Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

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snoloco snoloco
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Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

I saw something on Facebook about them offering cat skiing on their still relatively new sidecountry development Burnt Mountain next season.  Costs 20 to 30 dollars a ride depending on the time of day.  It's more expensive in the morning.  Since last season, I've been expanding my horizons and skiing less groomed terrain and more trees and bumps.  I even got in The Slides twice.  Since they're on the Max Pass, I am thinking of doing a trip there next season as I will have already paid for lift tickets.  Looks like the mountain has very good sustained vertical and is quite possibly the only eastern mountain that could rival Whiteface on that front by just looking at pictures and the trail map.

It's 5 and a half hours from Potsdam, and requires one to go through Canada.  The general area looks to be very isolated, and is not in day trip reach of Boston, so I assume most people stay on-mountain.  The closest thing that could qualify as a city is Sherbrook in Quebec.  I'm guessing it doesn't get particularly crowded outside of vacation weeks for that reason.  Is there on-mountain lodging that doesn't break the bank?

Looking at the trail map, I can already see that the best lifts are Skyline, King Pine, and Timberline as they serve all the good upper mountain terrain.  The lower mountain looks to be a long runout for the most part rather than being steep almost the entire way to the bottom like Whiteface.  How good are they at getting all the lifts open by Christmas?  Do they typically get a lot of natural by then?

In addition to the cat skiing and regular terrain, I'd also be interested in skiing The Snowfields, which is the only above treeline skiing in the east.  From what I've seen, it looks similar to The Slides at WF, sans avy gear requirement.  How difficult is it to catch them open, and is there a particular point in the season when one has a better chance of catching them open?  (for example, one has the best chance of getting in The Slides during the spring).
I've lived in New York my entire life.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

I've been there many times my sister has a townhouse where burnt ridge spills out. Really good skiing but they don't take kindly to Jersey people.
raisingarizona raisingarizona
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

I find that the skiing is good at places after it snows a lot.

20 or 30 bucks a ride sounds expensive. How long of a hike /skin is it out there? I can't imagine it's that long.

snoloco snoloco
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

Tjf:  read my signature line.  I'm not from New Jersey.  I've lived in various locations in New York my entire life.

RA:  I honestly have no idea what cat skiing typically costs or should cost.  I believe it's at lesst 1.5 miles traverse from the top of King Pine.  I'm sure it's quite easy if you have AT gear and are experienced with earning turns.  However, I do not own such equipment and have zero experience with hiking to ski besides Slide In at WF.
I've lived in New York my entire life.
raisingarizona raisingarizona
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

You have been gaining experience hiking since you started walking. 1.5 miles might make it worth the $ if you can afford it though and are there on limited time with killer conditions.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

In reply to this post by raisingarizona
If you hike across it takes about 30 minutes. If you skin up from the bottom it's a couple miles.  
snoloco snoloco
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

I thought it would take much longer than that.  Sounds like something to do on a weekend when they're are lift lines everywhere.  Then again it would probably take me longer than it would take you guys.
I've lived in New York my entire life.
tjf1967 tjf1967
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

There's a trail across the descending Ridgeline. Pretty tight but it's not that hard to ski when you get to the bottom of the Ridgeline you take your skis off and you hike up the boot pack that everybody already packed in.
snoloco snoloco
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

All I know is there's a traverse off the top of the King Pine lift.  I assumed that most people would just loop back out to near the base of the mountain, but I guess it's easier to hike directly back up if taking multiple laps.  I probably wouldn't be up for that since I'm really not a good hiker.  I get these splitting headaches every time I try to go on one.  The snowcat picks you up somewhere on the bottom.

Thanks for the info.  I know it can be a touchy subject to disclose how to get into off trail areas like this.

Does anyone have an answer to my question about the Snowfields?
I've lived in New York my entire life.
campgottagopee campgottagopee
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Re: Has Anyone Been to Sugarloaf? Any Thoughts?

I'm still confused about your comment regarding the snowfields being the only above treeline skiing in east. Maybe you meant lift served. I dunno. You do realize the only reason it's like that is because of a wildfire, right???

These kidz from Jerz sure are something.
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