Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

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Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby heavysquad2 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:02 am

What route are they using to get the cats up there?

http://www.sugarloaf.com/the-mountain/b ... iing-x2827
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby cvagrad86 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:09 am

HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE....IMO

I will forever remember all the mornings skinning up Burnt and having freshies for days, particularly during the week. In December 2014, so few people went up there that I could name all the people's tracks that were there over the span of the week.

I'm sure that this new cat experience will only be on weekends, and not a ton of people will $$ to get over there, but it will change the experience for those interested in getting off piste and experiencing the back country...too bad....
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby JullyJelly » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:19 am

Will be interesting to see just how popular it is.

Are you buying a single ride or multiple rides over the time slots indicated?
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Glade Monkey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:25 pm

JullyJelly wrote:Will be interesting to see just how popular it is.

Are you buying a single ride or multiple rides over the time slots indicated?


They've been cutting a road according to another thread.
I would bet you only get one ride for $20-30.
Max of 180 people per day, so less intrusive than a t-bar which some have been hoping for.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Clubcar » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:26 pm

cvagrad86 wrote:HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE....IMO

I will forever remember all the mornings skinning up Burnt and having freshies for days, particularly during the week. In December 2014, so few people went up there that I could name all the people's tracks that were there over the span of the week.

I'm sure that this new cat experience will only be on weekends, and not a ton of people will $$ to get over there, but it will change the experience for those interested in getting off piste and experiencing the back country...too bad....


That may be, but I don't believe that management spent the money and advertising to develop Burnt skiing just for those who skin up and generate no income foer the mountain. This was inevitable.... Next will be a lift....
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby ottoclave2 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:30 pm

I'm with cvagrad on this. Even last year there were nice fresh tracks available for days after it snowed. 200 additional users on days when the Golden Road isn't open will be a lot of additional usage. Sigh.

Just means we will need to get up a little earlier to poach the good lines.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Glade Monkey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:43 pm

ottoclave2 wrote:I'm with cvagrad on this. Even last year there were nice fresh tracks available for days after it snowed. 200 additional users on days when the Golden Road isn't open will be a lot of additional usage. Sigh.

Just means we will need to get up a little earlier to poach the good lines.


Well the press release does say only weekends and vacation weeks the first season, so only the hardy will get it mid-week.
http://sugarloaf.com/media-room/press-releases/burnt-mtn-cat-skiing
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Shot-Ski » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:06 pm

Hope this works out for them but not moving the king pine lift down closer to the log yard seems like a missed opportunity now. Could've created a side country lodge/bar scene to take advantage of people waiting for the cats.

It was nice the few times I did hike burnt to be out there enjoying the solitude but they needed to start making money over there. Not sure if I am following correctly, but it looks like if they bring a full 15 trips with 12 people it'd be 180 rides they could net $4,680 a day minus operating expenses. It might be harder logistically, but I would've went with a more dynamic pricing schedule. For example, after a snowstorm its higher but if they have open reservations they can have a flash sale of some sort to try and fill the cats. Even $10-15 is better than an empty seat for them. I can't personally imagine I'll be buying any $30 cat rides so should be interesting to see how popular they are.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Clubcar » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:44 pm

Wonder what the cancellation policy will be? Forecasted 6-8" lots of reservations, wake up to 2" instead everyone bails.....
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby JullyJelly » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:43 pm

Clubcar wrote:
That may be, but I don't believe that management spent the money and advertising to develop Burnt skiing just for those who skin up and generate no income foer the mountain. This was inevitable.... Next will be a lift....


Is a lift really the next step? How much more money can you get from that versus cat rides? Is a lift up Burnt going to draw that many more skier visits? It seems cat rides and the mystique/allure of Burnt is a pretty lucrative option. Maybe if you make the lift an add-on to the lift ticket?

Note: I also really don't want a lift so I'm trying to justify why they shouldn't put one in...
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby myell » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:01 pm

I can't see anyway that this isn't a nearly perfect solution.

MUCH better than a lift or t-bar. The additional terrain added for this year (additional 100ish acres) should make it totally workable for a full weekend of cat skiing when the terrain can actually be opened. The cats, warming hut, and patrol shack will allow them to keep the area in good shape. I'm sure additional terrain will be opened up over the next couple years so it will only continue to get better.

The beauty of it is we still retain the unique side-country aspects of the entire area! Plenty of earn your turns opportunities for the hardy few dozen who lap it regularly (I'd only count myself as a semi-regular). Also, since when did the best storms ever land on weekends or holiday weeks!?

Kudos to Sugarloaf. I like the way they have been doing business over the last few years: getting the small stuff right and generally making decisions that make sense for the resort/community.

I can't help but hope they are setting things up for a big capital investment in the next 2-5 years. New gondola anyone??
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Rossignolsoul7 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:52 pm

myell wrote: Also, since when did the best storms ever land on weekends or holiday weeks!?

When there's a big ass storm, anything's good on the mountain and probably better to lap a lift than riding a cat. Then the next few days you go to Burnt for left overs. :)
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby lazysherpa » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:38 pm

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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Alpiner » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:20 pm

Clubcar wrote:That may be, but I don't believe that management spent the money and advertising to develop Burnt skiing just for those who skin up and generate no income for the mountain. This was inevitable.... Next will be a lift....


Exactly correct. It's nice to think SMC developed Burnt as a personal thank-you to all the hardcores just for being so hardcore, but there's almost no ROI there. I'm not sure a lift is a given, probably eventually, but if there was one then SMC would be justified in turning ALL of Burnt into manicured glades like Cant Dog, Birler, Sweeper, etc. That would be cool. Access would still be limited by the terrain being totally natural, and difficult.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby myell » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:52 pm

Excellent FB post by the Loaf.

It is totally ok if the few dozen people who hiked/skinned it more than 10 times last winter complain... we should give them that.

Like I said in my last post, this is absolutely the best way forward for Sugarloaf and the new terrain (which will only increase from here). It all makes sense. I think it will be done right. Even the pricing is sensible for those who want a truly one-of-a-kind experience in the east. (Side note: for those who really want a pure backcountry experience, plenty can be found throughout the western Maine alps). Burnt was never destined to be a pure backcountry experience. We should all hope this approach works and sticks around for many, many years! (Maybe some more terrain and a third cat... someday.)

I think what it is will be something special. And just think, if this along with the other additions over the last 5ish years attract a few more hardy skiers up to our big rock than that new gondola might not be just a pipe dream after all...

I'M READY FOR SNOW
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Rossignolsoul7 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:29 pm

myell wrote: And just think, if this along with the other additions over the last 5ish years attract a few more hardy skiers up to our big rock than that new gondola might not be just a pipe dream after all...


It may not be a pipe dream, but it'll be difficult to make that work in the near future. Resorts with that type of lifts (gondola) need to monetize them. These lifts must transport people year round to generate money. Gondolas at big-K, Stowe, Whiteface, Tremblant, St-Anne, Wildcat (summer-only), Loon all run daily, all summer.

These lifts require a lot of staff to operate and maintain: gondolas are big big deal. Not sure SL has the strength to operate a modern gondola yet. However, if summers keep getting busier like this year, things might be different.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby WrathOfAramark » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:18 pm

lazysherpa wrote:
heavysquad2 wrote:What route are they using to get the cats up there?

http://www.sugarloaf.com/the-mountain/b ... iing-x2827


https://www.facebook.com/notes/sugarloa ... 468024070/

Waiting on a free lift ticket or a discounted pass for detailing the cat path to the summit, albeit 6 years too early. Probably called the KP expansion correctly if the gear box didn't destroy itself in spectacular fashion in the worst way possible in the middle of the winter a couple years ago.

stupid old photoshop of burnt topography
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby WrathOfAramark » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:32 pm

WrathOfAramark wrote:
lazysherpa wrote:
heavysquad2 wrote:What route are they using to get the cats up there?

http://www.sugarloaf.com/the-mountain/b ... iing-x2827


https://www.facebook.com/notes/sugarloa ... 468024070/

Waiting on a free lift ticket or a discounted pass for detailing the cat path to the summit, albeit 6 years too early. Probably called the KP expansion correctly if the gear box didn't destroy itself in spectacular fashion in the worst way possible in the middle of the winter a couple years ago.

stupid old photoshop of burnt topography


Bah: Tried to edit it, but couldn't.

Sarcasm wasn't strong enough. I was trying to go for an idea that some folks seem to think the mountain-itself/the-company-that-owns-the-mountain-and-ski-lifts owe them something. For their years of patronage, they should get the pride they helped contribute to and experience the best place to ski on the east coast.


I think it's a good product. It'll help those that are in between the locals and the just out and out crazies. If you don't have the local connection, and don't have an absolute screw loose, it'll get you to the top of Burnt so you can get back down without accidentally ending up in Kingfield. First cat seems to be at 9:30. That's plenty of time to get to TOS, head to the golden road, and hike the summit before the Cat track kiddos ruin your powder.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby gondicar » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:23 pm

WrathOfAramark wrote:Bah: Tried to edit it, but couldn't.

Sarcasm wasn't strong enough. I was trying to go for an idea that some folks seem to think the mountain-itself/the-company-that-owns-the-mountain-and-ski-lifts owe them something. For their years of patronage, they should get the pride they helped contribute to and experience the best place to ski on the east coast.


I think it's a good product. It'll help those that are in between the locals and the just out and out crazies. If you don't have the local connection, and don't have an absolute screw loose, it'll get you to the top of Burnt so you can get back down without accidentally ending up in Kingfield. First cat seems to be at 9:30. That's plenty of time to get to TOS, head to the golden road, and hike the summit before the Cat track kiddos ruin your powder.


Right on!
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Lawshark » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:33 am

gondicar wrote:
WrathOfAramark wrote:Bah: Tried to edit it, but couldn't.

Sarcasm wasn't strong enough. I was trying to go for an idea that some folks seem to think the mountain-itself/the-company-that-owns-the-mountain-and-ski-lifts owe them something. For their years of patronage, they should get the pride they helped contribute to and experience the best place to ski on the east coast.


I think it's a good product. It'll help those that are in between the locals and the just out and out crazies. If you don't have the local connection, and don't have an absolute screw loose, it'll get you to the top of Burnt so you can get back down without accidentally ending up in Kingfield. First cat seems to be at 9:30. That's plenty of time to get to TOS, head to the golden road, and hike the summit before the Cat track kiddos ruin your powder.


Right on!


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The tougher than thou/more local than thou attitude isn't going to help the long term financial health of this mountain...while Sugarloaf rightly celebrates and focuses on the uber-dedicated core of skiers...that core of skiers does NOT consist exclusively of backcountry skinners and cliff huckers.

There are plenty of very good skiers at the Loaf that have the ability to ski all of Burnt but may not have the inclination or time to spend a good chunk of the day to get to the outer reaches and this provides a great opportunity to expand opportunities on the mountain. And...has been pointed out by the mountain and on here...it ain't exactly going to flood the zone with skiers.

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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby bigelow » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:13 am

I am sure there will be pros and cons, like anything. Time will tell.
I think it is cool to see the resort taking the initiative to give it a shot....see what happens.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Pow on the Mao » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:31 am

myell wrote:Excellent FB post by the Loaf.

It is totally ok if the few dozen people who hiked/skinned it more than 10 times last winter complain... we should give them that.

Like I said in my last post, this is absolutely the best way forward for Sugarloaf and the new terrain (which will only increase from here). It all makes sense. I think it will be done right. Even the pricing is sensible for those who want a truly one-of-a-kind experience in the east. (Side note: for those who really want a pure backcountry experience, plenty can be found throughout the western Maine alps). Burnt was never destined to be a pure backcountry experience. We should all hope this approach works and sticks around for many, many years! (Maybe some more terrain and a third cat... someday.)

I think what it is will be something special. And just think, if this along with the other additions over the last 5ish years attract a few more hardy skiers up to our big rock than that new gondola might not be just a pipe dream after all...

I'M READY FOR SNOW


good post. SL needs to make money. we need a base to summit lift. this is a good way to attract interest / dollars without totally gang banging burnt. i've come around on the idea.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Alpiner » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:38 am

Pow on the Mao wrote:we need a base to summit lift.


Did Ski_The_East hack your account? A single base-to-summit lift is never happening. Base-to-Bullwinkle's-to-summit maybe.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby DeadMoose » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:42 am

embrace the change. if it sucks they can change it, if its a cash cow we all win. live a little people.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby muleski » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:10 pm

Just a suggestion. Let's see who actually ends up owning the hard assets of the place down the road. Plenty of discussion around the ski industry that Och-Ziff, the $50Billion Hedge Fund that bought the entire portfolio form CNL, has almost every area very quietly on the block. Evidently part of their strategy was to break it up, sell off the pieces and make enough to in effect pay for the one or two that a couple of the principals want to keep as their own. The Ziff brothers are serious skiers, and both own multiple homes in Aspen. But owning ski areas does not fit with O-Z's core business, as I recall. Would they personally want one? Maybe.

Now Boyne holds the SL lease, and they are going nowhere until they decide to, which means being bought out of that lease. They also evidently have the right to match any offers on a purchase. So, the likelihood of the next owner being Boyne, with perhaps a different financial partner/structure, I would say are good. And the leases on all of the CNL properties complicate things. Nothing new there. Good thing we have Boyne.

In the meantime, I think we see creative ideas like the cat rides up Burnt, and capital investment limited to what the lease requires from O-Z, which is based on results. I would venture that significant lift investment is a ways off. Let's hope that what we have does the job in the meantime.

I think this could be a plus. Good move. It differentiates the place, and that is generally a plus. Traffic sounds pretty minimal.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby ottoclave2 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:15 pm

One other thing that would be nice about this is to make the ergonomics of getting from KP to the Log Yard and then back to either Bigelow Mtn. Rd or to the Condo trail a little better. I do whine a little bit every time I make the hard left on to the nordic trails at the bottom of the cat track and have to debate whether to skate (probably not), skin up again (still probably not) or take skis off and hike (usually) back to the road.

Also have had some dicey crossings of the stream at the bottom of Rough Cut on to the place where the road crosses the Burnt Mt. hiking trail.
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Skimaine » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:55 pm

I would like to point-out that this was my idea years ago in a post on this very forum. Sure, I was being a sarcastic at the time and unfortunately the post was lost in the last major refresh. You can love me or hate me for the idea. I just want my 25% royalties on every paid ticket. :wink:
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Pow on the Mao » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:54 pm

DeadMoose wrote:embrace the change. if it sucks they can change it, if its a cash cow we all win. live a little people.


i just said that charles!
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby Kenny » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:11 pm

As a frequent visitor to burnt over the past few years, I'll admit that my initial reaction to this was negative. But pretty much for selfish reasons. Outside some key times, burnt has been lightly used and the prevailing winds usually freshened the place up between storms. Never had a problem finding untracked freshies. Putting a couple hundred skiers down burnt in a day will change this for sure. But change happens, and if this spurs continued burnt expansion, it could be good. In the meantime, I will work on my sharing skills...
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Re: Burnt Mountain Cat Rides

Postby farmboy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:00 pm

I think SL management was in a tough spot here. People have been pushing for a t-bar for some time. Others want people to earn their turns. I think they threaded the needle with the Cat skiing. It will attract more visitors to the mountain and for the price I don't see people doing laps either for the price tag.
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