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SUGARLOAF RESORT GUIDE

Sugarloaf Expert Itinerary

SuperQuad, Skyline, King Pine, Brackett Basin, Backside Snowfields
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Sugarloaf Expert Overview.jpg

Overview

From the Base Area – SuperQuad – Skyline – King Pine – Brackett Basin – Snowfields

*Following the steps of this can be done in any order. Sugarloaf has one large peak and transitioning between areas is relatively easy. Days at Sugarloaf are highly dependent on the conditions. This itinerary has been composed to prioritize the areas most likely to be open. If it's a pow day, we recommend starting with steps 5 & 6.

**Note – Some of the trails are numbered on the resort map (when space does not allow the full name to be displayed. Lifts are assigned letters. This guide may reference trail numbers and lift letters for the purpose of helping you locate them on the map. Beware, these numbers/letters are not used on the on-mountain signage.*

1. 9:00 - 9:45 AM – Warming up on SuperQuad

From the BASE AREA, hop on SuperQuad (B on map). Easy to access, this chair presents several good options for a warm up. Exit the chair to the right and head down Pinch (24). The trails to the skier's right progress from most difficult to least. If you prefer a slower start, continue until you reach King's Landing. To get right into the steeper stuff, Hayburner is a good option. If you really want to get the blood flowing, take your first right onto Skidder, which often has sizable moguls on skier's left - if you're up for it!

 

Once you're warmed up, it's time to earn some chair stoke before heading further up. Hop on SuperQuad again, and exit right toward Skidder. Head down Skidder, and then immediately turn right onto Pick Pole (23). Then turn left onto Competition Hill. After a few hundred feet, you will see an entrance on the skier's right for Sheerboom. This bumpy masterpiece places you directly underneath SuperQuad, where you can put on a show. Watch out for the rocks on the right. After you've conquered Sheerboom, head down towards Skyline (E).

2. 9:45 – 11:00 AM – Getting Steeper on King Pine

*If the conditions allow and you're feeling comfortable, you can swap steps 2 & 3 with steps 5 & 6. The terrain is more extreme but you'll want to be the first one there when there is new snow!*

Now it's time to take on some steeper, gnarlier stuff. Head up Skyline (E), and exit left to follow Spillway X-Cut. The trails off of Spillway become progressively steeper the further left you go. These trails all funnel to the base of Skyline so that you can lap the chair for an hour or two and try all of them. Here's a quick breakdown of this area:

  • Sluice Chute (18) is the most mellow of the bunch. It starts with a steep headwall but levels out into a blue square

  • Winter's Way, one of the first trails cut at Sugarloaf, starts in relatively tight trees and empties into a wide mogul field – it's never groomed!

  • Gondola Line (Gondi, as the Loafers say) is pretty straightforward. Long, wide, and wickedly steep, this will get the legs firing quickly. Be sure to check out the trees on the right

  • Bubblecuffer is a local's favorite. Long, winding, narrow, and ungroomed, this is a New England classic in every sense of the word

  • White Nitro (15) is short, but as steep as it gets. Be sure to keep an eye out for crossing skiers below

Once you've explored the steeps of Skyline, head further down Spillway X-Cut to reach the King Pine area.

Fresh pow off of Skyline

3. 11 AM – 12 PM – King Pine

The next stop on our journey is the King Pine area – a favorite of seasoned Loafers for its varied terrain and minimal lift lines. To reach King Pine, follow Spillway X-Cut until you reach Haul Back. This wide open trail runs directly under the King Pine (C) lift giving you the opportunity to put on a show, whether you like to rip big GS turns down the middle, or thread your way through the massive mogul field on skier's left. On your next run, try double diamond, Ripsaw. This all natural trail has lots of fun terrain features to explore. You could easily ski it three or four times and pick a new line each time.

 

The crown jewel of the King Pine area is Misery Whip. Formerly the location of a T-bar lift, Misery Whip is steep, bumpy, and wickedly narrow. The only way down is directly through the zipper line of some rather sizable moguls. To complete the run, exit right and then take a quick left into Boomer Glade (28), where there is a substantial cliff drop (not mandatory) for those feeling extra brave. When you've had your fill of bumps and jumps, take King Pine again and make your way back towards the BASE VILLAGE via Boomauger and Lombard X-Cut. Time for lunch!

4. 12 – 12:45 PM – Lunch @D'Ellies (see more lunch options in our mountain guide)

*Before we go any further, keep in mind: if it's really a powder day, you may want to consider packing a lunch (you can easily order a sandwich at D'Ellies in the morning and save it in a backpack for lunchtime). If the conditions are good you'll want to maximize your time on the slopes, and it does take a little while to get back to the good terrain after lunch.

 

That said, D'Ellies works for a quick lunch as the sandwiches are fantastic and the service is fast. They also have beer. D'Ellies is located in the BASE VILLAGE, just below SuperQuad.

Navigating Brackett Basin

The Backside Snowfields

5. 12:45 – 2:30 PM – Brackett Basin

When you are ready to experience something truly unique, make your way to the BRACKETT BASIN AREA. This area opened in 2011, added a whopping 650 acres of 'sidecountry' terrain to Sugarloaf's already impressive total. If you like tree skiing, there is nothing else like this on the East Coast.

 

To get to BRACKETT, hop back on the SuperQuad and ski down to Skyline. At the top, take Spillway X-Cut towards the KING PINE area. Continue past the top of the lift (you can go above or below, either are fine) until you see the big wood and steel archway that marks the entrance to BRACKETT BASIN.

 

Once you've entered BRACKETT, there are nearly endless lines to choose from. You could spend all day here and never ski the same thing twice. Generally speaking, the further you traverse, the more likely you are to find some fresh snow. We recommend going a ways out the traverse (named Golden Road and labeled 55 on the map). There are a few spots which require a quick uphill jaunt, but the results are usually well worth it. All of the glades lead back to the base of King Pine – just be sure to keep an eye out for signage sending you back towards the lift. It is possible to ski past them, which will send you much further down the mountain and may require a hike back out.

6. 2:30 – 4 PM – Backside Snowfields

When conditions allow, the SNOWFIELDS offer the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing on the East Coast. It's the closest thing you'll find to skiing out West at a resort in New England with wide open steeps and bumps combined with an incredible view of the valley below. Getting to the SNOWFIELDS requires a bit of a journey. From the top of King Pine, head down to Skyline via Boomauger to Lombard X-Cut. Ride up Skyline, then ski down to Timberline via Tote Road, Upper Binder, and Bridle Chain (26). The trails can seem a bit confusing, just follow the signs for Timberline!

 

Beware, the Timberline lift runs through the windiest part of the mountain and the lift ride can be pretty chilly! When you've reached the top, you'll notice a boot pack heading straight back away from the chair. After a quick 5-minute hike, you'll find yourselves at the top of the BACKSIDE SNOWFIELDS. Soak it all in, then pick a line. Ski wherever you'd like – everything filters back around the other side of the mountain, where you'll eventually find yourself near the top of the King Pine chair. If you want to lap a few runs, head back down to Skyline and repeat. Alternatively, you can head directly from the SNOWFIELDS into Brackett Basin for one of the most epic runs you'll ever have out East! Once you've had your fill for the day, head back down towards the base area. It's time to treat yourself!

Congrats! You've just conquered the Loaf. Time to head to Widowmaker for a cold one! Head to our après guide for additional options.

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