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2015 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge

 

extreme challengeThis has to be one of my favorite’s events. It really showcases what Smugglers’ Notch has to offer when it comes to gnarly terrain. The event is held on the Madonna Liftline from Catwalk down to the bottom of the Headwall. 100 competitors took on this steep double fall line trail. I want to thank the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Club Freeski Team for all their effort to make this wonderful event happen. A big shout out goes to Andrew Snow, Matteo Campbell, and Bryan Salatino. These guys were key in getting this event started and keeping it going now for 3 years! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open, Robin’s Run is open from the work road down.

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Great conditions with more snow on the way

The Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge is tomorrow on the Madonna Liftline from Catwalk down to the bottom of the Headwall.  My son Hugh B and I are both entered in the event, so we were on Madonna today getting in some practice.  The Madonna Liftline is filled in very nicely and is in great shape for the competition!  We skied from Catwalk down to the work road checking out our lines for tomorrow.  It was skiing great and the forecast is calling for 2 to 4 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours.   The competition is going to be amazing with 100 competitors taking on some of the gnarliest terrain on the East Coast! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating. 29 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including skier’s right on Upper FIS, Snow Snake, and Black Snake for a grand total of 163 acres.
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Ken powder Hugh b powder

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The Zone Terrain Park

 

zoneToday was a beautiful blue bird day. It started off a little cool, but it did not take long for the sun to work its magic. I was out on my snowboard with a hard setup. The groomed snow was perfect for carving some nice turns. I could really trust the snow and just lay it out. It was a great day to be out on the mountain enjoying the sunshine and great conditions. The weather this weekend looks fantastic with temperatures in the 20’s and we are expecting 2 inches of new snow on Saturday night. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including skier’s right on Upper FIS, Snow Snake, and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 164 acres. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating.

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Riding on a cloud

ghost riderI have been gone for the past week, but it only took a few turns to remind me just how good the conditions are. The coverage and quality of snow has stayed consistently wonderful. I started my day off with some GS turns on Upper Rumrunner and Black Snake. I had a blast carving through the fresh corduroy. I also really enjoyed exploring the glades on Madonna and Sterling in search of powder turns with some good friends. The great part was that I did not feel like I had to rush to get the good line before someone else, because there is plenty to go around. We all had so much fun playing on the many natural features that Smuggs has to offer. Pictured here is Pat doing just that! For tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open and 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. 32 trails will be groomed for Friday, including Smugglers’ Alley, Snow Snake, and Drifter for a grand total of 170 acres. The Après Sport at the Black Bear Tavern is sponsored by Bud Light this weekend. On Saturday ON3P skis will be demoing their handmade skis from Portland, OR for one day only at the Base Lodge. Also on Saturday come join Boston Radio 92.9’s Rock & Ride at Smuggs in the Black Bear Lounge from 2 pm till 4 pm. You could win over $1,000 in free music, concert tickets, lift tickets, winter gear and even a pair of skis or a snowboard. The 2015 Extreme Skiing Challenge is this Sunday, March 8th being hosted by the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club. The course is planned for the Madonna headwall and competitors will be judged on line, control, fluidity, technique and style. Spectators are welcome and the best viewing area is from the Madonna I lift. Spectators can also catch the action from a roped off area at the Red Fox Glades near the finish area at the base of the Madonna headwall.

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“Its Solar Power, son”

Solar Power SON

Solar Panels facing the morning sun in the presence of Madonna and Sterling Mountains. This photo was taken on Edwards Road near Bootleggers’ Basin, which serves as a snowmaking reservoir in the winter, and a swimming & boating area in the summer.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Smugglers’ Notch strives to be and has been recognized for being an environmental leader. Some of our efforts include employing energy-efficient appliances, diverting food and paper waste to compost, and using Solar Panels (pictured here) to generate power. We also have the power to make you happy by providing skiing and riding on a snow covered mountain on a SUNNY day!

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SSU wants YOU!

SSU March 2

This SSU sign is near the Sterling Lift corral. You can see the snow coming down.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Uncle Sam wants you and SSU* does too! They want you to learn how ski and ride, or how to ski and ride BETTER. Whether its working with the youngest snowboarders at the Burton Riglet Park, or skiing down Freefall with an expert group, or enjoying the camaraderie of the Women’s Weekly Clinics, they have something for everyone! From hour long Private Lessons to day long Camps, from Level 1 to Level 9, come one, come all. Its true, SSU want YOU.

*SSU is an acronym for Snow Sport University. In the summer it becomes SFU or Summer Fun University.

 

 

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The Mitey Mites

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“The Knuckleheads”

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View of Smuggs at 6AM this morning

Today I got to spend the 6th Sunday this season with my Mitey Mites group, known as “The Knuckleheads.” This group of chargers has been so much fun to ski with, we might not be pretty, but we can make it down anything. I have taken a unique approach with this group, instead of bombarding them with drills to perfect turns, I have been pushing mountain awareness. (note: I do teach skills too) The goal with this is to develop all of these local kids into lifelong skiers, who have a passion for the sport, and can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner on the hill. We have looked into such topics as weather, equipment, conditions, safety, and group or team camaraderie. I have enforced these ideals through homework assignments like knowing the weather, equipment upkeep, knowing the responsibility code, and watching ski videos. For a final project I am having each student lead the group down the entire mountain for 1 run, and in doing so they will have to make an appropriate trail choice, manage the group, and know where they are going. This might not sound like the toughest task, but for a child to be responsible for 8 others at one time, really will be nothing short of a miracle, but I have faith. I’m really excited for our last two weeks, to see where these “knuckleheads” drag me. To the right you can see six of the members of our group at the top of F.I.S.  Normally there are three more, but because of the school break we have a few members on vacation, to places such as Colorado, California, and British Columbia.

I also grabbed this picture on my way to the mountain to do the morning report. Pink sky in the morning, skiers and riders aren’t taking warning, we are getting our gear ready because snow is in the forecast!

Tomorrow look for 77 trails to be open, accessed by 6 lifts. Snow should be falling out of the sky with accumulations adding up to around 5″. Temps again should be in the 20s, but probably will be dropping during the day. 36 trails will be groomed, or around 175 acres total.

-Matt McCawley

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There Is Always Something New To Do

Today I had an opportunity to explore an area close to Smugglers’ that I had never been to. This is one of the greatest parts about skiing and riding, is getting to do something new and different. I have been skiing at Smugglers’ for close to 30 years now and to be taken to a new spot is such a treat. This also is a great example of how you can think you know it all, and then be totally blown away and even humbled by reality. With another bluebird day, and temperatures climbing into the 20s, it was just such an amazing day to go for a little hike and take a bunch of pictures. I’m sure I was bothering my hiking partner because at each bend, or opening in the trees, I had to pull my camera out a take a couple shots. I had such a great time on my first trip, that I circled around and did it again. There most certainly is something very calming about slapping skins on the bottom of your skis and setting out into the wilderness. This is also the draw for Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing, just being able to get out there, and enjoy the silence. Tomorrow look for increasing clouds, with temperatures in the 20s. The weather man delivered some pretty good news for tomorrow evening too, as we are expecting around 4 inches of new snow. There will be skiing and riding on our 3 mountains, serviced by all 8 lifts.

-Matt McCawley

View of Madonna from Morse

View of Madonna from Morse

Beaver Meadow behind Madonna

Beaver Meadow behind Madonna

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Bluebird Day

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Northern Vermont! The close to Spring Equinox Sun shined brightly across the upper spine of the Green Mountains, as the early sub-zero temperatures moderated to a quite comfortable level. I personally have been skiing my tail off lately, so I thought I might take it easy and enjoy a few cruisers. I grabbed a brand new pair of 4FRNT skis, and headed up Madonna to carve some corduroy. My first run was down Chilcoot, which has a great variety of turns, bends, dips and rolls. Combine that with a little speed and fresh skis, and you’re sure to have a fun time and warm your legs up as well. My next run was down Drifter, another long cruiser off of Madonna, with equally as much character as Chilcoot.

I nabbed the first picture below from the top of Shuttle, which is accessed off of Drifter and connects you back to Sterling. You can see the top of Mt. Mansfield AKA “The Chin” in the background, this is the highest point in the state of Vermont at 4,393′. In the foreground you can see a zone known as “The Highway” which is part of the 1000 skiable acres here at Smugglers’. Make sure if you are planning on skiing or riding anywhere off trail that you play it safe, know where you are going, and don’t ride alone. If you are interested in learning more about side-country skiing and riding, perhaps look into a private lesson/guide, which is booked at the Ski and Ride desk by the hour for up to 6 hours.

I headed over to Sterling from there via Shuttle, and headed up the mountain to ski Black Snake to Practice Slope, so I could do my locals race runs. There was a lot going on in this part of the mountain. There were two slalom courses set for training, the locals race Giant Slalom, the machine made bump lines, and the two big jumps in The Zone. I ended up taking a couple laps on the T-Bar so I could try each of these things. It was a pretty cool sight watching everyone practicing in their own way so I grabbed the second picture to try to show everything that was going on.

Tomorrow look for sunny skies, temperatures moderating even more, and probably many folks enjoying the sun in the upper lot! There will be skiing and riding on our three mountains and all 8 lifts will be operating.

-Matt McCawley

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“The Chin” over “The Highway”

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The practicing place

 

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HOOP – there it is

Hoop there it is

The Discovery Course at the Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s on Morse Mountain at Smuggs in Vermont, USA, indeed.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. All week long, vacationing kids make their parents jump through hoops. At the COOKIE RACE its payback time – kids ski through hoops and around gates for their parents pleasure. Thanks to our Wyndham friends, all the kids get a cookie at the finish line. I have a jolly good time announcing the race as my alter-ego Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate. Bruce from smuggsphoto.com is also on hand to take photos of all the racers. The Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s is a long standing Thursday tradition at Smuggs. Elsewhere on Morse Mountain, I was bouncin’ on the bumps of Upper Morse Liftline, navigating the glades of Whitetail Woods and cruisin’ down Garden Path. For intermediates and experts who are on Morse because a family member or friend is a beginner, know that there are blue-squares and black-diamonds on the green-circle side of the Resort. So, you can HOOP it up on Morse!