Saddleback Blog

Archive: January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Good call for today

Yesterday's decision to not open today was the right call. Currently it is 40 degrees with heavy rain and gusty winds. There have also been some brief power outages. It would have been a miserable day to operate and upper lifts would have been on a wind hold.

We are going to shoot for operating tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Rain should change to snow and temperatures will drop below freezing later tonight. The groomers will try to get on the snow sometime after mid-night. They will focus on the major snowmaking trails in the South Branch area and major trails off of the Rangeley Double. Wednesday we will fire up snowmaking at the top of the Kennebago Quad and resurface Tight Line… Read More >>

A Tough Call For Monday

At 7:30 is morning, we met for our Sunday tradition of skiing with guests who are inclined to get to the lift an hour early to ski with management. The photo here is of today's group of about 30. It was a real cruising day as most trails had a nice corduroy finish. We skied Green Weaver, Royal Coachman and finished the program with a nice run down Red Devil. We finished making snow on Red Devil last week, so this was my first time there. The snow was excellent, the pitches were nice and it has a bit of double fall line which makes it a very fun trail to ski. When we began the session, skies were mostly cloudy and the forecast was for increasing clouds. Instead, skies cleared and we scored… Read More >>

Another Day In Paradise

Sunshine, blue sky, no wind and great snow! Just another day in paradise at Saddleback Maine. The grooming was very extensive overnight as most major trails were groomed. The winch also groomed the headwalls of both Supervisor and Tight Line. Today's photo depicts the day well. That shot is of Bouf riding the snowfields on top of Saddleback.

Executive Director of Ski Maine, Greg Sweetser paid a visit to Saddleback today. He took advantage of this fine weather to get some scenic photos for future use by Ski Maine and possibly Maine Tourism. We had a good discussion about the state of Maine's ski business. All indications are that business is solid and that Maine skiers are… Read More >>

A Weekend Not To Miss!

I hate to keep harping on the same subject for the past three blogs, but really, you have to do whatever it takes to get to Saddleback this weekend! Today was the first day that we have seen blue sky and sunshine in 8 days and the Saddleback sights are spectacular. The "snow Ghosts" AKA conifers heavily encrusted with snow glistening from the bright sunshine is a spectacular sight to behold and alone makes the trip here worthwhile. The photo on this blog was shot this morning and will give you a great idea as to the beauty of Saddleback today. The forecast for tomorrow is identical and all those snow ghosts will be here to greet you at the summit.

Now let's talk about the… Read More >>

A Day to Remember & A Weekend to Look Forward to!

I have just finished catching up on things that piled up yesterday during my day off. Now I can tell you about my wonderful ski day that I experienced.

I met up with an old high school classmate of mine and his son. My wife Lisa and I were going to give them the full tour of Saddleback. It was snowing lightly throughout the day, no wind and we had received 6 inches of snow overnight. Most of the snow had come after grooming so there was about 4 inches of fluff over groomed surfaces. Do I need to say how nice it was?

WOW! The first run down Grey Ghost was incredible! In fact, the second run which was down Royal Coachman was amazing too. My high school buddy failed to… Read More >>

Hooray For Hero Snow!

As I write this blog, I am looking out my office window at the beautiful snow falling from the sky. There is not a breath of wind, so the snow is falling straight down. We have picked up a good 3 inches so far this afternoon. We expect snow throughout the night and will likely pick up a few more inches before we open the lifts at 9 tomorrow. Today's skiers had a real treat! Conditions are about as good as they can get. Three inches of powder over a soft & smooth corduroy base is hard to beat. Definitely hero snow! 

The long range forecast has this week setting up to be picture perfect. We have light snow & flurries Wednesday night and early Thursday, then clearing… Read More >>

Grey Ghost, A Big Hit Among Racers

It is always rewarding to see positive results when making changes to our mountain. Today, we hosted our first MARA Giant Slalom race on our newly widened Grey Ghost trail. This past summer, we widened the trail considerably in order to get an FIS trail rating. In case you don't know, FIS is the International Ski Federation (translated to English), who governs ski racing around the world, now in their 50th year. We received our FIS rating and today was the first event on that trail.

The race went off without a hitch! Today's racers were 13 and 14 year olds. Between the first and second runs, I heard many very positive comments from the kids about the course and the trail. Grey… Read More >>

Commander Cody Rocks the Base Lodge

Last night we had a very special treat for vacationers at Saddleback, Commander Cody was in the house! One's first impression of him was that he appeared his age and looked tired. However, as soon as he hit the keyboard, the place rocked! It was one impressive show as he performed 'Hot Rod Lincoln' and other great classics from 8 until 10:30 PM. Our Director of Hospitality, JoAnne Taylor was seen dancing up a storm with Ski School Director, Mark Robie. Yes, there was a dance floor, although some choose to dance on the hearth!

Last night's concert was the second concert of our winter concert series. We have five more to come. On February 13th we have Jonathan Edwards performing… Read More >>

Maine Hadicapped skiing visits Saddleback

Today was our busiest day of the year so far. We had all types of skiers and riders from all around New England. The most interesting group here was a visit by Maine Handicapped Skiers. We had 24 members of the club. These members were part of their racing program and it was their first time ever at Saddleback. They are based at Sunday River.

I was speaking with one of their long time coaches of more than 20 years, Rob Brennon. He tells me that there are more than 200 students in the Maine Handicapped Skiing Program. They have over 300 volunteer coaches and that this is one of the biggest programs in the country. The program remains a free program, meaning no charge for the… Read More >>

Terrain Park Gets A Facelift

Did you ever look at a terrain park and wonder who thinks of all these different elements? There is a lot involved in creating a good terrain park, money too! It all begins with snowmaking. The snowmaking investment is huge. It takes a lot of snowmaking to make enough piles of snow that ultimately create the elements. The grooming equipment is also a great expense. However, the most important ingredient is the cutter! The man behind the wheel with the vision and experience to create the finished product. In our case it's Jared Emerson and Joe Haines.

Jared Emerson oversees the creation of our two parks. Two years ago, Jared attended Cutters Camp at Mount Hood in Oregon. This… Read More >>

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