Community cleans up Sugar Loaf


Here’s an open letter from Rick Desrochers of the newly formed Sugar Loaf Mountain Club, thanking the local community for helping clean up the ski hill in advance of the long-shuttered mountain potentially opening up to cross-country skiing and ice climbing this winter.

To Everyone,

All I can say at this moment is WOW… I cannot thank all the volunteers 22 of them at that, for what they are doing and the difference they are making.. Not only to volunteer for the Sugar Loaf Mountain Club, but also the difference that you are making in the surrounding area.. Yes I do have a hard time sometimes when I thank the volunteers for coming out and to say a big thank and they turn around and say “No We Thank You”.. This is what a true community is about; to come together for something they believe in.

We are about starting over, kind of hitting the reset button on Sugar Loaf, when the forefathers of Sugar Loaf hiked up to the top, they had a dream in 1948 and that was to have activities on a mountain for Leelanau County. That dream is what we are about and bringing back a beautiful place to the surrounding communities. People talk about the past, but if people talk just about the past, they will not look towards the future and what the future has to offer.

Now I also would like to say a special “Thank You to Deering’s Market in Empire Michigan for donating items for the volunteers. I wanted to read something to the volunteers that came out from Phil and Sue of Deerings Market…” Thank you to all the volunteers for your hard work and dedication in believing in something that has meant so much too all the communities” So if you are down in Empire, stop in and say Hi… This is about the surrounding communities and trying to make a difference. It really makes me so proud and honored to know that people are trying to make a difference; with that some updates.

What our volunteers accomplished on Nov. 12

1. Tube run is coming along really great- just have one more day of weed whacking and will be finished and waiting on snow.

2. The volunteers also got the top of Awful Awful, Wufle and the Wall completed, did a little bit on Devils Elbow too.

3. Our website is coming along, should be just a little bit longer.

What we are working on next Saturday, Nov. 19

1. Awful Awful at mid point.
2. Cleaning at the bottom of the hill
3. Finishing up the tube run
4. Marking out the Cross Country Ski Trail

And here’s a glowing response that Sugar Loaf owner Kate Wickstrom posted on the Friends of Sugar Loaf Facebook page:

Dear Friends and Residents

Over the past year, I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and working with Eric Luthhardt and Rick Desrochers and discussing plans for re-opening the resort. Two months ago, we were introduced to Erik Zehender, who has assisted in taking our dream of seeing something happen at the Loaf, over the top!!

Together, we are taking the steps necessary to bring an array of activity, back to the mountain. The support and efforts from our community, has been overwhelming. The volunteers that come to help clean up and prep the mountain, is astonishing. We could not be doing this without each and every one of you.

There have been many hurdles over the past 6 years, that have prevented the resort from opening, but we have chosen to put the dark and painful past history of the resort behind us. This is a new time. A new day.

We are taking small steps and building from the bottom up and we look forward to opening day, in the near future.

Warmest Regards,
Kate Wickstrom

This story was sponsored by On the Narrows Marina, now run by the McCahill family of Colorado.