CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — In a classic right place at the right time moment, lucky staff members at Sugarloaf/USA are New England’s first lift-served skiers and snowboaders of the winter.
Sugarloaf President John Diller was on the first chair up Maine’s tallest winter resort Monday afternoon to take the first official run of the 2006 season. After three days of continuous snowmaking with state of the art low energy snowguns, coverage on the Tote Road trail was adequate for expert skiers to navigate. Resort management decided to run the lift to give employees the opportunity to make the first tracks before the resort opens to the public on Nov. 17.
Low-e snowguns can make up to 40 percent more snow than a conventional snowgun using the same amount of energy. “We wouldn’t be able to open Tote Road for opening day without the low-e guns,” Diller said. “With them, we can get more terrain open sooner and earlier in the season.”
Utilizing low-e snowguns is one way Sugarloaf is working to reduce its environmental impact while providing the best possible winter experience. Sugarloaf employs more than 100 low-e guns to maximize the amount of snow that can be made in the early part of the season.
This is the first year Sugarloaf plans to open Tote Road from the top of the SuperQuad chairlift. “The low-e guns make it possible, and we thought having a two mile trail open for the first day of the season gets us off to a great start,” said Danny Barker, Sugarloaf’s snow surfaces manager.
Sugarloaf’s snowmakers will be back on the slopes as soon as temperatures permit to ready the trails for opening day, which is Friday, Nov. 17. Opening weekend, Nov 18-19, is the resort’s annual Tin Mountain Round Up when skiers and riders can enjoy the slopes for just $21 when they donate three canned food items.
For more information about Sugarloaf, visit www.sugarloaf.com or call 1.800 THE LOAF.