CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine ??вЂќ When skiers and riders return to Sugarloaf/USA in November, they’ll find more snow, a bigger superpipe, and quicker service as a result of upgrades put in place during the summer months.
Through Sugarloaf’s continued partnership with Carrabassett Valley Academy, Sugarloaf ‘s showcase superpipe, called Pipe Dreams, will be bigger and better than ever thanks to the purchase of an 18-foot Zaugg Halfpipe Designer.
The Zaugg is renowned throughout the winter sports industry as a leader in park and pipe equipment for their ability to produce large, rider-friendly superpipes. The Zaugg will allow Sugarloaf’s pipe groomers to create a superpipe with 18-foot walls and smoother transitions that will make it easier for pipe riders to throw bigger tricks. The Zaugg will be mounted on one of Sugarloaf’s winch cat groomers to further improve efficiency and allow for more frequent pipe cuts. The plan is to cut the pipe a minimum of 3 to 4 times per week throughout the season.
New snowmaking lines have been installed to improve early season capacity on the lower half of the mountain. Lines were replaced on Boardwalk, which will not only ensure adequate snowmaking ability on that trail but will make it possible to make snow elsewhere simultaneously.
“In the past, if we were making snow on Boardwalk we could not make snow in the halfpipe or Whiffletree,” said Richard “Crusher” Wilkinson, Sugarloaf’s vice president of operations. “With this new line we can get water to multiple areas of the mountain at the same time, which will greatly improve our early season coverage.”
Snowmaking lines have also been added to Lower Scoot and Lower Binder, two trails that did not previously have snowmaking coverage. Glade skiers and riders will find better lines and clearer access to Rookie River, Stubs Glade and Cant Dog thanks to extensive brush sawing and clean up. This year’s effort is the continuation of Sugarloaf’s commitment to glade work each summer to improve the woods skiing experience.
As part of Sugarloaf’s ongoing commitment to onmountain safety and awareness, there will be more ambassadors on the mountain more often. Ambassadors will be visible on the mountain seven days a week, as opposed to only weekends and holiday weeks as in the past. Their role will be to serve as a resource to guests to promote safe skiing and riding.
“One of our key initiatives is to offer parents the resources to talk with their children about safety on the slopes,” said Nancy Peabbles, Sugarloaf ‘s director of skier services.
Ambassadors will also be available for mountain tours to help first-time guests get the most out of their visit to Sugarloaf. New trail signs will also be installed on the mountain to provide easier recognition of the trail difficulty.
“We’re working on a number of little things that, when added together, will make an impact on safety and enjoyment on the mountain,” Peabbles said.
At the base of the mountain, skiers and riders will find an improved ski rental shop. The shop on the ground floor of the Base Lodge has been renovated to improve efficiency and shorten the time it takes to rent equipment.
“The fun is on the ski slopes and not in the rental shop,” said Jeff Rosenberg, vice president of retail operations for Sugarloaf and Sunday River. “With this renovation we’re going to make it easier to get your gear and get out on the slopes.”
Guests will also notice many other improvements throughout the resort such as new paving, renovations in the village, and a new property management and maintenance facility.