No it wasn't a bad trip to Saddleback. In fact, it was quite amazing. I just didn't keep track of the details... you'll see... I rarely remember trail names.
So, thanks to loafasaur's heads up on this here forum, I took advantage of free skiing at Saddleback on their closing day, Sunday. My roomate and I drove north, out of Southern Vermont, on Saturday afternoon, on what Goggle Maps overestimated as a 5+ hour drive. After endless miles of catching air over frost heaves with my Volkswagen (and passing through awesomely awesome towns like Errol), we arrived at the Rangeley Inn at about 4 hours on the dot.
The lobby for the Inn was beautiful, old, rustic and classy. We had a double room in the "back" at the motel that sits on the shore of the lake. Nice place and worth the $100.
We grabbed some grub at Sarge's across the street. Great burgers and pizza.
In the morning we picked up our free lift tickets at the ticket window. All they asked for was for us to fill out our mailing information; a small price to pay for free skiing! Even my roomate who has this thing against giving out his information for marketing purposes, (even for free stuff) gave Saddleback his real mailing info.
As I had been told before, the base lodge is really nice, new, airy and the food is very good and cheap. Yummy breakfast sammiches!
We hit the lifts at just after 8, taking the longer of the two doubles then taking a quick run down to the summit t-bar and traversed out to Muleskinner. We hadn't planned on skiing Muleskinner right away but the other two or three trails along the traverse had been windswept down to ice, rocks and stumps for the first 50 feet, so we continued our journey.
Muleskinner was bumped up from previous days' snowfalls. The first half of the trail was nice and light and any untracked spots along the trees were pretty good, but heavy. Towards the bottom and the traverse out, the snow had a bit more water in it and had frozen and unfrozen it seemed. Very grabby but fun.
We cruised back down to the base area and hopped on the double again.
The rest of the day we skied a bit of everything, including just about everything off of the summit, except for some glades. We rode every lift... just because... and hit the park and pipe... just because. Some great groomers, and awesome, tight, steep windy trails. Enough of a lift system to disperse all of the skiers (if you don't mind riding t-bars), a fantastic beginner area (from an ex instructor's perspective) and a whole lot of snow! The snow ended up being incredible on those trails to the left of the summit t-bar... and the ice at the top was actually carvable. Some other highlights... actually the only trail names I remember.... were Sneaky Pete (sounds dirty), Doodlebug and Green Weaver. I think they were all blues. Green Weaver sticks out as a very pretty trail.
As soon as the snow started to fall in the early afternoon, we got out of Dodge to try and escape the worst of the NorEaster (road conditions-wise). It kind of worked until we hit St. J on 91 and an extra 3 hours was added to out return trip. 40 mph on the interstate and 25-30 mph from the interstate back home on piles of sleet.
Did anyone take advantage of the $25 Stowe food bank deal yesterday?
I talked the guy in front of me at work to go up for that. He's not here today. I'm guessng he had a good time, will let ya know when he gets back. I myself didn't get any skiing in this weekend. Went to a Broadway show with my family. I picked the date months ago, could have been this one or the next. Looking like I picked wrong, then again maybe next weekend we'll get 4 feet. No complaints, great season so far and at least Killington and Tahoe still to come.
Also, I agree, a fine trip report. Gotta get back up to Maine one of these years (even though my Mount Snow pass will now be useless up there).
Great report! I assume the free day is partly to get people up there to check out their model condo units. I assume you will get some stuff in the mail regarding their real estate. Nothing wrong with that. I realize with the drive back looming on your mind did you happen to notice any action over at the new condos?
I remember white knuckle drives on I91, especially that section going past Mt Ascutney. Glad you made it back home safe.
After endless miles of catching air over frost heaves with my Volkswagen (and passing through awesomely awesome towns like Errol), we arrived at the Rangeley Inn at about 4 hours on the dot.
Don't follow the Google Map instructions or the instructions on the Saddleback web site. Route 16 north of Gorham sucks. Take Route 2 West from Gorham to Mexico, ME and then head north on a route number I can not think of. It goes up and over a pretty cool and wild mountain range with some frost heaves, but much easier driving than Route 16 onto what ever route number takes you into Maine.
yeh we came back via mexico/rumford. it's rte 17 that you take from there and yes, it's pretty and easier... and not as remote.
we wanted to get south quickly to try and find the rain line in the storm. it worked going that way... just not on the VT side.
16 does suck.
cisco- the "worst trip report ever" was referring to my reporting skills, or lack there of, not the trip itself. even the drive back was pretty fun... just long in the snow. saddleback rocks; everyone should check it out.
sorry 'bout that. when i redesigned my site, i relocated some file/folder structures and forgot to update some links. known issue, i have just been slow to make the updates due to ski season and all. here is the updated vid in a much larger format (118 Mb) and you'll need the Xvid Codec.