Sunday River open, Sugarloaf to follow suit Friday

Winter always seems to sneak up on me.

One day (Sunday, in this case), I’m pushing the season and wearing Bermuda shorts to the local supermarket. A couple days later, I receive word that the state’s two largest ski areas are not only making snow, but are planning to open.

Snow guns cover trails at Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley earlier this week. Sunday River opened on Tuesday and Sugarloaf will follow suit on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Sugarloaf)

First to open: Sunday River in Newry, which fired up the lifts on Tuesday for a 9 a.m. start. According to a resort press release, a recent $1 million investment in snow-making equipment made top-to-bottom snow coverage possible earlier, and easier, than before.

“Thanks to our new energy-efficient snowguns, we’re able to make more snow on more trails by using less air than in years past,” said Dana Bullen, president and general manager of Sunday River, in a news release.

Sugarloaf also credited its new fleet of state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment for its Friday opener to the resort’s 62nd year in operation.

When below-freezing temperatures hit the Carrabassett Valley resort on Sunday, the snow-making crew hit the slopes and fired up the snow guns, producing plenty of powder that groomers will spread across the slopes.

According to Sugarloaf officials, Friday’s open trails will include Boardwalk, Lower Winter’s Way, with lift access via the Double Runner East chair.

The mountain will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 3:50 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, but will close on Monday for the midweek period. If conditions remain good, Sugarloaf will open for the season on Nov. 16.


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.