Our history and heritage is that of the mountain that Sugarloafers love.
The Sugarloaf Ski Club has been an integral part of Sugarloaf Mountain since cutting the first trail on the mountain back in 1950. After more than 60 years, the club is a vibrant and active member of the Sugarloaf community.
Our Mission is to preserve the history and heritage of the mountain and the club, to service the Sugarloaf and Carrabassett communities, with an emphasis on the local youth, organize social events for club members, and continue to support competitive events of all levels, from Junior to International, that are staged on the mountain.
We love to have a great time both on the mountain and off. So if you're not a member yet, click here to join!
Amos in the Snowfields
From Then to Now
In the summer of 1950 several hearty skiers from Kingfield and across the state founded the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club. They had been climbing up and down the Appalachian Trail for a couple of years so that they could ski in the Snowfields. Now they were ready to build a road to the base of the mountain and a ski trail that they could skin up and ski down. Leases were negotiated from the various landowners and work began. Winter’s Way, named after Amos Winter, was the first trail they cut on the mountain.
In the years since then, the club has spawned what could be called offspring:
In 1955 the club voted to form the Sugarloaf Mountain Corporation, and turned over the club’s assets in exchange for stock.
In 1968 the Sugarloaf Regional Ski Educational Foundation was formed with the purpose of running the junior programs, creating tutorial programs and raising scholarship money.
Out of that foundation, in 1982 Carrabassett Valley Academy was formed.
Part of our club’s mission is to be the keepers of Sugarloaf history; in 1995, three members of our board of directors formed the Ski Museum of Maine, which is now located in Kingfield.
All of these organizations are still assisted by the Sugarloaf Ski Club and are flourishing. As you can see, we have come a long way.
In 2018 The Sugarloaf Regional Ski Educational Foundation and the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club merged into a new 501(c)(3) non profit organization called the Sugarloaf Ski Club.
Part of the stated purpose of the Sugarloaf Ski Club was to hold competitive ski meets, and we have done that continuously. Led by President Horace Chapman from Bangor, in the early years the club operated out of a rustic building at the top of what is now The Landing. The first ski race was run in 1952 with skiers hiking or skinning to the Snowfields and racing down Winter’s Way.
Since that race, the club has continuously supported ski and snowboard development and competition. The Sugarloaf Ski Club has grown to a membership of nearly 1,400 individuals, including a strong core of volunteers. They have successfully run many international competitions including Snowboard Grand Prix, Freestyle and Alpine National Championships, NCAA Championships, World Junior Championships and the 1971 Alpine World Cup. We continue to help the Sugarloaf Competition Department as they host the best competitors in the country and the world; we are looking forward to the 2019 U. S. Alpine Speed Championships in March.
Over our 68 years the club has run programs and competitions from a variety of hastily built or acquired facilities. About 10 years ago we adopted the attitude that our world class competitions would be run out of facilities of equal stature.
The first such facility we built is the Jean Luce on-hill competition facility, which houses the Slim Melvin Timing Room. The project represented a $120,000 fund raising effort by the Sugarloaf Ski Club, and included help from the Town of Carrabassett Valley. The Luce Building, as commonly called, set a new standard for on-hill timing facilities in the East.
For over 30 years the club has dreamed of having a world class competition facility, as well as a home for the club. Nine years ago we received our first shot in the arm for such a project when club members Clem and Rolande Begin made a multi-year matching pledge encouraging us to raise $120,000 for the project. Then, a few years later, another leap of faith was made when club member Stephanie Lash made a donation to prompt the creation of the conceptual drawings. Many burger cookouts and raffles later, the Ski Club was able to write out a check for $200,000 to help fund the new building. Our dream has been fulfilled by the Bill & Joan Alfond Competition Center, one of the finest competition centers in the country.
Aside from supporting the competitions and facilities at Sugarloaf, the club, which is a 501(c)(3), with help from the Town of Carrabassett Valley, has been providing scholarships for kids who want to pursue their skiing and riding dreams on this mountain that we all love so much. This past fall over $27,000 was awarded to 61 young athletes. We also provide money to assist competitors who excel at their sport; we have granted merit awards to many of our program participants when they have competed out-of-state or attended high level training camps.
During our 68 years, thousands of youth have benefited from the Sugarloaf Ski Club’s support. Sugarloafers can be proud that some of these athletes have gone on to represent their country at the Olympics and other international events. We can also be proud that we have helped develop lifelong lovers of our sport.
Over the years the Sugarloaf Ski Club has awarded lifetime memberships to a few people who have contributed greatly to the success of the club. This small group includes such Sugarloaf notables as Jean Luce and Stub Taylor, and now Bill and Joan Alfond.