RUMFORD – People who love the outdoors and who want a warm, friendly atmosphere can’t find a better place to be this winter than Black Mountain.

Black Mountain offers trails aplenty for the cross-country and downhill skier, for the snow-boarder, and the snow tuber.

This year, when the season opens in December, downhill skiers will have a double chairlift to take them up many of the trails. Next year, 700 feet of new trails and another chairlift will be added.

But for this year, snow-boarders can take advantage of a 300-foot half pipe. Cross-country skiers can sample 35 kilometers of trails, many lighted, and downhill skiers will have their choice of nine trails.

Established in 1960, the 43-year-old ski area was bought by the Maine Winter Sports Center last spring. MWSC also owns and has developed several other small ski areas in northern Maine. With the new owners have come a multitude of changes that will take place over the next year or two. New trails, another chairlift, a beginners’ Nordic area, and a new lodge are in the offing.

Black Mountain is home to several former Olympic skiers, including Chummy Broomhall of Rumford, a longtime, dedicated volunteer with the Chisholm Ski Club. The ski club, along with many area volunteers and the MWSC, are giving their time to help with the expansion of the mountain’s offerings.



SPECIAL EVENTS


In past years, Black Mountain has been host to a huge variety of skiing competitions ranging from Junior Olympics to high school state cross-country ski championships. This year is no different.

In fact, for the second year in a row, Black Mountain will host one of the biggest events going at any ski area – the Chevy Truck U.S. Nationals which will be broadcast on ESPN.

Set for Jan. 3 to 11, hundreds of skiers from across the country and from Canada will try for a spot on their respective ski teams which then compete in the World Cup and other international races.

Spectators are most welcome during the week-long competitions.

Other special races include Classes A, B, and C cross-country championships and the Eastern High School Cross-Country Championships.



SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Ski and snowboard lessons are available at the mountain for everyone. Clinics covering such topics as preparation of skis for racing are offered periodically. Special nights of ski touring and supper are offered twice-weekly during vacations and weekly the rest of the season. Skiers can rent equipment at the mountain. Food and a warm fire beckon everyone at the lodge.

For more information on the programs offered, fees, and progress at the mountain, people

may log onto www.skiblackmtnofme.org or call 364-8977.


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