INside the OUTside: Maine Ski Hall of Fame to induct eight new members

Induction ceremony to be held at Sugarloaf Mountain on October 19

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

Dave Irons, columnist for the Sun Journal, and chairman of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, has released the names of eight inductees to the class of 2019, who have made the sport of skiing grow. According to Irons, the Hall of Fame was formed to recognize Maine skiers who have gained significant contributions to skiing in Maine. “Since its inaugural banquet in 2003, more than 130 skiers have been inducted, representing every aspect of the sport, competitors, coaches, instructors, founders and pioneers,” he said.

“This year’s induction brings the total to 144 members,” said Theresa Shanahan, executive director of the Ski Museum of Maine. “The Ski Museum is located at 256 Main Street, in downtown Kingfield, and will be open on Saturday, October 19, and Sunday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours of the Museum will be given,” she said.

Tickets to the reception and banquet can be purchased by contacting the Ski Museum of Maine at (207) 265-2023.

The eight Inductees include Seth Wescott, Lindsay Ball, Henry Anderson, Leigh Breidenbach, Don Fowler, Billy Chenard, Paul Schipper, and Robert Zinck.

Seth Wescott was a dominant competitor in Snowboard Cross. He was introduced in the 2006 winter games in Torino, Italy. Wescott won that first event and four years later, he was successful in defending his title at the Vancouver Olympics. He will be honored as one of more than 130 skiers into Maine’s Ski Hall of Fame. He also won two silvers in the World Championships along with three silvers and a bronze in the X-Games.

Lindsay Ball is a visually impaired skier who started skiing at age six with Maine Adaptive Sports. In 2011, she competed for Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. She also went on to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in the giant slalom. Lindsay mounted numerous podiums in World Cup and NorAm competition. She has won gold medals in both downhill and giant slalom. She graduated from UMF and is serving as vice president of the Maine Organization of Blind and Athletic Leadership Education.

Henry Anderson carried on the start of Maine tradition of skiing. He was born in New Sweden in 1894, and grew up where skis were used for transportation and later on racing. He made his own skis from 1926 to the early 1930s. He also made XC racing skis for members of the New Sweden Athletic Club and the Caribou and Fort Fairfield ski teams.

Leigh Breidenbach worked her way through the University of Maine at Farmington where she taught skiing at Sunday River. After graduation, she joined the school’s Ski Industry Program under Doc DesRoches and Tom Reynolds where she became part of the program. She is a fully certified Level III PSIA instructor. She has served the Ski Museum of Maine Board.

Don Fowler has demonstrated the love of skiing by being on the mountain every day that he can. He is one of the founders of the Ski Museum of Maine and has donated countless hours as the organization’s clerk and attorney.

He has compiled the complete history of Sugarloaf and helps as an ambassador for the sport.

Billy Chenard carried on a long tradition of highly competitive Nordic skiers coming out of the Chisholm Ski Club. He competitively skied for Rumford High School and was always either at the top of near it. He won the National Junior Nordic Combined title in 1972. He developed the cross country trails at Sugarloaf and the Balsams that were recognized by racers as being the best layouts in the East.

Paul Schipper a legendary skier at Sugarloaf Mountain is well known throughout the country and the world. It all began during the 1981 ski season when he realized that he had not missed a day on the slopes. That was the beginning of “the streak.”

From age 57 in 1981 until 2005, Shipper skied every day that Sugarloaf was open. As a retired airline pilot he was a keen weather observer and reported to Chip Carey in the marketing department. He used the streak to get as much publicity for the resort.

Robert Zinck got his start with the Chisholm Ski Club and developed into an all around athlete. His specialty was ski jumping. He jumped wherever he could at places like Black Mountain, in Rumford, the Swan’s Corner Gould Jumps, in Bethel, the Big Nansen,in Berlin, and all over New England.

Zinck had victories including 1972 Class A High School title, 1973 Maine and New England Class A Jumping crowns, 1974 Junior Nationals and many other championships. This led to his being named to the U.S. National team in 1976-1977.

According to Shanahan, this year’s special guest is Bill Green of Bill Green’s Maine. He is scheduled to honor some of the inductees.

INside the OUTside: Natalie Terry chalks up another milestone

Natalie Terry

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

Begins 50th year of ski instructing at Sugarloaf

Natalie Terry began another year at Sugarloaf as she has done over the last 49, however, this year has a special meaning. This is the 50th consecutive year that she has been teaching skiing at Sugarloaf since 1951. “I have never missed a year,” she said.

Natalie has received the highest number of requested private and group lessons of any staff member.

“Skiing has been a passion in my life,” she said. She and her late husband, Tim, lived and skied in Waterville with their two children at the Colby Outing Club in the late 1940s and at Baker Mountain, in Bingham, well before any lifts were cut at Sugarloaf.

She began her long skiing career at Sugarloaf around 1951, and has worked with 11 directors at Sugarloaf. “I climbed with Amos Winter to the top of Winter’s Way. We would seal skin up the mountain and ski down,” she said. “It was the only trail that had been cut.”

Natalie is certainly respected by her colleagues at Sugarloaf. “The past few years have been magical for me, three quarters of my life has been on this Mountain,” she said. She was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2012.

“She is known as a celebrity on the Mountain,” Bob Trip, manager of the Ski and Snowboard School said. “Every coach considers her as a celebrity here. She is considered as family, She never expects anything from anybody he said.

Ski and ride safely, use your head and wear a helmet.

INside the OUTside: Bonjour, Québec

Skis and poles spread out all over the snow while the owners take a hot chocolate break. (Photo by Dan Cassidy)

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

It’s that time of year to start planning a vacation trip to ski country. If you haven’t ever been to Quebec, or maybe you’ve been in the summer for a visit but to make Ski Quebec City, Charlevoix, you’ll be amazed at what you’re in for.

Winter Carnaval de Québec …

If you chose to find lodging in the Old City of Quebec, you’ll be amazed at all the snow sculptures, ice castles, eateries close by, and don’t forget that if you’re there during the annual Winter Carnival, it is scheduled for February 8 through mid-February this year. The winter celebration has been going on for over 50 years and draws over 8,000 people from all over the world. Be sure to check out the boat racing that crosses the Saint Lawrence River.

Four ski resorts, including Mont-Sainte Anne, Le Massif De Charlevoix, Stoneham Mountain resort and Le Relis Centre are all close by historic Quebec City. Each has snowmaking, equipment rentals restaurants and ski shops.

Mont-Sainte Anne has three mountain faces, with one overlooking the St. Lawrence River and is the highest vertical drop for night skiing.

Next is Le Massif de Charlevoix, about one hour east of the city. You’ll be amazed with beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River and has the highest vertical drop east of the Candian Rockies.

Stoneham Mountain Resort offers Canada’s largest night skiing area. There are three terrain parks for freestylers with an Olympic caliber half pipe. Stoneham also offers the best après ski ambience.

Le Relais is a close drive of 15 minutes from Old Québec that has the most lighted runs in the Québec City area. There are also three terrain parks for all levels of skiing and riding.

Leave the car behind and catch a ride on Ski Bus that serves Québec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif.

With the old city charm and magic that comes alive during the annual winter carnival, you and your family will find out that being outdoors during the winter can be really ‘cool!’

If it’s a ski trip your thinking about, let Ski Québec City and Charlevoix get you on some of the most beautiful terrain in all that ski country has to offer. Also, don’t forget your passport!

Ski and ride safely. Use your head and don’t forget to wear a helmet.

INside the OUTside: Sugarloaf, Sunday River making plans for early snow season

It won’t be long before the snow guns come alive and cover the slopes of Sugarloaf, Sunday River and other ski trails in Maine. (File photo by Dan Cassidy)

by Dan Cassidy

It’s been quite a warm summer overall and I was just reading a couple articles from our local ski areas in western Maine. Now I’m sure you remember how really hot and humid it has been over the past couple of months … but you may have forgotten the winter we endured last season. Let me remind you … it wasn’t only “cold” … it was downright freezing, along with more snow than we’ve had over the past couple years … beginning in early December, right into mid-May! Kind of forgot that didn’t you!

Well, as mentioned, a couple of the reports from our ski resorts are calling for an early beginning, hopefully the making of another great season!

While Sugarloaf and Sunday River had a great summer of golfing, fat biking, hiking Appalachian trails or visiting the Maine Huts and Trails, canoeing and riding some of the zip line runs, vacation days are coming to an end. I recently heard that the two Maine resorts are aiming to begin snowmaking in less than 100 days, give or take!? WoW!

Sunday River is one of Maine’s largest and most visited ski slopes in the east. The mountain is spread across 870 accessible acres that spreads across eight interconnected trails. We’ll keep you posted on new equipment, trails and events as snow season gets closer.

Maine Ski Hall of Fame Induction ceremony scheduled

The Maine Ski Hall of Fame is planning their 16th annual induction dinner Saturday, October 27th at the Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River Resort beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The induction ceremony includes seven members to the Class of 2018. They are Karen Colburn, Leon Akers, Anne Dowling, Norman Libby, David Stonebraker, Kristina Sabasteanski and Warren Cook.

Reservations can be made by contacting Ski Maine Association at (207) 699-3121, or visit www.skimaine.com/hof. Dinner tickets are $65.00 per person. Special lodging rates are also available.

Get ready and get going!

For now, there are several things you can do to be ready for opening day. First, get moving and get into shape, get your skis out of storage, get them tuned and waxed, get those boots out and clean them up.

Some weather reports are indicating that we’re due for an early start to the winter, with ample snow before the Christmas holidays. It’s closer than you think!

INside the OUTside: Maine ski resorts gearing up for the new season

Quarry Road racers from Bowdoin College on the 4.8 Km Nordic course. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

Sugarloaf making plans for snow season

It’s been quite a warm summer overall and I was just reading a couple articles from our local ski areas in western Maine. Now I’m sure you remember how really hot and humid it has been over the past couple of months … but you may have forgotten the winter we endured last season. Let me remind you … it wasn’t only “cold” … it was downright freezing, along with more snow than we’ve had over the past couple years … beginning in early December, right into mid-May! Kind of forgot that didn’t you!

Well, as mentioned, a couple of the reports from our ski resorts are calling for an early beginning, hopefully the making of another great season!

While Sugarloaf and Sunday River are having a great summer of golfing, fat biking, hiking Appalachian trails or Maine Huts and Trails, canoeing and riding some of the zip line runs, vacation days are coming to an end. I recently heard that the two Maine resorts are aiming to begin snowmaking in about 100 days, give or take!? WoW!

Now is the time to take advantage of some special ski promotions that include Kids Ski Free at Sugarloaf Mountain. Book any ski and stay package of two or more nights by September 12, and Sugarloaf will throw in free lift tickets* for your kids 12 years and under. *Limit one free child ticket per paying adult.

Also, if you act now and buy online, you can save up to 30 percent on select days this season. Now is the time to act. Check out info@news.sugarlaof.com.

Sunday River getting ready for winter snow season

If you book a ski and stay package at Sunday River by October 15, you will be guaranteed the best price of the winter. You can buy online at sundayriver.com; call the resort at 1-800 543-2754.

The savings are valid for new reservations during the 2018-2019 winter season and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions, according to their website.

Sunday River, located in Newry, is one of Maine’s largest and most visited ski slopes in the east. The mountain is spread across 870 accessible acres that spreads across eight interconnected trails. We’ll keep you posted on new equipment, trails and events as snow season gets closer.

For now, there are several things you can do to be ready for opening day. First, get moving and get in shape, get your skis out of storage, get them tuned and waxed, get those boots out and clean them up.

Some weather reports are indicating that we’re due for an early start to the winter, with ample snow before the Christmas holidays. It’s closer than you think!

INside the OUTside: Ski dumping grounds at area ski resorts

Skis and poles spread out all over the snow while the owners take a hot chocolate break. Photo by Dan Cassidy

by Dan Cassidy

This has been an up and down year for skiers and riders so far. It began with great snow and weather conditions, then rain and freezing temps made conditions challenging for snowmakers and groomers.

All in all, Maine ski resorts have found ways to make the best snow and the grooming has been about as good as it gets.

I’ve noticed in my travels this season how many skiers and riders seem to just plop their skis, poles and snowboards down on the snow as they head into a lodge for a hot chocolate or a bite to eat.

Skis and snowboards don’t come cheap these days and I’m amazed at just how people seem oblivious as they just walk over and around equipment just abandoned on the snow.

I especially wonder how people who rent skis and poles find them if they’re mixed in with other skier’s and rider’s equipment.

Skiing recently with two colleagues from New York State, they were amazed at seeing the yard-sale appearance of all the equipment just lying around. They told me that equipment is not left around at their ski areas.

I noticed that some skier’s and riders coming in for a break have skied right over skis and poles left on the snow. That not only damages the abandoned skis, but the ones that are skiing over them.

As for the ski racks that are placed nearby, in most cases were more than half empty.

Ski and ride safely. Use your head and don’t forget to wear a helmet.

INside the OUTside: Quarry Road celebrates opening day

Quarry Road racers from Bowdoin College on the 4.8 Km Nordic course. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

Friends of Quarry Road, in Waterville, held its Opening Day Dedication of the Harold Alfond Snowmaking Center and Donor Recognition Sunday. Races for kids and men and women were held for Middle School races on 2.4 km, and all others over a 4.8 km course.

Several teams competed in Nordic race events that included Colby, Gould Academy, Bowdoin, Farmington Ski Club, University of Maine Farmington, and the Local Maine Ski Club. A group also came from Concord, New Hampshire.

The celebration was a way of thanking all of the people and organizations that helped make up the Quarry Road Trails.

Ski Free Days

The Quarry Road Trails are offering Community Ski Free Days. Save these dates, Saturday, January 16, Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, February 18, 2018. For additional information, e-mail quarryroad.org or call 207-680-4744.

After School Ski Programs

The Central Maine Ski Club is offering a learn to cross-country ski program to acquire ski skills, build fitness and have fun in the snow.

The program begins January 3 to February, 15, 2018, and will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For additional information log onto centralmaineskiclub.org or call 207-4467356.

It’s time to get out and play in the snow and enjoy the winter outdoors.

Sugarloaf to launch Cat-skiing to Burnt Mountain

Sugarloaf’s Bracket Basin glade skiing will get lift service by two snow cats this season. Photo by Jamie Walter courtesy of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

There’s a new “Cat” coming to ski country, and it’s coming to Sugarloaf’s Burnt Mountain. It’s the first cat-skiing service in Maine and one of very few east of the Rockies.

The announcement was made recently by Noelle Tuttle, Communications Manager at Sugarloaf. The resort has purchased a new 12 passenger snow cat that will work along with an existing 12-passenger cat to transport skiers and riders to the top of the Androscoggin Glade from the Log Yard located at the bottom terminal of the King Pine chairlift.

Glade cutting crews have been busy this summer working to develop a designated cat road and clear a new glade on Burnt Mountain that will add 100 acres of newly-developed terrain to explore.

According to the announcement, Burnt Mountain and the Androscoggin Glade have been accessible to skiers and riders willing to hike or skin.

“Since its opening, our side country terrain has become a fan favorite among Sugarloafers,” said Crusher Wilkinson, Sugarloaf Vice President of Mountain Operations. “The new Burnt Mountain Cat Skiing will not only enhance the skiing and riding experience, but also make the terrain more accessible to our guests.”

Burnt Mountain cat rides will be offered on weekends and vacation weeks only, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The two passenger cats will rotate shuttling skiers and riders every 20 minutes, and guests will be able reserve their seat online in advance.

Riding and skiing at Burnt Mountain is recommending for experts, according to the press release. Anyone unfamiliar with the Burnt Mountain terrain is encouraged to visit Ski Patrol at the top of the Androscoggin Glade for more information.

The 2020 Ten-Year map outlines the resort’s ten-year vision for development. Since the vision was first unveiled in 2010, the resort has seen numerous upgrades and improvements, said Noelle Tuttle, in a press release. The resort has added more than 600 acres of new terrain, a new quad chairlift, massive upgrades to its snowmaking system and lift infrastructure, as well as various village enhancements and upgraded facilities throughout the resort.

It’s time to get into shape, as the snow Gods will be with us soon. And while you’re working out, it’s also time to get your ski/snowboard gear tuned up and ready to hit the slopes.

Sunday River Mountain Park ready to open for the summer season

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

Get set for an exciting summer at Sunday River’s Mountain Park that opens tomorrow, June 29. There are electronic bike rentals, new hiking terrain, and an 18-hole alpine disc golf course that tops the list of many new and exciting things to do this summer.

Mountain biking at Sunday River Park.
Internet photo

Mountain biking

You’ll find biking on 20 miles of downhill mountain terrain, a six-line Zip Line tour, a climbing wall and bungee trampoline along with scenic lift rides to the top of North Peak. There’s plenty to do this vacation if you’re ready for excitement. Resort guests can plan their weekend trip to the Mountain Park according to a press release by Darcy Lambert, Communications Director at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry.

River Rock Festival and more

Along with all the exciting events, make plans to check out the festivals on July 8 and 9, the Tough Mountain Challenge on July 29, the new Maine Brew Fest on September 8-10 and the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship scheduled for October 7. The fun continues from late June right into the Columbus Day weekend.

According to Lambert, midweek guests to Sunday River can also register for Outdoor Discovery School clinics and classes through the resort’s partnership with L.L.Bean. “With an Outdoor Discovery School located right at Sunday River’s Grand Summit Hotel, instruction in archery, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and stand-up paddle boarding yoga is easy,” she said.

L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools at Sunday River offers clinics and courses at select times Monday through Friday until August 17. You can get your registration forms online at www.sundayriver.com/llbean

Sunday River’s Mountain Park is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays beginning June 29 until September 3rd. Starting Friday, September 8, the Mountain Park schedule shifts to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays until the closing day on October 8. Mountain Park activity tickets and passes are available to purchase from Sunday River Sports in the South Ridge Lodge.

For additional information on any of Sunday River’s summer activities, events and the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools partnership visit www.sundayriver.com or call 800-543-2754.

Be safe and have an enjoyable summer.

Steamboat ski resort jewel in Colorado Rocky Mountains

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

A large group of NASJA (North American Snowsports Journalists) ventured to the Colorado Rockies recently to ski several notable resorts, including Vail, Copper, Winter Park, Loveland, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Keystone as pre trips and then all joining up at Steamboat Mountain resort located in northwestern part of the state.

Steamboat is one of the finest world-class ski resorts, with a peak elevation on Mt. Werner at 10,568 feet, covering 2,965 acres of skiable terrain and even though there are more lifts than other ski areas, the lift infrastructure struggles to cover the entire mountain. There are 165 named trails for skiers and riders to enjoy, from steep (double black diamond) runs to easy cruisers, and tree skiing with plenty of room to spread the fun.

The resort also has backside skiing on Morningside Park that adds to the fun for everyone’s ability. You can make first tracks by boarding the eight-person gondola between 8 and 8:15 a.m.

Ski with Billy Kidd

Join Billy Kidd, Olympic Medalist and World Champion where you’ll get some pointers and take a run down the intermediate run Heavenly Daze.

A special treat at Steamboat is you won’t need a vehicle to get around any of Steamboat’s properties. There are several shuttle buses that transport passengers throughout the area including the mountain lifts, shopping facilities and the many restaurants.

High altitude environment

If you’re heading to Steamboat, you’ll want to take notice that you might experience symptoms of dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep problems, coughing and difficulty breathing. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated and be sure to dress appropriately for cold conditions.

Steamboat offers an experience of a laid-back western culture. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops as well as the finest lodging and ski experiences that Colorado has to offer.

Before you go …

If you’re planning to just fly to Steamboat with a few friends, that’s one thing. However, if you’re planning on going with a group, make sure you have a travel agent that will deal with the public relations department at the resort and make sure you have your commitments in writing and that they are honored. I recently learned that the travel agency our NASJA group dealt with did not honor many of the requests and that they did not provide a detailed accounting of several other commitments.

I was hoping to end this column in a favorable way because the mountain resort is truly a great area. But with the amount of work our executive secretary did to make our trek a success, I don’t think that as a journalist I would be willing to promote or recommend Steamboat as a go to place. I am constantly asked by many skiing friends questions like where have I skied out west or to foreign resorts and how I would recommend my experience. I have made it a policy to be truthful with anybody who will be spending a lot of money for a ski vacation that they will have a pleasant trip.

Ski and ride safely. Use your head and wear a helmet.