The scene at last year's Reggae Fest. Sugarloaf photo.
Teton Gravity Research’s Stokemobile just wrapped two insane weekends back-to-back, rolling frthe Minus Zero Festival at Mount Snow up the the 30th annual Reggae Fest at Sugarloaf in Maine.
We had a ripping time jamming out with our partners Outside TV and Bldg Active at the beach in front of Sugarloaf’s Widowmaker, and following a great 72 hours in the Pine Tree State, we’re here to give you the down low on how to make the most out of a day at Sugarloaf.
Sugarloaf is located pretty far up in Maine, and it’s not particularly close to any major interstates, so in lieu of where we normally write out in-depth driving directions, we’re just going to tell you to utilize a little tool called Google Maps.
The historical facade of the Herbert Grand Hotel. Herbert Grand Hotel photo.
When it comes to lodging, Carrabassett Valley isn’t exactly strapped with hotel options beyond what is found at the resort. While the resort manages 250 condos in addition to the rooms at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, and there are another 300 or so privately rented properties, during weekends of heavy traffic like Reggae Fest, the town can sell out fairly quickly.
Beyond Carabassett Valley, your best bets for lodging will be in the nearby towns of Kingfield and Stratton, which are both roughly a 20-minute drive from the resort. If you’re looking for a budget option, the Stratton Spillover Motel is a great bet and if you want a bit more luxurious, old New England feel to your lodging, the Herbert Grand Hotel is a solid option in Kingfield.
Whether you’re planning on spring skiing or simply getting down to some reggae, you’ll need some calories to sustain yourself throughout the day.
D’Ellies is a local favorite for sandwiches. All of their sandwiches are made on homemade bread with the freshest ingredients, and the deli is located just 50 yards from where the SuperQuad loads. The breakfast sandwiches are always solid, but the real standout on the menu is the Super Italian hero.
Sugarloaf in all of its wintery splendor. Sugarloaf photo.
But if your idea of the perfect breakfast involves one or multiple adult beverages, there are a couple spots for you to enjoy your morning libations. 45 North at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel features a full bar and a breakfast buffet, but if you really want to send it at breakfast, head to Bullwinkle’s, located mid-mountain. They offer a full bloody Mary flight which might convince you to spend your day saddled up to the bar instead of, you know, actually skiing.
If you’re looking to maximize a day on the hill at Sugarloaf, the Skyline Lift will be the place to start. It accesses the steepest terrain on the hill and the Stowaway crosscut that allows you to hit a number of classic New England lines like Bubblecuffer, Winter’s Way, Gondi Line and a slew of other glades.
If you can catch a powder day, Sugarloaf's terrain is as spectacular as anywhere in the East. Sugarloaf photo.
From there–particularly if it’s a powder day–head east to the King Pine lift, from there you can access access bracket basin, a new glade development at the resort that offers several hundred acres of glades located on the neighboring Burnt Mountain. You can also hit the only above-treeline skiing in the East from the King Pine lift, offering the type of wide open skiing you typically only found out West. If you get tired of the tight turns within the New England trees, The Snowfield is your go-to spot.
The classic apres spot–which you may have spotted some of the Stokemobilers at if you made it to Reggae Fest this past weekend–is The Widowmaker. Located on the top floor of Sugarloaf’s base lodge, The Widowmaker has beautiful views of the entire mountain, features live music on the beach in front of the bar, and stocks around 50 different type of local Maine brews to help get you socially lubricated.
The scene at The Rack on a typical apres day. Sugarloaf photo.
But, if you want to escape the crowds, or if hordes of ski bums listening to reggae en masse isn’t your idea of a fun time, head down the access road to The Rack. Located on the access road, The Rack is co-owned by snowboarding legend Seth Wescott and is the place for locals. The people watching at The Rack is second to none, and they do a great job with two staples of the ski bum diet–pizza and barbecue.
If you were born a boy in the Swiss mountains during the 1950s, chances are high you had dreams of becoming a mountain guide. Rey “Reto” Keller was one of those young boys with aspirations of one day guiding, growing up in the lower part of the Engadin Valley in a multi-generational family of guides. “Guiding was part of our family. As a boy, you had a stamp on your forehead when you were little–you were becoming a guide. It was kinda mandatory and traditional,” says Keller. But Keller is
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