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OUTSIDE EDGE | Getting out to the slopes to ring in 2021

Incoming snow at the start of 2021 is great news for skiers in Maine.

MAINE, USA — Rain on Christmas was about as 2020 as it gets. While activities requiring natural snow are on hold, ski resorts had mountain operations crews on overdrive this holiday week, resurfacing and expanding terrain with continual snowmaking as temperatures allowed.

The incoming snow is music to the ears of ski area operators, and smaller resorts continue to open during the holiday week. The Camden Snow Bowl, Spruce Mountain and Black Mountain of Maine are all open. Mount Abram is tentatively opening on January 2, 2021.

We caught up with the President of the Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA) about how their season is looking.

“Things have been different, because of COVID, clubs haven’t been able to have their normal fundraisers, so they’ve had to get creative just like everybody else has," Mike Grass said.

They’re trying to do some things outside the box, including launching a virtual snowcross race to help clubs raise money. Without their yearly show, which is typically in October, they didn’t have the same ability to fundraise. There’s also the possibility, if a bill passes in Augusta, that the registration fees increase to help offset the losses.

While the act of snowmobiling doesn’t change much with COVID restrictions, you’ll still need to mask up at restaurants and lodging establishments. The MSA mentions it may be helpful for out of staters to bring a negative COVID test result if they’re planning to lodge in Maine. Grass mentions, “That way you can check into your motel and show them that, and still basically get the normal experience as best you can with conditions being what they are and having to wear your mask.”

Currently, riding pretty limited to nonexistent after the Christmas rain. Many clubs are still clearing trails from downed trees from the ice and heavy snow of previous storms. Thankfully, two incoming systems – one on Saturday and one on Monday – should replenish the snowpack enough to open up trails in at least northern parts of the state. Stay tuned to The Outside Edge for continual updates on snowmobile conditions, and always check in with your local club before heading out.