CAMDEN, Maine — The Camden Snow Bowl yielded to the promise of spring and closed for the season on March 13.
“It was a very good year this year. We had a lot of snow in the beginning,” said Mike Bridges, the head of the ski racing department.
In the winter, Bridges helps his machines time the ski races.
“It does get intense in the timing building,” he said, thinking back to the 20th annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships this year, which drew more than 400 teams. “My problem is that wires break and mice chew them.”
Around 1 p.m. on the Snow Bowl’s last day, Bridges was busy, his headset on, making sure everything went smoothly for the 21 children competing in one last ski race.
“Do you have number one in the start? No? Samantha? Holy cow, she started?” he said, laughing into his headset to his co-worker who was at the top of the mountain organizing the children.
The competitors were instructed that this was an obstacle race. Each child had to ski backward through the last seven gates, among other challenges.
Bridges said the turnout, a few dozen people by midafternoon, wasn’t bad for mid-March.
“I’m impressed,” he said. “Once the crocuses come up, not many people come out.”
Snowboarder Dana Kerr had to come out Saturday. He won tickets to the Snow Bowl at an auction and they were good only for the 2010 season.
“The weather was beautiful, and the snow wasn’t that bad,” said Kerr, who is from Falmouth. “It was definitely firmer when we first started, but not bad. Definitely worth the drive.”
Bridges described the melty snow as “corn.”
David Wakely, who works a few buildings down from Bridges, likes the size of the Snow Bowl.
Wakely has worked for the Bowl since 1996, and he described this year as one of the best yet.
“It’s been one of our busiest,” Wakely said Saturday. “It’s a nice, small area, but there is a lot of challenge to the mountain also.”
Zoe Zwecker, 11, of Rockport said the size of the mountain is exactly why she goes to the Snow Bowl. That and because it is five minutes from her house. Zwecker, who skied the Bowl all season, competed in Saturday’s race.
For more information about the Camden Snow Bowl visit camdensnowbowl.com.