There are currently 20 operating ski areas in the state of Maine. So, on the 20th of every month, I post a few of my favorite recent lift photos from around the world. This month, I’ve chosen 6 photos from Instagram to share with you.
Sugarloaf will be the only mountain in Maine opening this weekend. The SuperQuad chair will run from 8:30am to 3:50pm on both Saturday and Sunday. After this weekend, Sugarloaf will be closing down for the 2017-18 ski season.
All though I usually stick to Maine, over in Vermont three ski areas will operate this weekend.
Jay Peak has the Jet Triple and Bonaventure Quad open today and into the weekend. They originally planned to close after this weekend, but now have new plans. Jay Peak will be suspending all operations this upcoming week with plans to reopen next weekend (conditions permitting).
Killington is running the Superstar lift today and into the weekend. Their plan is to close Monday to Thursday and reopen Friday to Sunday as long as conditions allow.
Sugarbush will open for their final weekend Saturday. The Valley House Quad will spin from 9am to 5pm on both May 5th and 6th accessing limited terrain.
Get in those last runs!
Update: Jay Peak will not reopen for a final weekend on May 12th and 13th. Killington continues to open Friday to Sunday until the snow is gone.
The latest Saddleback news dates back to July of 2015, when the Berry family, owners of Saddleback, announced the Rangeley double was “at end of its useful life” and that operations would cease if the lift could not be replaced soon. The lift was not able to be replaced and the ski area sat idle for the following three winters, including the 2017-18 ski season.
On June 28, 2017, the Berry family announced Saddleback was being sold to the Majella Group. At that time, Majella announced the sale would be completed later in the summer. They also said a new Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad would be installed to replace the aging double along with a new t-bar. Majella did not commit to operating nor installing these lifts for the 2017-18 ski season.
Then, on September 18, 2017, the Majella Group declared that “dominoes have fallen into place” and that “physical work is starting.” They also stated that the first step would be taking down the existing Rangeley double. As of mid-December, most of the chairs remain on the Rangeley Double. Saddleback’s lifts have not passed state inspection since November 2014.
The Rangley double was originally installed by Mueller in 1963. This was and always has been Saddlebacks main form of transportation up the mountain. This lift was Saddlebacks longest lift at 4,550 feet. It reached 1,117 feet vertical, transporting 900 passengers per hour up the mountain. It was later retrofitted with Borvig chairs to replace the old center pole Mueller chairs. Then, in 2004, Doppelmayr CTEC came in replacing the aging terminals. This lift has not been in use since the 2014-15 ski season. Plans are still in place to remove the Rangeley double.
Later in September of 2017, Majella posted, “[the] only thing that is going to hold up or delay this process is Mother Nature.” They also said they were committed to opening in some capacity for the 2017-18 ski season.
By the time November 9th rolled around, Majella announced delays in the sale and said they will not fully open, rather a limited operation, if possible. They said that the partial opening “will allow our Saddlebackers and their families to return and enjoy the mountain in some capacity.”
On November 21, 2017, NBC Portland reported that the Majella Group “learned exclusively that the money isn’t there [and that] if the group doesn’t come up with the money soon, the deal could fall apart entirely.”
In March of 2018, a leaked audio was released in which Monsour, CEO of Majella, said, “I have a very, very, very small amount of funds.” He also stated that “opening the mountain at Saddleback for the Saddleback Resort is not a primary concern for us” and that he won’t lose any sleep if the mountain doesn’t open. Many news reports have articles with video proof of Monsour saying he’s just trying to open the mountain for the EB-5 Visa program, which he now says is not a primary concern.
Saddleback did not operate during the winter of 2017-18 and as of right now, may not open again next year if the Majella Group can’t get the money to upgrade the lifts.
More information will be added when it becomes available, but for now, skinning and hiking is the only option if you really want turns on Saddleback.
Lost Valley, located in Auburn, Maine, is a great ski area for the family and has plenty of different terrain, from soft groomers to cruise down, to terrain parks and steeps. They are currently trying to raise $350,000 to install a new lift between the Coyote trail and Alpine East. This lift will be a Borvig triple, increasing their uphill capacity quite significantly.
Lost Valley has already acquired the chairs, towers, and terminals for the project. Engineering, logging, site work, concrete, electrical, lighting, snowmaking and other planning is needed in order to make this happen.
If you choose to donate, here is what you will receive as a thank you from Lost Valley:
A friend of Lost Valley: $1000 or greater, will get your name or business name listed on a plaque at the new lift
Partner: $5,000 or more will get their logo or name etc larger and in a more prominent location for life.
Visionary: $10,000 or more will get their logo on the plaque larger and a sponsored chair for life.
Mogul: $25,000 or more will get their logos larger on the plaque and 3 sponsored chairs.
Legacy: $50,000 or more will get all items mentioned for prior level, plus a Lift Tower Sign for life.
Naming Rights for Life $100,000 (1 available) Have the lift named after you, a loved one, your business or other applicable names.
Any amounts are accepted and greatly appreciated by Lost Valley. If you would like to see this project begin, consider donating now by clicking HERE.
5/23/18 UPDATE: This new proposed lift would be approximately 875 feet long with a 235 vertical rise.
This weekend, 3 ski areas in Maine will be operating.
Big Rock will be open top to bottom this weekend with access to all trails and 3 lifts. Closing Sunday for the 2017-18 season.
Sunday River will be running White Cap and Barker lifts this weekend with access to about 50 trails. Weekend operations only through 4/29.
Sugarloaf will be open top to bottom this weekend with 127 trails and 6 lifts. Daily operations through 4/29.
4/23/18 UPDATE: Sugarloaf Mountain will be extending their season to Sunday, May 6th. “We’ll be open daily through April 29th, with plans to suspend mid-week operations April 30th – May 4th, and reopen for a final weekend May 5-6th,” says today’s Sugarloaf Daily Report.
There are currently 20 operating ski areas in the state of Maine. So, on the 20th of every month, I post a few of my favorite recent lift photos from around the world. This month, I’ve chosen 5 photos from Instagram to share with you.
Welcome to Maine Lift!
My name is Kai and I am a lift enthusiast based at Sugarloaf in Maine. Over the past ten months, I have created databases with info about every lift in Maine. I am still working on taking photos of these lifts, but until then, most images are provided by newenglandskihistory.com. You can also check out my blog by scrolling down below this page.
This winter, I am spending most of my time at Sugarloaf, with big trips planned to France and Colorado. I estimate I will ski around 130 days this year. Follow along on these journeys on my Instagram (@maine.lift) and my Facebook Page.
Interested in lift videos? Check out my YouTube Channel to watch lift videos from around the world.
Please add your comments or contact me for more info.