Words: Chas Truslow, Photos: Drew Amato, Video: Ryan Sheetz
When talking about the snowboarding in the Northeast people think of the mountains of Vermont or New Hampshire. Hell, now thanks to the Internet even Rhode Island is thrown into the mix. Over the years one state has been overlooked and forgotten about, Maine. Most of the snowboarders in Maine could care less about trends in snowboarding or filming edits, they ride for the love of it. This is the beauty of snowboarding in Maine, nobody vibes anyone out, there are no bad attitudes, just a welcoming group of people who are down to ride with anyone. With barely any coverage coming out of Maine, it would have been difficult to show what the state has to offer without going there ourselves.
We assembled a crew: four riders (Erik Roomet, Colby Sears, Ben Kessler & Nate Haust), a filmer (Ryan Sheetz) and a photographer (Drew Amato). We planned to check out the stateâ€™s four most popular mountains: Sunday River, Shawnee Peak, Sugarloaf and Saddleback. Right before we were scheduled to leave, Mother Nature threw us a curveball and hit the East Coast with a two-day thaw, which was immediately followed by sub-zero temperatures. This meant we were going to have a week of classic East Coast boilerplate and frostbite warnings. Too late to bail on the trip, we crammed into my minivan and hit the road to our first stop, Sunday River.
State Since: 1820
Total Resorts: 18
Best Park: Sugarloaf. Hands down the best park we rode the whole trip, lips were perfect and the rails slid smooth even though it was sub-zero.
Largest Park: Sunday River. Home to six different parks including The Sticks, an all-natural park with a bunch of crazy wooden features.
Best Side Hits: Sugarloaf. There is a trail called Binder that is top to bottom side hits, one after another.
Stickiest Rails: Sunday River. We had to go buy Pam from the grocery store and spray it on all the rails to be able to slide them.
Most Ice: Shawnee Peak. Every mountain we went to was icy but I think I might have been better off with ice skates at Shawnee.
Best Chair Lift: Sugarloaf. The Super-Quad is fast, reliable and gives you access to a majority of the mountain including the park.
Slowest Lift: Saddleback. In order to lap the park we had to take a double that literally took 20 minutes, lapping was out of the question pretty quickly.
Best On-Hill Bar: Shawnee Peak. The Blizzardâ€™s Pub is located right at the bottom of Shawnee and offers a bunch of different beers on tap and stiff $4 mixed drinks.
Best On-Hill Food: Sugarloaf. Their was a variety of really good and fair priced restaurants, I recommend going to Dâ€™Ellies Bakery for a sandwich at lunch and The Bag for the famous â€œBag Burgerâ€ for dinner.
Best Place to See a Moose: Saddleback. On the drive to the mountain we saw at least five.
Best Contest: Sugarloaf Banked Slalom. Itâ€™s not very often that there is a banked slalom on the East.
Best Trees: Sugarloaf. Although we didnâ€™t get to ride any powder on our trip, I know for a fact that Sugarloaf has the best tree riding in Maine.
Least Crowded: Saddleback. Located in the most remote location of the four
mountains, Saddleback rarely gets much traffic from people out of state, making it a
ghost town on weekdays.
Cheapest Lift Ticket: Shawnee, $59 (8:30am â€“ 9pm).