Black Mountain of Maine - 2017

joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
in Trip Reports Posts: 1,716
Sun., Mar. 26, 2017

I know we've had BM of ME threads to which I would have added this report, but I couldn't find one. Ergo: New thread.

This is the first new ski area I've been to in New England in more than 35 years and the last 1000 foot + vertical drop ski area in New England on which I have not made tracks. (lifetime: 114 New England Areas, 177 total).

Black Mtn.'s shape reminded me of the Mad River Glen's horseshoe canyon.  Black Mtn. is a community run not-for-profit and at $37 for a weekend day ticket, probably is the best value in the industry.

They have a group who are referred to as the "Angry Beavers" who cut glades.  There are superb glades ranging from Blue Square to Double Diamond.  There are few ski areas that provide this kind of progression of difficulty of glades.  Special kudos to the beavers: In all the glades I skied, I did not see the ankle buster 3" to 6" stumps and although there were a few rocks exposed, they were the flat ones: not the "core-shot" sharp ones.  In short, their glades are the best manicured I've seen in the industry.

Looking up to the right are three or four trails and glades that represent an expansion area where a chairlift will eventually be added.  For now, it is "side-country".  I hiked up several times to try out several of the options.  There was still some lovely untracked powder up there.  It adds about 250 feet of vertical which brings it to a very respectable 1300' of vertical.

The down side to Black Mountain of Maine:
1. There is no truly steep trail, although "Lazy River" with its narrowness and moguls, skis like a real "Black Diamond."
2. The main lift is a FG-triple that is glacially slow.  From 9AM opening to the 3:45 closing, I only got 19 runs.  (Probably could have got 22 without the hikes to the side-country.)
3. The lift attendants did not bump the chairs.  Eventually, I got in the habit of reaching back to self-bump, but my calfs are black-and-blue today.

In summary, BM of ME is a superb ski area - a great regional resource, but certainly not a destination resort.  The excellent weather allowed me to explore the area and really enjoy the view and the totality of this fine area.

Comments

  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,365
    Excellent written and a "nice change" for you

    If only you would post Sam or ski_it like pics lol
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,061
    nice change indeed, what caused/inspired you to go all the way up there?

    Personally did not find the triple to be all that slow vs. the average FG, for example, the lifts at Bolton Valley, but it was a few years ago when I rode it

    thanks for the report!

  • JAM614JAM614 intermediate
    edited March 27 Posts: 21

     Great feedback and trip report Josh. Happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit and we welcome your return. The Angry Beavers pride themselves in having the cleanest glades around and make them flowing, despite the lack of steeps. New terrain was opened this year in the east bowl (The Wild Glade) and there is more work to be done.  Look for several more similar glades in the East bowl. Not the first Mad River Glen reference I have heard this winter. Lofty praise indeed. The new side-country trails skied well when the snow pack was strong and many people were enjoying the easy 15 minute hike and remote feeling. The views to the east are amazing looking at Mt Blue,Tumbledown and the Jacksons. It's an unspoiled view and perhaps Maine's best kept secret in the ski industry, especially at $37 day tickets. 

    We've been blessed with a great snow year and hope to build on this momentum, increasing snowmaking capabilities.  Met a lot of first timers at Black this year.  A great sign of things to come.

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,716

    nice change indeed, what caused/inspired you to go all the way up there?


    ...

    I have a close friend with a condo at Saddleback.  Black Mtn. was the destination on the way.  Tomorrow: Sugarloaf.  Look elsewhere in this forum for today's report
  • QuietmanQuietman novice
    Posts: 11
    Black is a great gem, and so is Mt Abram in the same area.  Both exist in the shadow of SR, and I only hope that they get the visits that they absolutely deserve!!   
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