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“Fresh” Prince

Apr 16, 2014 Brendan FreshRockin’ Ron for Hugh. What a difference a day makes.Yesterday was torrential rain and today was sunshine and powder. I saw Dave Sills (aka P1 or Patrol One) at the Top of the Notch. He said they had a heck of a time assessing the conditions this morning. After just a couple of runs, I can see what they went through. Well, my hat (or helmet) is off to you Dave, and the rest of Patrol and Mountain Ops. I chanced upon Greg Fatigate and he raved about the Birch Run Terrain Park, and he was right – it was in excellent condition with 4 rails and 3 jumps. Pictured is Brendan Simpson getting some fresh powder on the trail that connects Thomke’s to Bootleggers and Smugglers’ Alley. We skied a nice variety of terrain including Highlander Glades and Pipeline.Today was a crowning achievement to the season – we felt like Princes of Powder – like Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.

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Fresh snow

 

charlie.JPG blogWe received an inch of new snow last night. I was surprised to see how well it bonded with the old snow. I ran into George and Charlie from the Smuggs 55+ Club at the summit of Sterling. These gentlemen could be in the 70+ plus Club. Charlie had already done a warm-up run and was telling us how good the conditions were. George liked what Charlie was saying and suggested Smugglers’ Alley for his warm-up run. The wind had moved the snow around and we found some nice pockets of fresh snow. We skied Poacher’s Woods next and had fun skiing the gladed bumps. Our next run was Hangman’s Drop to Chute and then to Highlander Glades. We were pretty happy about getting fresh tracks on Highlander Glades. I had a great time skiing with Charlie and George. I had to keep reminding myself that the two guys I’m chasing down the mountain are both over 70 years old! Charlie is seen here skiing Highlander Glades.

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Blog fans from Long Island

 

long islandI was checking out Sterling Pond from a vantage point to see if the visibility was worthy of a photo. I suddenly heard someone hiking through the woods. It turned out to be some Smuggs family members from Long Island. They told me that they follow my blog and enjoy the Smuggs videos. It’s always nice to meet members of the Smuggs family. Have a safe trip home and we will see again soon.

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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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Smugglers’ Alley

 

Jan. 15, 2014 tonyMy day off is Tuesday and I did not make it up on to the mountain. I was in Burlington yesterday and it was raining throughout the day. I was pleasantly surprised today with the snow conditions. It snowed on the mountain yesterday and it made a big difference. The photo on the right shows Tony having fun on Smugglers’ Alley. We also plan to make snow tonight on Catwalk and Upper Chilcoot.

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Snowmaking on Smugglers’ Alley

 

Jan. 4, 2014 alley blogI was talking with Ski Patrol after they did trail check this morning. They told me that Smugglers’ Alley was groomed last night. They also said that snowmaking on Smugglers’ Alley was as good as it gets! My son Hugh and I decided to make Smugglers’ Alley our first run. The Ski Patrollers were absolutely right. The Alley was smooth with a fresh coating of snow. Hugh thought that we had first tracks, but I told him that it’s because of the snowmaking. I skied up to Hugh at the bottom of Alley and he says “Let’s do that again!”

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Smugglers’ Alley

Dec. 19, 2013 vin alley

We received 2 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 18 inches in the past 5 days. We continue to make snow on Lower FIS, Midway, and the Magic Learning Trail. I ran into my good friend Vin in the Upper Parking Lot this morning. Vin is the skier seen here on the Alley. We did a warm up cruiser on Upper Rumrunner and Black Snake. We decided to ski Smugglers’ Alley for our next run and it had been groomed a few days ago. The surface condition was smooth with a few inches of fresh snow on top. We found the Alley to be too nice not to do again. We also found some nice powder on Upper Exhibition.

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Ski Patroller Jordan Brown skiing Doc Dempsey’s

 

P1170180.JPG joardan

We received 6 to 10 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 20 inches in the past 4 days.  I tried to get the snow report done as soon as possible this morning, so that I could get on the mountain quickly.  I rode the Sterling lift first and watched the skiers and riders floating through the powder on Upper Exhibition.  I was going to ski Smugglers’ Alley, but then I saw that Bootlegger was open from the top.  Without hesitation I dropped in and got a face shot on my second turn.  I fought the urge to continue skiing and stopped to grab the Gopro camera out of my pocket.  I could hear people all around me hooting and hollering for joy.  I attached the video camera to the end of my ski pole, so that it was looking back at me.  The powder on skier’s right was just amazing. To see the footage from this run go to the Smugglers’ Notch Face book page and click on “calm before the storm”.

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Smuggs People

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh.  One of the great things about Smuggs is the people who return here year after year to ski and to work. In Parking Lot 1, I saw Steve supervising the arrival of a new Winch Cat.  I saw Cory at the Sterling Lift, Kathleen at the Ticket Booth, and Lindsey at the Black Bear Tavern – where I was getting a panini but no martini. Dave from the Hearth & Candle and Dave from Snowmaking were also hanging out in the Black Bear and I asked them for a trail pick. At the same time they said ‘The Alley”. That would be Smugglers’ Alley which was groomed for today. I took their advice and took the Lift. The Alley was fast but carve-able, and I found a bit of powder on skier’s right.  Its good to get another season going at Smuggs with the Smuggs People.