We were able to spend a few days at Saddleback Maine over the New Year's Day holiday. Considering the massive rain storm on Christmas, the Saddleback mountain operations team got the mountain in skiable shape quickly.. and the 8" of fresh snow on January 2nd certainly helped!
In following up our opening weekend post of 10 observations of the new Saddleback... we learned a couple more things this week:
- The new high speed quad is pretty solid in the wind. For the January 2nd snowstorm, a very strong south wind was blowing first thing in the morning but the chair performed was stable and delivered eager powder hounds up the mountain. There will be wind holds in the future of course... but it was good to know that the chair could run safely in a pretty stiff wind.
- The high speed quad brings with it a lot more skier traffic on the trails. This cuts both ways. Good in that Saddleback needs more skiers to be financially viable. A challenge in that with limited early season terrain available the trails get skied hard. We noticed on typical groomer days the trails were pretty much skied off by early afternoon and on the January 2nd powder day the trails turned into Olympic mogul fields by early afternoon. That "Afternoon Saddleback Cord" is a distant memory! Not necessarily a bad thing, and this will become less of an issue once more terrain is open and spreads the skiers out. We welcome and accept change for the good of the mountain!
- The outside Fat Tire Bar is great! The retrofitted shipping container is a welcome way to get a beverage and drink outside. We hope they continue this even post COVID.