Spruce is Still Great!

Sunday River’s Spruce Peak has been without lift access since the resort opened in mid-November. The resort and lift manufacturer Doppelmayr USA have finalized plans to replace the lift, but this won’t happen until Summer of 2017, long after the snow on American Express has melted.

We’ve heard some rumors around the mountain that a grassroots campaign has been started with the goal to “Make Spruce Great Again.” Although this is a clever tagline, we’re here to tell you that even without the luxurious Spruce Triple whisking us to the top, Spruce is still great!

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The terrain on Spruce Peak is still accessible to skiers and riders—it just takes a little extra effort to get there. The upside to this situation is that not having direct lift access cuts down on traffic and preserves fresh snow longer. Sunday River’s Mountain Ops and Ski Patrol are still looking after the terrain on Spruce as if it was still lift-serviced, although it does remain au natural more often than other areas of the resort.

The easiest way to access the terrain on Spruce Peak is to ride the Aurora Quad—make sure you wave to Vernon who typically mans the top lift shack—and take a left off at the top of the chair onto Borealis. Follow the trail along until you meet the intersection of Borealis, Sirius, Vortex, and Aludra. There should be a sign guiding you up to the right for the short hike up to Spruce Peak.

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It’s a fairly short hike up to Spruce (about 100 – 150 yards of a moderate incline). If you (safely) keep your speed around the corner from Borealis, you can cover about a third of this incline. Some people chose to skate the rest of the way up—I usually take my skis off and make the quick hike on foot. No skins or AT bindings are necessary; it’s the easiest side-country access around.

After the short hike, you’ll find yourself in familiar territory where the former Spruce Triple used to drop you off. From here you can enjoy great cruisers like American Express and Risky Business, the steeps of Downdraft or the rugged glades of Gnarnia. And though you’re earning your turns, be sure to mind all ropes and signage from Ski Patrol before invoking your boundary-to-boundary rights.

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Even though the Spruce Triple is not running this year, hopefully everyone ventures over to Spruce Peak showing that Spruce is still GREAT!

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5 Comments

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  1. Joanne Mason 02/01/2017 — 2:42 pm

    It has been great! We’ve hiked it a few times and have skied both sides. Does it really need a lift? Just kidding. I know it does.

  2. The fact that Sunday River took the time out of their day to make a legitimate website about their currently dead spruce peak lift amazes me. Usually when something like this happens, nobody explains anything, and we all have to wait till next year to find out what happens. It’s not everyday that companies feel free to talk about the misfortune things about their business, and in this case you guys really handled it well.

    I look forward to skiing spruce peak in the future.

    • Thanks, Tucker! Just doing what we can. Cheers to Spruce!

      • The sign picture in this post shows they are no groomed runs this year, but in the FAQ section of the “Winter Update” it states that both Risky Business and American Express will be groomed as usual. Just seeing which you are holding to this season. Thank you.

      • Hi Blake! The trails were ungroomed when this particular photo was taken, but our grooming team has been venturing up American Express and Risky Business when temperatures and conditions allow. You can see current grooming by visiting sundayriver.com/report.

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