Sunday River, ME

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51 thoughts on “Sunday River, ME

  1. TJ November 19, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    spruce got a carpet not locke!


  2. TJ November 19, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    and the pullman berry was barker not locke!


  3. newenglandskilifts March 2, 2017 / 10:24 am

    the Barker Mountain Express (lift 1) can only run at 800fpm as of this year


  4. Max Hart January 13, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Peter have you heard anything strange about the Chondola recently? Apparently there is a rumor (at least I hope its just a rumor) that the cabins have been taken off of the line and will not return during this ski season.


    • Peter Landsman January 13, 2018 / 1:19 pm

      Sounds like reports of the cabins’ demise were greatly exaggerated.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ski.the.RIVER September 25, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    When will the Barker Mountain Express be replaced? At this point it runs so slow and just creates lines. Do you think Doppelmayr will come in soon?


  6. Jim January 14, 2019 / 11:03 am

    Can you double check the vertical rise for the Spruce Peak chairlift? You report 1207′ and Sunday River website reports 1500′.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Landsman January 14, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Google Earth shows 1,205’. Someday Bigger may be counting the elevation from the very bottom of White Cap?


      • tjskiloaf17 January 14, 2019 / 12:08 pm

        Even Peter calls them Someday Bigger! I love it

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter January 14, 2019 / 12:37 pm

    Why is it called Someday Bigger?

    Liked by 1 person

    • BeyondtheLodge January 15, 2019 / 8:12 am

      That is what Sugarloafers (and some others) commonly refer to Sunday River as, because no matter how much Les tried to expand SR it would never be as big as its (former) rival, Sugarloaf.


  8. Collin Parsons October 20, 2019 / 10:08 pm

    Barker has to be replaced soon, but I don’t really see any other issues with Sunday River’s lift system that require replacements. I think they’ll end up getting a bubble-6 for Barker and then that’s it for lifts.

    Max Hart pointed out in another thread that Aurora and White Cap are underutilized compared to other parts of the mountain. I think the snowmaking upgrade will even out utilization more than the lifts will. Neither Aurora nor any of the White Cap lifts are over 4000 feet long and that usually means fixed grip unless it’s a very crowded location. They could always add loading carpets to Lift 9 and/or 12 to speed them up.


    • Myles Svec December 10, 2020 / 7:59 am

      They will probably replace Jordan at some point too but that will be 5-10 years down the road.


      • skitheeast December 10, 2020 / 1:15 pm

        Jordan was listed as a priority replacement alongside Barker, meaning a replacement is likely within the next couple of years.


  9. Donald Reif October 21, 2019 / 1:12 pm

    Might want to add a note on Little White Cap, as it has Leitner-Poma sheaves and chair hangers.


    • Max Hart October 21, 2019 / 6:09 pm

      So does White Heat, Tempest, and Aurora. Poma grips as well.


    • liftnerd May 29, 2023 / 8:26 am

      Little White Cap also has some rare Pullman-Berry sheaves and towers.


  10. skitheeast November 25, 2019 / 7:57 pm

    With Boyne CEO Stephen Kircher announcing on the Storm Skiing podcast that Sunday River will receive a number of lift upgrades in the upcoming years, I thought I would make a list of the lifts that most need an upgrade:

    1) Barker – It’s unreliable, old, and the workhorse out of Barker. It’s probably the eight pack Kircher hinted at for the east coast.
    2) White Cap – An old quad with a liftline long enough to warrant a high-speed lift. It’s also the gateway to the rest of the mountain from the White Cap base, which itself has no high-speed lifts.
    3) Locke – It’s the oldest lift at the resort and is too long to be anything but a high-speed lift. Also, upgrading this lift would seriously lower Barker’s crowds.
    4) White Heat/Little White Cap – When Kircher discussed cutting new trails, I immediately thought of the White Cap pod. The topography of the mountain allows for one continuous top to bottom flow but the existing trails are cut in such a way to segment it into an upper and lower half. A single detachable lift here combined with the cutting of new trails to improve top to bottom flow would result in the largest vertical of any Sunday River lift and replace two 1980s fixed-grip lifts.
    5) Aurora infill – An indirect replacement lift for the Jordan Double, but the only large undeveloped area of terrain within the existing boundaries is between Oz and Aurora. A lift beginning down at Jordan base to the top of Aurora could be accompanied by a nice size trail pod like Kircher hinted at in the podcast.

    Five lifts in addition to the potential 9th and 10th peak lifts Kircher mentioned is a lot, but if Boyne is planning on being aggressive with their lift infrastructure, then this is perfectly feasible at a resort that has seen 3 new lifts in the past 20 years.


    • Max Hart January 14, 2020 / 11:13 am

      Barker has got to go, no question about it. A CLD6, bubbled or not, would make sense there because it services a massive area. The quad’s design capacity is 3000 riders/hr, which it can not comfortably achieve (it usually runs at ~2100 riders/hr and a very reduced speed). I would hope that such a lift would have a full parking rail so that they can avoid issues with icing caused by snowmaking on Rocking Chair and Agony (a problem which is currently plaguing that lift).

      However Locke isn’t going anywhere. They need a fixed grip there for early season, and with Jungle Road and Jim’s Whim accessing most of Locke’s terrain via Barker, and increase in capacity there would flood the area. It’s a secondary lift, and it will always be that way; in the last 15 years it has only run weekends and holidays after early season.

      A Tempest / Lift 9 replacement would be welcome, and would hopefully draw more people to the White Cap Lodge (I’m sure all of the ski-in-ski-out owners in the vicinity of Roadrunner would like the detachable too). White Cap won’t get a top-to-bottom lift. The White Heat Quad services mostly expert terrain, and Little White Cap services beginner terrain (there’s actually a few nice trails over there with room for a few more). It also directly services the Grand Summit Hotel. White Heat Quad / Lift 10 should stay, but Little White Cap / Lift 11 is questionable. It should defiantly remain a quad, but it uses parts from the Barker Double, a Pullman-Berry from 1972. It also got a new motor recently. I think the Pullman-Berry parts should be replaced at some point and should Barker get replaced give it’s omega quad chairs to LWC / Lift 11.

      An Aurora infill lift will not happen. The big intersection on Aurora is already congested enough at peak times (the rest of Aurora is not), the last thing they need is another secondary lift to pour more people into that area. Hopefully they won’t ever touch the area to the skier’s left of Northern Lights. The Poppy Fields effect does not need to be replicated. Ever. It would make more sense to replace Jordan all together with a CLD6. Like Barker, it services a massive area on its own 90% of the time (Lollapalooza all the way to Northern Lights via Kansas and back via Firestar).

      All of that would leave Tempest / Lift 9 and Jordan as prime reinstallation candidates. Tempest would be about right for the 9th Peak / Merrill Hill (assuming it started at the bottom of the North Peak chair and ended at the top of the peak), and Jordan as the main lift on the north face of the 10th Peak (which would be northwest of the top of Jordan, beyond Lolla). An access lift would also need to run from the bottom of Jordan up to the ridge above the Jordan Hotel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teddy's Lift World January 14, 2020 / 1:26 pm

        Just curious, why haven’t more trails been built off of Jordan Bowl? The area seems pretty lacking considering there are only 3 trails to the skier’s left.


        • Max Hart January 14, 2020 / 2:17 pm

          They never needed it. Lolla, Excalibur, and Rogue can easily (and comfortably) absorb the capacity of the Jordan Bowl Express. All three of those trails are long, very wide, and have no intersections anywhere.

          Then there are the glades, which are pretty much everywhere thanks to the boundary-to-boundary policy.


      • Donald Reif February 5, 2020 / 12:27 pm

        Locke was also just modified to accommodate the new T-Bar.


      • Muni January 17, 2022 / 5:31 pm

        Skier’s left of Northern Lights is indeed an enormous ‘tree island’. And a lift from there to the Aurora summit would seemingly make sense (crowding issues aside).

        That said, the slope there has a Northwest aspect, whereas the vast majority of trails at Sunday River attempt to take advantage of a *Northeastern* aspect. Quantum Leap is a notable exception to this. The transition zone from Spruce Peak to Aurora also has a Northwest aspect, and you can see another conspicuously large gap in the trail network there (Vortex is sort of another exception).

        In speaking about the ambitious Basalms project, Les Otten himself talked about how the best snow conditions in the northeast tend to be on northeastern aspects. His experience involves both Sunday River and Killington, where the first-to-open Glades/North Ridge pod is indeed a Northeastern exposure as well (at nearly 4000′, along the Vermont ‘spine’).

        So that leaves me wondering if issues like prevailing winds would make such a pod lower-quality than a majority of Sunday River’s other terrain. More glading there might make a lot of sense though since that would be largely protected from the wind.


    • Mike B February 5, 2020 / 10:36 am

      Pretty much focused on the core. Nothing really surprising here IMO. Smart by Boyne to invest in marketing efforts tied to long-term strategic plans – Sugarloaf, Loon, Big Sky and now Sunday River all have them. Surefire way to get the loyalists excited and to attract some attention outside of that group.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tucker Stanton February 7, 2020 / 12:58 pm

        Sugarloaf kinda bailed on their 2020 plans, which sucks because they had a LOT of potential with them. They’ve been having trouble trying to attract more people to ski at their resort. I don’t think you’ll see anything different in the next couple years.


        • Tucker Stanton February 26, 2020 / 11:48 am

          Nevermind, Sugarloaf 2030 was just announced.


    • powderforever45 February 5, 2020 / 2:37 pm

      Replacing Barker is in short term. Finally a replacement for that lift.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Donald Reif February 5, 2020 / 3:43 pm

        The line’s been surveyed twice, so Boyne really ought to announce it sooner rather than later.


        • skiz February 5, 2020 / 3:52 pm

          I’ll bet they are waiting to see if they can get Hermitage’s barnstormer


    • s February 5, 2020 / 2:43 pm

      in suspect this is to foreshadow barker replacement


  11. gavin February 5, 2020 / 8:44 pm

    what’s the tempest quad


  12. Tom White February 6, 2020 / 7:07 am

    The Tempest Quad is the White Cap Quad #9 on their map. Many call it Tempest because that’s the trail’s name, plus one doesn’t confuse it with the Little White Cap quad #11. It would be good to make Tempest a HSQ. It would make the underutilized White Cap Lodge more attractive to day users. Plus, the Grand Summit and condo users would like that.

    As to the Barker replacement, I too think Boyne would like to use Barnstormer for that. While not a perfect fit as we have noted, it would be a move within New England. However, Boyne could move that elsewhere (Sugarloaf) and replace Barker with a new HSS.


  13. Luke Nelson December 9, 2020 / 9:34 pm

    Any updates on the Barnstormer?


  14. Cody Brook May 17, 2021 / 3:59 pm

    Merrill Hill Triple will be installed this summer. Is it primarily real estate acess or will there be trails off of it?


    • skitheeast May 17, 2021 / 6:30 pm

      It is primarily a real estate lift, but it will have four trails that are open to the public.


      • Big Mountain May 17, 2021 / 7:10 pm

        Whats the capacity going to be?


        • Tucker Stanton September 30, 2021 / 7:59 pm

          The new lift will be a triple.


        • Utah Lost Ski Area Project September 30, 2021 / 8:41 pm

          So lower than 1000 for being a real estate access or a full 1800 for a higher capacity?


  15. Muni January 17, 2022 / 6:07 pm

    It’s kind of amazing to think about how Sunday River took roughly 10 years (from 1985 to 1995) to transform from a tiny footprint, largely unchanged since the 60s, to its current trail complex, minus Merrill Hill:

    Within the original footprint (Locke and Barker) none of the pre-1984 lifts were kept either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somebody January 17, 2022 / 6:30 pm

      SR’s 1984-1994 expansion is likely the biggest 10 year expansion ever in the east. The only good comparison is Killington’s 1977-1987 (which saw the addition of South Ridge, Bear Mountain, Sunrise/Northeast Passage, and the HSQ on Superstar). Even that though probably isn’t quite what Sunday River managed to do in the 80s and 90s. They were adding a new major expansion every other year. Any individual one of those lifts would never happen today, or would take years or decades to come into fruition. Heck, the only place on *earth* that I can think of that regularly sees expansions/additions like that in the 21st century is interior BC, and even that has dried up since 2008.

      So yeah, SR’s 80s and 90s were insane. Hopefully days like that come back to the ski industry someday.


      • Donald Reif January 17, 2022 / 8:24 pm

        These days, such major expansions are rare just because of all the red tape. Look out west in Colorado. I think McCoy Park at Beaver Creek, Peak 6 at Breckenridge, and the Beavers expansion at Arapahoe Basin are the only major expansions into new terrain that have happened in Colorado in the past decade.


        • skitheeast January 18, 2022 / 10:43 am

          Red tape is absolutely a major part (especially in certain states like VT), but it is important to remember other costs have also risen. New areas at most major resorts need to be anchored by a detachable lift to be popular and worthy of investment, and the cost of a detachable lift has risen beyond inflation since the late 80s/early 90s. The cost of a fixed-grip has done the same, although to a lower extent. In the east, snowmaking is also now a requisite to opening, and a modern snowmaking system is quite expensive.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Cody Brook June 25, 2022 / 6:37 am

    Plans to relocate Jordan to Barker have seemingly vanished from Sunday Rivers website. I’d suspect a replacement for Barker is going to be announced sometime this fall. At least I hope so


    • Big Mountain June 25, 2022 / 10:14 pm

      Looks like Jordan is officially off to Shawnee.


  17. Tom White June 27, 2022 / 11:38 am

    I think and hope this will be the case. Barker is a work horse, it should be replaced by a new (not rebuilt) lift. When I was told by a Shawnee Peak patroller that a HSQ will be installed next summer, I said, “Like the Jordan Bowl qual?” He didn’t say no.


  18. Cody Brook September 18, 2022 / 12:42 pm

    Last year, a few weeks from now is when they announced Jordan 8 so if Barker is getting replaced or even if it isn’t, I suspect we’ll get an update on something in the next few weeks fingers crossed.


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