Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ski Trip Report - Big Rock Ski Area - February 2013

Fresh Snow on Uncle Bud's
@MaineSkiFamily headed up to "The County" for the Maine High School State Class C Ski Championships at Big Rock. Both boys were skiing for the Freeport Alpine team. The team came in second in both Alpine (Slalom and Giant Slalom) and the combined (Nordic and Alpine). We were only 5 points away from winning the combined title. So close! However, the boys skied well and it was a good experience for all.

This gave @MaineSkiFamily a chance to explore a new mountain when were not racing or practicing. We spent 4 days at Big Rock which is a community hill in Mars Hill, Maine owned by the Maine Winter Sports Center. They received 18" of snow over the last week and the last day (February 20) featured about 6" of fresh snow and it snowed hard all day. So needless to say the conditions were outstanding!

(This trip report will focus on the skiing, but I will soon write up an overall mountain review.)

Powder Slalom Practice
The first two days the winds were very strong and they only had the lower beginner terrain lift open where we set some gates and got some practice in. The team ended up hiking to the start of the GS run so we could get at least one run down the main racing slope. The race slope was OK. It had some rolls and some pretty flat spots. Racers like more of a consistent pitch, but overall it was fine for a state championship meet. It was snowing that first day so we got some fresh lower mountain powder runs in too. 

Big Rock Windmill
On the last two race days they were able to open the main chairlift to the top. The mountain ridge is covered with windmills. It was an interesting sight to see the windmills turning as you approached the top of the mountain on the lift. There are differing opinions on windmills, but I like the fact that we are not burning something to provide energy.

I find Big Rock to be a lot like Mt. Abram. Similar vertical, a main slope down the middle with some very interesting runs on the skiers left and right. It's generally not steep, but there are a few pitches on the skiers left that have a pretty good angle. Most of the woods I found were low to moderate angle but were quite fun in all the fresh snow.

Slaying the Big Rock Fresh...
I didn't ski all the trails, but I have to say trails on the skiers left of the main lift (Upper Uncle Bud's, Chair Trail and Hooch) were very interesting especially in all the fresh snow. Uncle Buds was pretty straight but held great snow, and you can hop in and out of a glade on sections to the skiers left. Chair trail was narrow and steep and followed and old lift line, and Hooch was a winding, narrow groomed trail that was certainly fun to ski. Click here for the trail map.

And did I mention the lift ticket price? $15. This is the BEST DEAL IN MAINE. Black Mountain in Rumford Maine (same owners) has the same lift ticket pricing as well. Big Rock is a very fine alpine mountain. If you are ever in Aroostook county in Maine, this is certainly a mountain to check out.

After the last day of racing was done, it was still snowing and I had to get a couple of more powder runs in. The top of the mountain was socked in with clouds, and although you could not see the windmills, you could hear them. With the wind blowing out of the east it was blowing the noise right towards the skiers. You could not hear the windmills from the base of the mountain, but from the top it was a strange sensation to hear the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the windmills but not be able to see them. Here is an IPhone video to try to give you the feeling of what it was like.

1 comment:

Hi - thanks for taking the time to comment. Please keep the comments on-point and lets be nice to each other!