Saddleback to Reopen After Five Years Closed

By Natausha Cogley, Contributing Writer

    Winter is right around the corner and this means that Saddleback Mountain will finally be open after being shut down for five years. 

    Saddleback Mountain is located in the Rangeley Lakes Region and is about an hour away from UMF. They are hoping to open on Dec. 15, just in time for the 2020-2021 ski and snowboard season. After being closed for nearly five years, the mountain was purchased and some big changes were put into place. There is now a brand new high-speed quad ski lift, renovations to the lodge, and investments on new snowmakers. 

    The mountain has 66 ski trails. The Royal Tiger, one of the easier trails on the mountain, is in the middle of the slow zone that contains over half the easy trails on the mountain. “[The slow zone] is a great place to freshen up your skills or hit the mountain for your very first time,” said Olivia Hall, a Rangeley local and avid skier. 

        Saddleback is one of the biggest ski destinations in the state, which means there’s lots of trails for even the most experienced skiers and riders to choose from. Hall recommended Golden Smelt as one of the best trails. “Golden Smelt is my favorite trail because it’s easily missed and not a lot of people can find it. So there’s always a lot of powder on it,” said Hall. 

    As the weather gets cooler at UMF, skiers are itching to try out the new Saddleback. “I haven’t been able to hit the trails on Saddleback since 2015,” said Mary Swiney, a sophomore from Rangeley. “I feel the newly renovated lodge and the new ski lift will significantly improve the mountain and make it more enjoyable.” 

    Rumors are flying about how the Saddleback will look and feel compared to before Saddleback closed in 2015. “I haven’t seen the new lodge yet, but I heard they’re expanding the upstairs and working on a restaurant,” said Hall. There’s expected to be some big changes that everyone is looking forward to. 

    From now until Thanksgiving, Saddleback is offering a discounted full season pass to college students with a valid college ID for $324. The normal price for a college student pass is $449. 

    For more information on their newest additions, renovations, and updates, follow their Instagram @saddlebackmaine, like their Facebook page, or go to their website at

When 27 Hours of Driving Leads to 10 Hours of Being Forgotten

By Natausha Cogley Contributing Writer

     Theo Griffin, an Early Childhood Education major, made the 27-hour drive from Colorado to UMF just to be stuck in her dorm room for 10 hours without any contact or food. 

    Upon arriving Griffin knew she had to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for two-three days. Only a day into quarantine, Griffin’s roommate moved out. 

     “I was left without a roommate, so I had to quarantine the rest of the time by myself,” Griffin said, “which was so extremely boring.” After Griffin’s roommate left, she had no in-person communication for 24 hours.

     On Friday, August 21, Griffin realized that people were outside: she could hear voices in the halls. “I hadn’t been notified about anything. I had no idea that anything was happening. But I kept hearing people,” Griffin said, “There were a ton of people walking down the hallway and when I looked outside my window I realized there were people out there.”

     When Griffin sent an email hoping to figure out what was going on, she was told that her test results had been lost. She would have to be tested and quarantined again. 

    Luckily, her test results were found, yet Griffin was not released from her room until Saturday, August 22.

     “I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Friday, I went out Saturday morning to go grab food from where it usually was,” Griffin said, “but there was no food, they had forgotten about me. I was the only one still in quarantine.”

     Luckily, Griffin had snacks she brought into her room. It took until 3 p.m. for her to be notified that she was all clear and able to leave her room.