See if you can guess where I am: After heading into the resort’s pro shop to pick up the Völkl skis I had reserved, I’m told by a sheepish employee that Dr. McDreamy of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame already had grabbed my planks. Great, I thought. Skunked by actor Patrick Dempsey. So, am I at Vail? Aspen? Squaw Valley?
Actually, none of the above. Dempsey, a Maine native, got the better of me at Sugarloaf in Vacationland’s western mountains, during the resort’s annual Sugarloaf Charity Summit (a heart-warming event that has raised millions in the fight against cancer and draws luminaries from throughout the region). Still, truth be told, Sugarloaf is never going to be mistaken as the second coming of Mascara Mountain (the sobriquet that Sugarbush, Vermont, earned in the 1960s when it became the darling of the New York City glitterati). And that’s just fine with Sugarloafers.
The mountain is a New England classic — a solitary mound of granite with some of the best terrain east of the Mississippi. Jamie Marshall, who has set up shop as a coach at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, grew up here, attending Carrabassett Valley Academy and racing at “The Loaf.”
“Having Sugarloaf as a home and a place to grow up was unreal,” said Marshall. “It’s amazing how, even though I go back much less frequently as I used to, the people are still the same and greet me with a ‘PBR on me!’ when I see them at The Rack.