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NEMS Article - Sugarloaf, ME - A Pictorial

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Sugarloaf, ME - A Pictorial

Jamesj
By: Jamesj
Posted 8/20/14  Last updated 8/21/14  2,138 views  3 comments

 

Sugarloaf, ME - A Pictorial

 

By Jim Kenney, aka JamesJ

EpicSki Travel Correspondent


Many visitors typically drive past numerous fine ski areas to get to Sugarloaf. Once you’re there here is what makes it a worthy destination:  a big (elevation 4237’), single-summit mountain with 2820’ of continuous vertical,1230 skiable acres, and a location secluded enough to moderate the crowds.  There is also a unique weather pattern that is often far cooler and snowier than where you came from!

I visited Sugarloaf for two days of great skiing in mid-March 2014 as part of a fun gathering of EpicSki forum members. Sugarloaf is a superb venue for rambunctious camaraderie among a group of fast-movers because it has something to challenge everyone, including low angle cruisers, steep groomers, copious bump runs, and a humongous zone of side country tree skiing. The snow was good and the temperatures were cold for my visit. We found that March crowds in the backwoods of Maine are as light as yesterday’s powder on a single digit morning.

Prior to 2014 my only other visit to Sugarloaf was in January 1997.  While there are numerous accommodations at various price points around the base of the mountain, both times I visited I enjoyed the superior slopeside ambiance of the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel (known as the Grand Summit Hotel back in ‘97). It's a splurge, but well worth it for optimal proximity and convenience especially in challenging weather.  The hotel’s new 30 person outdoor hot tub and belt-busting breakfast buffet ain't bad either.  One of these days I’d like to trade my facemask for some sunblock and get back to Sugarloaf in April when they tell me it rules the East for spring skiing. 

 

Please click on the photos for expanded views.  All photos are by Jim Kenney.

 

The self-contained base at Sugarloaf allows a group to give the mountain their undivided attention.

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The Tote Road is a hero groomer leading to mid-mountain dining at Bullwinkle's Restaurant.

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Big lines, good snow, and moderate crowds make for tidy skiing at Sugarloaf.

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EpicSki member MDF leads a search & destroy mission for upper mountain powder stashes.

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There is nice, open glade skiing near the black diamond Upper Bubblecuffer trail.

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In the bumps above the King Pine Quad Chair there is a great view of Sugarloaf's expansive Burnt Mountain side-country.

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EpicSki member Deliberate1, a Sugarloaf regular, heads into Brackett Basin from the King Pine lift.

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The skiing in Brackett Basin features mixed density trees with steepness ranging from single black diamond to small cliff bands.

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Scoping out the ginormous front face of Sugarloaf from the ultimate steep groomer - White Nitro trail.

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Rock star hot tubbing at the slopeside Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel.

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Video by Jim Kenney from Sugarloaf, ME taken on 3/17/14, groomer zooming by EpicSki members VinceK, qcanoe, and KevenF:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri1yRpBqAO4&feature=youtu.be

 

Sugarloaf website:  http://www.sugarloaf.com/?winter

Sugarloaf trail map:  http://www.sugarloaf.com/Documents/Sugarloaf/Trail%20Map.pdf

 

About the Author

  • Husband, father and civilian employee of the Department of Navy, Jim Kenney is a Washington D.C. area native and has been skiing recreationally since 1967. Jim’s ski reporting garnered the 2009 West Virginia Division of Tourism’s Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article. To read other articles by Jim, click here
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Comments (3)

50x50px-ZC-6572668c_sugarbush2013038.jpe
nice review,my favorite mountain, when the Loaf is on no place compares!!
50x50px-ZC-b63c2e81_eeyore2.jpeg
Jamesj wrote: "One of these days I’d like to trade my facemask for some sunblock and get back to Sugarloaf in April when they tell me it rules the East for spring skiing." Exactly. A warm, sunny, calm spring day is what it's all about at the Loaf. No place in the east - even my beloved Saddleback - is better on that day. Unfortunately, as you can see from our clothing on this mid-March day, with temps in the single numbers F., it's often mid-April before you get a day like that. Nice piece, Jim.
50x50px-ZC-51e64676_Hermanmair.jpeg
My all time favorite east coast Mountain. Great variety, great pitch and a great vibe. During a good snow year, if you can't get out west. the loaf is a good option.

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