Winter Storm Niko resulted in a snow day, inspiration and time to begin a new set of blog posts, Slopes. Posts dedicated to sharing our trips to various ski resorts in New England and beyond.
Worth the Drive. Laid Back. Varied Terrain.
We planned a ski weekend last month with a few friends up at Sugarloaf in Maine (#theloaf) and we had a blast. The over four hour Friday night drive up to Carrabassett Valley was a challenge, but well-worth the trip. Sugarloaf offers classic New England skiing and claims to have the most terrain east of the Rockie Mountains (highly disputed by Killington, of which we are frequent visitors). Being at a higher elevation than many other Northeast ski areas Sugarloaf typically gets a ton of snow. We lucked out with perfect conditions and weather: decent snow base, very little ice, blue skies, no wind, and temps around 30°F. All around an awesome ski/snowboarding day on the mountain, topped off with a round at The Widowmaker Lounge (perfect après locale). Oh, and be sure to take a run down Windowmaker trail.
- On-Mountain Lodging – Sugarloaf is pretty remote and the resort is self-contained. We chose a condo within walking distance of chairlift, which was super convenient. This eliminated driving for the non-equipment-renters. Side note about parking: The lots closest to the base lodge are reserved for hotel guests and permits, all other lots are on a shuttle route. We found the (slow) condo lift to be great for stopping in for lunch (a huge thank you to our non-skiing, chili-making friend).
- Quality Over Quantity – Our approach to a day on the mountain may differ than most, but we abide by two general rules: attempt to avoid crowds and stop skiing/snowboarding when it stops being fun (simple, right?). To play by these rules we are rise early to beat the lift lines and head up to the mid-mountain area in order to hit the summit first. This worked to our advantage and we even had a few discussions about this on the chair lift with our friends. Would you rather have more runs, regardless of quality or fewer higher quality runs? We had mixed answers, but after reflecting on this a bit more, I think this idea relates to other areas of life…We are fortunate to have this group of quality couples we call friends.