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The Zone Terrain Park

board and snowI started the day with the Cat Trax Express on the Upper Mountain Fresh Tracks tour. The temperature was mild and the wind was light. There was some nice soft morning light on Upper Chilcoot as we skied the fresh corduroy. I stopped many times to take in the wonderful views. Today we opened the Prohibition and Zone Terrain Parks. I had a blast watching the skiers and riders hitting the big jumps. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 174 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Sunday. The forecast calls for 2 inches on new snow tonight.

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9 inches of snow in the past week and more on the way!

ken deepI started the day off with the Fresh Trax Cat Trax Express. We left the Base Lodge at 7 am this morning and headed up Madonna Mountain. The air was cold and the sky was clear. It was wonderful to watch the sun rise over the presidential range in New Hampshire. After taking in the amazing sights and snapping a few photos it was time to ski and ride. The corduroy on Chilcoot was just fantastic. Later in the day I go to ski with my good friends the Rule Family. We had a great time on Upper FIS, Doc Dempsey’s, Bootlegger, Treasure, and the Birch Run Terrain Park. I think everyone’s favorite part of the day was finding powder stashes in the glades. Pictured here is Ken finding some of that fluffy stuff! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We have 69 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Tonight we plan to groom 33 trails for a grand total of 165 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for snow and mix to develop in the afternoon and we could see up to 9 inches of new snow by Monday night.

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Fork in the Trail

Trail signsRockin’ Ron for Hugh. “If there’s a fork in the trail… TAKE IT!” so says Fletch, the eminent Philosopher and Black Bear Bartender. I took a run on Upper Chillycoot with the Socrates of the Slopes and the Tuesday Crew of Brett, Peter, and Dale & Darcy.

Two other pearls of wisdom from Fletch: “there are no bad conditions, just bad gear” and “getting excited about a snowstorm is like getting excited about a pay raise – you could be disappointed if it’s not as big as you thought it was going to be”.

I’m going to throw caution to the wind, and get excited about the 4 inches of new snow we could get by Wednesday night, and by the primo snowmaking conditions that are in the forecast for the rest of the week – both of which should lead to more trails opening. That’s the fork in the trail I’m taking. OK… I’m done for now, but don’t stick a fork in me… that would hurt.

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On top of Ol’ Sterling… all covered in SNOW

Old SterlingRockin’ Ron for Hugh. 23 inches of snow in the past week and another 3 to 6 inches of snow by Thursday morning is in the forecast! The mountain is in great shape going into the Holidays. Today’s combination of fog and early winter/late afternoon light had me singin’ Foggy Mountain Breakdown. In fact, a mogul snuck up on me as I rounded the hairpin turn on Upper Chilcoot. You know that “woo” feeling, when your stomach stays in the air a little longer than the rest of your body. Later, I talked to a guest who said he very much enjoyed his first day of skiing the East in 48 years, and his first day ever of skiing at Smuggs! In related news our Nordic Center is open with 12km of trails. We’re all covered in SNOW!

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The Road to Mama

Apr. 11, 2014 Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. From Jeffersonville take Route 108 South and that will bring you home. Madonna Mountain  (aka the Mother) will be open for skiing and riding this weekend! Who says your mama don’t love you?

P.S. I know I’m not alone in thinking that when you drive up a mountain you should be heading North. Let me know if you agree.

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Getting groovy

 

groovyThe spring skiing and riding is fantastic. The groomed trails were nice this morning. I did a cruiser on Upper Chilcoot carving some GS turns. I could feel the snow getting softer as I worked my way down the mountain. I ran into Mike McAdoo from Smuggs Terrain Parks a.k.a. Gravity Control and he was inspecting the pond he built. The 2nd Annual Pond Skimming is tomorrow Saturday, April 5. He told me that this year’s pond is even longer than last year’s. The event starts at noon and spectators are welcome.

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Double grab

 

double grab.JPG blogI started the day off with the Cat Trax Fresh Trax Tour up Madonna Mountain this morning. It was a little cloudy but we could still see Lake Champlain and the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There were a few people on the tour who had never been on top of a mountain before. They were amazed with the beautiful views in every direction. I skied down Chilcoot and enjoyed the fresh corduroy. I went to the Zone after finishing the morning report. There was a group of skiers and riders that were nailing the rails and jumps. Pictured here are two of the skiers and I was lucky enough to capture them getting the grab at the same time.

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Jacob finds a powder stash on Madonna

 

jacob blogThis is my nephew Jacob who is visiting from Georgia. I had so much fun today giving him a tour of Madonna and Sterling. We did a warm up run on Upper Chilcoot. We stopped at Dan’s Ford and noticed that it only had a couple of tracks on it. We decided to put a few more tracks on it. We were riding up the Sterling lift and I asked Jacob if he had ever been out to Sterling Pond. He said that he had not, so we made it our next stop. We skied Black Snake next and headed to the balcony. The balcony is the lookout that is in the woods behind the race start building. It’s a wonderful view of the notch.

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Snow wave

 

drift blogWe received 7 inches of new snow in the past 3 days. I was skiing down Upper Chilcoot and I noticed some neat snow drifts on skier’s left. I skied through a few of them and then I decided to stop when I saw the drift pictured here. I thought it looked just like a wave at the ocean that was about to crash. I laid down on the snow so that the wave of snow would be over the skier in the photo. I took a few photos and then decided to go ride some more waves of snow.

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Northern Vermont USASA Slopestyle Event

 

skier grab goodblogThis morning I went on the Cat Trax Fresh Trax Tour up Madonna Mountain. It was a beautiful sunny day. We had great views from the cabin of the cat on the ride up the mountain but the 360 degree view from the summit of Madonna was the best. We had a great time cruising down the corduroy of Chilcoot. I went to the Zone Terrain Park to check out the Slopestyle event. There was a great turn out of competitors and the park was in great shape. It was amazing to watch these skiers and riders throwing down their best tricks for the judges. It was also pretty cool to have Vermont’s own Ty Walker show up and help announce the event with Connor Manning.