With February here we can look back on a lot of fine skiing up to this point and forward to a lot more to come. It’s true we have had some thaws, but the snow pack in the mountains is deep and just about every trail in the region is open.

This is always a busy month for skiers and the ski areas have full schedules. High school skiers have their championships this month, and you can get the details on the Maine State Principals Association website, www.mpa.cc.

Shawnee Peak hosts the Class A alpines with giant slalom on Feb. 14 and slalom the following day. Class B will be at Black Mountain in Rumford (giant slalom, Feb. 20; slalom, Feb. 21).

Class A nordic championships will be at Stark’s Hill in Fryeburg, and Class B and C at Titcomb. The classical races at both sites are Monday, Feb. 18, while freestyle is the next day. Check the MPA website for exact times and other details.


We also have news from the World Pro Ski Tour. The first races of the season were held at Beaver Creek in Colorado a week ago and the second event is wrapping up at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire today. The next event is tentatively scheduled for Buck Hill in Minnesota, and another for Steamboat, Colorado.

The season finale is set for Sunday River, where the pro tour returned a year ago. The races will be held March 28-30.

The tour is headquartered in Bath and run by Ed Rogers, who was well-known to Sugarloafers when he operated the Red Stallion at Sugarloaf.

In the field at Beaver Creek were a few with local connections. Sam Ricker of Turner is a Sugarloaf Locals champ and skis in the Lost Valley Race Club. Jay Baldassaro of North Conway skis out of the Mount Washington Valley Academy. Another recognizable name with a Maine connection is Jake Jacobs of Glens Falls, New York. Jake’s grandfather, Tom Jacobs, the founder of Reliable Racing, a company well-known to anyone involved in ski competition, was a graduate of Gould Academy. Look for a number of local racers to enter the qualifying at Sunday River in March.


That racing is a way off, but there is a lot on the calendar for the rest of February.

— One is the 12th annual Maine Ski Heritage Classic. This is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Ski Museum of Maine and this year it is named in memory of John Christie, a Ski Hall of Fame member who played a key role in the history of Sugarloaf. This year’s event is scheduled for Feb. 16 at the Sugarloaf Inn, with a silent auction from 1 to 4:45 p.m., a reception from 4-6 and a live auction at 5:30. A history program at 4:45 will focus on the early night life at Sugarloaf. More information can be found online at www.skimuseumofmaine.org.

— As always the big week is the annual school vacation, Feb. 16-23, now just a week away. Ski areas have a bunch of special events planned for the week and those areas that have limited midweek operations. Lost Valley, Black Mountain and Mount Abram will be open for regular weekend hours the full week.

— Among the events at Shawnee Peak this month will be Racing to the Moon on Feb. 14, which sounds like an uphill competition. I’ll take the lift. Vacation week will have the lifts open midweek at 8:30 a.m., and events include Camp Sunshine Day (Feb. 18), Family Fun Day (Feb. 21) and fireworks and Parlor Ski Demo (Feb. 23).

— The schedule at Sunday River features a Murder Mystery Dinner (Feb. 16), Family Fun Dinner with Eddy and Betty (Feb. 17), Fire Dancers (Feb. 20), a Hypno Magician (Feb. 20), and Bob Marley (Feb. 22-23).

— Sugarloaf has an impressive lineup for the vacation week, with Bullwinkle’s at Nite (Feb. 16) and mountain tours (Feb. 16-17), a Gifford’s Ice Cream party (Feb. 18), Arts and Crafts and Family Game night (Feb. 19) and Chain Saw carving (Feb.20)

— Mount Abram has an Uphill Derby on Feb. 18 (again, look for me on the lift), and on the 23rd the Annual Fitch-Gilpatrick Race. This is one of my favorites, as both of those ski patrollers, Sandy Fitch and Dave Gilpatrick, were good friends of mine and two of the most dedicated patrollers to be found anywhere. Both left us far too early and it is fitting that this race is an important fundraiser at Mount Abram.

— Lost Valley’s vacation week is also packed. It includes the usual Tuesday night Ski Mo Uphill Series (you know where to look for me), Twin City Tuesday (donate an item and get a lift ticket for $20), Middle School GS, SL and XC (Feb. 13), Thursday Baxter League (Feb. 14), Skiers Edge GS and Fat Bike the Valley (Feb. 17), and Bob Marley (Feb. 18).

— Also look for busy weeks at Black Mountain, Spruce Mountain and Titcomb. There is a lot more happening this month, and the details of the listed events and more can be found on the various websites. Most can be linked to from www.skimaine.com.

— One event on my calendar is the New England Winter Sports Reps at Loon Mountain this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. I expect I’ll see a bunch of Maine’s ski shop folks there to try out next year’s gear.

Most of the major brands will be there, and with luck I can bring you a report in week or two on what to look for. I don’t look for any major breakthroughs, as the shaped ski and rocker revolution has turned into an evolution with mostly minor tweaks here and there.

Which day I attend will be determined by the weather. I don’t drive over the Kancamagus Highway unless it’s a nice sunny day.

Come to think of it, that also holds true for the days I ski. See you on the slopes, or on a lift.

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