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Calm before the storm

I ran into a couple of friends of mine Matt and Tim in the Upper Parking Lot this morning. Of course the topic of conversation was just how much snow are we going to get out of this next storm. Everyone put their two cents on what they have heard about accumulation, how it’s tracking, and temperatures. We all decided that we are excited about getting some new snow like always.  We then grabbed our skis and had a great time making some cruiser runs on Sterling Mountain. Black Snake was our trail pick of the day. Yesterday’s warmer air and fog are now gone. The temperatures fell through the night and it made some cool looking rime ice. Rime ice forms when you have freezing fog. A freezing fog occurs when a low-lying cloud is cooled to temperatures below the freezing point of 32ºF.  Without anything solid to nucleate around, the tiny, suspended water droplets remain liquid, even as they cool to temperatures where you’d expect them to be frozen.  (If it gets cold enough, a water droplet will freeze even without a nucleus, so freezing fogs are unlikely when it’s truly frigid.)   Water droplets can remain in this super cooled state until they bump into something solid, and then they freeze on contact.

If there’s a gentle wind blowing, the first super cooled water droplets to bump into, say, a tree branch will be deposited on its windward side.  Later deposition continues on the same surface, so that needles or combs of ice grow outward, into the wind.  The rime ice shows the wind direction because it builds up into the wind.

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Matt having fun on Black Snake

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Tim is usually on a snowboard shows that he can also ski.

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Rime ice on a tree at the summit of Sterling Mountain

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Morse, Madonna, and Sterling seen from Burnor Road

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Snowboarding Upper Rumrunner

Tonight’s forecast is calling for snow developing mixing with some sleet 3 to 4 inches of accumulation possible. Tomorrow’s forecast snow, sleet, and a chance of some freezing rain in the morning another 2 to 4 inches of accumulation possible. The heavier snow will be great because it will bond to the existing snow. This should allow us to open more of our natural snow trails. There is snow and flurries in the forecast right through the weekend. 37 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 130 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

 

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Another cloud inversion

 

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Looking down Upper Chilcoot from the summit of Madonna Mountain

It is hard to believe that we had another cloud inversion today. We had one just two days ago. They were different but both were beautiful. Today’s inversion seemed to change minute by minute. At times the clouds would roll over the top of Madonna and then the visibility would be quite limited and then a minute later you could see for miles. I was impressed with the number of skiers and riders who were hanging out on top of Madonna. Everyone loved the amazing views and the bright sunshine. It was great to watch people capturing the magical moment as they took group shots.

 

 

 

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The Mountain Report here at Smuggs filming today

I had a great time today with Kevin, Earl, and Kim from the Mountain Report. The Mountain Report is a weekly ski & ride travel program that reaches prime alpine and outdoor enthusiasts. The Mountain Report provides an insider’s view of each destination and resort, offering a glimpse into the sights, sounds, and lifestyles each mountain community has to offer.  They were here filming today to highlight what Smuggs has to offer.  I was lucky enough to ski with Kevin and Earl on the upper mountains. Kim took a lesson on Morse in the Snow Sport University Women’s Program. The Women’s Program is a ski/snowboard lesson that is for women and they are taught by women. This program is offered on Morse and the upper mountains. We all enjoyed the spring

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Mount Mansfield above the sea of clouds

conditions and the mild temperatures. Tomorrow’s forecast is cloudy skies, a chance of flurries in the afternoon with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees. The forecast is calling for 4 to 7 inches of new snow on Monday night into Tuesday. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We have 57 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We have 4 terrain parks open. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Snake Bite and Wanderer for a grand total of 123 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

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Getting ready for the big game tonight

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Mitey Mites Fun

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Everyone taking in the beautiful cloud inversion

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Some people were having so much fun they went bananas

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Terrain Park Fun

grab-jpg-smallThe Zone has been reshaped and has a few new features. There is a rainbow funbox, a rail, and a jump. The Birch Run Terrain Park had a makeover too. It has a flat down rail, a barrel jib, a c-rail, and more. The conditions are nice and soft today, which is great for landings. The skiers and riders seem to be really enjoying the new set ups. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountain with all 8 lifts operating. We have 62 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We now have 5 terrain parks open. The Log Jam Terrain Park has also been reshaped and has some new features.

skivermont_learn-to-skiJanuary is learn to ski and ride month. Learn to ski and ride month isn’t only for those who have never been on snow before. You can also learn a new snow sport through Learn to Ski and Snowboard month. This program gets you a great deal on equipment rental, lesson, and access to beginner terrain. This package is for beginners only.  To make a learn to ski reservation and get more information go to liftopia.com  To make a learn to ride reservation and get more information go to liftopia.com

 

 

snowboard-airTomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We have 62 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 30 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Snow Snake and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 123 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly cloudy skies with temperatures between 32 and 42 degrees.

 

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Sea of clouds

I rode the Madonna lift this morning for my first run. I could see little spots of blue here and there showing through the clouds. As I got closer to the summit everything got brighter. I then suddenly I rose above the clouds. I felt like I was in a plane looking down on the clouds.  Today was magical with the mountains sticking up out the clouds like they were islands. I said a sea of clouds as a title but it was more like a river as the clouds spilled over the mountains. It was like watching water because the clouds had waves that built up as they moved over different objects. As the clouds came over the top they would then roll down the mountain as if they were cascading. Everyone was staying on top of Madonna with their phones out taking photos and soaking up the beautiful sunshine.

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We now have 62 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Thomke’s Express and Curley’s Cutback for a grand total of 122 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

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Clouds rolling over Sterling Mountain

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Ski Patrol at the summit of Madonna Mountain this morning

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Panoramic photo from the summit of Madonna Mountain

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Slalom training on the Practice Slope

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Skiers on Snake Bite seen from the Base Lodge

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John riding the corduroy on Upper Chilcoot

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This is how you flatten a slalom gate

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Cool early morning light

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Lee enjoying the nice conditions on Upper FIS

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Catwalk on Madonna Mountain with Mount Mansfield in the background.

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World Famous Cookie Race

 

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Billy Bob Bear Hug

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift.We now have 60 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including McPherson’s and Black Snake for a grand total of 122 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is partly sunny skies with temperatures between 27 and 36 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

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Reid getting his skis up on edge

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Henry’s first Cookie Race and Dad captures the moment

 

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Snow Sport University Instructor Timmy Tacos becomes Timmy Tutu

 

 

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Zane focusing on the next gate

 

 

 

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Hayleigh making tracks to get her cookie

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8 inches of new snow in the past 2 days

 

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Come ride the Smuggs snow wave

The new snow that we have received in the past 2 days is nice and dense. The moisture in the new snow is helping it to bond with the older snow. The denser snow also skis or rides like more snow because it holds you up better and you don’t go right through it. This new snow has allowed us to open 21 more trails in the past few days. We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We now have 60 trails open with terrain for all ability levels.

 

 

 

 

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Picture yourself here

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This is what it looks like to be at the bottom of the “Sterling Rock”

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Jim from Jersey with his Snow Sport University Instructor Randy Draper at the summit of Sterling Mountain.

 

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Powder Day

We received 4 inches of new snow of new snow overnight! It continued to snow all day long and we received another 2 more inches accumulation. The new snow is pretty dense and is skiing/riding very well.  I skied Smugglers’ Alley this morning and it was fantastic. It was nice and flat with a blanket of 4 inches of new snow on top. I made GS turns from one side of the trail all the way to the other. The wind moved the snow around some on the lower mountain and the drifts looked like waves. This afternoon I went out on the mountain with Alex Martin from Smuggs TV. We were filming this week’s No Bull Video Snow Report. We headed up Madonna Mountain to see what we could find for goods. We had a great time on Upper Chilcoot, Catwalk, Upper FIS, McPherson’s, Lower Chilcoot, and a few glades in between. To see what we found just go to  www.facebook.com/SmugglersNotch/ the video will be posted midmorning tomorrow.

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna 1 Lift. We now have 51 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 30 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Snow Snake and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 115 acres of freshly groomed terrain. The Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 15 features and is groomed daily. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly cloudy skies, a chance of flurries early with temperatures between 26 and 36 degrees.

 

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John Holcomb ripping down Treasure Run

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Face shot selfie

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Paul Sladyk having fun on Upper FIS

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A still image from this week’s No Bull Video Snow Report

 

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Tutu Tuesday

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The SSU Drill Team – Erik and Rob.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. It’s a sunny morning on the mountain! While delivering the Snow Report around the Village, I saw Erik and Rob setting up the SSU Lesson Meeting Area. Rob is not shy about wearin’ the tutu  whilst shreddin’ the slopes, but do you trust him drillin’ the hill? Elsewhere on my rounds, I chatted with Jeff at 3 Mountain Outfitters Demo Center (coincidentally, it’s Demo Day today), and he quipped “you can tune a ski, but you can’t tuna fish”. I also stopped in to say hi to Harley, the Queen of SSU, who moonlights as Pearl the Purple Pirate Princess. Before the lifts were turnin’, Harley and Sara of Marketing took their first run on Sterling. She shared a morning moon photo taken with a fish-eyed lens… does that make it Lunar Fish?  OK, I gotta go find some better jokes, or go skiin’, or BOTH! 

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Morning Moon over Upper Rumrunner.

 

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Our snowmakers covered Upper FIS last night

andyWe had some great snowmaking weather last night and our snowmakers took full advantage. They fired up the tower guns on Upper FIS and put down a beautiful layer of very edgeable snow.  The tower guns spread the snow nicely and also make a great product. The whole trail was covered with a consistent chalky snow.  Everyone I talked to on the mountain today mentioned how good the snow on Upper FIS was. I have to agree with them because I could not stop skiing it. I can’t wait to ski it again tomorrow.

 

2-kidsWe have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 41 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Tonight we plan to make snow on Upper Chilcoot. 30 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley and Snake Bite. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for sunny skies early with increasing clouds; snow late with temperatures between 28 and 37 degrees. We could see up to 4 inches of new snow by Wednesday night.

 

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Sunset over the Village last night

sunsetToday we have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Chairlift. We now have 40 trails open with terrain for all ability levels.  Snowmaking continues around the clock on Upper FIS and the Riglet Park. 34 trails have been groomed for today, including Smugglers’ Alley and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 120 acres of freshly groomed terrain.  The Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 15 features. The Zone Terrain Park is also open with spines and tabletops. Today’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 20 and 31 degrees. The forecast is calling for 2 to 4 inches of new snow Tuesday night into Wednesday.