Sugarloaf - 12/20/2008

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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Sugarloaf - 12/20/2008

    Date(s) Skied: Dec 20, 2008

    Resort or Ski Area: Sugarloaf

    Conditions: Pristine Packed Powder



    Trip Report:
    There's nothing quite like having a scheduled trip to a ski area coincide with a dumping. Of course, it also meant heading out on the road on a Friday also coincidental with the arrival of said snowstorm. In other words, we got on Rte 128 at 3:45pm just as it got really heavy. The always-long drive to the 'Loaf took a little over 7 hours. Fortunately, road conditions in Maine were far better than in Massachusetts. The Turnpike was plowed and the snow was so light, and the temps so cold, that it didn't stick and we had some amount of bare pavement all the way from Augusta to the Carabassett Valley. Of course, along the way we also kept watching the car's thermometer drop. Upon arrival, it read 2.

    Waking up in the morning it wasn't much warmer. Scratch that — it wasn't any warmer. But the air was clear, the sky just a high skim of clouds, and everything was beautifully coated with white. The official word was only 2" but it was such a dry, powdery snow that the groomers worked magic on it. Combined with the snowfall from earlier in the week there was an excellent surface that was all snow; we only encountered ice in one spot. There were some crunchies here and there, but most of what we skied was packed powder, firm and corduroy. This wasn't a powder day, but it was a cruising paradise.

    We spent most of the day off the Superquad. We took one trip up the Timberline chair and it was nice up there but way too cold to return. Cinder Hoe had some scratch to it but was edgeable. Tote Road was a sweet ride to just let it all out. Glancer was the gem of the day, virtually untouched and a fun, twisty trail. King's Landing was a bit scratchy and with the snowmaking cloud the sun never quite found it, leaving a really flat light and ski-by-braille through Candy Side.

    We took two runs off Whiffletree: Upper Buckboard was really untouched, as it seems most people simply use it as an approach to the adjacent glades, and we flew down its twists and turns joyously. Lower was less than pleasant, it had the feeling of being blown a few weeks ago for condo access and then really left to its own devices to get stale. We got bored of this side quickly and after another ride up (I wasn't polling again) we did some combination (Springboard to Slasher?) on again good, cohesive pp snow, coming out past where an enormous half-pipe is being blown, and on down. We didn't play over on King Pine as it was buried in the snowmaking cloud and I didn't feel like skiing that level of visibility (none).

    The new Bullwinkle's is much larger and very comfortable. There is also a full-service restaurant in there now.

    Throughout the day, base temps got up into the teens. We noticed on our last run we were too hot & sweating down low!

    Tomorrow the big dump (anywhere from 7-11" they say) comes in, and the guns are still blasting right now all over the mountain. I don't know how much we'll be able to do, but we'll get in what we can. With the current snow all groomed up, there should be silky surfaces in the morning and we'll try to explore the rest of the mountain. Right now it's still early season and I'm happy to just play on the groomers, re-find my balance and form, and just enjoy the scenery, but after this storm, well, we'll leave the corduroy behind and start having some *real* fun.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  2. #2
    salsgang's Avatar
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    Xclent report. I see you found Glancer - great blue-run trail. Have fun tomorrow!

  3. #3
    You know you are a New Englander when you are sweating with base temperatures in the teens..Excellent report!!!

  4. #4
    MJ it is too bad you passed on King Pine. I am not a fan of Haul Back, but is was in great shape on Saturday. Widowmaker, Ramdown and Boomaguer were great as well. Worth putting up with the snowmaking. It was a great weekend in spite of the cold temps.
    TANSTAAFL

  5. #5
    King Pine ended up on hold the rest of the weekend, so it just means the next time I'm up there I have something new to explore!

    Coming soon: the Sunday trip report (wind, blowing snow, silken trails), and the Monday trip report (28-32" of fresh pow, chest shots on Sluice, the best barely-groomed groomers anywhere, and high winds taking offline everything but the t-bar and cat).

    Oh, and beer.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

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