Sugarloaf Weekend 2017

This weekend we did our annual visit to the Coughlin’s cabin at Sugarloaf in Maine.

Sugarloaf is our overall favorite mountain to ski in new england.  Granted there are a couple top mountains we haven’t been to yet (most notably Jay Peak and Sunday River, soon!)  but so far this one is our fav.

The only problem with this mountain is the distance.  It’s a good 4.5 hours (in good conditions) from our house.  It’s about 30 miles from the Canadian border.

Traffic wasn’t too bad and we got there around 11pm on Friday night.  Sugarloaf had been getting dumped on so conditions were set to be epic, some of the best ever!

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When you realize your kid is a better skier than you…

So, Bretton Woods is now fully open for the season.  As of today, they are 62/62 on trails and 28/35 on glades.

We’ve pretty much fully explored all the trails on the mountain and so now we are discovering the glades.  This weekend we’ve tried our first double black diamond trails.  These are the most challenging on the mountain.  Not for their overall steepness, but for the combination of steep and obstructions (i.e. trees, rocks, and water).

Some of the more challenging ones we tried this weekend were:

  • John Grave’s Glades – On the west mountain.  A nice long glade run compared to the shorter runs on rosebrook.
  • Hemlock – This thing was treacherous.  Short but extremely steep with trees everywhere.  I went down on my butt.  Eli fell and hit his chin on his skis.  Not doing this one again.
  • Lazy Man – Even though this was is rated higher than hemlock, I think hemlock was actually more difficult.  Both hemlock and lazy man are right next to each other.
  • Roz’s – Not much of a glade, more like a chute that connects many of the rosebrook glades together.  At the bottom of this run you had to navigate through pools of water on a narrow strip of a trail.  One wrong move and you’d be soaked!

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First Day of Winter!

It’s officially the first day of winter!  There’s something relieving about knowing that each day from now on will have more daylight than the one before.  Winter can get a little depressing when it’s dark in the morning before work and still dark when you get home.  There is just no time to enjoy the daylight.

This is why, being a new englander, you need to take up a winter activity to stay sane.  For the past couple years since we’ve taken up skiing more regularly, we are actually looking forward to the winter!

Last weekend had some of the most unbelieveable ski conditions we’ve experienced in a couple years.  We were skiing in literally 2 feet of powder.  It was up to our knees while going down the trails.  We were in pure heaven.

Ironically, the kids hated it.  They weren’t used to skiing in powder and kept falling.  Once they were on the ground they had a hard time getting back up and were just getting frustrated.  Some day they’ll understand that these are rare days in new england.

So rare in fact the conditions did a complete 180 within 24 hours.  We went from unbelieve powder on Saturday to a complete downpour on Sunday and many of the trails closed.  We decided to have breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor (which I highly recommend) instead.

Just another weekend in the whites!

Ski Weekend #2; more snow, and Tommy gets it!

We had a successful second weekend skiing up at Bretton Woods.  This weekend there were a lot more open trails, with 17 open by Sunday.  Much better than 5 the previous week!

First off, I thought I’d share some pics of the house we are staying at in Whitefield, about a 20 minute drive from Bretton Woods.  Here’s our view of the Lake, which is already frozen!

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The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a nice great room for everyone to sprawl out in:

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Overall we’ve been super happy with the place, it feels like we’re going on a vacation every weekend!

Now, back to skiing.  The weather has been good to the mountain so far.  Temps have been low, enabling the crews to keep the guns running nonstop.  Unfortunately we haven’t had any blockbuster snowfall at the lower (3000′) elevation YET, but I’m sure it will come soon enough.

 

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Above is a shot of Eli and Aaron at the top.  In the background you can see a mountain (Waumbeck I think) covered in snow and the distinct elevation line where that snow occurred.  Unfortunately that line is above Bretton Woods.  Mt. Washington, the mountain right next to us, got something like 4 feet of snow this past week!

The boys did great skiing.  They are all really loving it.  I spend most of the day w/ Eli and Aaron, while Michele is teaching Tommy on the bunny slope.  This week Tommy learned pizza and french fries, and was able to ski down the whole run by himself.  We’re sure he’ll be up at the top in a few weeks!

Another great addition to the mountain this year is the waffle cabin!  The boys loved the sugary treat!

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Kicking off the Ski Season

This weekend we kicked off the ski (snowboarding for me) season at Bretton Woods.  This year we rented a house up in Whitefield, NH on Forest Lake from 12/1-4/1.  We split the rental with another family that has 2 kids about the same age as ours.

Here’s a current trailmap of Bretton Woods:

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Overall there were only 4 trails open on Saturday and 3 on Sunday.  The mountain crew was blowing snow on lots of trails so we’re hoping more will be open next weekend.

Here are some pics of the kids having fun:

The house is pretty awesome (pics soon), with lots of frontage on the lake.  We’re hoping to be able to do some ice skating on the pond once it freezes up.  Also, they have a nice big fireplace near the dock that should be fun.  The only downside to the house is that it uses lake water and there is no filtration.  The water really tastes like a fish tank.

Eli and Aaron are doing excellent skiing.  Tommy is still on the bunny slopes using the harness.  He gets exhausted after a couple hours and super cranky, so we’re going to have to figure out how to make that work.

In addition to the season passes, we rented a locker in the lodge this year.  It was pretty expensive but we’re hoping it will be a huge logistics saver.  No need to pack/unpack all of our gear each week.

Overall we’ve found the skiing life to be perfect for our family.  We all enjoy it and get super excited about it during the week.  We get to spend a solid 8 hours a day with the kids enjoying the outdoors.  This is sure to create memories for all of us.