Sugarloaf 12/31 – 1/4

Date(s) Skied: 12/31/14 - 1/4/14

Resort or Ski Area: Sugarloaf

Conditions: Variable conditions...Boilerplate to ice bumps to Manmade Styrofoam to manmade hero snow eventually ending with powder to packed powder/manky conditions by end of Sunday

Trip Report: My last visit to the Loaf was Mid-December prior to the extensive rain event that we all got for Christmas, so I was curious to witness the "damage" first hand. Overall I would say the loaf came away with very little damage except for some natural trails & some glades. It really solidified the base (both figuratively & literally) which hopefully will begin to pay dividends in the very near future.

This was the first family trip of the year so the ski schedule/choice of trails was primarily dictated by the family. A typical day would be get a run in with the little guy on lower mountain stuff, drop the little guy off at a lesson, ski 1-2 hours with the wife, pick up the little guy & do lunch, and then by 2:00 the family gets tuckered out ( & Daddy has some alone time to explore)....The highlight of the trip was skiing Sunday afternoon with the family on a nearly empty trail & watching my 5 year navigate through the moguls/powder on West Mountain & Bucksaw and then cap it with a late lunch at Bullwinkles (BTW Even on a powder day these areas of the Mtn can be some of the best spots to escape the crowd, to ski with family, and/or to ski with beginners). My 5 year old son has now ridden all chair lifts @ Sugarloaf (except for King Pine, which I am sure we will get by year end)...for some reason he's more fascinated by the chairlifts than anything else.

Unfortunately, the main topic of discussion on this trip was the wind/weather/icing, and the associated lift issues...We experienced it all on this trip from wind holds, to power outage, to icing (on Sunday) which shut down many of the lifts. The trip report is best described in two parts: Prior to snow on Sunday, and Sunday. Prior to Sunday, the moral of the story was to chase the manmade snow whether that be under the guns, blow over snow, or trails which recently had resurfacing...These all skied great & exceeded my expectations in terms of bumps/snow/fun factor...Highlights included Comp Hill, Sluice, Haulback. They were also blowing snow on lower white nitro which just LOADED the little glade between Nitro & Powder Keg (pic below). Sunday we awoke to 6+ inches of sugary never really crusted over like some other ski areas reported. We were on the hill by 8:30, and quickly headed to King Pine hitting up ripsaw, Widomaker/Flume before heading to Skyline. The first few runs were not pillowy soft powder and not wet cement, somewhere in the middle but definitely powder turns. By 9:30-10:00 lifts starting shutting down quickly (due to icing) leaving only double runner, tbar, bucksaw, and W Mountain. I decided to do a double runner & tbar run to get to the top...Almost an hour later, I found myself at top of Spillway Xcut. From there I went to Bucksaw to discover hardly any line, so I decided to lap that for a while. What I found ironic is: when mother nature is being a bitch with wind or ice, the old reliable lifts (tbar, double runner, bucksaw) were able to deliver...I've never skied Bucksaw chair so much (& enjoying it) during this trip than almost all my time at Sugarloaf. Skyline eventually opened by early afternoon. I was fortunate to catch my only Sunday ride on Skyline (last chair) for a fitting end to my 5 day adventure with a run down bubblecuffer.

TOD: Sluice (Prior to Sunday), Bubblecuffer (Sunday)

Moon Rising over Burnt:

Glade between Nitro & PKeg (manmade blow over gold):

Gondi Glade:

West Mountain:

Above the clouds on Bubblecuffer:
Attached Images

Go to forum thread