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Snowmaking

Snowmaking on Black Snake

Snowmaking on Black Snake

We are presently making snow on the Zone Terrain Park and on Black Snake. We have some great snowmaking temperatures for tonight and tomorrow. We are expecting 1 to 2 inches of natural snowfall Friday night into Saturday. There is also a snow storm brewing for Sunday night. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating including the Madonna I lift. We are 94 percent open with 73 out of 78 trails. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Upper FIS, Snow Snake, and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 121 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

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Tower fan gun at the Zone

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Here comes the snow

The temperatures were in the 30’s today with nice soft conditions. I had a great time today carving up the corduroy. Black Snake down to the neck and Practice Slope was one of my favorites run of the day. I really enjoy the steeper sections. The soft snow really allowed me to set an edge and let the ski carve. Speaking of snow, it was snowing pretty hard this afternoon with low visibility. The flakes were really big and accumulating fast. Everything was covered in a short amount of time. We received an inch of new snow this afternoon with more on the way. The forecast is calling for up to 10 inches of new snow by Saturday night. The National Weather Service is predicting 9 to 20 inches of new snow by Saturday night. I expect the trail count to rise to almost its maximum by this weekend. 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 61 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Snow Snake and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 124 acres of freshly groomed terrain. To see this week’s episode of the No Bull Video Snow Report just go to www.facebook.com/SmugglersNotch

Snow falling on Lower Morse Liftline

Heel side turn onto the Practice Slope

Smugglers’ Notch Adaptive Program

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

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Calm before the storm

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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.

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

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.

 

 

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Rime ice on a tree at the summit of Sterling Mountain

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.

 

 

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Matt having fun on Black Snake

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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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 are snow and flurries in the forecast throughout 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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Snowmaking and Natural Snow

 

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Snowmaking at the Zone Terrain Park

We have received 15 inches of new snow in the past 5 days. I had a great time finding little stashes here and there all over the mountain today. The natural snow coverage is better on the upper part of the mountains, so I kept that in mind during the hunt for freshies. We are presently making snow on Snake Bite, McPherson’s, The Zone, Lower FIS, and the bottom of Upper FIS. The snowmakers have moved off of Log Jam and Hibernator. They will be groomed tonight and open tomorrow. We will be grooming 28 trails tonight, including Upper FIS and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 137 acres of freshly groomed terrain. We now have 62 trails open with terrain open for all ability levels.

 

 

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Snowy ride down Upper Drifter

We will be grooming 28 trails tonight, including Upper FIS and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 137 acres of freshly groomed terrain. We now have 62 trails open with terrain open for all ability levels. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with increasing clouds later in the day with temperatures between 24 and 31 degrees.

 

 

 

 

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Snowmaking on Black Snake

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Snow flying on Harvey’s Hideaway

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Powder stash on Madonna Mountain

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A sign of good things to come

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Snowboard lesson on Sterling Mountain

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3 inches of new snow today!

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Snowboarding Upper FIS

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Playing in the new snow on Upper FIS

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Shay having fun on Black Snake

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Deep snow on Upper FIS

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Fresh tracks on Doc Dempsey’s Glades

Today’s forecast called for snow showers and flurries this morning with a mix of sun and clouds in the afternoon.  The sun never made it out on the mountain and it snowed all day long.  We received 3 inches of new snow today and 9 inches in the past week.  The big snow storm starts late tomorrow morning and is suppose to hang out for a few days. We could see a foot of new snow by this weekend, which would really change our trail count.  We plan to have over 40 trails open this weekend. Snowmaking continues around the clock on Lower Chilcoot, Lower FIS, Black Snake, and the Practice Slope. 25 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 133 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating and 28 trails open.

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It’s snowing

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Village Lift

We received an inch of new snow this morning and more is on the way. We could see a storm total of 9 inches of snow by Friday night. Today we have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating and 28 trails open. We are presently making snow on Black Snake, Lower Chilcoot, and Lower FIS.  The natural snowfall predicted in the next few days along with round the clock snowmaking should allow us to have over 40 trails open this weekend.

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Birch Run Terrain Park is now open with 15 features.

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Snow Sport University Instructor Justin Falkenburg

The Village Lift is now operating.  We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains.We are presently making snow on Upper FIS, Black Snake, and the Practice Slope. Tonight we plan to make snow at the Morse Highlands area. The Birch Run Terrain Park was reshaped today and is looking great. There are multiple jumps, rails, and funboxes. 20 trails will be groomed tonight for a grand total of 104 acres of freshly groomed terrain.  The forecast is calling for up to 4 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours with temperatures between 22 and 32 degrees.

 

 

 

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Alex Martin of Smuggs TV filming this week episode of the No Bull Video Snow Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reshaping the Birch Run Terrain Park

 

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Fizz it is

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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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Beautiful day for snowmaking

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The view from the “Balcony” on Black Snake

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Black Snake

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Sterling Pond with Mount Mansfield in the background

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Tower guns and Tele turns

Today was clear, calm, and cold, which is perfect for snowmaking. I want to thank our snowmakers for making some great snow on Black Snake and Practice Slope. The snowmaking whales were covered with a nice chalky snow. I have so much fun playing on the snowmaking whales. I like to pretend that the snowmaking whales are waves. I like to do the surfing move where you ride to the top of the wave and then make a quick turn back down the face of the wave. I like how you can spray the snow off the top of the snowmaking whale when you do this move.  We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 4 lifts operating and 23 trails open. 19 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s 104 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 20 and 28 degrees. There is snow in the forecast Tuesday night through Thursday night.

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Snowmaking and grooming

groom-and-snowmakingLast night we made snow on Lower Morse Liftline, Sir Henry’s Learning Hill, Black Snake, and the Practice Slope. Snowmaking continues today on Black Snake and Practice Slope. Today’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 1 and 11 degrees. There is snow in the forecast from Tuesday night through Thursday night. Today we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 4 lifts operating and 21 trails open. 19 trails have been groomed for today, that’s 117 acres of freshly groomed terrain. The Madonna I Chairlift will have a delayed opening this morning.