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High School Race on Sterling Mountain

The Colchester / Rice High School GS race was held today on Snake Bite and the Practice Slope. It was exciting to watch the racers take on the steep pitch of Snake Bite.  It was snowing pretty hard during the race and the course had to slipped repeatedly to keep it clear of new snow.  The new snow slows down the racers and can throw them.  The accumulating snow made me head for Madonna Mountain.  I saw that the Headwall was open from the lift and was looking good. The 2015 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge is Sunday, March 8th and I need to train. I went for a non stop run down Madonna Liftline top to bottom to work my leg muscles.  I was very glad to have the new snow slow me down.  We are expecting up to 6 inches of new snow by Saturday. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains and all 78 trails.  The 3rd Annual Rails for Ryan Rail Jam is Friday, February 13th in front of the Madonna / Sterling Base Lodge from 6 pm till 8 pm under the lights.  Competing and spectating are both FREE, with a suggested $5 donation to benefit the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation.
girl race boys race

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Another beautiful day at Smuggs

Today was a great day on the mountain with tons of sunshine and snow! We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. All 6 terrains parks are open and the Prohibition Terrain Park was just reshaped. 167 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Thursday. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for periods of light snow. 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible with temperatures between 12 and 20 degrees.

DSC06250 view from hagerman's

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… isn’t it GOOD… Norwegian Woods

Sandra in glades

Sandra glides through the glades with the greatest of ease.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. It’s such a joy to be with someone when they ski a trail or terrain new to them. Sandra Soucy, Child Care Provider at Treasures, started out by saying “groomed Blue Squares, please”. Shortly thereafter she stepped outside of her comfort zone and conquered Norwegian Woods and Poacher’s Woods – still intermediate, but GLADED intermediate trails. These were the first substantial glades she has ever skied! I’m happy to report that she didn’t fall once, she came out in one piece, and most importantly she enjoyed herself. She had Norwegian Woods singin’ her tune. Being on Poacher’s was ironic though, since Sandra’s husband’s name is Al Capone, just like the famous Chicago bootlegger and old school O.G.

In unrelated news, it was great to see Floridians Cari and Pete while lunching at the Black Bear. They were taking their annual runs with Fletch. You may have read the article about Fletch, our Black Bear Bartender of 23 years, in the Winter 2014-2015 edition of Destination VT.  So I say to myself “isn’t it good seeing friends from far and near, and skiing the glades and groomers at Smuggs”.

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100 percent open

We received 16 inches of new snow in the past 3 days, 32 inches in the past week, and 41 inches in February so far.  The conditions are just wonderful. I had a great time on the steeps of Madonna Mountain today.  Freefall and the Black Hole were so much fun.  I also really enjoyed finding powder stashes with my good friends Tony and Geoff.  Tony is pictured on the left and Geoff is pictured on the right. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 166 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Tuesday. The forecast for tomorrow is skies becoming partly sunny with a high of 25 degrees. I can’t wait to go hunting for more stashes tomorrow.
tony geoff pow

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Snowshoe Race

 

snowshoe 1The 14th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race and Family Snowshoe Festival were held today at the Nordic Center. This event really has something for everyone from beginner to expert. There was a half kilometer race for kids, a 4 kilometer fun run/walk, and an 8 kilometer race that is a qualifier for the 2015 US Snowshoe Association National Championships. I was really surprised to see how fast people can run with snowshoes. This event is not only fun but it raises money for the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington and the local food shelf here in Cambridge. I want to thank everyone at the Nordic Center and all the volunteers that make this wonderful event possible. We received 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 38 inches in the past week. The forecast is calling for another 9 inches of new snow by Tuesday. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 166 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Monday.

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Essex High School Carnival Race

We received another 5 to 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 32 inches in the past week. The forecast is calling for another 15 inches of new snow by Monday night.   The Upper Mountain Fresh Tracks Tour this morning was just wonderful.  We enjoyed the light powder filled moguls on Upper FIS. Dan’s Ford was also really fun with smaller powder covered bumps.  Lower Chilcoot was groomed early last night and had about 5 inches of super fluffy stuff on top.  Everyone starting making GS turns so that we could get up to speed and float through the champagne powder.  One of the quotes that I can repeat was “Best snow I have ever rode in my life!”  I headed to Lower FIS this afternoon to check out the slalom race.  It was exciting to watch these racers cross blocking the gates to get a faster line.  We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating. 168 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Sunday. All 6 Terrain Parks are open and groomed daily.
essex race 1 essex race 2

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Amazing conditions!

hugh pow 1Mother Nature keeps hitting the refresh button. We are in a wonderful cycle where we get new snow every couple of days. All the snow has stayed powdery due to the colder temperatures. My son Hugh B and I had a fantastic time playing in the all powder. This photo was taken on the side of Upper Drifter. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating. We received 27 inches of snow in the past week and more is on the way. Tonight’s forecast is light snow 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible. The forecast is also calling for up to 4 inches of new snow Saturday night and Sunday. It is going to be a great weekend!

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12 to 14 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours!

harley powderToday was another best day of the year! The new snow is so light and fluffy. We received 39 inches of new snow in the past week. My wife Harley and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary today. I bought her a card and even some nice chocolates, but nothing compares to making beautiful memories here at Smuggs! We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open!

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Giant wave of snow hits Smuggs!

wave of snowWe received 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, 10 inches in the past 3 days, and 31 inches in the past 9 days! The forecast is calling for another 5 inches of new snow tonight. There is also more snow expected this weekend. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. The conditions are just amazing with powder filled glades and 170 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Thursday. The temperature has stayed cold and the snow has stayed light. I can’t wait to ski tomorrow!

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Ride the Plank

Shelly on Pirates Plank

Shelly riding her plank on Pirate’s Plank

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. What do a Pirate, a Poacher, a Knight, and a Doctor have in common? They all have glades named after them at Smuggs, and they were all enjoyed today by myself and my friend and co-worker Shelly from Treasures Child Care.

We also enjoyed runs on Upper FIS, Drifter, and Pipeline.There was POWDER everywhere! It’s not a long run, but we floated down Dan’s Ford on SWEET marshmellow-like snow! We were never cold and we were sure the thermometer was lying. Shelly’s husband Brian said not to miss these great conditions, and he was right. I’m glad we were able to poach a few hours and pillage some fun! All I have left to say is “Good Knight Pirates”.