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No matter how you come at it, Sugarloaf is a bitch to get to. It’s a thermos-of-coffee, 12-CD-changer sort of drive over the twisty logging roads Mainers like to call highways. But it’s worth every ass-numbing mile. With an ample 2,820-foot vertical drop and a summit cone that stands 4,237 feet tall, Sugarloaf has a big-mountain feel that few Eastern resorts can match. The nightlife is notoriously nonexistent. The local ski fashion leans toward jeans and flannel. But with the only lift-served, above-tree line skiing in the East (hit it when it’s deep and you’d swear you were dropping into Vail’s Back Bowls), and classic chargers like Rip Saw at your disposal, you’ll be sufficiently distracted not to care.
Whoever created Misery Whip must have been a Devo fan: The retired T-bar line runs fall-line straight, steep, and super narrow, demanding that you “whip it good” or not at all.
Since it’s north of just about everything except Canada and close enough to the Atlantic to reap coastal storm harvests, Sugarloaf’s snow conditions are some of the best in the Northeast.
The ‘Loaf might not have a raging club scene, but it does have Theo’s Sugarloaf Brewing Company (207-237-2211), a 14-barrel microbrewery located at the base of the access road. We heartily endorse the Carrabassett Pale Ale.
“I don’t think there’s a mountain less pretentious than Sugarloaf. The only people who wear designer ski jackets around here are from out of town. But we try not to let them feel embarrassed about it.”
Vertical Drop 2,820 feet
Snowfall 240 inches