Posts Tagged ‘Saddleback’

What’s happenin’ in Maine: events and deals

April 9, 2010

A few news and notes from around Maine, re: events, activities, deals, and what-not over the coming week:

Eat! Shop! at Flavors of Freeport: Opens tonight with Chefs Signature and Libations Gala ($25 at the door, Hilton Garden Inn); continues Saturday with lifestyle demonstrations, physic readings/ film, block party; and runs through Sunday with a seminar, followed by card exchange.

• Make spring turns at Saddleback: Lift tickets are $25 for this weekend; mountain slated to close on Sunday. Mountain is predicting to operate at least two lifts and opening 25-50% of its terrain, with a few top-to-bottom trails.

• Get creeped out at It’s a Bugs’ World (think hissing cockroaches): Opening at the College of the Atlantic’s Dorr Museum of Natural History, Bar Harbor, on April 15. For a real treat, don’t miss the opening reception,  5-7:30 p.m., featuring insect hors d’oeuvres (not kidding–edible insects), as well as entertainment, including screening of a classic entomological horror flick.  Exhibit runs through June 5. Museum is hands-on and a must for kids.

• Reward yourself for filling taxes at DeansSweets second-annual Free Tax Day Truffle: Dean’s, on Middle Street, in Portland, is offering one free truffle or caramel to anyone who comes in the store between now and midnight on April 15 (and yes, it’s staying open that night to reward last-minute filers).

• Plan to party at Sugarloaf’s Reggae Festival: The mountain is offering an all-inclusive package for the April 15-18 event (lodging at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, daily lift ticket, concert tickets to Inner Circle on Friday night and Kenyatta Hill on Saturday Night, plus daily breakfast, for $158 per person per night).

Tele Invasion at Saddleback Saturday

March 19, 2010

Here’s one more event for this weekend: On Saturday, March 20, Saddleback Ski Area, in Rangeley, hosts its sixth annual Telemark Invasion.

• Test new telemark skiing gear

• Free clinics for all abilities

• An up/down climb event-—be sure to bring skins, if you want to participate.

All followed by apres in the Swig’n’Smelt Geary’s and Matt & the Barnburners, and at 8 p.m., rocking with Pogey in the fireplace room.

Forecast says sunshine and spring!

Psst, the skiing is fabulous, sunshine for Sat.

March 12, 2010

I know that down on the coast and points south its full-blown spring, robins and daffodils, tennis and golf, but here at Sugarloaf and nearby Saddleback, it’s still winter. I’m just off the slopes, and the conditions are phenomenal: Utah-like high-alpine snow, along with sunshine and temps in the 40s. No corn, no bare spots, not even any thin spots. The cover is deep, and the woods are still white. While rain is predicted elsewhere, the latest forecast for Sugarloaf/Saddleback calls for sunshine tomorrow and into Sunday. Trust me, you won’t regret scoring a few more runs this season, and this weekend is looking primo. Just remember to bring the sunscreen.

Snow Gods smiling on Maine

February 27, 2010

Saturday, Feb. 27, courtesy Sugarloaf.

Since Wednesday, Sugarloaf has received more than 50 inches of snow, and another 12-16 are in the forecast before this megastorm moves out on Monday. Conditions are similar at Saddleback, with a bit less at Sunday River. At all, depths deepen and the snow lightens as the elevation increases.

Now I know lots of folks don’t believe resort reports, but I spend my winters just a few miles from the ‘loaf’s base, and I can vouch for the depth (as can my shoveler-in-chief husband). Outside my window, the world is white, with snow caked on the trees and clinging to every surface. And it’s still snowing.

The downside: If you’re not a deep or heavy snow skier/rider, you might want to wait until the  groomed crews roll it. Also, I’m hearing reports of huge lift lines, as some areas are having trouble with lift ops due to the snow (check current lift status when visiting the web sites, or call). And parking; not a pretty situation. And roads; getting here takes patience.

The upside: Wow! Powdah pigs are loving it. Even the natural snow trails are open with decent conditions. March is going to be fabulous.

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Wicked good Maine lift ticket deals

February 23, 2010

Yes! It’s finally snowing in western Maine’s mountains: No PR hype here, I’m looking out my window near Sugarloaf and it’s white, white, white, with snow predicted to continue into Thursday. Total accumulation? Forecasters are using the word feet. So dust off your skis and snowbaords, and take advantage of some of these lift ticket deals at Maine’s mountains. I’ve rounded up the best, and presented them alphabetically, below. NOTE: Some are midweek only; at the smaller areas, be sure to check hours of operation.

Black Mountain of Maine: $29 full day, any day.

Camden Snow Bowl: Two-hour lunch ticket, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, $12 for any two hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Mt. Abram: 2 for 1 Thursdays, two lift tickets for $49; Carload Fridays, $75 for everyone legally seated in a passenger car, SUV, or minivan.

Saddleback: 2 for 1 Wednesdays, buy one adult lift ticket for $49 and the second one is free. Also, $35 lift tickets, as indicated, on: Maine Day, first Sunday of each month (Maine residents with ID), Monday/Ladies’ Day, Tuesday/Telemark Day, Wednesday/Men’s Day.

Shawnee Peak: Carload Mondays, $79 for everyone legally seated in a passenger car, SUV, or minivan; Two Fer Tuesdays, $57 for two; Thursdays Men’s Day/Friday’s Ladies’ Day, Lift and Lunch $40

Sugarloaf/Sunday River: Frequent Skier Card, $89 includes one ticket plus $25 off midweek, $15 off weekend/holiday; E-Tickets, purchase online at least four days in advance for 10 percent savings. At Sugarloaf only: Maine Day Wednesdays, tickets are $30; valid Maine ID required.

Titcomb Mountain: $15 midweek, $25 weekend/holiday

Rockin’ in the mountains

February 3, 2010

This Saturday, Feb. 6, Rusted Root will perform at Sugarloaf, part of the Bud Light concert series at the ‘loaf, and the following one, Saturday , Feb. 13, Jonathan Edwards will play at Saddleback (Don’t those two choices pretty clearly illustrate the differences between the two resorts?).

At Sugarloaf, the Portland based band “Gypsy Tailwind” will open for Rusted Root. Tickets are $25 in advance (purchase online or call) or $27.50 at the door;cConcert ski-and-stay packages are  available beginning at $125 per person per night. Note: All Bud Light Concert Series shows are 21-plus and proper identification is required at the door. Doors open at 8:30pm.

At Saddleback, Mason Strunk, the grandson of Maine singer-songwriter Jud Strunk, will open for Edwards. Tickets are $30, available online or by phone, and the show begins at 8 p.m.

These concerts usually sell out, so take heed and book now.

Ski season, already?

November 9, 2009

Yup, you read that right. Sunday River is open.  Sugarloaf, as seen by this Nov. 5 photo, has begun snowmaking and is targeting a Nov. 20 opening. Saddleback is aiming for Nov. 27. So clean and wax the boards, find the mittens and socks, and get ready for the slopes.

A good place to pick up free tix, coupons, and info on deals and discounts at ski areas nationwide is the Boston Ski Show, Nov. 19-22, at Bayside Expo. Check the web site for a discount admission coupon.  If you want to avoid the parking fees, take the T. The Expo is less than a 10-minute walk from the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line.



October 1, 2009

Nothing prettier than a frost of snow against turning leaves. Check out this photo from Saddleback, taken this morning. And wait until another week or so, when the foliage gets closer to peak, then it will be spectacular.releases_620_1_o

Ways to play in inland Maine

June 26, 2009

IMG_3520_3If you think Maine is all about the coast, you need to venture inland and discover the lakes, rivers, woods, and peaks that define the region between Bethel and Millinocket. Not only does this region rival the coast for natural beauty, it’s also wildlife rich. You won’t see a puffin, but you’re chances of spotting a moose are high.

Making that easy is the new Maine Woods Discovery program, a collaborative venture by Alpine resorts Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Saddleback Maine; the rustic lodges and nature-based programs of the Appalachian Mountain Club and Maine Huts & Trails; and rafting and recreation outfitters Northern Outdoors, and New England Outdoor Center.

These entities have put together seven one- to three-day packages, each combining accommodations with activities and some meals, with rates beginning at $75 per person.  Packages include geo-caching, hiking, biking, paddling, rock-hounding, and craft-making. Read on for details.

Intro to Geocaching Adventure, 2 days/2 nights
Logdominium accommodations at Northern Outdoors Forks Resort Center on the Kennebec River. Learn the outdoor treasure hut adventure of geocaching with a GPS device. Search for hidden caches on the Northern Outdoors grounds, and do more hunting along the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway. Complementary Old Canada Road historical audio CD. $108 per adult, $95 per child.

Outdoor Sporting Heritage, 3 days/3 nights

Stay at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Little Lyford Lodge and Camps or Medawisla Wilderness Lodge within the 100 Mile Wilderness area of the Appalachian Trail. Complementary use of canoes, kayaks and fly fishing gear. Hike to Gulf Hagas gorge on the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Includes all meals and tickets for the Katahdin Steamship tour on Moosehead Lake. $318 per person.

Legendary Fly Fishing, 2 days/2 nights
Accommodations at a Saddleback Maine mountain-side condominium. Three-hour fly fishing lesson and use of a canoe to cast a line on the Rangeley region’s famous waterways. One complementary lunch, a Northern Forest Canoe Trailmap of the Rangeley Lakes area, and a copy of “Paddling Through Time: The Story of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail” included. $530 per couple.

The Valley Below, 3 days/2nights
Accommodations at the Maine Huts & Trails Flagstaff Lake Hut. Pontoon boat tour on the lake to learn about the submerged townships of Flagstaff, Bigelow and Dead River. Explore the lakeside loop trails, or tackle the 4,000-foot peaks of the Bigelow Mountain Range. Includes all meals, the Valley Below brochure, a Northern Forest Canoe Trail map of Flagstaff Lake, and a copy of “Paddling Through Time: The Story of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.” $265 per person.

Maine Rocks!, 1 day/1 night
Accommodations at Sunday River’s Grand Summit or Jordan Grand Hotel in Newry. Guided geology tour, talk and digging opportunity at the Bumpus Mine, one of the oldest and most famous mineral mines in the northeast. Includes breakfast. Extend the package with an Androscoggin River trip or ATV tour. $75 per person.

View From the Top, 1 day/1 night
Make the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel your base for hiking or mountain biking. Complementary hiking and nature trail maps for the Longfellow Mountain Range. Guided hikes can be arranged. Breakfast and box lunch included. $75 per person.

Making it By Hand, 3 days/2 nights

The New England Outdoor Center’s Twin Pine Camps in Millinocket is the setting for a series of fall Craft Weekends. Sessions on making art from wood, sculpting with clay, and quarrying and polishing gemstones include instructive lectures, guided trips to learn about and gather raw materials, and hands on crafting. Includes all breakfasts, one lunch, one dinner and use of canoes. $232.50 per person.

Trust me, the skiing’s still fab

April 10, 2009

Saddleback, April 9, 2009I know there’s no snow where you are. I know spring has sprung and you’re seeing crocuses. And I know the golf courses and tennis courts are open. BUT don’t put your skis away just yet.

Sugarloaf is still wide open, with excellent cover. I took some runs this morning, and the only places where it’s looking thin are on the natural snow trails. The rest are humming, with Gondy Line being especially fine this morning.

Sunday River is still in play.

Saddleback closes Sunday (see photo, taken yesterday, April 9, 2009)