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.
Construction on the new Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel hot tub took some major steps forward this week. Excavation work is mostly finished, and crews have spent the past few days building the new retaining wall. Progress should move pretty quickly from here, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as it does.
Here’s a good look at the newly cut glade on the eastern side of Upper Gondi Line. It’s similar in pitch and character to the Max Headroom glade (located on the western side of Gondola Line). It’s not a huge glade (particularly in comparison to the terrain in Brackett Basin and Burnt Mountain) but with its steep pitch and an arsenal of new low-e guns on Gondi Line to help fill it in, you can bet it will be a whole lot of fun.
Excavation underway for the new outdoor hot tub at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. Some delays in the design process pushed the start of this project back, but we still expect construction to be completed sometime this fall.
A fresh batch of brand new HKD Low-E tower guns just arrived in our parking lot yesterday. The snowmaking crew will be installing these over the next couple of months, and it won’t be long before we’re firing them up!