Sugarbush Mountain, VT, to Open New Trail Next Season

Ian McIsaac | | Industry NewsIndustry News
image at the peak of sugarbush, reverse traverse
A picture at the peak of the Mountain. – Image: Facebook

On July 31, 2023, Sugarbush Mountain in Vermont shared its second capital project update. The Sugarbush team announced that they would be extending their “Reverse Traverse” trail. The trail will now connect the Valley House Quad lift to the Heaven’s Gate Triple lift. Previously, this trail did not go all the way to the Heaven’s Gate Triple lift and instead stopped at the “Lower Jester” trail. If you wanted to travel between the two lifts, it required going down slow terrain that was often confusing to navigate. Combined into one trail, this new trail promises to be more efficient and easier to traverse.

This new addition to the resort means that Sugarbush will no longer have its trademark 111 trails. Because of the extension of Reverse Traverse, Sugarbush decided to merge the trail with Heaven’s Gate Traverse. However, in an Instagram post, Sugarbush remarked, “Have no fear, we’ll be bringing back an old classic to keep us at our lovely 111 trails. More on that soon.” It’s not known yet which trail this will be, but many hope it will be something with steep terrain or trees, two quintessential features of the resort. In addition, the upgraded Reverse Traverse will have a more downslope trajectory and be fully equipped with snowmaking for the first time. The resort hopes to have this trail become a mainstay in early season operation with 34 snow guns.

sugarbush proposed trail upgrade
Trail map with the new trail edited in. – Image: Snowbrains and Sugarbush

With this news, a new chairlift might be coming to this part of the resort. In 2022, Sugarbush got approval from the US Forest Service to construct a chairlift to replace the Heaven’s Gate Triple lift. The need for new lifts is quite apparent at Sugarbush too. Many of the chairlifts at the resort are 30+ years old and cannot go at high speeds. It’s great that Sugarbush is upgrading trails and moving around layouts. However, it’s easy to wonder why more emphasis isn’t on upgrading lift infrastructure.

The news of this trail upgrade came with mixed feelings on Instagram. Commenters on the original post questioned why Sugarbush wasn’t prioritizing lifts and instead focusing on trails. Furthermore, trails don’t seem to be the only thing Sugarbush is focusing on. The renovation of the Lincoln Peak Lodge has also been taking place during this off-season. The resort hopes to have this hotel finished before the 2023 season begins.

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