Opening Day of the 2015 – 2016 Winter Season

drew ridingIt felt great to be back on the mountain today.  The weather was mild and the snow was soft.  It was easy to set an edge and let it ride.  I had a wonderful time making turns, but I also really enjoyed catching up with different members of the Smuggs family.  It was nice to hear about what people were up to for the summer and how they are excited about another great season here at Smuggs.


Employee Rally

Justin&Ian-HKDPrior to each season Smugglers’ holds an employee rally. It’s fun to see returning faces and meet new folks, and it’s a great way for resort staff to learn about what’s new for the season through various presentations. One of the sessions today was hosted by snowmaking manager Justin Thoelke and Ian Jarrett of HKD Snowmakers. Justin and Ian talked about the resort’s improvements in snowmaking over the last several years, including the completion this summer of the pipeline that enhances the water supply for snowmaking. They also described the balance of weather, resources, and timing that affect the art and science of snowmaking. Employees asked a lot of questions that included wondering what types of snowguns Smuggs has, what temperatures are optimal to make snow, and where current snowmaking efforts have focused on the mountain (thus far, efforts have focused on intermediate trails on Sterling and on Sir Henry’s for beginner terrain).


Thanks to Justin and Ian for sharing their expertise!


World Famous Cookie Race

HaylleighToday was another beautiful day with sunny skies and a high of 22 degrees. I was on Morse Mountain today and it brought back so many great memories. I remember when I was learning how to ski here at Smuggs. Starting off on the lower mountain as a beginner and working my way to the top of Morse. Fine tuning my skills on Snow Snake and Upper Morse Liftline. More great memories were made today too as I watched my 3 year old daughter ski down from the top of Morse to the Cookie Race. It’s great watching her enjoy what I love so much! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 76 out of 78 trails open. All 8 lifts will be operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Drifter, Lower Black Bear, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 166 acres. All 6 Terrain Parks are open. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for increasing clouds with a chance of flurries in the afternoon and a high of 33 degrees.


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


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hugh powder turnThe snow just keeps piling up here at Smuggs. We received 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, 15 inches in the past week, and 47 inches in the month of February so far. The forecast is calling for another 3 to 4 inches of new snow by Sunday night. I had a great time this morning on the Upper Mountain Fresh Tracks Tour. I met Mike and Joe from Long Island. We all enjoyed making tracks through the drifts on Catwalk and Upper FIS. We also found some beautiful powder on a work road from Upper FIS to Goat Path. I also got to take a few runs with my good friend Ken and his son Justin. We went exploring in the glades trying to find untracked lines. We found some amazing light fluffy powder like you see here in the photo. Weather permitting, tomorrow we plan to be 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails, and all 8 lifts operating. 161 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Sunday.


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.


… isn’t it GOOD… Norwegian Woods

Sandra in glades

Sandra glides through the glades with the greatest of ease.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. It’s such a joy to be with someone when they ski a trail or terrain new to them. Sandra Soucy, Child Care Provider at Treasures, started out by saying “groomed Blue Squares, please”. Shortly thereafter she stepped outside of her comfort zone and conquered Norwegian Woods and Poacher’s Woods – still intermediate, but GLADED intermediate trails. These were the first substantial glades she has ever skied! I’m happy to report that she didn’t fall once, she came out in one piece, and most importantly she enjoyed herself. She had Norwegian Woods singin’ her tune. Being on Poacher’s was ironic though, since Sandra’s husband’s name is Al Capone, just like the famous Chicago bootlegger and old school O.G.

In unrelated news, it was great to see Floridians Cari and Pete while lunching at the Black Bear. They were taking their annual runs with Fletch. You may have read the article about Fletch, our Black Bear Bartender of 23 years, in the Winter 2014-2015 edition of Destination VT.  So I say to myself “isn’t it good seeing friends from far and near, and skiing the glades and groomers at Smuggs”.


Very Merry Larry & Merry Mamaroneck

Very Merry Larry    Zach

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I started off my ski day on Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift, where Legendary Lift Man, Larry Burnor likes to keep it merry – that’s how he rolls. Here he’s pictured brushing the snow off the chairs. Darn, if he’s not thoughtful too.

Later on I met up with my friends Jeff, Matt, Zach, and Andrew from Mamaroneck, NY. I’ve known J, M, and Z since they first came to the Resort 10 years ago. Zach was just a toddler when I first met him, now he’s almost a teenager and totally into snowboarding. Yesterday, he took lessons from SSU’s George Zavis and he graduated from Sir Henry’s to Lower Morse Liftline. He was linkin’ turns and lovin’ life (see photo above). As Jeff and I were getting on the Village Lift, I spotted another long time Smuggs Guest, Rob and his daughter Emily. It turns out that Rob and Jeff met each other at the Resort – Rob was born in Mamaroneck. It’s a Smuggs World after all.

Have a MERRY!


World Famous Cookie Race


hayleigh 1This has been a kid favorite here at Smuggs for a long time. It’s pretty easy to understand that kids like cookies. This race allows the kids to showcase the skills that they have learned while attending Snow Sport University. It’s also just a bunch of fun with balloons, hoops, teeter-totters, race gates, fun boxes, and even a friendly pirate.


The view from the top of Drifter


drifter.JPG blogToday was another amazing day here at Smuggs. We had partly sunny skies with a high of 28 degrees. Now that it’s spring the sun is higher in the sky. I skied Freefall from the traverse and had a great time chasing my shadow down through the bumps. We received 19 inches of new snow in the past 6 days and the glades are wonderful.