Mt. Abram, a local ski area in Greenwood, Maine is continuing its green streak. After receiving a $235,000 matching USDA REAP grant in August 2013, the family fave has begun construction on its latest energy efficiency project, installing an 803-solar panel array that will offset roughly 70% of its annual energy consumption.
Mt. Abram is part of the Mountain Riders Alliance, a group that seeks to create "sustainable mountain playgrounds." This newest effort by Mt. Abram is just one more in their already-long list of green initiatives. After their lodge burned down in a 2011 fire, a base tent was erected to welcome skiers. In an energy-friendly effort, the base tent lodge is heated with a wood pellet boiler rather than environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels.
Mt. Abram also uses Low E Towers for its snowmaking, making it possible to put more pow on the hills with less energy. And perhaps in one of the best deals in ski country, Mt. Abram skiers and snowboarders can pack their car full of friends on Fridays and everyone in the car skis for just $79.
Green initiatives aside, Mt. Abram is just a kick-ass locals place to ski. With 5 lifts, 51 trails, and 1,150 feet of vertical drops, you won't find any high-speed quad chairs here, just the double chair "The Way Back Machine" that carries skiers and riders back to old-school style runs with names like Frostbite Falls, Bullwinkle's Horn, and Natasha's Niche. So throw on your bibs, pack your car, and join the party of skiers. You'll be surrounded by a growing number of like-minded powder lovers; Mt. Abram has seen a 35% increase in skiers per year since 2011. So what's the lesson in going green? We may live in a world with huge ski industry players like Vail Resorts, but there are plenty of Mt. Abrams out there who care just as much about protecting our playgrounds as they do about providing a killer ski experience. Cheers to that.
-By Tara Tubb