance we might try to find someplace reasonably close to crash for an extra night in order to try Sugarloaf, which I've read great things about on here.

Thanks so much for the info!
post #4 of 11
You are skiing mid-week. Most likely it will be ski down and get on lift, no wait.

From the Kennebago Quad anything to the left is expert terrain. Some great trails right there but they are steep and usually groomed.

They have recieved about 20 inches of wet snow the last couple of days and most likely some rain. Without further rain the mountain will recover well.

I'm skiing there Sunday and I'll try to get back to you on the conditions.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ski down, get on?  Music to my ears.  Hopefully it stays on the colder side and the conditions stay good for both of us.

Thanks a ton.
post #6 of 11
Saddleback 3.28.09 006.JPGSaddleback 3.14.09 002.JPGSaddleback 3.28.09 003.JPGSaddleback 3.14.09 013.JPG
Here's some mellow stoke from Saddleback for ya.....
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oooh that looks nice.  I skied Killington on Sunday, and while the omnipresent bumps were certainly fun (especially as they were compressed powder rather than ice), I could deal with a few nice, open run outs.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

I have two days at Saddleback coming up soon.  I've never been there (nor in Maine actually), so I was hoping that someone here who's skied it could tell me a little bit about the place.  There were a few helpful posts that I found through the search, but the most helpful (from this year) essentially said that the place had changed dramatically recently so I'm not sure how much of the old stuff holds.

So, does anyone know:
1. What are some of the can't miss runs?
2. How challenging are the black/double black runs (possibly in comparison to some of the Vermont resorts as I'm familiar with them)?  For some reason my brother, who's going with me, is dubious as to their difficulty.
3. Any tips for getting the most out of my time at the mountain?

Thanks a lot!

I ski Saddleback frequently. My favorite Maine area, by far. Barring warm / wet weather, you are in for a  treat, because they've been getting dumped on the last five or six days. I was up there yesterday and it was pretty fabulous - by far the best conditions of the year. Don't get discouraged as you drive up; the snow is pretty much all above 2,000 feet, which means it doesn't look like much until you get up to the base.

Sugaree was on the money re: tactics. If you are there on a weekend, ride the Rangeley double before 10:00, from 12:00 - 12:30, and after 2:30. (Sugaree, I thought they were replacing this with a fixed grip, not a detachable.)

Can't miss runs:
Blue Devil - Swooping blue groomer, narrow and turny enough to have an old-fashioned surprise-around-every-corner feel, but wide enough to arc 'em up and let 'em run.

Parmachenee Belle - Bump run that's a blast and an ego booster because it's not too steep. Increasingly a rarity. (Most areas only tolerate bumps on steep terrain these days, or on the margin of what otherwise is a groomer. Not the same feel.) Like most of the best runs, this requires good natural snow. The photo below might be of this trail, not looking very bumpy yet because of all the new snow. If it's not Pamachenee, it could be.

Supervisor - Steeper version of Blue Devil

Golden Smelt - As a skier, you can't go to your grave having passed up an opportunity to ski a trail called Golden Smelt.

Casablana - This is their new expansive glade off the top. Fantastic. Recommend starting with entrance #3 and then easing toward the right as you descend. There is a LOT of tree skiing at Saddleback, not limited to this glade. Virtually all of it is in very tight spruce woods. The embedded clip below shows some of the least steep / least tight trees, just to give you an idea. I count five trees in seven turns, even in this relatively open pitch. Remove your pole straps, go slowly, ski with a buddy, and keep 'em pointed downhill.


After the lovely terrain, the thing that distinguishes Saddleback is its old school atmosphere and lack of congestion on the trail. If you grew up skiing in the 60s and 70s, like MRG and Burke, and find areas like Killington and Sunday River too much like Manhattan, you will love Saddleback. On the other hand, if you need high speed lifts and a superpipe, you will be disappointed.

Parmacheene_Maybe_20100228.jpg
Edited by qcanoe - 3/1/10 at 8:09pm
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post




I ski Saddleback frequently. My favorite Maine area, by far. Barring warm / wet weather, you are in for a  treat, because they've been getting dumped on the last five or six days. I was up there yesterday and it was pretty fabulous - by far the best conditions of the year. Don't get discouraged as you drive up; the snow is pretty much all above 2,000 feet, which means it doesn't look like much until you get up to the base.
ole straps, go slowly, ski with a buddy, and keep 'em pointed downhill.

After the lovely terrain, the thing that distinguishes Saddleback is its old school atmosphere and lack of congestion on the trail. If you grew up skiing in the 60s and 70s, like MRG and Burke, and find areas like Killington and Sunday River too much like Manhattan, you will love Saddleback. On the other hand, if you need high speed lifts and a superpipe, you will be disappointed.



 
Well I'll cross my fingers that conditions hold.  I've somehow gotten it in my head that I'll love Saddleback and your and Sugaree's descriptions have solidified that belief.  Thanks a ton!
post #10 of 11
Finally managed to embed a sample of the tree skiing in my post above. Bump.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Don't get discouraged as you drive up; the snow is pretty much all above 2,000 feet, which means it doesn't look like much until you get up to the base.

 
Related to this, do you know by chance how the temperatures on the mountain usually compare to the reported temperatures for Rangeley that I'll be able to look up ahead of time?  A chunk colder, I'd imagine.

Thanks again.
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