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).




Upper Chilcoot “which way is up”. Photo by Hugh Johnson

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I really like Hugh’s picture (included here) of Upper Chilcoot, but it doesn’t quite capture the depth and steepness of Chili-coot (as Rob Aiken calls it). I remember my very first sighting of Upper Chilcoot – my stomach dropped to my knees. I thought I was going to ski off the side of the world. Since that day, I’ve skied it many times and it is no longer daunting. As my skiing ability has improved, my perspective has changed. I hope to put that skiing ability to use in Friday’s Local Race series starting in a couple of weeks. Sarah Thomas of Marketing has gathered a team that includes Jason Niemi of Group Sales, Rob Hunter, and Josh Seivwright of IT. Here are a couple of possible names for our team: “I’ve got the Runs”, “Ski-legal Aliens”, “We are not Race-ists” and “Nobody Cares that You Tellie (telemark skiing)”. If you couldn’t tell, our perspective is… FUN!


Snow Biz

Jan, 19, 2016 Powder

POWDER! Photo by Hugh Johnson

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I cover for Hugh on his day off, normally Tuesday. The man is passionate about the sport and he’s going to be skiing anyway, so he said he’d send some powder pics. He must be the Hardest Working Man in Snow Biz, or at least the happiest. Bonus for me, I didn’t have to get my hands cold snapping shots. I did get on the hill though, and the conditions were AWESOME! I like my peanut butter crunchy and my skiing smooth and creamy, and that’s what it was today. How about these numbers: 6 to 8 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, and 12 to 16 total in the past 48. Ah… there’s no biz like SNOW BIZ!


Picture This

Picture ThisRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Picture this: the snow was falling and will continue to fall into the evening (3 – 5″ forecasted) and the temps are settling into a sweet snowmaking range for the rest of the week! I took a Midway ride to join the circus on the upper mountains, but I wasn’t clowning around when I zipped down Upper Chilcoot and Mulcahy’s Link. I had to slow my show a little on Lower Madonna Liftline – if I fell like a clumsy trapeze artist – everyone could’ve seen it from the Lift. For intermission, I enjoyed a bread bowl of Veggie Chili in the Black Bear (where the attached photo was taken). Whilst dining, Kevin entertained with his colloquialisms and Julie shared her fashion tips. Then, I made a quick visit to Rob-Bob-Stu who gave me an update on some of the latest Patrol Operations. For an encore, it was sailing over the snowmaking whales on Meadowlark on my way back to the Village. Along the way, I was passed by Justin and two other Snowmakers on their snow machines as they went to monitor their efforts. Today’s Snow Reporter Show is over. I hope I painted a nice picture.


Madonna in View

Shadow and Light 2015 0105

Shadow and Light. Madonna Mountain as viewed from Upper Rumrunner.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. To paraphrase Hugh “It was another beautiful day at Smuggs”. The sun was shining, the air was fresh & crisp, and the turns were exhilarating. I saw signs of snowmaking everywhere: Lower Liftline on Madonna, Lower Liftline on Morse, and Black Snake on Sterling. In fact, I spotted more whales (snowmaking piles) than they have at Sea World – and I didn’t even sea ’em all! Don’t quote me, but I hear rumors that Madonna could have lift operations in the near future. Back on Sterling, I rode the lift with Andrew Shaw who wasn’t going to let a recent arm injury keep him off the slopes. Andrew has been skiing at Smuggs since he was 5 years old, now he’s working here as a bartender at the Black Bear Tavern. I witnessed Kendal racing down a slalom course on Lower Rumrunner with her SNSC (Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club) team mates. I traded hellos with Patrollers Mike Duncan and Arch. I shared a joke with Kathleen at the Ticket Booth. All in all, twas a good day to be Snow Reporter.


SNOW! 6 inches overnight + Snowmaking!!

Kids Ski

Snowmaking on Lower Morse with the SSU lesson line-up area in the background.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. The sign says Kids Ski. I would say Kids Ski, Adults Ski, We ALL SKI and RIDE! The white stuff that’s flyin’ everywhere has improved conditions and spirits. More terrain opened on Sterling today, and we anticipate additional trails on Sterling and Morse opening soon. So, whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart – KIDS SKI!


Learning Magic

Magic Learning TrailRockin’ Ron for Hugh. The Magic Learning Trail and Wanderer were open today. As I rode Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift, I saw an SSU Instructor sharing the wonder of the skiing with a trio of beginners. On Sir Henry’s, I smiled upon seeing one of the new on-hill props – it featured a snowboarding feline. Yellow Cat is a winter mascot that can be spotted in coloring books at the Morse Mountain Grille, and as dancing critter (along with Mogul Mouse, Billy Bob Bear, Sam the Snowsnake, Bill the Bald Eagle, Frosty the Snowmaker and others) at Thursday’s Showtime Characters Dance Party.  At Smuggs we try to make learning and everything else magical!

Yellow Cat feature

P.S. That cat can seriously shred!




Higher Ed for New Hires

SSU on the slopes

SSU’s newest receive some pointers while on Upper Rumrunner today.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Snow Sport University (SSU) New Hire Training was in effect today. Trainer the trainer, teach the teacher, instruct the instructor – I think you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down. Leading today’s lesson was long-time Smuggler Brian Jessiman. Our Instructors are getting ready and we hope you are too.

I didn’t see Edward. Did we… hire Ed?


Black Snake snow-make/Black Bear remake

Randy and his gang

Shirley, Becky, Randy, and Ken share a moment of reflection.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I took my first turns of the season today! I’m getting my ski-legs back (kind of like a pirate’s sea-legs). My plan was to take a picture of the snowmaking on Black Snake. That’s where I ran into Randy and Shirley – who have been Smuggs Owners for 25 years! They keep coming back – and this time they brought along Randy’s sister and her friend. They agreed to pose for a photo with a snowgun blasting away in the background.








Black Bear

Laurie and Paul enjoy a beverage at the Black Bear Tavern’s “Mahogony Ridge”.

Later on, I went to the Black Bear for lunch. I was much impressed by the recently remodeled bar. While waiting for my meal, I talked to Laurie (former ski instructor) and Paul (future patroller) from the Philadelphia area. They were enjoying grown up time – their daughter was in Discovery Camp and their son was at Treasures. They said they would come back to Smuggs again. As I was about to leave, in comes Geoff Minton (of Village Tavern fame), who was celebrating his birthday by skiing with Hugh Johnson (our legendary Snow Reporter) and Tony Lehouillier (of Foote Brook Farm renown).  Happy Birthday Geoff – have a great time! Me, I gotta get back to work. Ski ya later.



Alley Cat

20151201 Smuggs Alley

December 1st, 2015: Smugglers’ Alley has excellent coverage.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Actually Hugh got this photo for me. I wanted to get out, but I realized my skis had not been tuned or waxed, so I dropped them off at 3 Mountain Equipment. Hesi told me my skis would be ready tomorrow. I can’t wait to take my first runs of the season!