Cats Purring On Burnt Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine will offer cat rides up their adjacent peak- Burnt Mountain

 

Ritter Bopp Jan 11, 2018

Sugarloaf Mountain is making its most secluded glades more accessible than ever before thanks to a couple of snow cats. The hype has been growing since the mountain released the news this September, and with a little more snow and coverage the ultimate sidecountry dream is about to come true. It's the first time skiers and boarders can experience inbounds cat skiing here in New England, and after getting a chance to test the goods we here at East Co. can definitely say it's an experience worth seizing.

As part of the Sugarloaf 2020 development plan, Sugarloaf began terrain expansion into Bracket Basin and Burnt Mountain in 2010 and hasn't looked back. Since then it's grown into a plethora of glades that range from the tight East Coast tree skiing we know and love to spacious open glades that are truly one of a kind for New England. As of this season over 100 acres of skiable terrain is available on Burnt Mountain's Eastern boundary.

"Two passenger cats with seating for up to twelve passengers will operate in tandem, shuttling guests up Burnt Mountain every 30 minutes. Skiers and riders who purchase a seat on a cat will meet at the Log Yard - a quick and run from the bottom of the King Pine lift."                                                                                                                                          - Sugarloaf Mountain

Now, what was once only accessible by hiking or skinning is going to be only a ticket and cat ride away.  Of course, Sugarloaf is making clear that the Burnt Mountain Cat Ride is only for expert skiers and riders just as it's always been, but if you've skied Brackett Basin before and enjoyed it then you're going to love what Burnt has in store. You can get more information on how to book your seat as well as great safety tips on Sugarloaf's website sugarloaf.com/catskiing.

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THE EXPERIENCE

I had the unique opportunity and good fortune to be offered a seat on Sugarloaf's cat for a test run up Burnt's expansive glades. The mission: Provide honest feedback and spread the word. Challenge accepted.

10:00am: The sun was out and the mercury was on the rise as I met a group of fellow 'Loafers and proceeded to the Whiffletree Quad. From there we headed up the mountain and snaked our way down past King Pine lift and into the open birches to the Log Yard.

10:30am: After letting the cat crew take our skis and boards we soaked in the great view of the mountain and took lots of selfies. Then we piled in the cat and began our ascent.

11:00am: Arriving at our destination we dismounted from our sturdy stead and took in a magnificent view of the Bigelow Range from across the valley. After a quick prep talk by ski patrol (due to coverage Burnt Mountain wasn't open yet) we pointed our tips and let gravity do the rest.

11:30am: After plenty of fresh powder, soft turns, and pics we were back to the Log Yard with some big smiles and the distinct feeling that we would all be back again soon.