Sugarloaf 2/18-21/14

Dates Skied: 2/18-21/2014
Resort: Sugarloaf
Conditions: Ice, powder, everything in between, cold and windy
Trip report:

Elder son and I went up to Sugarloaf for the first few days of February vacation. Decided to go for the wake up early and ski the first day plan, which would have worked great if we hadn't gotten a few inches of snow that night and had to shovel it. That and other delays meant we were going to miss his morning lesson, so I called ahead and switched it to an afternoon.

He and I did a few runs on Whiffletree before lunch. The 9-year-old was pleased that they'd lengthened Moose Alley. After putting him in his lesson I went up and did some runs; King Pine and Timberline were on wind hold, but I had some nice runs off Skyline. It was cold and windy most of the trip; the kid hates his face mask and refuses to wear it, so he coped with the cold wind and I watched him for frostbite.

We stayed in this tiny studio condo in Village South. Thing had a king-size Murphy bed (with a fold-down dining table attached), a bunk bed with a fold-out futon for a lower bunk, and a daybed with a pull-out under. This place was the size of your standard hotel room, but could sleep 8 if they liked each other a lot and took really short showers. No oven though, and I found that making pizza in a toaster oven really doesn't work (I'd brought dough, sauce etc. from home). Sure was convenient being literally a snowball's throw from the base lodge.

That night we got some snow and they opened Brackett, so in there I went the next morning. Sweeper 2 (last named glade before the traverse to Eastern Territory) was lovely, but I was really feeling the fact that I haven't been riding my bike much this winter. That afternoon I introduced Ben to Binder, which was my favorite trail as a kid and still is, and quickly became one of his as well. I'm still annoyed that they closed the lower half. Also did some runs off Bucksaw, which he really liked. Next day I did Birler 1, which was still a lot of fun if tracked out. Weather was still really cold and windy; King Pine had opened but Timberline was still closed.

Our last day, more snow had fallen and it was a little less windy, so I went to the top and came down (I think) Powder Keg (and I'll spare you my rant about those stupid names for the front-face trails) and then back into Brackett. This time it turned out Eastern Territory was open! Took about 10 minutes of hiking and skiing to get to where the Burnt Mountain hiking trail splits off, and then it was a little more traversing before things opened up and I could go gliding down through the trees. I've always found powder to be really hard work and this was no exception. Eventually ended up on one of the logging roads and fetched up on Stub's Glade with a sign pointing uphill to Whiffletree. It was only a short hike up and then across the condos to the base lodge; was only a couple minutes late for ski school pickup. We had lunch, did some more runs (Timberline closed again, sadly; my son has still never been to the top) and headed for home.

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