Published: January 19, 2011

Some good news originating out of Sugarloaf, Maine, today. Sixty acres of brand new terrain in Brackett Basin—part one of three phase, ten-year expansion project—opened this morning following 10 inches of fresh snow overnight. Good times, no doubt. It comes on the heels of the unfortunate chairlift-derailment scenario that (you might have heard) played out in headlines across the U.S. during Christmas week. This morning, Sugarloaf’s vice president of sales and marketing, Brad Larson, sent out an email acknowledging both:

Subject: Thank You – and now, a little good news

I wanted to thank all of you for your support over the past few weeks. I appreciate all of your emails, phone calls and good vibes. Despite what has happened in the last few weeks, we remain positive and we are looking forward to the future.

Additionally, I wanted to let you know that Sugarloaf just moved a step closer to fulfilling its ten-year plan. Our newly expanded terrain is Brackett Basin is now open.

I've included a few pictures. I hope all of you are as stoked as I am, and I look forward to seeing you on the mountain!

Best Regards,


There was also this press release:

Sugarloaf opens first phase of Brackett Basin

Upper glades in new area are now open to the bottom of the King Pine chairlift

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine – Thanks to ten inches of new snow last night, Sugarloaf opened the new Brackett Basin area to skiers and riders today for the first time. Brackett Basin is the first of a three phase terrain expansion onto neighboring Burnt Mountain that will make Sugarloaf the largest ski area in the East.

Sugarloaf ski patrollers dropped the ropes on the four upper glades of Brackett Basin today: Birler, Sweeper, Edger, and Cant Dog. Together these glades encompass 60 acres of glade skiing.

"When we announced the Sugarloaf 2020 plan over the summer, we said that the end goal was a rejuvenated, revitalized Sugarloaf," said John Diller, Sugarloaf General Manager. "The opening of Brackett Basin today marks a significant step toward achieving that goal."

The lower Brackett Basin glades (Rough Cut, Red Horse, Blacksmith, High Ball, and Logging Road) remained closed today due to ongoing commercial logging. These remaining glades, which cover a full 210 acres, are expected to open in the coming weeks.

Brackett Basin is the first phase of a massive 655-acre terrain expansion onto Burnt Mountain, which was announced this summer as part of the "Sugarloaf 2020" ten-year road map. The expansion doubles Sugarloaf's in-bounds terrain, making it the largest ski area in the east.

The new terrain is all gladed, "sidecountry" terrain, offering skiers and riders a one-of-a-kind backcountry style experience, with the security of patrolled, inbounds terrain. A glade refers to any wooded area where trees have been thinned, rather than cleared like a traditional trail. The expansion will be completed in three phases, the first of which is the 270-acre Brackett Basin. The second phase will encompass 135 acres, including the summit of Burnt Mountain, and will open a second above-treeline area to accompany Sugarloaf's legendary Snowfields. The third and final phase will be 250 acres, and will open the north face of Burnt Mountain. When the expansion is complete, skiers will enjoy a vast, 655-acre glade and an experience unlike anything else in the East.

Access to the new terrain on Burnt Mountain is via a cross-cut from the top of the existing King Pine Quad. Brackett Basin terrain is for expert skiers and riders only, and anyone who explores the new terrain should be familiar with Sugarloaf's trail map. Skiers and riders should not enter Brackett Basin alone. Anyone who is unfamiliar with Sugarloaf's terrain is encourage to check in with Ski Patrol before exploring Brackett Basin.

For more information on Brackett Basin and Sugarloaf 2020, please visit