Su­gar­loaf

MAINE

SKI - - EAST - —J.C.

Ready for a road trip? Ready to in­ject a lit­tle ad­ven­ture into your Eastern ski va­ca­tion? Re­mote Su­gar­loaf, a tow­er­ing snow­capped peak in the wilds of Western Maine, de­liv­ers. Get­ting there takes com­mit­ment: Turn left on yet an­other frost-heaved, scenic two-lane road and keep go­ing. (Mind the log­ging trucks.) Read­ers note that the drive weeds out the sissies and tourists. And once you’re there, the Loaf’s big-moun­tain ter­rain will keep you plenty busy and en­ter­tained. Its above-tree­line snow­fields, when open, are unique in the East. The still new and grow­ing Bracket Basin/Burnt Moun­tain treeski­ing ter­rain beck­ons to bark eaters. Steep fall-line trails, some groomed, some wickedly bumped, make the most of the Loaf’s huge ver­ti­cal (2,820 feet). Read­ers rightly give it props for Chal­lenge (No. 2), and yet there’s plenty of learner ter­rain down low as well. Adding to the mys­tique is Su­gar­loaf’s race her­itage: The fa­mous Nar­row Gauge trail has hosted many a U.S. Na­tion­als event, and Bode’s high school—Carrabas­sett Val­ley Academy—is just down the road. Nightlife? It’s far from Bode-class, though The Bag (bottom of the ski hill) and The Rack (bottom of the ac­cess road) both grow on you fast. And though they are few, the restau­rants around here might sur­prise you. “Great ter­rain, great peo­ple, great ca­ma­raderie among the Loafers,” says one Loaf lifer. “Our home moun­tain, and we have a deep love for the place,” adds an­other. “We’re tempted not to tell any­one about it be­cause we want it all to our­selves.”

APRÈS SPOT

Fancy your­self a ping-pong pro? Don’t talk too big a game be­fore tak­ing on the com­pe­ti­tion at the beloved Rack.

BRAG­GING RIGHTS

Take a spin and soak up the lore on Nar­row Gauge, where Bode rose to fame in 1996, de­stroy­ing the Ju­nior Olympics com­pe­ti­tion on his K2 Fours.

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