Posts Tagged ‘spring skiing’

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!

Ready to Reggae? Sugarloaf announces line-up

March 13, 2010

Sugarloaf’s Bud Light Reggae Festival returns April 15-18 for three days of insanity, music, wild times, and (one hopes) spring skiing. The 2010 Reggae Festival will feature 11 bands, with a different headliner each day. Among those performing are:

• Inner Circle, Friday night, in the King Pine Room, tix required

• Kenyatta Culture Hill, Saturday night, in the King Pine Room, tix required

• TOSH-1, Sunday, free, and on The Beach

Supporting bands, performing for the free, outdoor concerts on The Beach, indoors for apres ski in the Widowmaker, and as warm-ups for the featured attractions, include:Mighty Mystic, Royal Hammer, Mystic Bowie, JSAN & The Analogue Sons, Dub Is A Weapon, Trumystic, iLa Mawana, and DJ Kompost.

If you haven’t been to Reggae Weekend, well, it’s an experience that kind of in the same vein as Woodstock (if you can remember it, you weren’t there). Full details, including schedule and costs, are on the website.

Fini! And what a difference 24 hours makes

April 29, 2009

Sugarloaf remains open through Sunday, but I logged my last runs this morning. Quite a change from yesterday, when temps were in the 80s and the outlook was marginal at best. Today, woke up to temps in the 20s.

I waited until nearly noon before braving the deceptively coolish conditions. Three runs up the SuperQuad, two down Hayburner, one down King’s Landing. Skidder opened, but it was still rather, uhm, firm over there. Hayburner and King’s were frozen granular giving way to corn. When I left, it still hadn’t turned to slush, except for a small patch near the lift.

Hayburner’s in the best shape, but that may be because it had been groomed. Skidder still has plenty of snow, and should be superb if groomed. King’s was good, but required a bit of maneuvering to thread the thin spots between swatches of decent cover. Still, it’s time for the rock skis.

And with that, good-bye to another season. Tomorrow I’m off to Boston, then Bermuda on Friday to research  assignments. In the meantime, enjoy those last runs, should you make your way to the loaf.

And then there was one

April 28, 2009

Lift, that is. I thought it was lonely at Sugarloaf yesterday; today there were perhaps two dozen skiers. Only the SuperQuad is running—you can’t get to Spillway any more. Only four trails: Tote, King’s Landing, Hayburner, and Skidder. And with temps in the 80s (I kid you not), it’s going fast, fast, fast.

I took three runs this morning, and by the third run, the muddy strand of snow to the quad was just about gone. Not sure how they’re going to make it to tomorrow, never mind Sunday. Big gaps are opening–Tote required threading the needle a few times and had big ice flows. The other three are in better shape, but were a cobbly this morning (I know, given the temps, makes no sense, but they were).

The fat lady may not be singing yet, but she’s definitely warming up. With temps predicted to drop to the 20s tonight, she may be able to hold off the encore. We’ll see.

It’s lonely near the top

April 27, 2009

of Sugarloaf, that is…on a Monday, in late April, but the skiing was mighty fine. From cherry blossoms and tulips in New York on Saturday to shusshing down Gauge this morning, I think I’ve experienced every aspect of spring in about 48 hours.

Compared with when I left a week ago, the mountain is definitely looking springish. From Oh-my-gosh! corner, you can see big patches of brown, but most of those are still stitched with white.

Two lifts are running, SuperQuad and Spillway East. Sign at the base of the quad said “Most skiing requires walking.” I didn’t experience that. I took four runs before the sun came out full force and forced me to retreat, and I found plenty of corn snow. But it sure was lonely. I had each trail to myself, and often the lift, too.

Gauge: excellent, plenty of cover.

Sluice: had to thread the needle on the headwall, but nice snow other than that. Spillway is looking quite boney, but Sluice below the Headwall should hold up for a few more days.

Tote to Hayburner: Few baldies on this run; snow is good, although Peavy over to Spillway was getting interesting.

Upper Double Bitter to Skidder: Great snow, good turns.

There’s still a huge mound of snow near the SuperQuad base that can be pushed around to keep snow in that area. If the weather holds, I’ll head out again tomorrow. Tentative closing date is May 3.

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)

Good to go at Sunday River

April 2, 2009

I went to Bethel seeking options for lunch and dinner. On a Tuesday afternoon. In late March. First choice for lunch was Barbecue Bob’s, the orange trailer next to the Good Food Store. Nope, day off. Next stop was Cafe DiCocoa, downtown source for all kinds of baked goodies and prepared items, including sandwiches. Nada, closed. Peeked over to Cho Sun, thinking maybe dinner. Not open Tuesday  nights. So back to the Good Food Store I went.

Now the Good Food Store doesn’t look like much from the exterior. It’s an old New Englander farmhouse hard by Route 2, but inside it’s a warren of tiny rooms filled with good foods. Natural foods and specialty items, bulk bins and designer chocolates, organic wines and soy cheese vie for shelf space. Lots of finds for foodies here.

All that’s good, but what really makes this gem shine are the prepared foods. It’s the best source for t0-go sandwiches, salads, and soups, and the refrigerated cases are the source of fabulous salads, burritos, and dinner entrees. I grabbed a pork burrito for lunch, which the clerk warmed for me. Yum.

Then I returned to survey the dinner entrees. Hmmm, white lasagne? Shephard’s pie? I chose the Moroccan chicken, which was a smart move. I  brought it back to the condo, popped it in the oven for 20 minutes as enticing aromas filled the room, then voila, a dinner comprising exotic yet comforting flavors (with leftovers for a second night, all for $13). Oh, and if you go, the cookies earn their renown. Better yet, they cost 75¢ each for a decent sized one. Stock up, you’ll be wanting more for the ride home.

And the skiing? Spring conditions with winterish weather. Colder than expected, but snow was soft with corn. One caveat: The Rivah’s trails have lots of ridges and rolls. Be careful when cresting, there’s sometimes exposed rock or ground behind that horizon line. Hey it’s spring! Still plenty of great skiing out there. Enjoy.