Madonna Liftline


oliver 2We received 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 13 inches in the past 3 days. Skier’s right on Upper FIS was groomed last night. I decided to make it my first run of the day. The new snow on top of the groomed snow was wonderful. You have the nice smooth surface underneath the new snow. Upper FIS was groomed full width below the Doc’s cutoff. I let my skis run a little and started making some GS turns. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 71 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We have 5 Terrain Parks open. The forecast for the next 24 hours is snow with 2 to 3 inches of accumulation possible and temperatures between 26 and 39 degrees. Pictured here is Oliver Blackman from Snow Sport University. He’s a great instructor, great guy, and one of the smoothest skiers I know!


Mountains of Adventure, Mountains of FUN


Madonna Mountain Trails, L to R: Doc Dempsey’s (a small section is visible), Upper FIS, Freefall (with a clump of trees in the middle), and Upper Liftline (featuring the headwall where the Extreme Challenge takes place on March 8th).

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Of course I love all the great skiing that Smuggs has to offer, and it has been extremely GREAT lately! I also enjoy the social aspect of our friendly mountain. I ran into SSU legend Sherm White in Green Peppers and he said he was looking forward to reading the Blog. I shared a joke with Fletch and Doug who were holding court in the Black Bear with regulars and irregulars including Larry & Michele from Long Island, Tom & June from New Jersey, and Jean from Vermont (famous for her Maple Cotton Candy). I got to say hi to Steve Wry of Mountain Ops. He told me that Matt McCawley, also filling in for Hugh this week, was in the first group of Mitey Mites kids along with his daughter. I exchanged greetings with Sara, as she was cheerily checking tickets at the Madonna I Lift. My run of the day was the classic Chillycoot > Catwalk > Fizz > Lower Doc’s > Ruthie’s > Curley’s > Meadowlark. This ‘run’ is 2,610 feet of vertical and 3 miles of unadulterated joy and I dedicated it to recently departed friend and former Smuggs co-worker Bruce Tetrault.


6 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours.


Jess bermudaJess enjoying the fresh snow in Bermuda. We received 17 inches of new snow in the past week. I was taking some photos from the summit of Madonna when I saw my son and his Mitey Mites class. He told me that they had just skied Doc Dempsey’s to Bermuda. He said it was a great long glade run. I took his advice and headed for Doc’s. I found some nice fresh snow on skier’s left. Bermuda was next and I was looking forward to the low angle glades. Bermuda got its name from being warm and sunny. The trees provide protection from the wind and it is southern facing. The low angle allows you to cruise between the trees without having to worry about speed control too much. I love floating down through the powder in the sunshine.


Great conditions


Justin powder blogWe received 20 inches of new snow in the past 2 days. This morning I was lucky enough to go on the Cat Trax Fresh Trax Tour up Madonna Mountain. I skied Doc Dempsey’s and it was wonderful. I headed down Gary B’s to get back to the Village but when I saw all the powder in Bermuda I had to jump in. I took my time and found many fresh turns. It was another fantastic day on the slopes of Smuggs. Pictured here is my good friend Justin enjoying some powder on the side of Father Bob’s.


Shake it up and FIZZ!


Feb 4, 2014 Fletch n HokieRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Shake it up and FIZZ is not a recipe for a cocktail but how Fletch states his trail pick. That’s ironic because Fletch is the bartender in the Black Bear Tavern at the Base Lodge. The trail he’s referring to is Upper F.I.S. aka Fizz, which is intoxicating in its own way. After cruising down the upper part of Upper F.I.S., I tend to turn onto lower Doc Dempsey’s aka Doc’s, but Fletch said let’s stay on Fizz. So I cancelled my Doctor’s appointment, and we shook it up and fizzed some more. By the time we reached Link, I felt like a drunken sailor but without the rum. Pictured on top of the snow-covered Madonna Mountain prior to fizzing, are the aforementioned Fletch, and Hokie one of our Shuttle Drivers.

Elsewhere around the Resort, I saw the Hogans and the Coadys – families from Canada who vacation here together. In an interesting twist, the kids are skiers and the dads are snowboarders. Skyler, one of the young boys, had a chance to become a boarder but decided against it because he would have to wait until he was good enough to go on some of his favorite trails like Smugglers’ Alley. In fact, Skyler told me his goal this week was to ski Upper F.I.S. for the first time. To quote Fletch “Shake it up and FIZZ!”


Doc Dempsey’s Glades


harley docs blog

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.