They call their ski area the "World' Best Left-Hand turn." Hyperbole? Or proof that Mt. Abram has a sense of humor, if not humility?
Mt Abram is a modest ski mountain, a left turn off Route. 26, about 15 minutes prior to Maine's super-sized Sunday River. We hit Mt. A with a right turn ,actually, for a morning of skiing on our way home from Sunday River on MLK weekend. We parked steps from the homey lodge, and loaded the double chair two minutes later for a slow but steady, scenic ride on the "Way Back Machine." Mt Abram's summit chair accesses 1,150 vertical feet and 44 trails. The wide, well-groomed runs commemorate the Bullwinkle's cartoon with "Dudley Do Right", "Rocky's" and "Boris Badenov," to name a few. On the ski down, sweeping views of the Maine mountains and frozen North and South Pond below are breathtaking. You can ski boundary-to-boundary here, a new policy providing plenty of tree-skiing to bush whacking, which the fearless young kids were enjoying.
Mt Abram turns 50 years old this season, and there actually was a time when Abram out-rocked Sunday River with more skier visits. While the River took off and modernized in the 80's, Mt. Abram has remained retro, despite a revolving door of owners. The core-committed skiers have stayed. They race, they raise their kids on snow, and they raise mugs in the Loose Boots Lounge for après on Friday and Saturday nights to the sounds of a live band. It's like "Cheers" on snow; the place is packed with friendly faces.
Mt. Abram is a fun place to take your family for affordable tickets, a friendly atmosphere, and a scene reminiscent of 70's skiing. The West Side offers an ideal designated learning area with its own day care. For park lovers, the Boneyard Terrain Park is open weekends 10 a.m. -4 p.m., and Friday nights under the lights for $20.
Mt Abram officially celebrates its 50th Jan. 29-30 with flashback pricing, fireworks, and a retro costume parade. Make the turn to Mt. A sometime, and you will get some good turns on the mountain and make some new old friends in the Lodge.
Photos by Greg Burke For more of Heather's family ski tips go to www.familyskitrips.com
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.