Picture perfect with great conditions

I had a great time this morning on the Upper Mountain Fresh Tracks tour.  The temperature was in the 20’s and the wind was light at the summit of Madonna Mountain.  We all had a blast carving up the fresh corduroy. I met up with John mid morning, who is pictured here.  We played in the glades on Madonna and Sterling looking for powder stashes. We saw Vin from White Room skis outside the Base Lodge after we had taken a break.  Vin was demoing his custom built Vermont made skis. Vin put both John and I on a pair of his beautiful wood top sheet skis. We headed up Madonna and skied Liftline top to bottom. The skis and the conditions passed with flying colors! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and all 78 trails open. 33 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Drifter, Snow Snake, and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 170 acres.  We are also expecting another 1 to 2 inches of new snow tonight.
john 3 cat trax


Glade skiing

matthewToday we are a little cool and breezy. I found protection from the wind in the trees. I find that I stay warmer skiing in the trees because I ski slower and make more turns. The snow is also protected from the wind in the glades. The wind can knock the air out of the snow and make it wind packed. I had a great time today exploring the trees on Madonna and Sterling for powder stashes. I am looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with less wind and a high of 21 degrees. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. We have 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. All 6 Terrain Parks are open. 37 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley, Hangman’s Drop, Snake Bite, Timberrr, and skier’s right on Upper FIS for a grand total of 178 acres.


Another powder day at Smuggs

bill salmonWe received 6 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 12 inches in the past week. The forecast only called for 2 inches of new snow overnight, so I was pleasantly surprised to see fresh snow this morning. My first run of the day was Upper Exhibition. I was going to take a few photos, but the snow was just too good and I kept going. Upper Exhibition has some great features that I love to play on. I would have to say that it is my favorite run on Sterling especially on a powder day. Pictured here is my good friend Bill Salmon enjoying the powder on Lower Black Bear. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. Robin’s Run is open from the work road down. 35 trails will be groomed for Tuesday, including Snow Snake, Thomke’s, and Drifter for a grand total of 175 acres.


“Its Solar Power, son”

Solar Power SON

Solar Panels facing the morning sun in the presence of Madonna and Sterling Mountains. This photo was taken on Edwards Road near Bootleggers’ Basin, which serves as a snowmaking reservoir in the winter, and a swimming & boating area in the summer.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Smugglers’ Notch strives to be and has been recognized for being an environmental leader. Some of our efforts include employing energy-efficient appliances, diverting food and paper waste to compost, and using Solar Panels (pictured here) to generate power. We also have the power to make you happy by providing skiing and riding on a snow covered mountain on a SUNNY day!


SSU wants YOU!

SSU March 2

This SSU sign is near the Sterling Lift corral. You can see the snow coming down.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Uncle Sam wants you and SSU* does too! They want you to learn how ski and ride, or how to ski and ride BETTER. Whether its working with the youngest snowboarders at the Burton Riglet Park, or skiing down Freefall with an expert group, or enjoying the camaraderie of the Women’s Weekly Clinics, they have something for everyone! From hour long Private Lessons to day long Camps, from Level 1 to Level 9, come one, come all. Its true, SSU want YOU.

*SSU is an acronym for Snow Sport University. In the summer it becomes SFU or Summer Fun University.




The Practice Slope on Sterling

We received 8 inches of new snow in the past 2 days and 198 inches this season.   This morning started off with some lingering flurries and then the sun came out.  My first run of the day was on Doc Dempsey’s and I really enjoyed the all the fresh snow that was blown in on the skier’s left side. This afternoon I was at the Practice Slope on Sterling to do my runs for the local’s race league. One the great things about the Practice Slope is the T-Bar.  The T-Bar allows you quick access back to the top of the Practice Slope.  People ride the T-Bar for many different reasons. One reason is gate training and racing on the skier’s right side. Another reason is access to two terrain parks the Zone Terrain Park and the Birch Run Terrain Park.  To get to the Birch Run Terrain Park skiers and riders traverse across the Practice Slope and Lower Exhibition.  If you take this traverse please look uphill as you cut across these trails.  Another great reason is to make a few more turns in the glades before heading back to the Upper Parking Lot.  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. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we are expecting another 3 to 5 inches of new snow on Saturday night and milder temperatures this weekend.
zone tony race


Princess Molly of Mandalay

Molly and Me

Molly explains to me that the trail is wide enough for a Princess and her retinue.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Hark ye! Today, I had the privilege of skiing with Long Island Royalty. Princess Molly of Mandalay, along with her mother Michele and her grandpa Bob, ruled the slopes. The young Princess was fearless in the woods and on the groomers, as she inspected her beloved Sterling and Morse Mountains. Over a repaste in the Black Bear, the Mandalayan Royal Court decreed that the day was a smashing success (without the smashing, of course).

Later this week, she’ll summon Dame Diane Oustinoff and Larry “her knight in shining” Arnold for further tutelage. Dame Diane and Sir Larry are esteemed members of the University von Snow Sport. Skiing with 3 generations of the Princess’s family was a crowning achievement for moi!


High School Race on Sterling Mountain

The Colchester / Rice High School GS race was held today on Snake Bite and the Practice Slope. It was exciting to watch the racers take on the steep pitch of Snake Bite.  It was snowing pretty hard during the race and the course had to slipped repeatedly to keep it clear of new snow.  The new snow slows down the racers and can throw them.  The accumulating snow made me head for Madonna Mountain.  I saw that the Headwall was open from the lift and was looking good. The 2015 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge is Sunday, March 8th and I need to train. I went for a non stop run down Madonna Liftline top to bottom to work my leg muscles.  I was very glad to have the new snow slow me down.  We are expecting up to 6 inches of new snow by Saturday. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains and all 78 trails.  The 3rd Annual Rails for Ryan Rail Jam is Friday, February 13th in front of the Madonna / Sterling Base Lodge from 6 pm till 8 pm under the lights.  Competing and spectating are both FREE, with a suggested $5 donation to benefit the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation.
girl race boys race


50 Shades of Glades

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. O-M-Ski!!! 14 inches of new snow means freshies galore in the Glades. Poachers Woods, Attitude, Red Fox Glades and 3 Mountain Glades were packed with POWDER! Mark and Greg from Virginia and Billyjoe from North Carolina joined Shelly Schaffer (from Treasures Child Care) and myself for a wonderful day in the woods.Them southern boys like to hoot and holler as they’re going down the mountain, maybe Billyjoe got it from his 5 years as a Burton Pro Rider.

You never know who you’re gonna see on the slopes, so, it was a nice surprise to see former Smuggs Activities Director Marge McIntosh, as well as Rachel Niekhardt from Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in the Attitude Glades. We didn’t ski 50 glades today, but we had at least 50 smiles and another 50 shouts of joy.

Mark the Bridge

Has anybody seen the bridge? Mark has found that confounded bridge in Poachers Woods.

Shelly Attitude

Shelly Schaffer took this picture of Sterling Mountain as viewed from Attitude.




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! In related news our Nordic Center is open with 12km of trails. We’re all covered in SNOW!