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Sugarloaf, Sunday River set to open this week for winter season

Sunday River Resort is set to open on Thursday, Nov. 17, and Sugarloaf is set to open on Friday, Nov. 18.

NEWRY, Maine — Sunday River Resort announced on Wednesday its plans to open for the 2022-2023 winter season on Thursday, Nov. 17.

The resort will open at 9 a.m. to skiers and snowboarders who have a New England Pass, an Ikon Pass, or a ticket pack, a news release from Sunday River said Wednesday. Daily lift tickets will start being accepted for skiing and riding on Saturday, according to the resort.

The mountain expects to have ski terrain on two peaks with lift service from the Locke Mountain Triple available to visitors. Snowmakers at Sunday River fired up the snow guns on Sunday night on the following trails: Upper Sunday Punch, Jim's Whim, Sunday Punch, Jungle Road, Ecstasy, Cascades, and T2 trails, according to the release.

Over the summer, Sunday River underwent upgrades to its snowmaking system, including "the replacement of nearly 3 miles of snowmaking pipe, as well as the installation of 26 fully automatic Super PoleCat fan guns from SMI Snowmakers, 81 new HKD Klik hydrants, and 111 new HKD Towers," the release said.

According to the release, Sunday River also installed a new "snowmaking booster pumphouse, located at the top of North Peak." The resort said this new pumphouse will allow more water to be distributed to the resort's western peaks.

“Snowmaking has been a pillar of our mountain operations since the inception of Sunday River,” General Manager Brian Heon said in the release. “These investments dramatically increase our snowmaking ability and affirm our commitment to providing our guests with the best snow surface possible for years to come.”  

Sugarloaf is also opening this week. The ski resort announced in its newest "Daily Update" in its "Mountain Report" on Wednesday that it will be opening for the season at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 18.

"Mother Nature has been cooking up a storm, with 7+” of natural snow in the last week, while our tireless snowmakers continue to make the dream work up on the hill," Sugarloaf said in its "Daily Update" on Wednesday. "Tonight, they'll pass the baton off to our groomers who are eager to get the cats out of hibernation and start pushing out piles."

Sugarloaf held its first snowmaking test on Nov. 8 to prepare for the winter season ahead. The skit resort also underwent upgrades, including a new mid-mountain booster pumphouse, 100 new HKD low-energy snowguns, and multiple fully-automated fan guns, Sugarloaf said in a Nov. 8 news release.

“The upgrades we made to our snowmaking system this summer have made a noticeable difference in just three days of snowmaking,” Karl Strand, Sugarloaf’s general manager, said in a Sugarloaf news release Wednesday. “We’re able to expand our terrain faster than ever before, and we’re excited to welcome skiers and riders back on Friday morning.”  

Sugarloaf said in its "Daily Update" that there will be access to the following trails on Friday: Tote Road, Bridle Chain, Lower Timberline, Candyside, and Hayburner.

According to Sugarloaf, only intermediate and expert terrain will be open on Friday, and ski patrol would not be allowing uphill traffic until "adequate terrain" opens.

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