Black Mountain of Maine
Trail expansion at Black Mountain has resulted in over 5 miles of new backcountry skiing. These trails are just a short 1,000 foot jaunt from our main lift. Our local group of volunteers, The Angry Beavers have cleaned up our glades generating 3 miles and over 26 acres of skiable glades with 90% being accessible by chairlift.
New Race Program:
Black Mountain’s alpine racing program has been expanded to include racers ages 2 through 6. In The Never Ever Program, youngsters will get their first experience ski racing. The program focuses on the basic fundamentals of ski racing in a kid friendly way.
New Mug Club
The Last Run Pub has ordered all new mugs for this year. Snazzy colored red logoed stoneware mugs will replace the previous blue vessels. The Pub continues to add Maine beers to their tap lines, including Dirigo Brewing Company from Biddeford, Maine, a new player in the craft beer industry.
Lost Valley has taken two very big steps to provide new opportunities for their growing Learn to Ski and Snowboard programs. The installation of a new Magic Carpet will enhance the beginner experience and fully utilize their beginner teaching area. The Magic Carpet runs up the middle of the practice slope allows skiers to have more room to learn and practice their turns. Lost Valley has taught generations of skiers, and the new carpet insures their role as a Learn to Ski center in Maine.
Lost Valley installed a variable speed drive in their main chairlift allowing convenient ability to slow down the lift for easy loading when needed. This is another step to provide service to the new skiers and riders who may be experiencing their first chairlift rides. Lost Valley’s new owner continues to upgrade the look of the facility with beautifully refinished chairs on the main chairlift, Lift 1.
Summer maintenance has brought the snowmaking system into peak performance to insure deep snow coverage and opening date will be well before Christmas this season.
This winter Mt. Abram offers additional seasonal training programs for kids and adults. Brand new for this season, the Kids All Mountain Program (KAMP) is a well-rounded development program. During this seasonal program, participants enrolled in KAMP will participate in a full weekend of action. Each session will provide specific challenges and developmental opportunities designed around the individual needs and interests of each KAMP group. “The Mt. Abram Competition Program is committed to providing tools and training that support healthy development not only as athletes, but also as individual people. We strive to help our athletes build the foundations for success in all areas of their lives,” said Courtney Poston, Director of Alpine Racing.
Ski School is planning to offer a similar program for adults. Sign up for our seasonal lesson & race training programs on our website or call us for more information on these new programs.
A trail expansion project has created six new trail areas for all ability levels. Crews have also installed water pipes, spanning the new trail areas, to increase snowmaking operations by 35%. The goal of the trail expansion was the creation of a dedicated high school and college racing and training venue that would also enhance the high-quality skiing experience for season pass holders and day skiers. “We want to maintain the focus on families and provide a space for skiers and riders of all abilities to progress their skills. We have more demand for ski school and competition-training space on the mountain than ever before,” said Clay Harvey, Marketing & Sales Director for Mt. Abram. The benefit to all guests of Mt Abram is evident, as the mountain added new intermediate ski terrain and expanded freestyle terrain. To bring everything full circle, the project yielded plenty of timber, milled on-site, that was used to build an outdoor, heated pavilion at the Westside.
Mt. Abram has adopted several “green” initiatives to develop a more sustainable business and adapt to a changing industry marketplace. The heating system was converted to a wood pellet-boiler in 2012 by Maine Energy Systems. Mt. Abram provides free access to an electric vehicle charging station, and operates a solar-power project that provides 75% of the electricity required to operate the entire resort. The mountain utilizes “airless” snowmaking technology, which reduces air consumption by 50% percent and allows a carbon off-set of 402,804 pounds. Mt. Abram enjoys lower energy costs, more clean air and high-quality snow conditions. Mt. Abram Ski Area was recognized by the National Ski Areas Association in 2012, when they were awarded with the Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence.
“I’m incredibly excited to be able to continue to focus on creating the best possible skiing and riding experience through expansion of our snowmaking coverage, with our state of the art airless system focused on energy efficiency and quality of product,” explains Dave Scanlan, General Manager of Mt. Abram.
Shawnee Peak Ski Area, Maine’s longest-running ski mountain, is excited to announce several capital improvements in anticipation of Opening Day of the 2016-2017 ski season in mid-December.
This year’s list of projects includes a fully renovated rental shop, snowmaking improvements and other projects aimed at improving the Guest Experience. “Once again, it has been a busier than expected off-season but I believe all of our improvements allow us to continue to offer a high-quality product for our guests,” said owner Chet Homer.
On the snowmaking side, Shawnee Peak has installed HKD Klik hydrants on the Pine Slope; this will allow for getting the trail online and shut down faster, enabling the snowmaking team to open trails quicker and allowing for more frequent refreshing in-season. At mid-station, a generator and fan gun have been placed, with the intent of opening top-to-bottom terrain much sooner. This year’s investment also includes additions to the fan gun fleet as well as additional HKD SV-10 tower guns and an overhaul of the snowmaking pumps on the lake.
The rental shop has received a gut renovation and expanded footprint, with a new layout and all-new, modern racking systems. Every year, Shawnee Peak adds to the rental fleet and this year renters will find new equipment from Elan and Burton. The repair shop is now outfitted with state-of-the-art tuning machines from Wintersteiger and Grindrite. This year, Shawnee Peak will be offering seasonal tuning packages, more information will be released soon, but make sure you sign up to keep your equipment in top condition!
A new e-commerce platform will be rolled out in the coming week with the intent of offering a simplified experience for our guests and enabling our skiers and riders to save on lift tickets by purchasing tickets and products in advance. Frequent customers will also notice other changes in the Base Lodge, including Coca-Cola products in the cafeteria and improved WiFi access.
Carrabassett Valley, ME
New Competition Center, U.S. Alpine Championships top list of highlights for 2016/17
When the nation’s best skiers return to Sugarloaf next March for the 2017 U.S. Alpine Championships, they will arrive to a new, state-of-the-art Competition Center, thanks to the combined efforts of Carrabassett Valley Academy, Sugarloaf, and the Sugarloaf Ski Club.
The $2.1 million Bill and Joan Alfond Competition center headlines the list of summer improvements and highlights for the 2016/17 season at Sugarloaf, and is near completion as temperatures begin to dip and thoughts turn to winter.
The new center was made possible by a $1 million grant from the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation and features office space for staff from Sugarloaf, CVA, and the Sugarloaf Ski Club, tuning and waxing facilities, trainers’ room, locker room, conference room, and a great room and kitchen capable of hosting gatherings of up to 120 people.
The center is located on an expanded footprint of what was originally the loading terminal of the famous Sugarloaf gondola. The original gondola terminal will become the great room in the new center, featuring a custom built fireplace. During the summer months the great room will host wedding receptions and conferences, bringing year-round vitality to the Competition Center.
The center will house offices for the Sugarloaf Ski Club, providing a permanent, year-round home for the club for the first time, and will also feature dedicated team rooms for the Colby College and University of Maine ski teams. CVA’s weekend programs will also run out of the new center, making it a true hub for community activities.
The Competition Center will serve as base of operations during the U.S. Alpine Championships, which will return to Sugarloaf March 24-29 for the second time in that past three years. The country’s top alpine skiers, including Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsay Vonn, will compete for national titles in slalom, giant slalom, super g, and combined.
The championships will once again allow Sugarloafers the opportunity to witness the country’s best skiers in action, and get up close and personal with many of them at the opening ceremonies and a special autograph session.
The championship races will be hosted on the world famous Narrow Gauge trail, which was the recipient of more than 7000 feet of new snowmaking pipe during the summer. The pipe replaced both the water and air lines, increasing capacity on the trail and allowing snowmakers to run snow guns from top to bottom simultaneously.
Sugarloaf’s lift maintenance department was also busy throughout the summer once again, tackling numerous projects on various lifts throughout the resort. Lift technicians and engineers from Doppelmayr worked together to install a new communication line on the SuperQuad – a major project that should greatly improve reliability and consistency of lift operation.
On the Skidway lift, the counterweight was relocated to accommodate the new competition center. In addition to the counterweight relocation, Skidway’s gear box and electrical drive were rebuilt.
The lift maintenance department continued with its rigorous inspection schedule throughout the summer, continuing its work to ensure all of Sugarloaf’s lifts maintain the highest possible standard for safety.
The Sugarloaf village will see the addition of a new retail store this season, with a new Kuhl Signature Store opening in Village South. The space was completely renovated during the summer and the new store will feature exclusively Kuhl merchandise. Born in the mountains and anchored in the ski industry, the Kuhl brand has become a staple in the outdoor and active wear segments, and has been a top seller at the Downhill Supply Company. The new store will bring new vitality to the Village South commercial space, animating the space between the Bag & Kettle and Gepetto’s.
For 2016-17, Sunday River’s Locke Mountain Triple chairlift dons new top terminal, and snow conditions will benefit from upgrades to the resort’s snowmaking system, as well as two new PistenBully groomers. The resort’s dining scene welcomes a new 20-person bar at the Peak Lodge—phase one of a two-phase new restaurant expansion for The Mountain Room—and food trucks such as Maine-ly Meatballs and The SaltBox Café, Maine’s only tiny house food truck, will park themselves for the season to the delight of many guests.