The Practice Slope was pretty busy today. There was a High School Winter Carnival GS race on Black Snake, Snake Bite, and Practice Slope. These brave racers were working hard to get around the gates on the steep pitch of Snake Bite. Snake Bite can be intimidating, especially when there are gates. The Carnival continues tomorrow with a slalom race on Lower FIS. I headed to the Zone after the GS race. There are 8 jumps in the Zone Terrain Park. I had fun watching the skiers and riders flying through the air. The far skier’s left side of Practice Slope had a race course. Saint Michael’s Race Team was here at Smuggs running slalom gates. The photo seen here is one of the racers hitting one of the slalom gates.
Today was another beautiful day here at Smuggs. We had partly to mostly sunny skies with temperatures up near 20 degrees. I had a great time skiing with my friend John pictured here this morning. We were able to find a few powder stashes here and there from the snow we received early this week. The clear skies allowed for fantastic views from the Madonna I chair lift.
I was going to take a run with my wife Harley this morning on Madonna Mountain. We were going by the Base Lodge when we ran into Matt from Snow Sport University who told us that we needed to ski Doc Dempsey’s. He also suggested that we hit the skier’s left hand side. The very top was a little thin but, it did not take long to get good. Matt was correct about the skier’s left hand side! Harley and I had a great run and also found some nice fresh tracks. Thanks for the good advice Matt.
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. PK is Paul Kayhart, Smuggs Nordic Director. 5K is 3.something miles. OK is an American expression popular around the world. Anywho, this past Saturday the Nordic Center hosted PK’s 5K Ramble, a non-competitive jaunt on our cross country trails.This event was part of the Heritage WinterFest presented by the Smugglers’ Notch Area Chamber of Commerce. PK, like his predecessor Zeke Zucker, is passionate about cross country skiing. In an effort to introduce more people to the sport, PK convinced the Resort to offer FREE rentals and trail passes. Local dignitaries Mike Moser of the Cambridge Planning Commission and Lynn Saywer of the Cambridge Historical Society took advantage of the offer. Mike and PK (pictured) got out their wooden skis, wouldn’t ya know.
“Well OK then, that was a couple of days ago, what about today Rockin’?” you ask. Twas a bluebird beauty of a day and I skied like I had wings. I made my maiden flight of the season to Morse Highlands. I took the cut-over trail from Lower Morse Liftline right below where Sam’s Run enters (how come I never noticed that trail before?).Then I did my first fly-by of the season on Snow Snake. I never get tired of that trail. It has some nice pitches, rolls, and turns. That’s where I take my friends on Morse, before we migrate to Madonna and Sterling. I gotta migrate outta here… catch ya on the fly.
I was skiing at the Morse Highlands area today. I wanted to see the Log Jam Terrain Park that just opened a few days ago. The Log Jam Terrain Park is designed for beginners with rollers and fun boxes that are low to the ground. I was skiing back to the Morse Highlands lift when I ran into Keith and Beth from Toronto, the couple pictured here. They were out snowshoeing on the Wire Road and were going to check out the Fox Trot Loop. We chatted for a while about how beautiful and peaceful it is to go snowshoeing through the snow covered woods. The Smugglers’ Notch Nordic Center has 30 km of cross country skiing trails and 24 km of snowshoeing trails. The Nordic Center has cross country, snowshoes, and ice skate rentals. They also give tours and cross country ski lessons. For more information go to smuggs.com or you can call them at 802 644 1173.
We received 6 to 10 inches of new snow in the past 36 hours. The trail count is over 50 and we are also expecting more snow tomorrow. My son Hugh and I were riding the Sterling lift this morning. We were watching the skiers and riders floating through the powder on Upper Exhibition. They made it look too good, so we just had to ski Upper Exhibition. The trail was covered in two of Hugh’s favorite things jumps and powder. We had so much fun that we had to ski it again!
Today was a great day on the mountain. It started with the Cat Trax Express, our 12 passenger heated cabin snowcat that brings you to the top of Madonna Mountain on Saturdays for first tracks. The Cat Trax Express also does fireworks tours and early evening tours. We had a fantastic time this morning getting first tracks in the early morning light.
I finished the morning report and then met up with my family to do some runs on Morse. We were riding the kid friendly Mogul Mouse Magical Lift to mid station. King Billy Bob’s Den was open on the Magic Learning Trail. The kids just love going though the tunnel. We ran into some great family friends at mid station and did a few runs with them. The kids then decided that it would be a great idea to visit Father Winter. Father Winter is in the teepee between Lower Morse Liftline and the Magic Learning Trail on Saturdays and Wednesdays. He has a wood fire going with a pot of hot cider that kids pictured here really enjoy on a chilly winter day. It’s always a fun educational experience when we visit Father Winter.
I had a great time today at the Harvey Wesson memorial race series also known as the local’s race. The Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard club puts the race on and it is held on the Practice Slope. One great thing about racing on the Practice Slope is the Sterling T Bar. It’s real easy access from the Upper Parking Lot and you are back at the top of the Practice Slope in no time. Many skiers and riders have been using the Sterling T Bar to get back to the top of the Birch Run Terrain Park by cutting through the woods and going across Lower Exhibition.
I ran into my good friend Andy this morning. He works at 3 Mountain Equipment and his shift started at 2pm this afternoon, so we wanted to get in some good runs before work. We met in the Upper Parking lot and headed for the Sterling lift. On the lift ride up we discussed which trails we wanted to ski and why. I mentioned to Andy that Hangman’s Drop and Chute were groomed last night with a winch cat. We agreed that steep groomed terrain would be a bunch of fun. Next we headed for Highland Glades for some powder in the trees. The photo you see here is Andy finding some of that powder in the trees.
It has been pretty cold the past couple of days and our snowmakers have been really busy. The snowmaking whales can get pretty big overnight, but the ones I saw this morning were just huge. The mountain of snow that you see here in the photo was made in just a day. It was the perfect storm in the snowmaking world with cold temperatures and light winds. It is just amazing the amount of snow that the new tower guns can make in a short amount of time in the right conditions. Talk about base depths!