December 22, 2013

Josh Christie: Lots to like in Maine’s ski highlights

From night skiing to best lodge chow, a look at life on the slopes.

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Mother Nature smiled on Maine’s downhill fans this past season – piling on the snow early and often – and many resorts across the Northeast reported a healthy increase in visits.

Press Herald file photos

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Several skiers head out on the Full Moon Hike up Mt. Abram. At left is a grooming machine that brings their ski equipment up to the top, and from there, well ... it’s all downhill.


Rangeley’s Saddleback Mountain

How long can you refer to a mountain as a “hidden gem,” a “local secret,” a “little-known treasure?” That’s how skiers and riders I know have been talking about Saddleback for years now. With a summit past the 4,000-foot mark and 2,000 feet of vertical, the resort rivals its biggest peers in terms of terrain while retaining a community mountain feel. Despite a new lodge, new lifts, and terrain expansions in the last decade, the mountain is still sometimes forgotten among Maine’s larger resorts. I feel a twinge of guilt giving away the secret of Saddleback’s great skiing and long-lasting powder stashes, but the fact remains; more people should know about this place.


Mother Nature

All the improvements, deals and snowmaking won’t get people on the slopes if there’s no snow. The biggest contributor this year has been snowstorm after snowstorm. Last season ended exceptionally late, and cold weather made for early openings this season – eight resorts were open last weekend, and nearly everyone else should be open by this Sunday. In a press release, Ski Maine’s Greg Sweetser noted that November was colder in Maine than it has been for two decades, and December has seen below normal temperatures and several snowstorms. The weather has made for a great – if frigid – end to a stellar season.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and a lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares space Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be reached at:

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