In addition to prepping the SuperQuad for Scenic Lift Rides earlier this summer, the Lift Maintenance Crew has had a long list of chores to prepare for the upcoming winter season, including stringing a new haul rope on Double Runner Chair (DRC) A and B.
So far, the DRC project has entailed dismounting all the chairs from the old haul rope, stringing and splicing the new haul rope; and then weight testing before remounting all the chairs on to the new one.
With the leaves starting to change colors and fall fast approaching, it wont be long before we’re firing up the lifts for the first runs of the season. Stay tuned for more lift maintenance updates as these projects continue.
This week I caught up with the Mountain Operations crew, who has been very busy this summer with various projects and preparations for the coming winter.
One of our larger investments has been the ongoing enhancements to our snowmaking infrastructure. So far this summer, all new snowmaking pipe has being laid up Slasher, across Wiffletree, and will run over onto Condo Crosscut to enable earlier openings on that terrain.
New lanes have been cut in the woods along Tote Road, leading to Haywire where more snowmaking pipe will be placed for so additional snowguns can be installed in the park. This change will allow snowmaking to take place in Haywire and on Tote Road simultaneously, which has never before been possible.
In addition to the new snowguns and snowmaking pipeline, the Mountain Operations crew has been focusing on erosion management by resurfacing existing waterbars and ditches to promote efficient flow of rain water and runoff as to prevent damage to various trails.
Stay tuned for lift maintenance updates coming at you next week.
In addition to the changes that you’ll see outside this winter, you’ll also notice a few changes that we’ve made around the resort this summer indoors.
First off, renovations continue in the lobby area of the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel; the storage closet formerly located under the staircase has been gutted out and removed and will become part of the new lounge area. A rock fireplace will be installed later this fall, along with couches, rocking chairs and new decor.
New carpet has been installed at the Sugarloaf Inn, and the Child Care building in Gondi Village received a fresh coat of paint.
Stay tuned for snowmaking updates and lift maintenance information next week!
Enhancing our current snowmaking system is one of the key components of our ten-year development plan. In addition to the 40 new Low-Energy HKD SV10 Impulse snowguns that we purchased this summer (see earlier post), we’re also installing more than one mile of new snowmaking pipeline on The Landing, Tote Road, Slasher and Haywire.
The old snowmaking pipe between Skidway and Boardwalk has been moved from the middle of the trail to the treeline (shown in photo above) and new pipe is being lugged up the mountain to be installed in the coming weeks.
We’ll have more photos and information to share as the work continues.
Although winter is another 6 months away, it’s always on our mind here at Sugarloaf, and today we announced projects that will be going on this summer to help enhance the upcoming winter season. You’ll find all the details in our press release linked at the bottom of this post, but these are the highlights:
- 40 new Low-Energy HKD SV10 Impulse snowguns – which now make up 90% of our snowmaking fleet (the same model as the fleet pictured above).
- A new Prinoth BR 350 Sherpa winch cat to upgrade the existing fleet of 13 grooming machines, (similar to our current machine pictured above).
- A new $180,000 Wintersteiger Mercury Tuning machine at Downhill Supply Company that will replace outdated technology and enhance the shop’s tuning capacity (similar to model pictured above).
- Continued expansion and glade cutting on Burnt Mountain.
- 6000 feet of new snowmaking pipeline to be installed on Slasher, enhancing current snowmaking capabilities and allowing us to make snow in the Wiffletree area earlier in the season.
- General resort and village enhancements including a renovated lobby in the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, exterior painting on various buildings in the village and upgrades to the Sugarloaf Inn.
Renovations have already begun in the lobby of the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, and we’ll have more details and pictures to follow as the rest of projects get underway.
You can view the full press release right here.
Burnt Mountain Now Open
This week marks a significant milestone in the the resorts history as we officially opened the Summit of Burnt Mountain to skiers and riders. Mother Nature was on our side with this one, gracing us with more than 3 feet of natural snowfall this month, helping to make this grand opening possible.
Burnt Mountain offers a backcountry style skiing experience, with the security of inbounds, patrolled terrain. It can be accessed by a hiking path or skin track at the end of the “Golden Road” in Brackett Basin. Following a mile-plus hike to the summit, skiers and riders will have access to the newly cut “Androscoggin Glade” which offers 68 acres of never-before-skied terrain covering 1200 vertical feet.
This new terrain represents a new era for Sugarloafers, presenting an adventure unlike any other to be found in the East.
The new “sidecountry” development has been a signature component of our Sugarloaf 2020 developmental plan, adding to the long list of accomplishments and improvements completed since the plan was unveiled in 2010.
See more photos and videos here.
If you didn’t catch yesterday’s Irregular, then you might have missed this little nugget. Thanks to a land deal with Plum Creek, we have officially acquired the terrain enclosed in red in the image above, meaning we’ll be able to officially open that area this winter for the first time ever.
It’s not for the feint of heart. This area represents some of the most technically challenging inbounds terrain you’ll find anywhere in the east, with steep, exposed areas, unmarked hazards, and some mandatory cliff drops.
If you’re one of the few who are familiar with this area already, you likely know if by names like “Awesome,” “Ball and Chain,” “Adrenaline,” and “Hell’s Gate.”
This year, when snow conditions permit, it will be accessible via a gate system, similar to backcountry access gates frequently found at western resorts.
From the article:
“Skiers and snowboarders have been asking us to allow them access to these areas for years,” Rich Wilkinson, Sugarloaf Vice President of Mountain Operations said. “But we never owned the land, so it simply wasn’t possible. This land deal allows us to offer controlled access to this area, and ensure that anyone who ventures out there knows just what they’re getting into.”
Read the full story in the Irregular here,
As we inch closer and closer to winter, we thought we’d check back in with the glade crew over on Burnt Mountain to catch up on their progress. And to make a long story short - they’ve made a lot of progress.
They’re still working their way towards the summit of Burnt, and their goal is to make it all the way there by the time snow flies. When it’s all said and done, that will represent nearly 70 acres of totally new glades, covering 1100 vertical feet, all the way from the summit.
We had our videographer Taylor tag along with the crew last week to hear about their project in their own words.
And for a visual representation of the new area, check out the Google Earth image below. The area in between the light blue lines represents all of the new terrain for this coming winter.
One of the bigger projects we’ve been working on here this summer was continuing to upgrade our snowmaking system with a fleet of new, low-energy HKD snowguns. About 150 of those new guns arrived here last month, and the snowmaking crew has been busy installing them in various locations around the mountain. The bulk went to Gondi Line (which also received brand new water and air lines - see our earlier post) while others were installed on Scoot and Flume. There are also about 40 new guns that are mounted on sleds, which snowmakers will be able to tow to any location where they are needed.
Aside from the huge gains the new guns provide by themselves, they also allow us to relocate some of the older model low-e guns to other trails that could use an upgrade. In this instance, many of the older low-e guns from Gondi Line and Scoot were relocated to Choker, which will have reliable snowmaking this season for the first time in many years.
We’ll get to some non-hot tub updates tomorrow, but with the cement for the new hotel hot-tub going in today, we wanted to share a few pictures to help give you a better idea of what the finished product will look like.
And while we’re at it, we might as well mention that the brand-new sugarloaf.com is officially live as of lunchtime today. Swing by and give it a test drive.