Resort Guide 2018: East #7
Ready for a road trip? Ready to inject a little adventure into your Eastern ski vacation? Remote Sugarloaf, a towering snowcapped peak in the wilds of Western Maine, delivers. Getting there takes commitment: Turn left on yet another frost-heaved, scenic two-lane road and keep going. (Mind the logging trucks.)
Readers note that the drive weeds out the sissies and tourists. And once you’re there, the Loaf’s big-mountain terrain will keep you plenty busy and entertained. Its above-treeline snowfields, when open, are unique in the East. The still new and growing Bracket Basin/Burnt Mountain treeskiing terrain beckons to bark eaters. Steep fall-line trails, some groomed, some wickedly bumped, make the most of the Loaf’s huge vertical (2,820 feet). Readers rightly give it props for Challenge (No. 2), and yet there’s plenty of learner terrain down low as well. Adding to the mystique is Sugarloaf’s race heritage: The famous Narrow Gauge trail has hosted many a U.S. Nationals event, and Bode’s high school—Carrabassett Valley Academy—is just down the road. Nightlife? It’s far from Bode-class, though The Bag (bottom of the ski hill) and The Rack (bottom of the access road) both grow on you fast. And though they are few, the restaurants around here might surprise you. “Great terrain, great people, great camaraderie among the Loafers,” says one Loaf lifer. “Our home mountain, and we have a deep love for the place,” adds another. “We’re tempted not to tell anyone about it because we want it all to ourselves.”
A new $2 million Competition Center will welcome the 2017 U.S. Alpine Championships in March.
The SugarBowl entertains families with bowling, golf simulator, pool table, darts, TVs, a bar, and tasty pub food.
The Coplin Dinner House emphasize seasonal, local fare such as pork from an employee’s farm.
Take a spin and soak up the lore on Narrow Gauge, where Bode rose to fame in 1996, destroying the Junior Olympics competition on his K2 Fours.
Fancy yourself a ping-pong pro? Don’t talk too big a game before taking on the competition at the beloved Rack.