Bethel Citizen 3/9/17

Prime Time Ski Club Column for Bethel Citizen 3/9/17 

By Terri Messer

For further information contact: 

Terri Messer at tmesser@aol.com or 207-671-0715

Mother Nature giveth and Mother Nature taketh away — snow that is! The nearly six feet of snow that fell on Sunday River during February has quickly dwindled this past week, thanks to several days of warm temperatures, sunny skies and lots of fog. After a few days of great spring skiing, fog shrouded the mountain for an entire day, making visibility very difficult. Then cold air moved in leaving the snow firm, fast and, in some cases, crunchy. With a shift in temperature came the wind, lots of if it for several days, resulting in quite a few lift closings. Even with these weather shortcomings, Prime Time Ski Club members know whatever the conditions, the mountain’s ace groomers will bring back great skiing within a few days. With current cooler temperatures, snowmaking is back and we club members feel very fortunate to ski at a mountain that makes snow in March.

Skimag.com just confirmed what those of us Prime Time Ski Club members who ski Sunday River on a regular basis already know — the resort is tops at snowmaking and grooming. According to the online magazine’s reader-ranked survey, Sunday River was voted #3 in snowmaking and #4 in grooming in the East for 2016-17. In the same survey, Sunday River was named the #7 top ski resort overall in the East. Those ranking ahead of our local mountain, starting with number one, were Tremblant, QUE; Stowe, VT; Whiteface Mountain, NY; KIllington, VT; Smuggler’s Notch, VT; and Sugarbush, VT. The survey referred to Sunday River as “Happy place found,” a play on the resort’s tagline,”Find your happy place.” Surveyed skiers appreciated “Sunday River’s weather-be-damned commitment to snow last winter.” And one skier added, “Other Eastern areas have more interesting terrain…but none rival Sunday River’s snowmaking and grooming.” In a national survey conducted this past July that asked where the best skiing is in December, Sunday River was named #5 behind Keystone, CO; Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff, Alberta; Mammoth Mountain, CA; and Alta, Utah. How proud we are that Sunday River is so competitive on the national level.

With lots of great skiing left for the season, I hate to mention that the Prime Time Ski Club year-end dinner will by held March 16. It’s early this year because a number of members will be traveling the end of the month. So this year’s dinner doesn’t mark the end of the ski season, only the end of the ski club’s winter social season. There are several other social activities before the end of the ski season along with some summer activities planned. Check out the club’s website for more details — www.primetimeskiclub.com. Don’t forget that if you’re looking for someone to ski with, stop by North Peak Lodge around 10:15 a.m. weekdays (lower level, to the left of staircase headed downstairs). After a brief time for announcements, members usually break into small groups, based on skiing ability as well as speed and terrain preference. No matter what your level of skiing or comfort zone, you will find a Prime Time Ski Club member to ski with.

Finally, a reminder that Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation’s 32nd annual Ski-A-Thon will be held at Sunday River March 25 to raise money so that children and adults with permanent disabilities can continue to enjoy free year-round lessons in alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, paddling, hiking, golf, tennis and cycling. Quite a few of our ski club members volunteer for the organization and several of our members, including me, are on fundraising teams. If you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile cause, send me an email at tmesser@aol.com and I will forward you a fundraising page link.

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