Skiing in Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf Ski Area

Sugarloaf is one big mountain that includes some challenging terrain.

The resort is most famous for its black diamond Snowfields, but below them is a huge assortment of terrain for all ability levels. The learning area for beginners allows them to ski or ride below the lodge before attempting to board the chairlift. Intermediates enjoy the long, winding cruisers of Tote Road and Timberline, and experts are thrilled by the boundary-to-boundary policy that allows skiers and riders to go anywhere within the boundaries of the resort’s 1,400 acres (560 ha) of terrain. Sugarloaf has recently added 13 new trails and glades, which are now groomed nightly with 12 grooming machines, and they are working on upgrading the mountain trail signs.

Sugarloaf Beginner Skiing

The best areas for beginners to ski or snowboard are the Birches, the Landing and Snowbrook trails.

A key and unique benefit is that these slopes are located below the base lodge, thus beginners can get their bearings on these gentle slopes before attempting to ride a lift for the first time. After that, beginners can enjoy top to bottom terrain on all green trails. Whiffletree is a superb family area with blues and greens that everyone can enjoy together. The Whiffletree SuperQuad whisks you to the top of the trails in under six minutes.

Sugarloaf Intermediate Skiing

The most challenging trail for intermediates, a blue trail, is Sluice Headwall, with the steepest pitch of the blue trails.

Intermediates can then head down Upper Spillway, which starts as a black trail but levels out somewhat in the middle section. This steep, wide trail is a favorite with those who enjoy making big arcing turns. A suggested itinerary for intermediates would be to take Cinderhoe or Tote Road from the top of the Timberline quad, or from the Superquad take King’s Landing down to Candyside.

Sugarloaf Expert Skiing

Sugarloaf’s expert skiing includes the only above treeline skiing in the East. The best places for advanced skiing and riding would be Mid-mountain and East Mountain, including the snowfields.

For steep trails, the Gondola Line is a classic trail that goes straight down the center of the mountain. Narrow Gauge, Sugarloaf’s most famous trail, has been the venue for many racing competitions through the years and offers a long, steep trail.  For moguls try Ripsaw and Choker in the King Pine Bowl. These two trails remain ungroomed for most of the season, and as they are on the farthest east side of the mountain, they tend to collect snow that drifts from the prevailing west to easterly winds. For constructed mogul lines, Skidder is the training and competition trail for freestyle mogul skiers at Sugarloaf. Ripsaw, Back Side Snowfields, and the Glades are best for powder snow.

A suggested itinerary for advanced skiing and riding would be to ski or ride in the King Pine Bowl with the morning sun: Haulback, Widowmaker, Ripsaw. Then head west and enjoy Gondola Line and Narrow Gauge from the Spillway Chair in the Central Mountain area, then proceed further west in the afternoon to enjoy Competition Hill, Skidder, Hayburner or Double Bitter. The best trail for experts would be White Nitro, which has one of the steepest pitches in the East. Ripsaw, Bubblecuffer, Winters Way, Choker, Misery Whip and Skidder for moguls, and the Glades for fresh, steep powder. Head to the summit from the top of the Timberline quad for the only above-tree-line skiing in the East and a panoramic view into New Hampshire to Mount Washington, or across to Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest mountain. The Perfect Turn Ski School offers Level 8 ski instruction.

Newly opened terrain in Brackett’s Basin has greatly expanded Sugarloaf’s expert skiing. This new tree-skiing area offers a totally different and more wild experience than skiing on the main mountain. Old logging trails form the backbone of a network of long and challenging glades.

Sugarloaf Boarding & Freestyle

Sugarloaf boasts three separate terrain parks to suit every level of freestyle skier and rider.

The Quarantine zone on the Cruiser trail is for learning the basics and perfecting new tricks with small jumps, rollers  and other features. The Pipeline rail park offers a series of new rails, leading to the Pipe Dreams Superpipe that was built in the fall of 2004. This competition grade superpipe measures 400 feet (122 m) long with 16 foot (5 m) high walls with an 18 degree pitch.

The Stomping Grounds is Sugarloaf’s main terrain park and features the largest hits on the mountain ranging in size from 10-50 feet high. It is also the location of a smaller halfpipe that has shorter walls than the Superpipe.

Sugarloaf Mountain Restaurants

There is only one on-mountain restaurant, the ski-in, ski-out Bullwinkle’s, although in the village are 16 further restaurants offering a choice of fast food or a multicourse, elegant meal.

In 2003 the seating capacity of Bullwinkle’s was doubled. In the village, The Shipyard Brewhaus at Sugarloaf Inn, the Bag and Kettle Restaurant and Pub, and Gepetto’s Restaurant are among the favorites with locals and visitors alike.

Back To Top