The Sugarloaf Schuss represents the long-standing racing heritage instilled in the resort and many of its local inhabitants. Amos Winter began the tradition in 1951 as a hardy test of endurance and stamina, as well as a means to celebrate the end of the winter season, as the event was typically held in April. The First Schuss took place on Winter's Way, before the world cup legend that is Narrow Gauge came to be. At the time all other alpine races were held in Vermont and New Hampshire.
1971 World Cup
After more than two years in the planning stages, the dream of many, to host a FIS sanctioned event, was put into motion. When the time came in February of 1971, the unorganized township of Wyman, Sugarloaf-Jerusalem Maine that housed an annual population of 85 residents, was invaded by more than 20,000 people who flocked to the base of Sugarloaf for the World Cup races. That attendance included 150 of the world's fastest competitors from 11 countries, 200 race officials, 150 National Ski Patrol members, 125 news reporters, radio broadcasters and TV crews and tens of thousands of spectators. It was the largest event in Maine for that year, and many to follow.
U.S. Alpine Nationals
This year marks the sixth time that Sugarloaf has hosted the US Alpine Championships; the resort previously hosted the races in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008 and 2015. Sugarloaf maintains a strong relationship with the US Ski Team, and the recurring event has drawn large crowds to the resort's warm welcoming village and challenging slopes. Not only does the US Alpine Championships provide a great opportunity for spectators, but is helps foster the passion and excitement of ski racing for the local race programs.
Many of the world's best ski and snowboard racers cut their teeth at Sugarloaf and on Narrow Gauge. Carrabassett Valley Academy, an award-winning USSA club located near Sugarloaf, is one of the nation's top snowsport academies and has produced world class athletes and medal-winning Olympians in both skiing and snowboarding. The roster includes Bode Miller, Emily Cook, Kristen Clark, Ben Morse, Alex Tuttle, and Seth Wescott, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.