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 1 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.


Another beautiful day at Smuggs

My first run of the day was on Madonna Mountain. The sun was out and the winds were calm.  There was an inversion this morning; the summit temperature was higher than the base temperature.  The skier’s right side of Upper FIS was groomed last night. This allows skiers and riders the option of moguls or groomed terrain.  It also gives you an out if you get tired while going for it in the bumps.  I was on Morse Mountain midday and stopped by to see Father Winter in his teepee.  Every visit is fun and also educational.  Father Winter’s teepee is located between Lower Morse Liftline and the Magic Learning Trail. Father Winter pictured on the right is at his teepee on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  I headed back to the Upper Mountains later in the afternoon for one more run on Madonna Mountain.  It was so nice out that I decided to ski Upper Drifter and take in some wonderful views.  The photo on the left was taken from one of my favorite vantage points. 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. 33 trails will be groomed tonight, including Smugglers’ Alley, Snow Snake, and skier’s right of Upper FIS.  The forecast is calling for 3 to 6 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours and up to 11 inches by Friday!  There is also more snow in the forecast for this weekend.
DSC06754 (1) drifter


With a Little Help from the Wind

Matt surfing tthe waveOften times at Smuggs we might only get a few inches of measurable snow but when our prevailing winds do their job it rides much deeper. An example of this is here, where we found a drift tucked between two trails that was probably two feet deep. The sun also came out this afternoon which really made it a much more pleasant day than many had forecasted. Tomorrow look for lots of untracked snow on Madonna with more reasonable temperatures and some light snow falling. Talking about snow, it looks like we have a chance of another 5 inches by Sunday night, which will add to our already impressive snow total of 187”. We will be 100% open and things are shaping up quite nicely for the weekend! Also check out Rails for Ryan tonight in front of the Base Lodge from 6-8 PM benefits go to a great cause and people will be showing off some jibbing skills, the Black Bear tavern in the Base Lodge will be open too.


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


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”.


21 inches of new snow in the past week!

ken coveredThe conditions are great and getting even better.  This morning we had flurries and then the sun came out this afternoon.  I had a wonderful time playing in the powder filled glades. This photo is my good friend Ken getting a face full of the fluffy stuff in the woods on Madonna Mountain. The forecast calls for another 7 inches of new snow by Tuesday. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 34 trails will be groomed for tomorrow for a grand total of 166 acres.


Nordic Ninjas

DSC03978 (1)The Smugglers’ Notch Nordic Centered hosted the Smuggs Nordic Ninjas today. The Nordic Ninjas is a fun obstacle course event for kids ages 6-12 on cross country skis or snowshoes. There were hoops, rollers, a teeter totter, fun boxes, flags, and poles that the kids had to get through. This was a great way for kids to get outside, have fun and also get some exercise. The atmosphere was very festive. PK, Zeke, the Friendly Pirate, and everyone else at the Nordic Center did a wonderful job with this kid friendly event. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We received 2 inches on new snow today and 16 inches in the past week. We are also expecting another 7 inches of new snow by Tuesday night. 170 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Monday.


Great conditions

hugh powderToday started off with light snow and ended up with a sunny afternoon. I had a great time running some gates on the Practice Slope today. The Local’s Race Series will be starting soon and today was just practice. I traded my race skis for my all mountain skis and headed for Madonna Mountain. My good friend Tony and I went hunting for powder stashes in the sun filled glades. This photo shows that we were successful. This weekend we plan to 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.


Bluebird Day

drifterWe received 18 inches of new snow in the past week and 119 inches so far this season. Last night we made snow on Lower FIS, Lower Madonna Liftline, Lower Drifter, and Link. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. The Log Jam, Birch Run, and Knight’s Revenge Terrain Parks are all open. Tonight we plan to groom 31 trails, including Bootlegger, Snow Snake, and Drifter for a grand total of 155 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


50 Shades of Glades

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. O-M-Ski!!! 14 inches of new snow means freshies galore in the Glades. Poachers Woods, Attitude, Red Fox Glades and 3 Mountain Glades were packed with POWDER! Mark and Greg from Virginia and Billyjoe from North Carolina joined Shelly Schaffer (from Treasures Child Care) and myself for a wonderful day in the woods.Them southern boys like to hoot and holler as they’re going down the mountain, maybe Billyjoe got it from his 5 years as a Burton Pro Rider.

You never know who you’re gonna see on the slopes, so, it was a nice surprise to see former Smuggs Activities Director Marge McIntosh, as well as Rachel Niekhardt from Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in the Attitude Glades. We didn’t ski 50 glades today, but we had at least 50 smiles and another 50 shouts of joy.

Mark the Bridge

Has anybody seen the bridge? Mark has found that confounded bridge in Poachers Woods.

Shelly Attitude

Shelly Schaffer took this picture of Sterling Mountain as viewed from Attitude.