Sugarloaf Mountain announced their plans for the massive West Mountain Expansion a good while ago, but details relating to the timeline of the project have been fairly limited until quite recently. Work on the plan, which aims to add an additional ski lift and twelve new beginner and intermediate trails, has officially begun today, January 12th.
The timeline for the project is as follows:
- “January 2023: Logging begins to clear lift line and new alpine trails.
- May 2023: Road and infrastructure (sewer, water, electric, phone) construction begins.
- June 2023: Pour concrete for Bucksaw Express lift and snowmaking infrastructure construction begins
- Early Fall 2023: Bucksaw Express lift towers installed
- Late Fall 2023: Bucksaw Express lift terminals installed
- Late Jan/Early Feb 2024: Anticipated chairlift and trail openings.”
The new Bucksaw Express will have a capacity of 2400 skiers per hour and an estimated ride time of 6 minutes and 53 seconds.
The project is set to add 300 acres of skiable terrain to the already large East Coast ski resort, increasing the area’s total skiable acreage by around 10%. All trails planned are set to be open to the public with most of the snowmaking infrastructure installed by the time the Bucksaw Express lift becomes available to skiers (snowmaking infrastructure will be fully completed throughout the summer of 2024).
The existing West Mountain Double, which currently serves a large number of housing units on the far side of the mountain, will continue to run. However, as the Bucksaw Express is set to unload near the top of the West Mountain double, its path will be shortened to reduce congestion.
Real estate development throughout the West Mountain area will be completed throughout the next several years. The mountain intends to add more than 200 new homes, including 52 single-family house lots, a condo development, and townhouses. More information relating to the project can be found here.
Many years ago, as a young skier developing my skills at Sugarloaf, I would lap the old Bucksaw Double chair to avoid lines on the crowded holidays. The day that I found out that lift came down was a sad day for me, and I’ll always remember that area fondly. Seeing that a lift is once again returning to that area of the mountain bearing the name of the double I once loved makes me so happy, and seeing an increase of terrain on the mountain makes me even happier.
Featured Image Credit: Sugarloaf Mountain via Vimeo