Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Snow at Saddleback - January 4, 2015

It was a tricky forecast for Sunday January 4. Every type of precipitation was forecasted overnight Saturday into Sunday plus some possible strong gusty winds. We rolled the dice a bit and drove up Saturday evening, stayed at the Rangeley Saddleback Inn (acceptable place to crash for the night although a bit pricey at $145 for 2 Queens but that is the standard rate in Rangeley seems like) and took our chances we would be able to get some soft turns in on Sunday.

Saddleback ended up getting 6 inches of snow overnight and then it changed to freezing drizzle by 8AM... but fortunately the drizzle and wind was not enough to shut down lift operations. All the lifts turned except for the Rangeley double and Saddleback basically stayed away from ice affecting lift operations as it did with other New England resorts including Sugarloaf.

The skiing was good but it was hit or miss. We basically lapped the upper Kennabago quad chair for the morning. We did not venture west towards Casablanca as it was too socked in weather wise but there may have been good skiing to be had over in that direction. If you skied over there please leave a comment on the blog as to how it was! Most of the wide open groomed runs had the snow blown off (skiers right of Green Weaver was silky smooth however), and the glades needed a bit more snow to make them more enjoyable as we were hitting the firm base too often. However the classic narrow Saddleback narrow trails of Jane Craig, Professor and Peachy's Peril held great soft snow and we hit them multiple times.

While it was a light freezing drizzle most of the morning, right around 12:30 the temperature spiked to the upper 30's (a good 10 degrees) in a matter of minutes and it turned the dense sugary snow into a mash. We decided to call it a day early and enjoy a leisurely lunch (and an old-man Saddleback ale) at the Swig and Smelt pub upstairs in the base lodge. Our meal was great - highly recommended!

Overall a good day and glad we went up early to avoid a messy drive Sunday morning. It was 41 degrees when we left Saddleback and 27 degrees in Freeport when we got home. Cold air hung on at lower elevations. Regardless - great job Saddleback crew for putting out a quality product. Here is a quick video of our day.

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