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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.

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Another beautiful day at Smuggs

 

drifter caitlan blogToday was clear, calm, and cool. The sunlight bouncing off the snow covered trees made them look like they were turned on. I rode the Madonna I chair lift to take in the amazing views from the summit. Many people had their cameras out capturing the special moments. I stayed on top for a while getting photos from different angles. This photo was taken on Upper Drifter by the fence. I would have to say that Upper Drifter is definitely one of the best scenic trails at Smuggs.

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Powder Day

 

geoff pow. blogWe received 10 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 22 inches in the past week. The forecast called for 1 to 2 inches of new snow overnight and we got 6 to 8 inches. We had colder temperatures last night and that made the snow light.

My first run of the day was on Madonna Mountain. I was shocked by the amount of new snow that we received overnight. I took a video with my iphone and sent it to Alex Martin of Smuggs TV to show him all the fresh snow that we received. He was also shocked by the amount of new snow and said that he was on his way to the Upper Parking Lot. After Alex put on his boots and grabbed his video camera we headed for Madonna. We had a great time playing in the powder filled glades. Alex headed back to Smuggs TV so that he could edit and post the powder video. To see this video just go to http://vimeo.com/search?q=smugglers+notch+february+powder+grab

I received a text message from my good friends Tony and Geoff saying that they were in the Upper Parking Lot.  I told them that I was on Madonna and the conditions are fantastic. We headed back up Madonna to find more powder stashes. We ran into our good friend Lenny at the summit of Madonna and he joined our group of powder hounds. It’s really hard to beat skiing with great friends in great conditions. I had so much fun today that I never took a break to go inside. I want to thank my good buddy Lenny for sharing his bagel sandwich with me on the Madonna I chair lift. It really helped me get through the afternoon.

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Skiing in the trees

 

brad blogI went down to the Nordic Center this morning to check out the 13th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race and Family Snowshoe Festival. There was a ½K fun run for kids, a 3.5K fun run/walk, and an 8K race that is a qualifier for the 2014 US Snowshoe Association National Championship. This is a wonderful event that is fun and also raises money for some local charities. One of the neat things about snowshoe racing is watching the snow fly. The hinged action of the snowshoe really kicks the snow up into the air.

I headed up to the Upper Mountains next to meet up with my friend Brad. We went up the Madonna chair lift first and skied Drifter. I would have to say that Drifter is one of the most scenic trails here at Smuggs. You get some great views of Sterling Pond, Sterling Mountain, and the Notch. We decided to do some glade skiing next to see if we could find some powder stashes. The photo you see here is Brad enjoying both the views and fresh snow.

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Cat Trax Express

 

P1180906.JPG blogWow what a beautiful morning for the Upper Mountain Fresh Trax with the Cat Trax Express. We arrived at the summit of Madonna and in the east there was a layer of clouds. The sun was above the cloud layer and it was casting sunbeams of warm light. The color and shape of the sunbeams just kept slowly changing. The best part was getting to ski down the mountain with this amazing background.

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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!”

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Upper Madonna Liftline

 

madonna liftlineWe received 4 inches of new snow last night. The snow was heavy and it blanketed the mountain nicely. The denser snow allowed us to open more natural snow trails like Freefall, Upper Madonna Liftline, and the Black Hole. Madonna Liftline was open from the top down to the work road from Robin’s. Freefall was open from the top early in the day, but is now open from the traverse on Upper FIS. I skied Upper Madonna Liftline and the Black Hole. I found some untracked snow in the Black Hole that was fantastic.

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Powder in the trees

 

john powder. blog

Today was another beautiful day here at Smuggs. We had partly to mostly sunny skies with temperatures up near 20 degrees. I had a great time skiing with my friend John pictured here this morning. We were able to find a few powder stashes here and there from the snow we received early this week. The clear skies allowed for fantastic views from the Madonna I chair lift.

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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.

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Visiting Father Winter in his Teepee

ikids teepeeToday was a great day on the mountain. It started with the Cat Trax Express, our 12 passenger heated cabin snowcat that brings you to the top of Madonna Mountain on Saturdays for first tracks. The Cat Trax Express also does fireworks tours and early evening tours. We had a fantastic time this morning getting first tracks in the early morning light.

I finished the morning report and then met up with my family to do some runs on Morse. We were riding the kid friendly Mogul Mouse Magical Lift to mid station. King Billy Bob’s Den was open on the Magic Learning Trail. The kids just love going though the tunnel. We ran into some great family friends at mid station and did a few runs with them. The kids then decided that it would be a great idea to visit Father Winter. Father Winter is in the teepee between Lower Morse Liftline and the Magic Learning Trail on Saturdays and Wednesdays. He has a wood fire going with a pot of hot cider that kids pictured here really enjoy on a chilly winter day. It’s always a fun educational experience when we visit Father Winter.