Just got back from Sugar Bowl where I did a day of amazing spring riding. The top of Mt. Judah was closed due to meltage...but otherwise great spring conditions. I got first tracks and it was firm (but not slipping and icy.) When the sun came overhead it got niiice and fast and smooth for 3 or 4 killer runs. Then by 2 it was slushy and a lot to push around.
I give SugarBowl two enthusiatic thumbs up! I liked it a LOT better than Northstar. I'm not really a park rat but I did check out the park, hit a couple airs and fun boxes. Not as nice as Northstar's but the blue cruisers were steeper and wider. The mountain is nice and open. I could see how some trails would get tough to ride on a busy day. But there were no lines and no crowds today. All the lifts were in good working order. The lift exits are icy and kind of steep and if you are a beginner and you cant skate well it may be tough for you. I fell off the first chair ride mostly out of surprise. Lol.
There are flats coming back to the lift. But its easy to keep speed and not have to skate them. There were no stopping nets like a Northstar but maybe they put them up in peak season. I dont know. (Amazing how one asshole barreling into a lift line can ruin the last 100 ft for all riders.)
The staff on the hill are super chill and friendly. And lack of stopping nets not withstanding they seemed really into safety. The ski patrol were ubiquitous and always asking people if they needed help (fallen people I mean.) They also had staff helping at the top of the lifts (never seen that before.) The lift operators went out of their way to help kids and newbies on and off. It was a good vibe.
I had a liftopedia coupon so the day cost me $60! But I see online you can join the mountain frequent riders club and get $15 off lift tickets. So at $65, that makes SugarBowl a great deal. Northstar cost me $95 (thats with the advance purchase discount.) You give up the uber park, the disney village...and it seemed like the groomers at Northstar were longer runs. Though hit Mt. Lincoln lift at SugarBowl and the runs for me were the same time at higher speeds (according to Ski Tracks.)
The parking was a bit confusing. But I parked at Judah (go past the gondola.) It was free, a very short walk to the lift with my gear (no shuttle hassle.) And there seemed to be a lot of space. On a busy day I am sure it fills up quick. On any mountain there is no substitute for being the early bird. You go getcha worm!
All in all...I would totally go here again if I get another day off. I really enjoyed it.