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On top of Ol’ Sterling… all covered in SNOW

Old SterlingRockin’ Ron for Hugh. 23 inches of snow in the past week and another 3 to 6 inches of snow by Thursday morning is in the forecast! The mountain is in great shape going into the Holidays. Today’s combination of fog and early winter/late afternoon light had me singin’ Foggy Mountain Breakdown. In fact, a mogul snuck up on me as I rounded the hairpin turn on Upper Chilcoot. You know that “woo” feeling, when your stomach stays in the air a little longer than the rest of your body. Later, I talked to a guest who said he very much enjoyed his first day of skiing the East in 48 years, and his first day ever of skiing at Smuggs – he had a great time! In related news, you can have a great day of cross country skiing – our Nordic Center is open with 12km of trails. We’re all covered in SNOW!

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Harvey’s Hideaway

 

tom blogToday was another beautiful spring day with sunshine and a high of 53 degrees. Every trail on Sterling is open and in fantastic condition. We have deep base depths and great coverage. There is some great spring skiing and riding to be had out there. This weekend we plan to have both the Madonna I lift and Sterling lift operating. Pictured here is Tom enjoying the soft spring bumps.

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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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Spring Air

 

nateSpring is finally here and we have fantastic coverage. It was another bluebird day with bright sunshine and a high of 48 degrees. Our groomers were busy last night making us 180 acres of corduroy. Groomed trails will soften quicker because of the tilled snow. The warm air can get into tilled snow and soften the surface. Drifter was groomed last night and it’s in great shape. I skied it a few times enjoying the corn snow and great views. I ran into my good friend Nate on Sterling Mountain in the afternoon. We had a great time skiing Upper Exhibition as you can tell by the photo of the Nate seen here.

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LINKed to Smuggs

 

Mar 18, 2014 LinkRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Smuggs inspires loyalty from many quarters. I have been working here for 17 years and I still love it. Being a Snow Reporter one day a week is nice work if you get it. Of course, it wasn’t hard on a day like today with sunny skies and great trail conditions. They haven’t given me any cuff links though (that’s not a hint).

I linked a bunch o’ turns on Madonna and Sterling with John Fabrega and his son Connor (pictured here on Link). The Fabregas live in Tallahasse, Florida and have been coming to Smuggs for 11 years. Connor and his siblings Taylor and Alex all learned to ski here. In fact, it’s the only place they’ve skied! Connor’s mom Stacey met us for lunch in the Black Bear.

This past weekend, I made the acquaintance of Dan Luneau. When he realized I was the Rockin’ Ron who blogs for Hugh, he told me about his links to Smuggs. I share some of his comments here.

“It was the winter of 1961-62 and at that time the [St. Albans ] “Rotary Bus” ran on Friday afternoons and it took us to Smuggs for a lesson and some free ski time. I was in the seventh grade at the time at Holy Angels grade school. Our nuns held it over our heads all week that if we did not behave – no skiing come Friday. I never remember missing one single week for misbehaving.  The nuns loved the program as much as we did because we were perfect during the week. Not only did we get to go skiing, they got the best behaved kids as their bonus. As it turns out, I very often ski with my childhood friends who came from that program. Jim Cross, from the Burlington area and Mike Patenaude, from St. Albans are two who were in my grade and in the program. Jim and I skied this past Saturday. Over the years we have spent many a day at Smuggs enjoying the memories of our youth. Steve Wry (Smuggs’ current and long-time Director of Mountain Operations) and many more were regulars. When the first chairlift went in on Sterling, we thought we died and went to heaven. I could go on and on, but you can see that the ski program that the St. Albans Rotary provided to us (and is still going today) helped shape the lives of many, many kids in the St. Albans area.”

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Birch Run Terrain Park

 

snowboard birchOne of the great things about the Birch Run Terrain Park is that it is easy to get to from most of the trails on Sterling. You can do your favorite Sterling run up high and then hit the Birch Run Terrain Park on the way back to the Sterling Lift. The Sterling T-Bar can also be used to get to the Birch Run Terrain Park by going through the woods then crossing Lower Exhibition. Please look up the hill on Lower Exhibition for traffic and at the bottom of Treasure when using the T-Bar to get to the Birch Run Terrain Park.

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Get in the Zone

 

zone.JPG blogToday was absolutely beautiful with the sunshine and milder temperatures. Today we had the local races on Practice Slope. I went to the top of Sterling with my race board to take a warm up run before racing. I had a great time carving up the corduroy on Black Snake. We had two races today because we had to cancel one race due to 18 inches of snow in 24 hours that we received on Valentine’s Day. I went to the Zone Terrain Park after I finished my race runs. It was fun to watch the skier pictured here floating through the air, while making his tricks look smooth and easy.

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Jacob finds a powder stash on Madonna

 

jacob blogThis is my nephew Jacob who is visiting from Georgia. I had so much fun today giving him a tour of Madonna and Sterling. We did a warm up run on Upper Chilcoot. We stopped at Dan’s Ford and noticed that it only had a couple of tracks on it. We decided to put a few more tracks on it. We were riding up the Sterling lift and I asked Jacob if he had ever been out to Sterling Pond. He said that he had not, so we made it our next stop. We skied Black Snake next and headed to the balcony. The balcony is the lookout that is in the woods behind the race start building. It’s a wonderful view of the notch.