Sugarloaf opened the Brackett Basin area this season, offering 270 acres of gladed terrain to skiers and snowboarders between the existing trails on Sugarloaf and Burnt Mountain.

The four upper glades - Birler, Sweeper, Edger, and Cant Dog - encompass 60 acres of glade skiing. The lower Brackett Basin glades - Rough Cut, Red Horse, Blacksmith, High Ball, and Logging Road - offer another 210 acres.

Together the glades make up the 270-acre Phase 1 of the Sugarloaf 2020 Plan.

Next year another 135 acres will be added in Phase 2, including access to the Burnt Mountain summit snowfields.

Sugarloaf's Ethan Austin said, "There's a bit of a learning curve, as expected, but people are really enjoying exploring it. It's not like anything we've had here in the past, not like hitting a groomer right off a lift. It's a totally new experience, and it's only going to get better."

Austin said the "learning curve" involved educating people about what to expect once they got in there. The area offers more rugged terrain than other parts of Sugarloaf.

"It's such a big glade that it can be easy to feel turned arouond in there. We kind of had to feel our way around. We launched Brackett Basics on our website, a list of tips we suggest people famliarize themselves before they go in there," he said.

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

Feedback from skiers and snowboarders who have been hitting those new glades supports Diller's assessment.

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 third and final phase of the Burnt Mountain expansion will add another 250 acres, and will open the north face of Burnt Mountain.

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 encouraged to check in with Ski Patrol before exploring Brackett Basin. 

More information. Or call 866-266-7081.