An employee of Saddleback Mountain signals that the lift is open on opening day in Rangeley on Tuesday. Ben Klosowski, second from left, of Groveland, Massachusetts, got the “first chair,” the common term for being the first person up the mountain. Ski patroller Chris Riley, right, of Fayette and his sons, Thatcher, left, and Tristan, rode the second chair up the mountain. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Skiers and snowboarders come down a trail on a windy, cold opening day at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Reese McFarland, second from left, of Cape Elizabeth gives Connor Thoreck a fist bump as they celebrate the opening of Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Griffin Thoreck, left, and Owen Thoreck, right, said the group were all Saddleback diehards before the mountain closed five years ago. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley is back, five years after shutting down their lifts. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Stuart Winchester of Brooklyn, New York, waits for the lift to open at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Winchester arrived at the mountain at 7:30 a.m., 90 minutes before the lift opened on opening day. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“Oh boy, is this a special day,” Peter Stein said about opening day at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. “If people only knew what it took to open this place,” said the former president of the Saddleback Mountain Foundation. “It was a very difficult problem to solve. So much to learn from this whole thing.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Reese McFarland of Cape Elizabeth catches some air on opening day at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lodge at Saddleback Mountain was closed on Tuesday, except for those who made lunch reservations. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Heated warming huts are open for skiers and snowboarders to warm up. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A skier boogies along an ungroomed trail at Saddleback Mountain on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Tristan Riley, 11, and his brother Thatcher Riley, 14, of Fayette pass the time while they wait for the lift to open on opening day at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. “We have skied at Saddleback every year, lifts or no lifts, ever since we have been able to ski,” said Thatcher Riley. The Riley family have hiked the mountain to ski down on numerous occasions ever since Saddleback closed their lifts five years ago. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“First tracks” is the term used when a skier is the first to ski on an area of fresh snow before anyone else. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Skiers ride the Rangeley high-speed quad lift up Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Chloe Raymond and Mat Allen, both of Bangor, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Saddleback provided free coffee and hot chocolate since the main lodge was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lodge was open for those that made lunch reservations. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Ski patroller Ted Eames of Oquossoc talks with skiers as they wait for the lift to open on opening day at Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Skiers ride the Rangeley high-speed quad lift up Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: