Postcards from Bethel, Maine

This past weekend my family drove up to Bethel, Maine for a ‘spring-break’ ski trip at Sunday River. We’ve been skiing there for years now and it’s by far our favorite ski resort in the Northeast. The eight mountain chain has consistently incredible snow conditions and great trails. 

This trip, we changed it up from our typical motel rental and got a ski on- ski off condo through Air BnB. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was. It was a dream. From our condo, there was a small trail over to the main chairlift. This allowed us to be on the slopes at 8am every morning when the mountain opened. 

Our first day of skiing started off with terrible visibility but the best powdered I’ve seen on the mountain in a long time. Also, it was a Friday, so we all but had the mountain to ourselves. My sister got me on a few black diamond runs which I never do. However, I had a bit of new found confidence thanks to some new ski gear. If you’ve never had new ski boots, I’d highly recommend it. There really is something to be said for spending a bit more money to own really responsive equipment. 

Spring skiing is so much fun. By 4pm we were off the slopes and drinking beer, basking in the 50 degree weather. The trails had gone a little slushy, but the weather was predicting a cold front coming in for the weekend. We knew that by Saturday morning we would see the New England conditions we are all so used to. 

Saturday was definitely a bit colder, and conditions in the morning started fast and hard packed. It took some adjusting, but by the time it hit noon, the snow was carved up just enough to make for really enjoyable runs. We’d been skipping lunch for the sake of getting in more runs, but we did stop at the Waffle house at the base of Barker for a quick snack partway through the day.

Will ski for waffles- always. 

We spent a lot of time during our first two days on North Peak and Barker simply because the lifts were open. Saturday had brought some strong winds that shut down a good portion of the mountain, but the place is so big, it really didn’t impact much. Sunday River is a great mountain to ski if you get out early because people tend to spread out, leaving wide open trails and short lift lines. By Sunday, chair lift rides were taking more time than the runs themselves. 

Sunday was by far the coldest day on the mountain, Luckily, by noon, most ski schools and race teams had left for the weekend. We took full advantage, skiing a bit of Whitecap and getting in as many runs as possible. I even took one more attempt at Right Stuff, Emily’s favorite black diamond. Unfortunately it was the ‘wrong stuff’ due to some icy conditions. Her ‘oops’ at the end wasn’t very helpful. Still, I’d been the one to suggest the trail so I couldn’t complain much. 

I truly forgot how much I loved skiing until we were back on the mountain this past weekend. I’m excited that, with new equipment, it’ll make trips up north easier (and less expensive!). I’m already counting down the days ’til next season.

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