Saturday, October 12, 2019

Maine Alpine Ski Area Season Pass Guide

Should you buy a Maine ski area season pass?


It is the time of year where skiers thoughts turn towards making ski pass plans for the 2019-20 ski season. There is a certain calculus to making a ski pass decision. You have to figure out how much time you are going be skiing this year and if you have saved up enough money to plunk down a good chunk of
We have purchased many Maine ski area season passes over the years.
Our multi-year season pass collection
change to make a pass purchase. If you do buy a pass you want to make sure you visit the mountain enough so that the number of trips divided by the pass price is less than a daily lift ticket - a pass ROI calculation. (see the listings below for specific ROI calculations for each Maine ski resort). Some folks like to have a "home mountain" while others prefer to ski different ski areas over the course of the winter season.


We were Saddleback pass holders for a long time. Now that Saddleback is no longer an option, we have migrated to Sugarloaf where we have had some amazing ski days and we hope the start to the ski season is as good as last year. For the adults in our family we buy silver level passes. This pass level gives us access to Sunday River and has 12 blackout dates. Our now adult kids get the 20's and college passes. We actually don't mind the blackout dates as it gives us more of an opportunity to ski other areas like Mt. Abram, Black, Shawnee Peak, Titcomb, Lost Valley and other smaller, but awesome, ski areas in Maine.

More recently, there has been a buzz about passes that cover multiple ski resorts across North America, including Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine. They might be worth checking out especially if you plan to take a ski vacation outside of Maine. The Ikon Pass gives you 7 days at Sugarloaf and Sunday River plus access to a bunch of other resorts across the USA. 

Regardless, here is a listing of all the Maine ski areas and links to the 2019-20 pass options I could find... with an early season deadlines noted. I have also included a calculation comparing the walk-up adult ticket prices vs. the full access adult season pass to calculate how many days you need to ski to save money on a pass purchase. All prices listed as of October 16, 2019.

Maine Ski Area Season Pass Guide


Sugarloaf - Carrabassett Valley
Season Pass Link
Offering big mountain skiing with a variety of pass levels based on age and blackout dates including a new Nitro pass aimed at the twenty-something crowd. Most passes are good to use at Sunday River and Loon (NH) as well. Early bird deadline October 14th.

Full Adult Pass Price $1,419 | Walk Up Ticket Price $105 | Trip ROI 14 ski days


Sunday River - Newry
Season Pass Link
Big resort skiing with a variety of pass levels based on age and blackout dates including a new Nitro pass aimed at the twenty-something crowd.. Most passes are good to use at Sugarloaf and Loon (NH) as well. Early bird deadline October 14th.

Full Adult Pass Price $1,419 | Walk Up Ticket Price $105 | Trip ROI 14 ski days


Shawnee Peak - Bridgton
Season Pass Link
Accessible southern Maine ski area with a variety of pass options including a popular night only pass option.

Full Adult Pass Price $770 | Walk Up Ticket Price $75 | Trip ROI 11 ski days


Titcomb Mountain - Farmington
Season Pass Link
Fun community mountain offering children, young adult and adult season passes and the option to add nordic skiing to the pass. Early bird deadline November 2nd.

Full Adult Pass Price $185 | Walk Up Ticket Price $24 | Trip ROI 8 ski days



Great mid-sized mountain with community, Military, Adult, Children and Family passes available. Early bird deadline October 16th.


Full Adult Pass Price $609 | Walk Up Ticket Price $49 | Trip ROI 13 ski days


Black Mtn of Maine - Rumford 

Season Pass Link

Super community ski mountain with some of the best maintained glades in Maine and a world-class nordic facility. Early bird deadline October 31.


Full Adult Pass Price $405 | Walk Up Ticket Price $45 | Trip ROI 9 ski days



Lost Valley - Auburn 
Season Pass Link

Very accessible southern Maine ski area with pass options for child, junior, adults and families. Early bird deadline October 15th.

Full Adult Pass Price $575 | Walk Up Ticket Price $60 | Trip ROI 10 ski days

Camden Snow Bowl - Camden 
Season Pass Link
Popular coastal ski area with views of the Atlantic offering family, adult, student, military, youth and senior passes. Early bird deadline October 31st.

Full Adult Pass Price $429 | Walk Up Ticket Price $43 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


Bigrock Mountain - Mars Hill
Season Pass Link
Impressive ski area located in “The County” offering adult, youth, children and senior passes. Early bird deadline December 1st.

Full Adult Pass Price $365 | Walk Up Ticket Price $40 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


New Hermon Mtn - Hermon 
Season Pass Link
Community ski area offering junior, student, adult and family passes. Early bird deadline October 31st.

Full Adult Pass Price $347 | Walk Up Ticket Price $35 | Trip ROI 10 ski days

Lonesome Pines - Fort Kent 

Season Pass Link
Community ski area at the northern tip of Maine offering adult, student, child and tykes passes.

Full Adult Pass Price $205 | Walk Up Ticket Price $25 | Trip ROI 10 ski days


Ski Maine Mountain Pass
Pass Link
Not a season’s pass but you get 26 lift ticket vouchers to Maine alpine ski areas. Typically use 2 per mountain.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Maine Ski Swap Guide

Last updated October 11, 2019



Maineahs Love a Good Ski Swap


Here is the 2019 edition of the @MaineSkiFamily ski swap guide. Over the past years, I have posted dates, times and locations of Maine based ski swaps and I am doing the same this year. Swaps are a great way to save money on winter gear and is by far the most popular page on my blog... so please use this listing guide and spread the word! If there is a swap that you know of missing from the list please comment below or email me

You can often find great deals and save money at a Maine Ski Swap!
Smiles abound whenever you can score
new or "new to you" gear at a swap!
If you are new to ski swaps, you can read my post on Ski Swap Strategies

To stay up to date on all things Maine skiing, please like my Facebook Page You can also follow me on Twitter Instagram for skiing and other usually sports & weather related ramblings.

Happy Swapping!


Maine Ski Swap Guide


OCTOBER
12th - The Rack up on the Sugarloaf access road is holding their "2nd Annual Rack Tailgate Ski & Swap" in their parking lot. 9:00am to 3:00pm on October 12th. Check out the Sugarloaf Homecoming Weekend schedule FMI. 

12th - 14th - Happy Tunes in Carrabassett Valley is holding their 21st annual ski and kayak homecoming sale and will be taking consignments. Click this link to see their flyer FMI.


19th - The Penobscot Valley Ski Club is holding their annual ski sale Saturday, October 19th from 8:00am to 2:00pm at the Bangor Parks and Rec building. Keep an eye on their Facebook Page FMI.


25th - 26th - The Bethel Outing Club is having their 38th annual a ski swap  / sale over two days at the Gould Academy Field House. Click here for more info.

26th - The Central Maine Ski Club will hold a Ski & Skate swap Saturday, October 26th in Waterville's George J. Mitchell School 9am-3pm. Equipment drop-off Friday 4pm-7pm. Keep an eye on their website FMI.


NOVEMBER
2nd - The Freeport Ski Swap & Sale will be held Saturday November 2nd, 9:30 - 12:30 at the Freeport High School gym. FMI click here.

2nd - Allspeed Cyclery & Snow will hold a ski swap Saturday, November 2nd 10:00am to 6:00pm in their Portland Marginal Way location. Check out their Facebook page FMI.


3rd - The Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department will hold its 52nd Annual Ski and Skate Sale on Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00pm to 4:00pm and the Brunswick Recreation Center. FMI click here.


9th - The Agamenticus Ski Club 3rd Bi-Annual Used Equipment & Ski Swap will be held November 9th, 2019 – 9:00am - 3:00pm at the York Middle School Cafeteria. FMI click here.


9th - Gorham Bike and Ski on Congress Street in Portland will be having a tent sale on November 9th from 9:00am to 1:00pm which includes a swap to buy and sell your used gear. Check out this web page FMI.

10th - The Auburn Ski Association will have their 56th Annual Ski Swap on Sunday, November 10th, 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Auburn Middle School. Gear to sell drop-off is 1:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday. See their Facebook event page for more information.


23rd - BigRock Mountain in Mars Hill will be having its annual ski swap Saturday, November 23rd from 10:00am to 2:00pm right at the base lodge. Keep an eye on their website FMI.

23rd-24th - The Annual Camden Hills Regional High School Ski Sale will be held from 9:00am until 1:00pm on Saturday, November 23rd and from 10:00 am until 1:30pm on Sunday, November 24th at the Camden Hills Regional High School. FMI click here.


24th - The Falmouth Ski Swap/Sale will be November 24th, 9:00am to 12:00pm at the Falmouth Middle School. Contact Mary DeSilva at marybd48@gmail.com FMI.


30th - Downeast Ski Club ski sale is held annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Portland Expo. More info here.

DECEMBER


7th - The Greely Ski Swap is Saturday, December 7th from 9:00am-1:00pm at Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine


If you are looking for ski swaps outside of Maine, the SkiDiva has a nice national ski swap list and the SkiMaven has a great detailed list of Vermont ski swaps. 

As I receive confirmation of other 2019 swaps I will be updating this blog post. Feel free to comment on the post if you know of other Maine based swaps that are happening and I will update the list.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

2018 Fall & Winter Update

The followers of our Blog, Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram knows that our family loves to Ski and the old man of the family has this Public Address Announcer hobby. As we enter the Christmas holiday break, it is a good time to reflect on the 2018 fall sports seasons, the start to our winter ski season and 2018-19 winter sport seasons... and what lies ahead for 2019. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a read!

It's a great time to be a Falcon!

I have to lead off this summary with how proud I am of the communities of Freeport, Pownal and Durham which form RSU #5. Together, they have invested in their schools systems with a tremendous new addition to the high school that serves all three towns and the high quality Joan Benoit Samuleson Track & Field. I have seen many facilities in southern Maine and this ranks right up there as one of the best. The results are paying off in the classroom and in athletics. Families are keeping their kids in the local school system and the towns are welcoming new families. Look at the results of the fall sports teams!

Boys Soccer - Southern Maine Class B Regional Champions - State Runner Up
Girls Soccer - Southern Maine Class B Semi-Finalists
Field Hockey - Southern Maine Class B Regional Runner Up
Football - Class E Development League State Champions
Golf - Third Place State Class B
Boys Cross Country - 5th Place State Class B
Girls Cross Country - 7th Place State Class B

I had the privilege of being on the PA for 5 of the football games, and the regional final for Boys Soccer. I also watched as a fan and cheered for the field hockey & soccer teams as they competed on the new field. They always played hard, played with great sportsmanship and won (and lost) with class. 

One of the coolest things was seeing the tremendous crowds at events that historically, only attracted a handful of people. To see the students and community back the stands to support all the teams was awesome. To have fans lined up to get into a soccer game says it all. Well done RSU #5!


Super Start to Ski Season... then NIAR!

What a great start we had to the ski season. By early December the ski mountains in Maine were reporting FEET of snow. We were skiing trails at Sugarloaf we normally had to wait until February to ski. We had fun while it lasted but then the NIAR happened with very warm temps. (NIAR is a certain four letter word spelled backwards.) So the mountains lost a lot of snow... but as I write this the cold temperatures have returned and the snowguns / groomers are hard at work getting things back into shape. Lets hope for the best as there is still a lot of winter left!


Saddleback

This is about all I have to say about the Saddleback ski area situation.

Bitmoji Image

When I have more news to report I will. But wow what a tragedy. 4 seasons in a row with no lift serviced skiing.

CRRRRRRRRRRRRRUSHER!

I checked off another bucket list item in my PA Announcer journey. I was asked to fill-in for two Maine Red Claws games this fall. The Maine Red Claws are the NBA G-League affiliate of the Boston Celtics. These players are a whisker from playing in the NBA. They are FAST, STRONG and can play some unbelievable basketball.

Being a PA announcer for pro basketball is a very different style than I usually do. In high school and in college, I certainly give emphasis when the home team does something good, but I try to play it somewhat even. In the NBA style, it is ALL HOME TEAM. HUUUUUUUUUGE calls for the home team and the visitors get the monotone treatment. It was out of my usual comfort zone but I just took a deep breath and went for it. The video below shows my monotone visitor introductions, the big call for the mascot Crusher then leaning into the home team player introductions. It was a lot of fun and I hope I get to do it again someday.




First Varsity Football Season for UNE

I had a blast being the PA announcer for three University of New England football games. This was their first varsity season and the school did a bang-up job putting on the home events. Being a first year team, they struggled on the football field at times but they had their positive moments and was able to get a couple of wins out of the season. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing Freeport Falcon alum Josh Burke get some playing time for the Noreasters. UNE has a strong foundation and tremendous community support.




Reset for Bowdoin Football

Bowdoin Football is one of my favorite events each fall. Whittier field is a tremendous setting. They have invested in a brand new turf field, stands & press box and my voice sounds great bouncing around the Bowdoin Pines. However, the past 4 years have been a tremendous struggle on the field with only 3 wins... and the college decided to look for a new head football coach. I wish former head coach JB Wells the best in his new endeavors and I thank him for all his hard work for the Bowdoin football program.

We did get a win this year in the first ever night game at Whittier field. Bowdoin beat rival Bates and it was especially meaningful for the seniors on the team to close out their Whittier field experience with a win. The students and fans stormed the field after the game. It was quite a site and a thrill to be part of.

We will see what the future holds. I am excited to learn who the new Bowdoin head coach will be. I think the Bowdoin football roster has some great talent coming back. Hope springs eternal and I think better times are ahead for Bowdoin football... and I am excited to be a part of it on the PA mic!

Strong Start for Freeport & Bowdoin Hoops

Both boys and girls Freeport hoop teams are off to a great start with 4-1 records. If they keep improving, I think deep tournament runs are possible.

Bowdoin men's basketball is sitting a 6-3 at the holiday break. They have been searching for some consistency, but they closed out the semester with 4 good wins. The NESCAC is super-competitive, so they will need to be at their best to get a good conference playoff seeding and a shot at the NCAA's.

And while rankings mean zilch for success on the floor during games... rankings do recognize consistency and success of a program and recognition by ones peers in the basketball community. Not many PA announcers get to part of a #1 ranked program. This Bowdoin women's team is a joy to watch. Their unselfish, team-first attitude combined with their full court pressure defense and outstanding ability to score the ball makes them a huge problem for their opponents.

Oh - did I mention I am the PA announcer for the #1 D3 team in the country?


This team has some big goals. I am looking forward to seeing how this season plays out! #GOUBEARS

And Season's Greetings & Happy New Year

Life is full of ups and downs and we have our share of both. Overall though, our family bond is strong and each one of us participates in life in very meaningful ways. We are looking forward to spending this holiday season with family and friends. 2019 will be filled with skiing, PA announcing and everything else life has to offer us. We hope that you all have a joyful holiday and Happy New Year! Make the most of it!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Super Start to the 2018-19 Maine Ski Season

We have been very fortunate this year with the start to the ski season in Maine and New England. Many areas have received generous amounts of early-season snowfall and the temperatures have been very favorable for snow making... and that forecast looks good too!

Between all of the @MaineSportsFam crew we have over 9 ski days under our belts. Early season at Sunday River as been fun. The Rivah did a fantastic job getting the mountain open early as they do every year and provided some fun early season turns. Then we really had a great day at Sugarloaf on November 18th. They have been able to rapidly open terrain off the Superquad lift. Blue and Black Cruisers Kings Landing, Hayburner, Tote Road and Candyside were groomed and skied very well, and a bunch of natural terrain was open too. Even though it has been skied hard the cold temps and deep cover is holding up well. We had our early season legs so we tired quickly... but we certainly enjoyed ourselves.

This is shaping up to be one of the best Thanksgiving holiday skiing periods... EVAH. We highly recommend getting out skiing an taking advantage of it! Here are a few pics from our Sugarloaf ski day.

We wish you a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.


Hayburner skied very well with plenty of soft snow on the sides.

Boy #2 with the big grab on Tote Road

It was really hard to believe it was November 18. Looks like mid-winter.

Towards the end of the day the winds died down and the snow making crystals created rainbows.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Skiing, Saddleback, a State Championship and a Final Four

Skiing...

Despite my busy basketball public address announcer schedule, I have been able to enjoy the "Miracle March" on the slopes of Maine. The snow quality this season through February had been hit or miss, but a couple of impressive March snow storms resulted in 50+" of new snow in the mountains of Maine resulting in some pretty incredible skiing. We had a great day skiing Sugarloaf March 11th.

We have been able to launch ourselves down the front face of Sugarloaf including skiing Bubble Cuffer Extension and Powder Keg trails for the first time. We are hoping a little more snow that is forecasted this week adds to the base even more and that the backside snowfields of Sugarloaf will be in-play this coming weekend. Sugarloaf has some pretty incredible terrain above the treeline, and the snow has made all the trails from beginner-green to expert double-black super-fun. They are now set up for a stellar late winter & spring. I have always said March is by far the best month to ski in Maine! The snow is usually deep and when it isn't snowing, the sun is shining higher in the sky. Can't beat it!

Saddleback...

The Saddleback ownership situation continues to drag on. Majella  started out with best of intentions with their big announcement last June in regards to their future plans with the resort. However, the financing the deal has hit some snags. Occasionally a newspaper / TV story hits that creates a flurry of speculation and opinions on social networks, message boards, print and broadcast media. We are all just guessing at this point as all the parties involved are not talking much. It seems we are no closer to a final answer than we were last June.

I wrote a post back in June on the potential sale and I wrote we will have to be patient. I was thinking we were needing to be patient on getting the mountain open. It seems that we have to be patient just getting the sale done. Regardless, staying patient still holds true today and I will hope and pray this comes to a successful conclusion soon so we can ski a lift-serviced Saddleback again.

A State Championship...

As I mentioned in my last post about this public address announcing hobby of mine, I was able to be the PA announcer for the America East college women's basketball championship and Bowdoin College Women's Basketball 1st-2nd Round NCAA games (more on that later). I also was able to tick off a "bucket list" event in doing PA for a Maine State Championship basketball game for the first time. Outside of my microphone not working at the start of the boys game (it worked the entire girls game before - what gives!) I recovered and I was able to have a great experience. I hopefully made a positive impact on the game experience for the fans and most importantly the players.

The games were televised to a statewide audience on MPBN, and here is a video recording my myself doing the team introductions for Greely and Hampden Academy boys teams. It was a lot of fun!

And a Final Four...

And what a run for the Bowdoin College Women's basketball team in the NCAA Division 3 Women's Basketball Championship! I was on the PA for their first two NCAA home games (victories over Husson & FDU) which ushered them into the Sweet 16. A great crowd was on-hand at Morrell gym to cheer the team on to victory.

Then I watched them on-line from home as they traveled to Scranton, PA and beat Scranton on their home floor.  Then they defeated NESCAC rival Tufts to punch their ticket to the Final Four!!! What a moment!

What an awesome accomplishment for this team! The Final Four was in Rochester, Minnesota over this past weekend (March 16-17) and I was able to re-route my return from a west coast business trip to watch the team play. It was a really fun experience and the team parents, alumni & Bowdoin staff were very gracious for letting the PA guy for tag along for the Bowdoin receptions and final four events. It was good to get to know the parents off the court. They are a great group of people with some great kids!

In the national semi-final Bowdoin had a tall order. They were taking on undefeated Wartburg from Waverly, Iowa. (Little known fact is that I lived in Waverly Iowa for a year when I was 4 years old.) Waverly is only about a 1.5 hour drive to the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester and they brought an impressive number of fans filling up one side of the arena in bright orange. However, the Bowdoin women fed off this energy, played an exceptional game and ran Wartburg right out of the gym by a 90-62 score. It was a most impressive performance and it was safe to say I was excited for the victory.


Being a fan during a game is MUCH DIFFERENT than being on the PA. While doing PA I want my home team to do well and I might lean into the home team calls a bit more when they make a great play. However,  I am quite busy keeping track of the game action and making sure I do a professional job for both teams and fans in the gym. So I don't really get TOO excited. However, when I am "just" a fan... I can cheer as much as I want! It was great to experience to be a fan in a Final Four setting. I lost my voice at halftime due to cheering so much.

Bowdoin met NESCAC rival Amherst in the national championship game. It was close through three quarters, but in the end just not enough buckets fell through the hoop for the Polar Bears. What a 6 game NCAA run Bowdoin had. The players and Coach Shibles will have memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. Bowdoin seniors Kate Kerrigan, Lydia Caputi and Lauren Petit will be missed but a lot of great players are coming back too. The future is bright for Bowdoin basketball.




So I take the spring and summer off from PA duties but I am already looking forward to fall football starting up. I will be covering Freeport and Bowdoin football as usual, but new this fall I will be on the PA for the 4 of the 5 home games for the first year University of New England football program. Til then, golf, fishing and family camp time will fill up my spring and summer... after a few more ski trips this March, April and maybe even May! See you on the ski slopes and sporting fields of Maine!

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