March 28, 2010

Skiing: Season heads for another raucuous end


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Springtime offers sunshine, softening snow and some really fun events at Maine’s mountains.

Photo by Greg Burke

Mt. Abram anticipates being open Saturday, April 3, for its last day of the season, dubbed "Spillover Ski and Ride Day."

The weekend of April 10-11, the spring skiing parties continue with Saddleback's Park Shark Challenge, a slopestyle terrain park competition to the cheers and jeers of the snow-loving, sun-worshiping crowds.

Sunday River will host the Bust 'n' Burn mogul competition on April 10-11. This weekend also brings out Jimmy Buffet fans for the Parrot Head Festival. Picture bands playing island music all day outside by the slopes, burgers on the grill, and margaritas in the blender. The White Cap Lodge serves as Parrot Head headquarters, and prime viewing for the big splash event on Sunday -- Pond Skimming at 11 a.m.

The biggest on-snow event of the Maine season is Reggaefest at Sugarloaf, taking place April 15-18. This big music event is now in its 22nd year; just like sister resort Sunday River's Bust 'n' Burn. Interesting to note, many of the Reggaefest concertgoers do not ski, leaving the slopes less crowded than Sugarloaf's Beach area.

Beyond that, Sunday River will host its traditional Ski Mania day on April 19, with free skiing and riding. Sugarloaf's last official event on the ski season calendar is the Season Pass Holders Barbeque on Sunday, April 25.

For the last two seasons, Sugarloaf was the last resort open in the East. Sugarloaf's sights are on early May again to clinch that last-open title and seal Maine's reputation of the longest ski season east of the Rockies (with Sunday River opening in October). Both Sunday River and Sugarloaf plan to keep skiing and riding for another month, as long as snow and demand hold up. That's where skiers and riders must do our part by showing up.

I hope to see you on the slopes.

 Heather Burke is a ski/snowboard journalist from Kennebunk. She can be contacted at:


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