0

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.

0

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.

0

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!”

0

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.

0

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.

0

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.

0

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.

 

0

Cat Trax Express

 

jan. 18, 2014 cat trax blogSmuggs has a 12 passenger heated cabin snowcat that brings you up Madonna Mountain on Saturday mornings at 7 am. I rode in the Cat Trax Express this morning and it was fantastic. We met in front of the Base Lodge and loaded up the gear. We headed up Lower Madonna liftline to Link and then to Upper Chilcoot. The sky was clear and the moon was up. The light kept changing as we worked our way further up the mountain. Once we got to the summit we all took a few minutes to take in the beautiful views. The moon was still out and the rising sun had Mount Mansfield glowing. All of the sudden I could hear people stepping into their bindings. The skiers took off down Upper Chilcoot to get fresh tracks in the warm morning light. One of the great things about this experience is that it can be shared with people who do not ski or ride. They just simply get back into the heated cabin and ride back down the mountain. We are also doing rides at night to see the fireworks and more. For more information just go to our home page and click on Cat Trax Express. To book your reservation you can call 800-523-2754 or email ski-ride@smuggs.com

0

Upper FIS

 

Jan. 10, 2014 harley blogMy wife Harley and our youngest daughter Hayleigh went skiing together this morning. Hayleigh really enjoyed the magic carpet at Sir Henry’s and riding on the Mogul Mouse Magical Lift. Hayleigh was starting to get tired, so Harley took her to Treasures for her lunch and a well deserved nap. While Hayleigh was napping, Harley and I were skiing on the Upper Mountains. We had a great time on Madonna and Sterling. We skied Upper FIS for our last run and it was the best. Our snowmakers had just put down a nice new surface for our skiing and riding pleasure.

0

Taking a cruise down Upper Chilcoot

 

Jan. 9, 2014 upper chilcoot.  blogMy favorite long cruiser run is Chilcoot. I love the way it goes off the back side of Madonna and then works its way back to the front side. There are sections of Upper Chilcoot that look out to the east towards Morrisville. The S turn above Waterfall is where you can look out to the east and see Lake Champlain. There is also a great view of Mount Mansfield from this spot.