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Tag: Sunday River

Wes Mills Ski Day – Best Ski Buddy Ever

February 3 is a day we remember our best ski buddy, Wes Mills of Kennebunk Maine.  Wes Mills Ski Day is celebrated at Sunday River annually on his birthday, sadly in his absence – we lost Wes too soon after his valiant battle against renal carcinoma that took him away on September 28, 2016. But his ski spirit lives on in our hearts, our minds, we all continue to “Ski some lines for Wes” …among his beautiful parting words to ski friends.

Wes was a true hero in a sense, and a top alpine supporter. How many people thought of Wes Mills as their best ski buddy? That was one of Wes’ many gifts. Wes always brought joy, humor and love – everywhere he went, and always to the ski slopes. He wouldn’t want us to be sad …he would want us to be happy – glad we knew him, happy for our mountain adventures with him, he’d want us to carry on – to carry him in our memory skiing, biking, boating.

To know Wes was to love him. He was the mayor at Sunday River, the committee boat at Stage Harbor, the chief of mountain bike rides. Wes loved everything about the great state of Maine – in all seasons – the mountains, the ocean, the lakes, the trails. But his passion for skiing, for hiking to an untracked summit with his buds, that was pure joy to him. His mom said, “We didn’t let our 3 boys play basketball, because winter weekends were for skiing.”

Wes travelled the globe in search of deep powder with his ski posse – from Jordan Bowl to Japan with SAAS, Sunday River to the Swiss Alps, making new friends at every turn, cherishing every moment, every run. He could tele like nobody’s business, except perhaps for his son Wes who literally followed in his tracks.

Another of Wes’ great gifts, when you spoke with him, he made you feel like you were the only one in the room, the only thing that mattered at that moment. He cared, and he remembered – even the things you hoped he would forget. “Hey Heather, remember that time you were petrified to go heli skiing? Look at you now, attagirl.”

As friend Doug Patey said, “There was always just one more ridge to summit for Wes.” His energy and enthusiasm was boundless. He’d say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” Wes’ playfulness and passion for the outdoors were extraordinary. He would also find something tremendously positive about the conditions, a perfect patch of cord, or soft carve-able snow on an otherwise firm fast freezing day. He prioritized fun, and friends, and family.

Wes always brought his best, never complained or tuckered out. He found humor in everything. He was strong but humble, a tease but only in kindness and thoughtfulness. He climbed every mountain, carved every slope, lived life to the fullest.

Friend Bill Basset said, “I think Wes wanted to be buried in his ski boots.” Well, he will be in our ski thoughts, in our pockets and packs on those perfect powder days, and when its sleet and hail, we’ll find the silver lining and think of our amazing optimistic friend, forever… this ski season, and always.

Friends of Wes will gather at Barker Mountain at Sunday River on February 3, 2019, Superbowl Sundaywould be Wes’ 59th birthday, ski some lines for him, then meet up after for après ski drinks at Barker Bar at 2pm. Wes’ skis are mounted above the Barker Bar. Also prophetic, in 2018-19 The Weather Channel has named a winter snow storm for ” Wesley”.

Heather Burke, in loving memory of Wes Mills, best ski buddy ever….

Copyright 2019, by Heather Burke of  Photos by Greg Burke of Luxury Vacation Guide


Columbus weekend in ski country – beer, ski gear, wife carrying…

Columbus Day weekend in New England means two things to skiers:

1. Peak Foliage  2. Countdown to Skiing

chairrideDie hard skiers start to get amped mid-October, knowing their favorite time of year is drawing near. The three-day weekend including Columbus Day Monday is an ideal time to head to the mountains , get that season pass picture updated and drink beer..its apres ski – pre game before the first snowflakes.

Columbus Weekend at Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine a wonderful fall traditions, with peak foliage,  Sugarloaf host Homecoming and Sunday River Wife Carrying Competition.

3wife_carrying3Saturday of Columbus day Weekend at Sunday River Resort is your chance to witness the Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, this wildly popular event draws thousands of spectators to watch 50 couples crash, dash and splash through an obstacle course, over log hurdles and through a mud pit. Wives get wet and muddy, guys get hurt and the winner gets their wife’s weight in beer. Sound fun? You must see this event in person. For additional entertainment at Sunday River, the Chondola will be operating for scenic chairlifts rides, live bands will play at the South Ridge Base Lodge by the beer and wine tents, and the Annual Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair takes place too. Sunday at the River is a new event, the New England Corn Hole Championship where some lucky duo will take home $500 in this classic Yankee toss. It’s also “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with Bloody Marys. For family fun, Sunday River’s Fall Festival weekend includes wagon and pony rides, chainsaw carving demonstrations, and a ski sale at Sunday River Sports.

6sugarloaf-summitSugarloaf’s annual Homecoming Weekend is always Columbus Weekend. Loafers come out of summer hibernation to pay homage to prime foliage, and hike 2,400′ vertical ‘to the summit – three miles, all smiles in the Uphill Climb Race, with a big finish of beer and lunch at Bullwinkle’s. Other fun fall activities at the Loaf include the CVA Used Ski Equipment Sale, the Upcountry Artist Show, Sugarloaf’s Annual Meeting, free scenic chairlift rides, The Jay Moody Memorial Golf Tourney, and the Maine Outdoor Film Festival at Sugarloaf’s Beach.

Enjoy the three-day weekend, get your ski gear out of the basement and ready to go. It’s only a few weeks till we have snow, skiing and snowboard season.

Keep your skis tuned and tune back in to Family Ski Trips Trips for news and ski resort reviews and The for travel tips and resort recommendations.

Heather Burke, 2019 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

7th Dumont Cup at Sunday River – Bobby Brown wins

sunday-river-chondolaThe sun came out and the skiers went big this weekend at Sunday River’s 7th Annual Dumont Cup. This pro-am event that began humbly in 2008 soon became the greatest free skiing throw down show down in the East, arguably comparable to Aspen’s Winter X Games at Buttermilk since all the top free skiers show up and blow up, competing in Slopestyle against rising talents on Maine’s slopes where the host, Bethel-native Simon Dumont, learned his tricks.

Until 2016, the Dumont Cup was awesome. Featuring back-to-back X Games Gold Medalist Bobby Brown from Colorado who took first place and the cash purse of $7,500 at the 7th annual event, an final Dumont Cup. Filling the podium Silver and Bronze spots were amateur Teal Harle from Canada and X Games Medalist from the UK James Woods. Nine pros and 74 amateur skiers competed in the two-day Dumont Cup before big crowds and their host – 10-time X Games Medalist Simon Dumont who designed the six rail, three jump course on T72 – Sunday River’s 15-acre terrain trail. The field of free skiers included Olympian Joss Christensen and Alex Schlopy – both past Dumont Cup podium winners.

1_sunday_riverThe 7th annual Dumont Cup was also the last, lucky seven, over and out. Simon is more into photography and traveling these days than hosting his own free ski event in which he no longer skis as he pushed 30, a godfather in free ski years.

If you missed the Dumont Cup at Sunday River – well you missed it! You can go ski Sunday River’s T72, an entire trail dedicated to terrain park jumps, rails, quarter pipes and tricks designed by Simon Dumont himself.

Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

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