Hail to the Brush Cutters

Brush Cutters 2015

October 1, 2015
Photo by Kim Martin

“Oh hail to the brush cutters, brush cutters, brush cutters.
Hail to our belov-ed brush cutting crew.
They climb and they cut.
And they seldom will fuss.
Hail to our won-der-ful brush cutting crew!”

…all credit to Mike Chait, SSU Snowboard Program Manager


Winter news

Started your winter countdown yet? We have, and we’ve got exciting news to share! First, snowmaking enhancements continue. Over the last three seasons, Smugglers’ has added more than 450 high efficiency tower guns and additional fan guns to fully convert the snowmaking fleet to fully high efficiency snowguns. New snow gun placement this winter will serve Wanderer, a favorite learning trail where novices at Smuggs enjoy their first experience with natural features in Billy Bob’s Bear Den. Many Smuggs skiers and riders also know the Wanderer trail as a favorite access trail for stops at Father Winter’s slopeside tipi.

This year, work was completed on a new pipeline for water access to support an expansion in snowmaking coverage from the current 60 percent to 80 percent coverage in upcoming seasons. The pipeline project will increase conservation flows at the resort’s existing withdrawals, and ensures optimal water availability while adhering to the resort’s own goals for environmental responsibility as well as state benchmarks for environmental management.

These snowmaking initiatives, a $5 million investment, are part of a comprehensive effort to enhance Smugglers’ snowmaking product for skiers and riders. The new guns have yielded faster terrain coverage and quick refreshing of trails, and allow our team to make snow at a wider temperature range. That ability has improved early and late season coverage.

More news … there will be a new on-snow playground with learning features for skiers and riders ages 3-6. Conveniently located on the Green in the center of the resort Village, a new learning area will launch the ski and ride experience for young children with sculpted snow features like a 100-foot mini pipe, rollers and fun learning tools like stop signs and obstacle courses that accelerate skills development. Smugglers’ Riglet Park for young snowboarders with its unique Treehouse will be moved to this location, helping to anchor this new dedicated space for young skiers and riders to develop their skills under the guidance of Snow Sport University coaches. And the very popular wagon will still transport these little skiers and riders to Sir Henry’s for the next stage of skill development in their SSU camp experience.


Countdown to Winter begins!

Thinking Winter yet? As the season’s countdown begins, we’ve got a few guest bloggers lined up to share winter news with you throughout late summer and fall. Drew Tolbert, Smugglers’ ski & ride sales and promotions manager, is first up …

You may have heard the reports of hail on Madonna last week and recalled the faint smell of cold precipitation. Maybe you’re zeroing in on a deal for the latest and greatest tech layer. Perhaps you’ve thrown an old ski and ride flick in the player to pass the time on a rainy evening. Our time is near fellow Smugglers—soon we’ll be pulling up our boots and pulling down our safety bars. The glory of white powdery gold will again be central to our lives and majesty of winter will descend on the notch!

But first we have work to do. Smuggs Ski & Ride is visiting our local colleges and helping them understand why our terrain is unparalleled and why lift access has to be double or nothing! From the JSC Fall Rail Jam to the St Mike’s Gear Swap to UVM’s Activities Fest, we’ll be recruiting attendees for our various on-snow parties. We’ll be at the Burton Sale spreading the word of our superior Riglet Program while we stock up on superfluous soft goods. The team will also be returning to trade shows in Boston, Toronto, Ottawa and other city markets. We’ll get quality time with our adoring fans while encouraging other east coast sliders to ‘Be A Smuggler!’

We have a few new items to promote this season, starting with the Learner’s Permit Plus. The same great package that gets folks hooked on skiing now includes skis and bindings for those who complete all the lessons! The Family Pass received an upgrade too—families can add members ages 6-26 for the price of a youth pass. You may have graduated college but your parents can still get you a great deal on a Seasons Pass! Finally we’re adding the Corporate Season Pass—companies can now purchase a Season Pass for their staff to share!

The days are shortening, the beards are lengthening and Ski & Ride is getting stoked for another memorable winter at Smugglers’ Notch—only 15 weeks until lift service!!


Closing day is Sunday, April 19th.

greg fisThe Madonna I lift and Sterling Lift will be operating for closing day. We have 44 trails open with terrain for experts and intermediates. The conditions are just fantastic with great coverage and corn snow everywhere. I took advantage of the Madonna I lift operating today and made Upper FIS my first run. Pictured here is Greg Fatigate tearing up Upper FIS. Greg is a Snow Sport University Snowboard Instructor, Snow Sport University Training Manager, and Smuggs Park Groomer. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 41 and 52 degrees. I’m really looking forward to one of the best closing days that I can remember.


Harvest the corn

harley carveThe spring skiing and riding is just fantastic. This morning started off with a little bit of rain, but that did not last long. The sun came out this afternoon with temperatures reaching into the 5o’s at the summit of Sterling. I really enjoyed the soft corn snow on top of the smooth groomed snow. I also had a great time on the ungroomed snow of Upper Exhibition and Bootlegger. Pictured here is my wife Harley enjoying the spring conditions on Black Snake. This closing weekend we plan to have to have the Madonna I lift and Sterling lift operating with 43 trails open. 12 trails will be groomed for tomorrow for a grand total of 75 acres. Tomorrow’s forecast is increasing clouds with a chance of showers midday and later with temperatures between 39 and 51 degrees. The forecast for closing day Sunday, April 19th is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 41 and 52 degrees.


Birch Run Terrain Park

daffyThe blue bird days with corn snow continue! It was 32 degrees this morning on top of Sterling Mountain and it did not take long to warm up. Sterling Mountain is 100 percent open and it skiing great. Smugglers’ Alley was groomed last night and it was nice to carve up some turns on a smooth steep surface. The corn snow also made for some nice soft landings in the Birch Run Terrain Park. This photo shows a good old school daffy off of one of the hits in Birch Run. There are 4 more days of great spring skiing and riding to be had here at Smuggs. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 47 and 58 degrees. 10 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley, Thomke’s Express, and Black Snake for a grand total of 52 acres.


Making memories

Pictured here Justin and his daughter Michaila.  Justin is the snowmaking manager here at Smuggs. This was Michaila’s first time ever skiing Sterling Mountain.  The photo on the left shows Justin capturing the special event.  The photo on the right shows them living the moment. We have the Sterling lift operating with 31 trails open for Wednesday. 10 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley, Thomke’s Express, and Black Snake for a grand total of 51 acres. Great spring conditions! Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 34 and 49 degrees.
justion picture justin and makela


Spring conditions

matt snow flyingAnother wonderful day to be out on the mountain! The snow turned to corn pretty quickly with the warmer temperatures. Sterling Mountain is 100 percent open with all 31 trails. I love skiing the bumps when they are nice and soft. The corn snow explodes as you hit each bump. It’s like the 4 of July with one explosion after another. Pictured here is Matthew demonstrating the corn snow explosion. The Sterling Lift is operating midweek this week. Weather permitting we plan to operate both Madonna I lift and Sterling this coming closing weekend. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for skies becoming partly sunny with temperatures between 38 and 51 degrees. 7 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Thomke’s and Practice Slope for a grand total of 42 acres.


The Headwall on Madonna Mountain

headwall jumpSpring is definitely in the air! Today was a great day to be on the mountain with beautiful sunny skies and temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s. The snow turned to corn and it was game on. The Ski Patrol opened Madonna Liftline top to bottom and left it open until 4 pm. It was skiing great with the spring conditions! I also had a fantastic time on Upper FIS, Doc Dempsey’s, and Upper Morse Liftline. Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with intermediate and expert terrain open. 12 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Thomke’s Express and Jolly Rodger for a grand total of 66 acres. Weather permitting we plan to have both Madonna I Lift and Sterling Lift operating next weekend.