Armed with a fleet of six brand new chainsaws, the glade crew has been a busy bunch this summer. And with fall rapidly approaching, they’re charging full steam ahead to open some of the best new terrain yet, which could have you skiing from the summit of Burnt Mountain by this winter.
As they have been since the beginning of the Burnt Mountain project, the glade crew is headed by Assistant Ski Patrol Director Roddy Ehrlenbach, who has set an ambitious goal for his crew this summer. Starting at the upper reaches of the Eastern Territory area that opened last winter, the crew will work their way straight up, opening up lines in a 200-foot-wide swath that will extend more than 800 vertical feet to the summit of Burnt Mountain.
This area sits on the eastern flank of Burnt Mountain, and will be some of the most remote terrain we’ve opened up yet. From the summit down to the lower Eastern Territory, the fall line is continuous and quite steep, which means this will be some truly excellent glade skiing (see the Google Earth image above for more detail).
Aside from the terrain it will cover, the other great feature of this new area will be its remote location, which will ensure that, even on the best powder days, tracks will remain relatively few and far between. Make no mistake, getting here will be a bit of a slog – over a mile and a half from the top of the King Pine lift, including some pretty decent elevation gain once you reach the end of the current Golden Road.
It won’t be for everyone, but for those who thirst for a bit of adventure in their day, this terrain will be tough to beat: steep new lines for 800 continuous vertical feet, with an Eastern aspect and limited traffic that will keep snow fresh for days on end.
The remote location of this new terrain also presents challenges for the crew cutting it, the biggest of which is simply getting there. On the morning I tagged along with them, the crew piled into a pickup, which took them out to the log yard at the bottom of Brackett Basin. From there they piled chainsaws and fuel onto four-wheeler, which brought the gear in as far as possible. After that it was another mile or so straight uphill on foot (with saws, fuel, and gear in tow) just to reach the bottom of this section (think about that the next time you’re thinking your morning commute stinks).
It’s certainly not easy, but as the saying goes, nothing worth doing ever is.
Stay tuned during the coming weeks as we keep you updated on the crew’s progress, and get ready for a brand new Sugarloaf adventure this winter. It’s gonna be a whole new ballgame.