Madonna in View

Shadow and Light 2015 0105

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

sterling rock

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.




bird's eye

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.





tower fan gun

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.


Jacob finds a powder stash on Madonna


jacob blogThis is my nephew Jacob who is visiting from Georgia. I had so much fun today giving him a tour of Madonna and Sterling. We did a warm up run on Upper Chilcoot. We stopped at Dan’s Ford and noticed that it only had a couple of tracks on it. We decided to put a few more tracks on it. We were riding up the Sterling lift and I asked Jacob if he had ever been out to Sterling Pond. He said that he had not, so we made it our next stop. We skied Black Snake next and headed to the balcony. The balcony is the lookout that is in the woods behind the race start building. It’s a wonderful view of the notch.