Another beautiful day at Smuggs

We have received snowfall the past four days straight and today the sun came out.  It was just a  great day to be skiing and riding. Today was the second race of the season for our Local’s League. I decide to try my old carving snowboard in the race today. I took a run to the top of the Sterling Lift with my wife Harley. She was racing also and we wanted to warm up before racing.  We took Upper Rumrunner to Black Snake. It was fun to carve out some big GS turns on the groomed terrain. The 10 inches of snow that we received in the past four days has made the groomed snow very nice. I completed my two snowboard runs in the course and headed for Parking Lot 1 to change into my ski gear.  I went back up the Sterling Lift with my skis and headed straight for Upper Rumrunner and Black Snake.  My skis were holding nicely and I felt like I could really lay it over.

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View from the top of Sterling Mountain

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Blast from the Past Josh Adams is back racing

This weekend we have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountain with all 8 lifts operating and 43 trails open. We are presently making snow on Black Snake, Zone Terrain Park, Lower Rumrunner, Birch Run Terrain Park, Lower Link, Full Nelson, and Snake Bite. 27 trails will be groomed for tomorrow that’s 146 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


Bootleggers and Smugglers

Bootlegger signRockin’ Ron for Hugh. When I heard that Bootlegger was groomed for today, that was the trail I had to ski. It was confirmed when I ran into SSU’s Justin Falkenberg and his group. Bootlegger was their trail pick too. I love going down this steep, straight, and rolling trail after it’s been groomed (thanks to the Groomers and their Winch Cat for making it happen).  

Speaking of Bootlegger… Bootleggers, Rumrunners, Pirates, and Smugglers – these are the inspiration for trail names and facilities here at the Resort. Many people associate these with 1920’s Prohibition (aka the Volstead Act, prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol) and that is true, but smuggling through the Notch and throughout Vermont can be traced back to the early 1800’s as a reaction to Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo Act (prohibiting trade with France and Britain). Another one of our trails, Black Snake, is named after a smuggling ship on Lake Champlain during the Embargo period. Time for me to steal away.


Madonna in View

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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.


Powder Day

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Sterling Rock

We received 6 to 8 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 18 inches in the past week.  The temperature dropped quickly last night and was below zero by day break. As the temperature fell the snow got lighter and lighter.





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Ski Patroller Eli enjoying the new snow

My first run of the day was Black Snake. There was a nice blanket of fluffy powder on top of the snowmaking whales.  The light snow was easy to move through. I enjoyed every silent turn, one right after the other. We were able to open a few more trails today with the new snow. Highlander Glades and Hangman’s Drop opened today.




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Bird’s Eye View

We are still making snow around the clock on Morse and Madonna Mountain. We plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains later this week.


We are making snow around the clock


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.


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.



Riding on a cloud

ghost riderI have been gone for the past week, but it only took a few turns to remind me just how good the conditions are. The coverage and quality of snow has stayed consistently wonderful. I started my day off with some GS turns on Upper Rumrunner and Black Snake. I had a blast carving through the fresh corduroy. I also really enjoyed exploring the glades on Madonna and Sterling in search of powder turns with some good friends. The great part was that I did not feel like I had to rush to get the good line before someone else, because there is plenty to go around. We all had so much fun playing on the many natural features that Smuggs has to offer. Pictured here is Pat doing just that! For tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open and 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. 32 trails will be groomed for Friday, including Smugglers’ Alley, Snow Snake, and Drifter for a grand total of 170 acres. The Après Sport at the Black Bear Tavern is sponsored by Bud Light this weekend. On Saturday ON3P skis will be demoing their handmade skis from Portland, OR for one day only at the Base Lodge. Also on Saturday come join Boston Radio 92.9’s Rock & Ride at Smuggs in the Black Bear Lounge from 2 pm till 4 pm. You could win over $1,000 in free music, concert tickets, lift tickets, winter gear and even a pair of skis or a snowboard. The 2015 Extreme Skiing Challenge is this Sunday, March 8th being hosted by the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club. The course is planned for the Madonna headwall and competitors will be judged on line, control, fluidity, technique and style. Spectators are welcome and the best viewing area is from the Madonna I lift. Spectators can also catch the action from a roped off area at the Red Fox Glades near the finish area at the base of the Madonna headwall.


Black Snake


harley pow blogWe are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. We have received 31 inches on new snow in the past week The conditions are just fantastic. Today I was lucky enough to take a run with my wife Harley pictured here. We did her favorite run which is Hangman’s Drop to Chute to Black Snake to Harvey’s Hideaway to Full Nelson to Half Nelson.


Get in the Zone


zone.JPG blogToday was absolutely beautiful with the sunshine and milder temperatures. Today we had the local races on Practice Slope. I went to the top of Sterling with my race board to take a warm up run before racing. I had a great time carving up the corduroy on Black Snake. We had two races today because we had to cancel one race due to 18 inches of snow in 24 hours that we received on Valentine’s Day. I went to the Zone Terrain Park after I finished my race runs. It was fun to watch the skier pictured here floating through the air, while making his tricks look smooth and easy.