Torchlight, fireworks, and another beautiful day

chairlift fireworksThe torchlight parade and fireworks Cat Trax Express Tour was wonderful last night. The sky was clear which made for great viewing. It was nice to meet the Townsend Family and Tatro Family on the tour last night.  The Townsend kids were making snow angels and watching the fireworks at the same time.




kevinfriendKevin Friend and his crew are here for a couple of days to film the Smuggs episode of the Mountain Report. They picked a great time to be here with the recent snowfall and beautiful sunny days.  We were on Upper Drifter this morning and the views were fantastic.  The evergreen trees near the summit are filled in with snow and rime ice. They looked so bright against the deep blue sky.  We ran into Pat O. on Crossover and asked him if he was headed to the Birch Run Terrain Park.  He said yes and we followed to get some footage of him riding the rails and catching air.  Tomorrow’s forecast is partly to mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 11 and 21 degrees.  We plan to have the Morse Highlands lift operating tomorrow with Log Jam and Dixie’s Knoll open. We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating and 62 trails open.
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Cookie Race and Powder

One of the great things about Smuggs that we have everything from the World Famous Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s to powder filled glades on the upper mountains.  I had a great time at the Cookie Race this afternoon watching the young skiers and riders showing off their newly learned skills.  Mogul Mouse was at the finish line giving out high fives.  Everyone wins at the Cookie Race and receives a cookie!  I headed to the upper mountains after the cookie race  to meet up with my good friends Tony and Geoff.  We had a blast hunting for powder stashes.  They found many great lines and a few that were untracked.


Reid riding through a hoop


Hayleigh having fun

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Tony finds the goods

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Geoff enjoying the fresh snow

We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 54 trails open.  Tonight snow making moves to Snake Bite, Practice Slope, Lower FIS, and Lower Madonna Liftline.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 6 and 21 degrees.


Powder Day


Hokie playing in the powder on Upper FIS

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Jeff is knee deep on Shuttle

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Pat with the method

It snowed for three days straight and we ended up with 14 to 20 inches of new snow. We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 48 trails open. We have been making snow around the clock on Log Jam, Dixie’s Knoll, and Hibernator.  All three of these trails are over at the Morse Highlands Area and we plan to have the Morse Highlands Lift operating this weekend. We have also been making snow on the Practice Slope and we plan to open the Sterling T-Bar in the near future.  I would have to say that today was the best day of the season so far.  The conditions were just amazing.  I had so much fun on Doc Dempsey’s and Upper FIS. Skier’s left on Upper FIS was fantastic with drift filled moguls all the way down.  Lower Catwalk opened this afternoon along with Shuttle, Red Fox Glades, and Lower Drifter.  Skier’s right on the top section of Shuttle was also one of my favorites of the day.


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!


Fresh snow

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Andy having fun in the fresh snow on Full Nelson


Fresh tracks on Hangman’s

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Upper Chilcoot

We received 8 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and more is on the way. The forecast is calling for another 7 inches of new snow by Wednesday night. Snowmaking continues around the clock on Lower Chilcoot, McPherson’s, and the Practice Slope.  We opened more terrain today with natural snow coverage. Doc Dempsey’s was open from Teigh’s traverse which is located on skiers’ right below Catwalk on Upper FIS.  Full Nelson and Harvey’s Hideaway also opened today.  We now have top to bottom skiing and riding  on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 40 trails open.  21 trails will be groomed tonight, that’s 114 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


Snow making on Upper FIS

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Carving up Upper FIS

The temperatures dropped last night and snow making resumed on Upper FIS.  The cold temperatures allowed our snowmakers to produce some quality snow.  The snow making whales are covered with nice edgeable snow. Upper FIS was definitely the expert trail pick of the day.






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Tower guns on Upper FIS

I want to thank our snowmakers for a job well done!  The clear skies made for a beautiful sunny day and that was the calm before the storm. The forecast is calling for snow developing tonight 2 to 3 inches of accumulation possible. We could see up to 9 inches of new snow by Tuesday night.





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Sterling Pond and Mount Mansfield

Tonight we will also plan to make snow on McPherson’s and Lower Chilcoot.  We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 32 trails open. 21 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s 120 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


Birch Run Terrain Park

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SNSC Coach John Murphy

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SNSC Alumni Jesse Wells

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SNSC Freeski Team Member

The forecast called for a little bit of everything today with snow, sleet, mix, and a chance of freezing rain too. Elevation made a big difference today with snow up high and mixed precipitation down low.  It is currently 27 degrees at the summit of Madonna with cloudy skies. The temperature tonight will be between 12 and 25 degrees. We plan to resume snowmaking on Upper FIS and McPherson’s tonight. Catwalk to Upper FIS opened today and we now have 30 trails open.  The Birch Run Terrain Park is now open with 12 features and a hit.  I headed over to check out the additional features and ran into a few good old friends.  It was the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club members, coaches, and alumni. It was fun to hang out with Rick Witham and Raymie Wells as we watched the skiers and riders take flight off the hit.  It was great to see Raymie’s son Jesse who is an SNSC Alumni pulling off a bunch of his tricks. I also got to see long time Smuggs rider and SNSC Coach John Murphy.  John was demonstrating how to get the grab and style points at the same time.  It was not only fun to watch Jesse and John, but it great to hear them encourage the younger athletes.  I was having such a great time that I stayed until my camera was full.  I now have the camera downloaded and ready for tomorrow.


Fireworks seen from Morse Mountain and more

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Cat Trax Express

It was snowing hard last night when we rode in the Cat Trax Express up Morse Mountain. We could see a groomer push out the snowmaking whales on Sam’s Run.




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Cat Trax Express

It was so much fun watching the torchlight parade and the fireworks from the Morse Mountain. It was pretty neat to watch from a completely different viewing point.






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The Sterling Rock


My first run of the day was on Upper Chilcoot, Link, to Lower Madonna Liftline.  It was a great warm up cruiser run.  Sterling Mountain was next with Hangman’s Drop, Upper Pipeline, Lower Pipeline, to Treasure Run.  I also had fun on Smugglers’ Alley, Black Snake, Practice Slope, and Chute.  Today we opened the bottom half of the Birch Run Terrain Park and it now has 12 features. We are making snow around the clock on Upper FIS, Practice Slope, and Meadowlark.  Tonight we plan to groom 21 trails for a grand total of 114 acres.  We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 28 trails open.

Tomorrow’s forecast is snow, sleet, and mixed with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible and temperatures between 26 and 34 degrees. We are expecting more snow Sunday night into Monday.


Burton Riglet Terrain Park and Cat Trax

burton rigletOur Burton Riglet Terrain Park has moved from the top of the Sir Henry’s Learning Hill to behind the Meeting House.  Our Snowmakers were busy last night on Morse Mountain. They made snow on Dixie’s Knoll, Midway, Sam’s Run, and at the Burton Riglet Terrain Park.  The tree house at the Burton Riglet Park is really cool with ramps to ride down and a ski lift chair to hang out in.  This park is designed for beginner kid snowboarders. Our park crew will now start shaping the different features with the snow our snowmakers produced last night. These features are great teaching tools because the kids can work on their balance, bending their knees to absorb, and much more.  The park should open sometime in the near future. You can check the trail by trail report to find out when it opens.

DSC04833Tonight was our first Cat Trax Tour of the season. We went up Madonna Mountain and it snowed harder the higher we went. I took one photo from the inside of the heated cabin as we were nearing the summit of Madonna Mountain. In the other photo you can see the snow coming down in the lights of the Cat. It was pretty neat seeing the crescent moon over the snow clouds.




Fresh snow

We received 6 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours.  I headed to the Upper Parking Lot this morning to meet up with Alex Martin from Smuggs TV. We were filming the “No Bull Video Snow Report”. I was pretty excited and could not wait to make some powder turns.  Our first run was on Smugglers’ Alley. I skied the Alley on Monday when we were making snow on it and I thought it was good then. The fresh snow that we received last night would only make it better.  Our second run of the day was Black Snake to Practice Slope.  It was fun to take a cruiser run and play in the powder on the side of the trail.   We were able to open a few trails today with just natural snow like parts of Hangman’s, Upper Exhibition, Upper Treasure, and Lower Pipeline.  Alex and I decided to check out a few of these newly opened trails on our third run.  I found some really nice powder on Hangman’s.  To watch the video from today just go to the Smugglers’ Notch Facebook page. The excitement of the all new snow made me forget to zip up one my pockets and my phone fell out.  The help of my lovely wife Harley and find your phone made it possible to get my phone back.  My wife was nice enough to let me use her phone and she gave me directions to the location of my phone.  Even after I could hear my phone it took some digging to get it.


My wife Harley having fun on Smugglers’ Alley.

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Still frame from No Bull Video Snow Report Credit Alex Martin

Snow making continues around the clock on Lower Morse Liftline, Dixie’s Knoll, Midway, Sam’s Run, and Curley’s Cutback. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom  skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 23 trails open.  We have stopped making snow on Lower Birch Run and features were being installed today. 19 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s a grand total of 115 acres.  Tomorrow’s forecast is cloudy skies with a chance of flurries and temperatures between 10 and 21 degrees.