It’s that time of year when skier thoughts turn to other activities, although often prompted by not-so-subtle hints about raking the yard. But when I received an email from Sugarloaf announcing a resumption of snowmaking, I knew we had plenty of skiing to look forward to.

Dave Irons, Ski Columnist

I have skied Sugarloaf in May and it could happen again this year. Maybe the golf course will open early, and you can ski and play golf the same weekend. Killington often offers golf and skiing the same weekend, but they are well south of Sugarloaf.

We do have golf courses already open in Maine, but ice still clogs most of the lakes to prevent a lot of boats getting out.

Sticking with skiing, Shawnee Peak is on a weekend-only schedule and is closing this weekend. Mt. Abram had activities last weekend that usually are end-of-season events. One is the Hollander Cup, named for popular ski instructor Buzz Hollander. These are fun-type races in the snowfields, although Buzz told me they were almost devoid of snow. At 4:30 p.m. last Saturday afternoon, the crowd moved over to West Side to take part in a retirement party for Ski School Director Krister Rollins.

Rollins started his instruction career at Mt. Abram in 1980 and, after serving as Assistant director under Rik Dow and Ralph “Woody” Woodward, took over the Ski School in 1994. After 26-plus years, Rollins has earned his retirement. He plans to continue skiing and might occasionally do some teaching, but is looking forward to leaving the management responsibilities behind. It was nice to see a turnout that filled the West Side lodge for Krister, who is the longest-serving ski school director at Mt Abram.

That’s in the past. What can we look forward to now that April is here? Other than the party that is spring skiing, there is Easter weekend and sunrise services are being planned. You can find exact details on the ski area web sites.

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Typically, lifts will open long enough to get skiers to the top for the services. Mostly you should plan on skiing down, as only a few lifts can be used for downloading. Again, check the website to see if breakfast will be available at places such as Bullwinkles at Sugarloaf or the North Peak Lodge at Sunday River.

Next Saturday, Saddleback has a Spring Bash and there will be prizes for the best “Throwback Attire.”

While the ski season will go on for a few weeks yet, this column will end our words for the season. Final advice: select an off-season activity that will get you ready for skiing in the fall. For example, forego the golf cart and walk the course.

See you in November.

Dave Irons is a freelance writer and columnist who hails from Westbrook. He has been contributing to the Sun Journal for many years and is among the most respected ski writers in the Northeast. He also is a member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Write to him at [email protected]


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