Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
629 Sugar Bowl Rd
Norden, CA 95724
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort Rating:
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is an absolute gem of a ski mountain. Having skied extensively across the US, I feel confident in saying that Sugar Bowl is the best kept secret in skiing.
Sugar Bowl shares all the characteristics of top, well known, ski resorts such awesome terrain and tremendous snow conditions. What makes Sugar Bowl unique is the mountain resorts atmosphere. Sugar Bowl is refreshingly warm in its interactions with skiers. All the folks at Sugar Bowl be it management, food staff or lift operators are there to make you fell comfortable. I suspect this hospitable service oriented approach to mountain management comes from Sugar Bowl's origins. Sugar Bowl was founded in 1938 by Walt Disney. Through the late 30's and 40's Sugar Bowl was managed as a coop for the Hollywood jet-set, like Errol Flynn, among other successful business leaders. The attributes that made the mountain a favorite among its skier owners exists today with us ski-bums.
A couple of specific stories about the hospitable nature include a particularly windy day back in the mid-nineties when Sugar Bowl had to close a lift due to wind. They actually comped anyone with a full price tix for a free a day of skiing. Another time I was injured there after a bad fall on the '58s, the infirmary staff could not have been any better.
Moving onto the important things, the runs at Sugar Bowl rock. Sugar Bowl has four distinct mountains:
* Mt. Disney- Named after the founder, this is primarily expert and intermediate skiing. The very front face of Mt. Disney has a run called Disney Nose. Its quite steep and has a cool natural rock formation to ski through.
* Mt Lincoln- The largest of the four mountain has lots of great chutes. This is primarily an expert area. When coming down the lift exit ramp you'll find Sugar Bowls most challenging terrain to the right. The areas are called the '58 and the Palisades. These are as spectacular runs as you'll find anywhere featuring some nice cornices and serious steeps. Mt Lincoln is especially popular with snow boarders as there is not of great glades or tree skiing.
* Mt. Judah- Is a peak that opened in the mid-late 90's and offers some great open intermediate runs like Sunset Boulevard. The expert stuff at Judah is generally big open bowl skiing so its hard to run into much trouble.
* Crow's Nest Peak- I am less familiar with this terrain, but there are a few expert runs that look really cool.
The snow at Sugar Bowl is amazing, the best in the Sierra Nevada. Sugar Bowl is located in a natural snow belt and receives 500" of annual snow fall. This is more than other area ski mountains like Squaw Valley and Alpine who average ~450" and is on par with resorts well known for snow like Alta.
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is a wonderful surprise in a world over over hypes ski resorts. The terrain and snow quality are both amazing. The people at Sugar Bowl are the best in the industry. You have not skied the Sierra Nevada until you have tried Sugar Bowl. Do not miss this place, its GREAT!!!