First major snowstorm piques skier interest

Posted Dec. 06, 2010, at 5:17 p.m.

PORTLAND — A powerful winter storm drawing moisture from the Gulf of Maine that followed an unusual track, brought snow to nearly all corners of the state Monday.

This storm pattern is good news for Maine, said the Ski Maine Association. The state will be the host of two World Cup biathlon competitions in February. The E.ON Ruhrgas IBU World Cup biathlon makes an unprecedented back to back stop in Maine with Presque Isle hosting the Feb 4-6 event at the Nordic Heritage Center, and Fort Kent hosting the Feb 10-13 event at the 10th Mountain Center.

Mark Shea, Marketing Manager at nearby Bigrock Ski Area said Monday that the ski area was expecting 6-8 inches of snow, “a great supplement to the snowmaking at Bigrock, and enough to make some early season cross country tracks by eager skiers. The entire ski community is excited by this storm.”

Sunday River ski resort was the first ski area in the nation to open on Oct. 22, and continues to open more trails and lifts as a result of winter snowmaking conditions. Sugarloaf opened on Nov. 23 and has received several inches of snow in Monday’s storm. “The new snow has been incredible for the skiing conditions, and should provide us with a good boost for weekend business,” said Ethan Austin, Sugarloaf Communications Manager.

Ski areas opening this coming weekend, Dec. 11 include Mt Abram and Bigrock Ski Area.

By the Dec. 18 weekend, Lost Valley, Shawnee Peak, and Saddleback will also be open for the season.

According to Greg Sweetser, executive director of the Ski Maine Association, “the weather pattern has tapped into the vast reservoir of cold arctic air right on schedule and will allow plenty of time for snowmaking at all Maine ski areas before the important holiday week. The target for the community ski areas and our Nordic centers is to be open no later than Christmas. “

Complete weather, snowfall totals, ski area opening dates and conditions are available on-line at www.skimaine.com.

Ski Maine Association, located in Portland, is the non-profit trade association representing the Alpine and Nordic ski industry in Maine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/12/06/news/first-major-snowstorm-piques-skier-interest/ printed on December 18, 2014