Sugarloaf Mountain stands proudly in Carrabassett Valley, Maine and is known as the largest ski area east of the Rockies. I’ve been a “Sugarloafer” since 1995, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It is a place filled with tradition, varied terrain, and activities for all. The road to Sugarloaf is long and winding, flanked by a strong river and quaint A-Frame style homes. The anticipation of rounding “Oh My Gosh” Corner which perfectly frames the slopes brings a feeling of butterflies to my stomach. Growing up this feeling came from trying to figure out how to convince my dad we needed to ski blue squares and green circles all day, and now it comes from black diamond dreams of Hayburner and Haulback.
After a long morning of carving your way down the trails, a lunch break for a Bag Burger and craft beer at the The Bag & Kettle is just what you need. This provides the opportunity to warm up, get some nourishment, and undoubtedly run into someone from your hometown and catch up before donning all your gear to head back out and find some fresh trails. If a burger isn’t your hearts desire (as it is mine) there are many other options in the village. Food truck alley which has hosted a variety of treats over the years is home to a Poutine truck this season, D’Ellies Bakery & Deli for generously sized and oh so tasty sandwiches, and if it’s a sugar boost you’re needing Urban Sugar donuts has got you covered (in powdered sugar and cinnamon).
As their website states, when mother nature is slacking the Sugarloaf crew makes the weather with the low energy snow guns that have been installed in the last few years making it a rare occasion that there isn’t plenty of the white stuff. With the conditions in New England always changing, don’t fret if your skis aren’t sharp enough to carve the crust or if you forgot an extra layer to handle the cold, the staff at the Downhill Supply Company is super friendly and really knows the equipment they’re working with. They were even able to get me into a demo ski that I loved, so much that I purchased them at the end of the day! If you’re fortunate enough to have a whole weekend to spend playing in the snow, you can always find great ski and stay packages at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel in the heart of the village, allowing you to be the first one on the Superquad and the first to jump into the 30-person hot tub after a long day.
I am a sentimental girl who has a strong attachment to my childhood, but I think most “Sugarloafers” would echo my sentiment that there is something about learning to ski on the same mountain that becomes your playground as an adult that feels pretty rad. Watching the newest generation of “Bubblecuffers” shred keeps me hopeful that to some kids spending time outdoors is still cooler than spending time in front of a screen. Sugarloaf Mountain certainly isn’t on the way anywhere coming from Rhode Island, but it is a trip well worth the travel.
Until next time, stay gangster.