The MaineSkiFamily crew got on the hill on December 26, 2021 for our first day at Saddleback Maine. It was very good to be back at Saddleback! After having a seasonal condo rental last year, we will be day-tripping for a majority of the 2021-22 season so we will experience Saddleback in a different way this year.
The skiing was fun and the mid-day rope drop on silky-smooth Blue Devil was a great bonus. And the Rangeley High Speed Quad still rocks! Here are 5 things you should know about Saddleback as they launch into Season 2 under Arctaris.
Snowmaking System - While they started making snow a bit later than they wanted due to shipping & logistical delays related to the installation of the new pump system... Saddleback has cranked out an impressive amount of snow and the new pumps have more than made up for lost time. All the chairlifts are open for the holiday week with high-quality man-made snow surfaces augmented by the 10+" of snow Saddleback has received over the past few days. Good snowmaking temps are forecasted this holiday week bring the anticipation of new trails opening. Looks like Silver Doctor is next! Check out this video by Maine Mountain Media highlighting the people and equipment behind the Saddleback snowmaking system.
Silver Doctor Next on the List
- New T-Bar & Rope Tow - Investment in the new lift infrastructure is ready to go. T's are hung on the new Cupsuptic T-Bar and the Rope Tow (that starts at the top of the Sandy Chair) is in position. The Roger Page Ski & Ride School was also using the new Molly Chunkamunk carpet lift for beginners at the base of the South Branch lift.
- Farmington to Rangeley Drive - The Route 4 road construction in the Madrid area is now complete which has made the Route 4 drive from Farmington to Rangeley super smooth and easy to drive. This along with being able to drop your gear right at the base lodge before parking makes a day-trip to Saddleback super-easy when compared to other mountains.
Lodge Access & Bags - Lodge access is "more normal" than it was last year but there are still COVID precautions in place. Staff are wearing masks and guests are encouraged to do so when they are not actively eating or drinking. Important: Bags must be stored in cubbies and not on or under tables. Or they will be moved. We applaud this bag policy!
Smelt Streamer Open for the Season
- New Retail Shop Location - Saddleback moved their retail shop to the "ski trail" side of the base lodge on the ground floor. Much better visibility and access for the customers. The retail shop is well stocked for all your skiing needs. Pro Tip: Buying a gift card that can be redeemed in the retail shop or lodge food establishments is a breeze on-line.
Additionally, Arctaris / Saddleback was recently awarded the Business at Work Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). This is great validation of the work they are doing to help build a sustainable economic engine in the Western Maine region.
Skiing is one of those fantastic things we can do together as a family. Even though the MaineSkiFamily kids are now adults, we still have so much fun with them and their SO's getting outside and enjoying all the Maine has to offer. Saddleback continues to move forward providing an outstanding ski experience so give them a visit (or two, or three) this year!
Family Fun on Gray Ghost