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Snow Snake snow make

snow-snake-snow-makeRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Our Snowmakers have been busy all Winter. Today they were making snow on Lower Rumrunner. Pictured here is recent evidence of their efforts on Snow Snake. Being on Morse Mountain, which offers primarily beginner terrain, Snow Snake is a hidden gem. This intermediate cruiser has several steep pitches and winding turns that snake around and down the hill. Better call a Reptile Doctor because… this Snake is TOTALLY SICK!

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Jammin’ on Log Jam

log-jam

Signs that point to FUN!

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK – I work at Smuggs and I ski all day!

Seriously, I’m not a Lumberjack, but I did “log on” to write this blog about skiing on the Log Jam trail at Morse Highlands. Today’s mixed precip was a blessing as it softened up the snow and made for some sweet turns – my first of the season at the Highlands.

I usually visit the Highlands when I’m teaching a class of Level 3 skiers for SSU. It has a little bit of everything: cruisers, glades, and a terrain park.

Did you know that the second word in blog is log?

 

 

 

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Sir Henry treats beginners like Royalty

sir-henrysRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is where beginning skiers and riders of all ages start their Snow Sport Journey. Sir Henry’s Glider Lift is a gentle way to access the gentle slope of the hill. Of course, our SSU Instructors share their passion and experience during each lesson. We want all who try these sports to be comfortable and confident, so they have fun and want to come back again and again.

Speaking of coming back again and again, I was talking to a guest named Don Lee. Don first came to Smuggs on a College Trip when he was at U Conn. He liked it here so much, he said it was the only place he wanted to bring his family to learn how to ski, and lo these many years later, here they are. Hey Don, like the Hornes and the Bowersox and all the returning families, we’re glad you came back!

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Fizz it is

fizz-20161220

Snowmaking clouds on Upper FIS as viewed from the Midway Trail.

Here is the chant of the day:

Aw shucks
Gee whiz
They’re making snow on Fizz*

Repeat often and with feeling.

*Fizz is what the locals call Upper  F.I.S.

I didn’t actually make any turns on Fizz (it was closed for snowmaking) but I took my first Madonna Mountain run of the season on Upper Chilcoot. Hugh told me earlier in the day that Black Snake was his trail pick. So, I headed over to Sterling Mountain for a raucous roller coaster ride on the snowmaking whales on Black Snake and Practice Slope. I had a whale of a good time without Fizz, but next time… Fizz it is.

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Dr. Seuss Trees

dr-suess-treesMy Philly friends Haylee and Jade call trees that look like these… Dr. Seuss Trees. Well, the snow we’ve received is not a fairytale or a storybook story, it’s for real. 20 inches of au naturel in the past week and round-the-clock snowmaking is a fantasy come true for snow sport enthusiasts. Yes, Virginia, there is a WINTER!

Psst… a lift that has the same name as a famous singer may be operating soon.

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Making the Scene

scenic

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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Madonna TWOs-day

Annie and Grace

Annie and Grace on Mulcahy’s Link

GTC Sam BBT

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.

 

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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”.