It was a beautiful morning here at Sugarloaf, so I took the opportunity to tag along with the glade crew and check out what they’ve been up to over in Brackett Basin. After a brisk ride up mountain and some spectacular views of the morning fog rolling over Burnt Mountain, we hiked in and found out what these guys have been up to.
When you first enter Brackett, there’s no noticeable difference. The crew did a bit of cleaning, but overall the look is the same. Head way out towards Birler, Edger, and Sweeper, however, and things start to look quite a bit different.
The traverse out to these glades is largely unchanged so far, though it will eventually be moved slightly up hill and there will be a number of new chutes cut on skiers left of the traverse (some of which are nearly complete already) by the time the season gets underway. Likewise the first few hundred feet of Birler are similar to last year. Beyond that though, the crew has opened up an enormous glade, all at a nice high angle, all with comfortably spaced trees.
The area has become so large that pictures just don’t do it justice. Standing in the middle (or what I presumed to be somewhere close to the middle) you can turn 360 degrees and see nothing but glade in every direction. Dave, one of the cutters and a ski patroller here during the winter months, probably described it best when he said, “It might be possible, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ski the same line twice out here this winter.” Absolutely true. With so much space, powder days will turn into powder weeks.
In addition to all of the new area opened up around Birler, Edger, and Sweeper, the crew also opened up new area through most of the terrain in between Cant Dog and Birler, connecting it down into the Rough Cut glade. So much new area has been opened up, that you’ll now be able to traverse all the way out to Edger and essentially ski diagonally across the fall line all the way back to King Pine. It’s impressive.
Beyond that, they’re working on extending the traverse nearly a mile further into Phase 2, and cutting chutes to connect with areas thinned by logging operations last year. This will be the first terrain to open in Phase 2-proper. With so much terrain to tackle, it’s evident that Phase 2 in its entirety will take more than this summer to complete (which is why we labelled them as Phases, not Years). But it was also evident as soon as I travelled out there that there is considerably more new terrain inside of Brackett Basin than I had ever realized. There is a lot to explore.