Making the Scene


Looking toward Madonna Mtn from the Sterling Lift. You can glimpse the moon in the center of the sky through the flat light of a December afternoon.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh.

I got in my first turns of the season! With the Snow Macon, the Natch and the sunny skies, my timing was perfect. As I skied a Blue Trail, the late afternoon light cast a blue hue (not to be confused with Hugh) over the mountain.

It was great to breathe the mountain air and let the mountain scenery take my breath. You shoulda seen the scene.




Still skiin’ and ridin’

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. We’re still skiin’ and ridin’ at Smuggs! Overnight, 2 – 3 inches of snow fell. It wasn’t all-pow-all-the-time, but stashes of the white stuff could be found all around the mountain. I skied with Mark, Ryan, and Lee from Virginia. Mark’s son Ryan was excited to scout a fluffy cache in the glades along Smugglers’ Alley.

The 2015/2016 Winter Season is almost over, but we’ll still be skiin’ and ridin’ through this Sunday, April 3rd at 4pm. To celebrate the end of the season we have a dance card full of events on Saturday the 2nd: Cambridge Day (free lift tickets for residents of Cambridge and Jeffersonville, VT), Pond Skimming (spectators welcomed), Chillin’ ‘n’ Grillin’ (great food, great prizes), and the 21st annual Brewfest – part 2 (burp). For more info visit our events page.

Jade as cow

Jade was “spotted” as a cow. Photo by her dad Barry.


Ryan Hoyle pow

Ryan in pow! Photo by his dad Mark.










Flyin Ryan ski

Flyin’ Ryan, Power Wedge.






Turn, Turn, Turn

BC turn

Turn it UP! Barry on Lower “Runner”. You can see his trail of snow and in the background you can make out snowmaking whales.

Rockin Ron for Hugh. I got some great turns in today! My friends Barry, Anna, Jade, Joel and Vicky from Philly, are up for their annual winter ski trip. First, we took Upper Rumrunner to Lower Rumrunner. Lower “Runner” was great because of the snowmaking whales. Yes, boys and girls, we are still MAKING SNOW! I’ve written about it before, but I love fresh snowmaking whales – instant terrain park – gi-normous rollers. We had to do that run 3 times in a row. Then we took cruising runs down the Alley and Fizz, both of which were groomed – SWEET. Conditions were firm but definitely carvable (how do you spell that word?). While at lunch we saw Steve Wry of Mountain Ops. Barry told Steve what a great job the groomers and snowmakers have done. I concur. Barry’s daughter Jade joined us and we made some more turns – I couldn’t turn that down.


Madonna TWOs-day

Annie and Grace

Annie and Grace on Mulcahy’s Link


L to R: Jammin’ Sam and Goodtime Charlie entertaining at the Black Bear Tavern

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Dueces were wild this Tuesday! I rode the Madonna 2 Lift for only the second time this season (M1 has been running almost every day I’ve been on the Upper Mountains this winter). I heard 2 skiers on the chair ahead of me singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and saying hi to the Lifties and people skiing on the slopes below. I told them I liked their attitude and asked if I could take a picture of them for the Blog. Without hesitating, Annie and Grace said yes! Later, after a couple of runs, I popped into the Black Bear for a bowl of Veggie Chili. Smuggs sensational Acoustic Duo of Goodtime Charlie and Jammin’ Sam were performing a special apres show for Canadian Week. They are just TOO good! That’s all 4 now, I’ve got 2 go.



Jump for JOY!

Chase in the Air

Chase is chasing the JOY in this action shot.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Today I was a chaperone for Cambridge Area Rotary’s Winter Wellness Program. It was the last day of this five day program for the 5th and 6th graders of Cambridge Elementary School. I was was with a group of level four skiers. Our first run was “Around the World” (Midway > Curley’s Cutback > Meadowlark). We then headed over to Morse Highlands, where we joined forces with school board member Mark Stebbins’ group. We enjoyed several runs on Log Jam, Hibernator, and Dixie’s Knoll. Taeghan – one of the kids in my group – told me that on her first day she didn’t know what to do, but today she had fun going really fast. She was so joyful, she didn’t want to stop for lunch. Thanks go out to SSU, 3 Mountain Equipment, CES, Rotary Members, and Volunteers for making this program so successful! BTW – Skiing conditions were awesome – plenty of coverage and easily carvable. As a bonus, the sun came out from behind the clouds. You mighta heard me singin’ “Joy to World, all the boys and girls, joy to the fishies in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me”.


Smuggs Owner at Town Meeting

Bill at Town Meeting

Bill Stritzler says YES to community involvement!

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Town Meeting is a great Vermont tradition. On the first Tuesday in March, citizens of the Green Mountain State gather to discuss and vote on local issues. Depending on the year, we also vote for state and national offices. Bill Stritzler, the Owner and Managing Director of Smugglers’ Notch Resort is a regular attendee of Cambridge Town Meeting. In fact, the Resort encourages its employees to attend their respective Town Meetings.

You may have noticed that Bill is sporting facial hair. When snow dances failed us earlier this season, Bill offered to grow a beard until 50% of our trails were open. We hit the 39 trails mark in mid-January, but Bill wanted to maintain the hirsute hoodoo, so he’s keeping the beard until the end of Winter Programming on April 3rd. It looks like it’s going to work tonight, as 1 to 3 inches of the fluffy stuff are in the forecast. I think most of us in these parts are voting for SNOW!



Sign of Snow

Morse signRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Yes, there is snow on our mountains! A lot of it is machine made snow, but we also have some natural snow. Driving around the Vermont countryside or hanging out in Burlington – the largest town in the state – you’d be forgiven if you thought we were fibbing about our snow coverage. So, here is a sign in the snow to show a sign of snow.







Magic at Ski & Snowboard Camp


Marko the Magician playing with a full deck.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. In addition to the magic of teaching kids to ski and snowboard, Snow Sport University offers afternoon entertainment. On Tuesdays it’s a Magic Show with Marko the Magician. Marko has been performing at Smuggs, both winter and summer, for 24 years. He does Camp Shows, Family Shows, Adult Shows, Hypnosis Shows, and Tableside Magic. He is a world-class entertainer who has performed around the world. Other SSU afternoon entertainment includes the Groovy Guy, the Science Show, the Friendly Pirate Show, and the Cookie Race.

Meanwhile I rode Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift and enjoyed the fresh snow on Snow Snake and the Magic Learning Trail. I didn’t ride the Magic Carpet – that would really have pushed this “magic” thing too far.


Bootleggers and Smugglers

Bootlegger signRockin’ Ron for Hugh. When I heard that Bootlegger was groomed for today, that was the trail I had to ski. It was confirmed when I ran into SSU’s Justin Falkenberg and his group. Bootlegger was their trail pick too. I love going down this steep, straight, and rolling trail after it’s been groomed (thanks to the Groomers and their Winch Cat for making it happen).  

Speaking of Bootlegger… Bootleggers, Rumrunners, Pirates, and Smugglers – these are the inspiration for trail names and facilities here at the Resort. Many people associate these with 1920’s Prohibition (aka the Volstead Act, prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol) and that is true, but smuggling through the Notch and throughout Vermont can be traced back to the early 1800’s as a reaction to Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo Act (prohibiting trade with France and Britain). Another one of our trails, Black Snake, is named after a smuggling ship on Lake Champlain during the Embargo period. Time for me to steal away.


Two-Two Tutu Tuesday

2 2 Tutu Tuesday

Martha and Michaila sporting their tutus on Tuesday, February 2nd.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Today is a day of historic proportions. Snow Sport University celebrates “TuTu Tuesday” every Tuesday during the winter season, so that is not unusual. Howerer, as Larry pointed out to me – today is February 2nd (the second day of the second month as reckoned by the Julian Calendar). So the confluence of the date and the dancewear make it epic! All we need is to see Desmond Tutu on skis.

Part Deux. Oh… and I went skiing TOO. I saw Paul Macalla on the top of Madonna Mountain taking in the view towards Morristown. Every year Paul brings a huge group to the Resort from Griffin Hospital in Connecticut. At the Base Lodge I ran into Jeff from Massachusetts, whom I met earlier in the day at The Perk (the place to get a Latte, Café Au Lait, Chai Tea, or a Friendly Pirate Frappe). He said conditions were better than he expected. I made a visit to Patrol and shot the breeze with Dave, Oliver and Rob-Bob-Stu. Leaving for my last run of the day, the ever-present Fletch suggested a run on Upper F.I.S (Fizz to the locals). That was a good call, but my trail pick was McPherson’s. That’s a wrap for 2/2 Tutu Tuesday (say that two times fast).