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Another beautiful day here at Smuggs

 

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Sterling Pond with Mount Mansfield in the background

The sun came out today after a few days of snow. I was able to find some untouched snow today on the sides of the trails. I had a great time skiing Upper Exhibition, Hangman’s, Chute, Thomke’s, Harvey’s Hideaway from Upper Exhibition to Lower Black Bear, Black Snake, Smugglers’ Alley, Treasure Run, and Lower Exhibition.  Our snowmakers did a great job last night and this morning on Birch Run, Practice Slope, and Lower Rumrunner. They told me that the temperature stayed in the single digits overnight and they were able to crank the guns up! It got too warm for snowmaking later in the day and we had to shut down. The forecast is calling for the temperature to fall throughout the day tomorrow with flurries and snow showers.

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Upper Exhibition

Wednesday night the predicted temperatures are in the teens and we plan to resume snowmaking at that time. Tonight we plan to groom 6 trails including Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 18 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 17 trails open for intermediates and experts. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is open for beginners with the Magic Carpet operating tomorrow.

 

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Sun setting over the Village Lift

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Smuggs Snow Sport University Ski Instructor Bud Conger who has been teaching here at Smuggs for 53 years!

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Upper Rumrunner

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Parking outside the Top of the Notch building at the summit of Sterling

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Snowmaking on Birch Run this morning

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Good Morning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACurrently it is 16 degrees at the summit of Sterling with partly cloudy skies. Today we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 14 trails open for intermediates and experts. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is open for beginners without the Wonder Carpet operating today. 6 trails were groomed last night for a grand total of 18 acres of freshly groomed terrain. We are presently making snow on Practice Slope, Birch Run, and Lower Rumrunner. Today’s forecast is calling for partly to mostly sunny skies with temperatures rising throughout the day. Temperatures will start off in the teens and twenties but will end up in the thirties later in the day.

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Trail count doubles

 

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Hangman’ s

We received 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 13 inches in the past 2 days. It snowed all day long! I would have to say that some of the nicest snow of the day was on Hangman’s. The low angle sections at the top and just below Upper Exhibition were filled in very well.  Ski Patrol was busy today opening more terrain; in fact we doubled our trail count from 7 to 14. To open a trail it takes more than just dropping the ropes, obstacles have to be marked, closed trails off the open trail must be roped off, and because Upper Exhibition was opened today lift tower pads had to be installed. I want to thank our patrollers for their hard work which allowed us to ski and ride Chute, Hangman’s, Upper Exhibition from Upper Rumrunner down to tower 11, Bootlegger from the work road on Thomke’s, Jolly Rodger from Upper Exhibition, Harvey’s Hideaway from Upper Exhibition, and Black Snake down to the hairpin.

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Installing tower pads on Upper Exhibition

The conditions were just amazing today! I also want to thank our snowmakers who are presently busy covering Lower Rumrunner and the Practice Slope. They plan to resume snowmaking on Birch Run tonight. Tonight’s forecast is calling for some great snowmaking temperatures of 6 to 18 degrees. Our snowmakers are prepared to take full advantage of this window of colder temperatures. Tomorrow the forecast is calling for partly to mostly sunny skies and temperatures to rise throughout the day. Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 13 trails open for intermediates and experts. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill will be groomed and open tomorrow without the Wonder Carpet operating.

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Smuggs Public Relations Director Mike Chait kneedeep on Hangman’s

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Split second before white out conditions

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Smugglers’ Alley

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Chute

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Smuggs Ski Patrol Director Dave Sills on Lower Pipeline

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Going deep on Upper Exhibition

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Hangman’s

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Patroller John on Lower Pipeline

 

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Snowmaking and natural snowfall

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Snowmaking on Lower Rumrunner

The forecast called for 2 inches of new snow to fall overnight, so I was pleasantly surprised when we received 4 to 6 inches.  I skied Smugglers’ Alley for my first run to get some photos of the new snow. I stopped on the side of the trail to capture some of the action. Many people I know went by and said a short hello as they skied or rode by because they were not going to stop.  They were just having too much fun in the fresh snow. It continued to snow through most of the day and the temperature has also been falling. Our snowmakers are presently busy making snow on Lower Rumrunner, Practice Slope, Meadowlark, and Birch Run. Tonight’s forecast is calling for flurries and snow showers 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible.

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Ski Patrol doing trail check

Tomorrow’s forecast is morning snow showers then flurries with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 14 and 27 degrees. Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift and Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpet operating with 7 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Birch Run is temporarily closed due to snowmaking.

 

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Snowmaking on the Practice Slope

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Catching air on Crossover

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Snow Sport University ski lesson on Sir Henry’s Learning Hill

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Snow Sport University snowboard lesson on Sir Henry’s Learning Hill

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Happy Thanksgiving

 

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Sterling Pond

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Snowmaking continues this morning on Lower Rumrunner, Sir Henry’s Learning Hill, Birch Run, Practice Slope, and Parking Lot 1 down to the base area. Only one more day till skiing and riding! This weekend, we are excited to offer a $20 discount off our early season lift ticket rate of $52 dollars! If you bring a non-perishable food shelf donation, you’ll get a full-day lift ticket for $32 dollars! This weekend is looking good!

 

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Lower Exhibition

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HKD Tower Fan Gun operating on the Practice Slope

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Top of the Notch Building at the summit of Sterling

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Only 2 more days

 

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Snowmakers getting ready to make snow tonight

The temperature fell throughout the day with a couple of inches of accumulation by this afternoon. Our snowmakers are ready to take advantage of the colder temperatures tonight. We plan to make snow on Sir Henry’s Learning Hill, Birch Run, Base Areas, and Lower Rumrunner. For Opening Day we plan to have the Sterling Lift and Sir Henry’s Magic Carpet operating.  The Sterling Lift will open at 8 am and Sir Henry’s Magic Carpet will open at 9 am on Opening Day. The starting times will be the same for Saturday and Sunday.  We plan to have Smugglers’ Alley open for experts and Sir Henry’s Learning Hill open for beginners. We also plan to have Upper Rumrunner, Crossover, Treasure Run, and Lower Exhibition open for Intermediates.

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Sir Henry’s Learning Hill

I want to thank our snowmakers for all their hard work. They have done a wonderful job getting us ready for a fantastic start to the 2017-2018 Winter season. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving with family and friends tomorrow. I look forward to seeing members of the Smuggs family on Friday!

 

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Birch Run/Bermuda

Birch Run TJ aRockin’ Ron for Hugh. Today Hugh and I were both chaperoning Winter Wellness groups from Cambridge Elementary School. Hugh sent me these photos of his group catching air in Birch Run Terrain Park. To paraphrase a famous saying “to AIR is Hugh-man”.

Meanwhile, I had three snowboarders in my group and we hit all the blue square (intermediate) and black diamond (expert) trails on Morse Mountain. We even did Upper Morse Liftline… twice!! Former Smuggs Patroller and current Cambridge Area Rotary President Tom Lachance was also chaperoning a Winter Wellness group, and we decided to join forces for a few runs.

 

Birch Run 3aAfter we dropped the Cambridge kids off to catch their bus, Tom and I headed up to Madonna Mountain. The sun was out, there was no wind, and of course all that powder was calling our names. Where would you go when there’s over a foot of fresh snow… the same place we did… BERMUDA! We took Upper Chilcoot to Catwalk to Upper FIS to Lower Doc’s to Ruthie’s to Gary B’s and finally on to Bermuda – one of the great gladed trails at Smuggs. Don’t ask me how it got that name. All I know is that it was a mini-vacation from the world.

 

 

 

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We just opened some more trails.

nov-27-liftlineHangman’s is now open along with sections of Upper Exhibition and Black Snake. I had a blast taking some runs with the family today.  The kids were just having so much fun getting their ski legs back on the groomed trails for the first couple of runs. We ran into some family friends midday and started skiing the open natural snow trails.  The kids were finding small jumps everywhere to hit. We all had a great time and decided that we can’t wait to do it all again!

 

bridgetOur snowmakers are busy once again making snow on Smugglers’ Alley, Thomke’s Express, Birch Run, top of Bootlegger, and the tower fan gun in the Zone.

 

 

 

 

tower-fan-gunTonight’s forecast is calling for some pretty good snowmaking temperatures with a range of teen’s to low 20’s. Tomorrow forecast is partly sunny skies with temperatures between 24 and 32 degrees.

 

 

 

topTomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 8 trails open.

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We are making snow around the clock

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Snowmaking cloud on Black Snake

We have been making snow on Black Snake, Practice Slope, and the Birch Run Terrain Park. We are also making snow near parking lot #1 for easy ski in and ski out.

 

 

 

 

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New tower fan gun on the Practice Slope

The tower snow guns are working their magic. We also have a new tower fan gun on Practice Slope near the trail that takes you back to parking lot #1.  Black Snake is looking good, as I skied by I looked down and all you could was a snowmaking cloud.

 

 

 

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Upper Rumrunner

We have more snow in the forecast with another 2 to 5 inches of accumulation possible by Monday night.  We plan to make snow on Madonna and Morse tomorrow night.

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180 off

birch runI had a great time today skiing the soft bumps on Smugglers’ Alley.  It’s early in the season and I need to get my ski legs back.  I hung out in the Birch Run Terrain Park for a while to get some photos.  The soft snow made for sweet landings. If you are wondering about 180 off, it means to do a 180 coming off the rail. The snowboarder pictured here is doing just that.  Tomorrow we plan to have 2 lifts operating and 8 trails open. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is open for beginners. The Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 6 features, including 2 fun boxes and 4 rails.