|Green Weaver view never gets old!|
Riding home from Saddleback ski area this weekend, we still couldn’t believe they are open again. It just seems surreal, but indeed Saddleback is spinning lifts, making snow, grooming trails and serving food & drink to skiers and riders. We are so happy that we have this opportunity once more!
We skied Saddleback Mountain opening day and opening weekend. Here are our top 10 observations of our first days back at... SADDLEBACK.
- The new high speed quad is…. AWESOME! The lift is fast, smooth and efficient. It totally changes the way the mountain skis. No more long, slow lift rides which is a real bonus on cold days! We really didn’t quite realize how much this lift was going to change the skiing experience. More runs, more vertical, more fun! Well done Saddleback!
Overall the Saddleback Mountain staff members / lift attendants / on-hill ops we encountered were very friendly and helpful. It was also great to see skiers and riders enjoying themselves on the mountain. Saddleback has maintained their old school vibe but now with some great new amenities including a new small bus that is ferrying people from the parking lot to the lodge.
Snowmaking in full force at Saddleback
- The Saddleback ski area snowmaking and grooming crew have not missed a beat. Great early-season conditions for all ability levels opening day and opening weekend. Their new snow guns have really cranked out the snow.
- Not having the old Sandy chair in front of the lodge is a bit of a bummer for the terrain park crowd. Hopefully a new lift will be installed in that area for future seasons. It looks like the terrain park crew is installing a full park setup once snowmaking on the Wheeler trail wraps up... available via the Rangeley quad or a hike from the lodge.
We haven’t tried the lodge food yet, but if it is half as good as the pictures look… YUM! Skiers and riders can make reservations to reserve a table for lunch time and après ski with take out available as well. The free coffee / hot chocolate opening weekend and providing warming tents for the season are a nice touch.
Saddleback Food Offerings - YUM!
- Saddleback is struggling to get their RFID system integrated with their website preventing the online sales of tickets, retail items and rentals. They are working hard on resolving the issues and fingers crossed it gets fixed soon. The retail shop does have a great selection of logo wear and related skiing items available for walk-in credit card and cash sales.
The RFID lift ticket system at the lift worked very well for us. You can purchase daily lift tickets right on the mountain at the outside ticket window. Having the RFID pass in the left chest jacket pocket or left sleeve worked well at the RFID gates on each lift.
RFID - Straight to the Lift
- We will miss having the T-Bar on super windy days, but at least for this year we are looking forward to skiing the old T-Bar line.
- There was good mask wearing compliance by staff and skiers/riders. There were a few not always wearing masks in lift lines and on the chair but inside the lodge mask compliance was very good. We need to be vigilant on this. Keep wearing masks, skiers and riders!
- And did we mention the high speed quad is awesome? It is worth two mentions in our top 10 observations. It is a GAME CHANGER for Saddleback!
We recorded our first ride on the lift. Since we turned around the selfie camera to show the lift everything is reversed... but you will get the idea. Very emotional moment for all of us! Be sure to visit Saddleback this winter. It is so good to have Saddleback… BACK!