Sunny Sunday


Upper Chilcoot

Today started off a little cool but, it did not take too long for the sun to work its magic. The sky was blue bird early in the day and the clouds started to roll in this afternoon. I went skiing today with all 3 of my kids. We started here in the village and skied our way over to the upper mountains. The views from the Madonna I Lift were just amazing, especially when the Headwall is open. We skied Lower Catwalk to Drifter and then to Red Fox Glades. My daughter Hannah really likes Red Fox Glades and it was her trail pick. It’s nice with the birch trees and the sun filled open spaces. We also had a great time in the Shire.





The Shire is low angle glade run, which is nice because you don’t have to check your speed very much and you can just cruise in between the trees.


Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 4 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We are 94 percent open with 73 out of 78 trails open. Madonna and Sterling are 100 percent open. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Ruthie’s, Snow Snake, and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 127 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is freezing rain early becoming rain later with temperatures between 31 and 37 degrees.

Beautiful view from Lower Catwalk

Wear something waterproof and enjoy the soft conditions.


Little Ripper on Lower Madonna Liftline

Family Fun in the trees


Bluebird Day

When I got to work this morning it was still pretty cloudy out, but that did not last long. The sun burned off all the clouds and we ended up with a bluebird day.  I rode the Madonna 1 lift this morning with a gentleman and we were talking about all the great views. All the new snow with the sunshine on it made for great contrast against the deep blue of the sky. I decided to make my first run a cruiser so I headed down Upper Chilcoot. One of the neat things about Upper Chilcoot is that you go on the backside of Madonna after Catwalk and then you work your way back to the front side. Chilcoot is a nice long intermediate trail with fun turns like the S turn before Waterfall.  I love how you make a hard right hand followed immediately by a hard left hand turn. I also find it fun to swing out wide before you catch air as you dive in to Waterfall. As you flow down Waterfall always be aware of people crossing Waterfall to get to Ruthie’s.

We are 100 percent open tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and all 78 trails open. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Drifter, Snow Snake, and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 121 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is flurries and a snow shower an inch of accumulation possible with temperatures between 26 and 38 degrees.

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Sterling and Mount Mansfield seen from the Village Lift


Super Deep

geoff deep Wow what a day today was! I know that I said that Monday was the best day of the season, but today was amazing also. The snow pack is deep and just getting deeper. We received over 3 feet of new snow in the past week and it is all beautiful powder. I had a great time this morning with my good friend Teo on Doc Dempsey’s. There were some great drifts on skier’s left at the top that we really enjoyed flying through. If you would like to see a video from this run just go to facebook.com/SmugglersNotch/  Later in the day I meet up my good friends Geoff and Dave. We were powder hounds on the loose looking for fresh tracks anywhere we could. We found the goods in the woods on Madonna and Sterling. I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.

daveWe are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 34 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper Drifter, Snow Snake, and Thomke’s Express for a grand total of 134 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tonight’s forecast is a snow shower then flurries ending with another inch of accumulation possible with temperatures between 10 and 21 degrees.


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It’s really adding up



Upper Drifter

I was skiing down Upper Drifter today and I just had to stop.  I was in a tuck trying to keep my speed up for the small uphill section of Upper Drifter when I noticed some big drifts. I was surprised how big they were and I had to get a picture. The ski poles in the photo of the drifts are 50 inches tall.  When I was riding the Madonna I lift today I also noticed that the bottom of the Headwall is now filled in and there is no drop. We received 4 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 31 inches in the past week. There is also more snow in the forecast with up to 11 more inches by Thursday night.




Freefall is open from the top

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The bottom of the Headwall


Blue Sky Ski Day

Moguls on Steriods?

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Today was a beauty! The sun was out for the duration. Riding up the Village Lift, I had to do a double-take. Where did those moguls on steroids come from, I wondered. They weren’t moguls but snowmaking whales. Despite nearly 2 feet of snow in the past week, our snowmakers are still busy making the white gold. Speaking of moguls, Mogul Mouse’s BFF Billy Bob Bear has been working out at the gym. So, I want to deny the rumors that Billy Bob is on bear-roids.





No other Mother like Madonna

Cruising to the upper mountains on the Midway trail, I stopped to get what I think is an “artsy” shot of Madonna Mountain as viewed looking over a pile of snow near one of the snowmaking reservoirs (known in the summer as Rumrunners’ Hideaway). On the ride up the Madonna I Lift, I marveled at Patrol and others negotiating Upper Liftline.






Blue Sky Liftline

I  enjoyed a sunshine-guided run on Drifter and sailed on more snowmaking whales – this time on Lower FIS. My last run of the day I took in all 2,610 feet of Smuggs vertical: Upper Chilcoot > Link > Waterfall > Ruthie’s > Midway > Curley’s > Meadowlark. At 3 miles long, I believe this is the longest run on the mountain. Can anyone other than Hugh or Steve Wry confirm that? If you can – respond to this blog post in the comment section below.


A little new snow goes a long way


Upper FIS

It started to snow this morning and it came down pretty hard for a little while. The new snow was heavy and stuck to everything. It covered well and skied well. We groomed quite a few of our steeper trails last night and with new snow on top they were fantastic.  I had a great time on Upper FIS. Smugglers’ Alley, Bootlegger, Drifter, Shuttle, and many more.






We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating and 63 trails open. 38 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS and Bootlegger for a grand total of 162 acres. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for increasing clouds with a chance of afternoon shower and temperatures between 36 and 49 degrees.  Expect some nice spring conditions for tomorrow.


Catchin’ AIR!

Ava Kristina Chris

Catchin’ AIR on Birch Run! L to R: Kristina prepairng to drop in, Ava in mid-flight, Chris carving it up

Ava RRtFP Kristina

Ava, me, and Kristina enjoy a moment on top of Madonna Mountain.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Joy Kyle sent me a message on my Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate facebook page asking if I could ski with her family this week. I replied in the affirmative. I’ve known the Kyles for many a year – they are summer regulars, but this is their first winter at the Mountain. Chris, Kristina, and Ava met me at the Mogul Mouse Lift and we took Midway over to the upper mountains. The trails conditions were packed powder which was very carve-able and made it easy to keep up our speed. On the way we saw the one of the Resort’s snowmaking reservoirs (which serves as Rumrunner’s Hideaway swimming and boating area in the summer). Trail picks were Catwalk, Drifter, Shuttle, and Poacher’s Woods. The girls wanted to do Blue Glades. I suggested a Red, White and Blue Glade… RED FOX GLADES (Red is in the name, Blue is the level of the trail, and white is the snow). Other trail picks included Lower Pipleine, Treasure Run, and Birch Run Terrain Park where we caught some air. It was a joy (even without Joy) to ski with the Kyles from CT.

While having lunch on the deck of the Black Bear I had a nice conversation with the Godfreys of NJ, another family I’ve know for many years. It was great to catch up.

In conclusion, with sunshine, spring conditions, and friends, it was a great day to catch some fresh air on the slopes of Smuggs!

Ava Kristina Chirs RedFox

Ready for Red Fox!



Another beautiful day and more progress on the pond

Today was just gorgeous with the blue bird skies and milder temperatures.  It was so pretty out today that I had to take a few runs just for the scenic views.  I like the photo on the left because Madonna Mountain and Upper Drifter look different from this angle.  Our Terrain Park Crew was in the Zone today getting ready for the Pond Skimming on Saturday, April 4th. It was neat to watch as the groomer cut a little deeper with each pass through the pond.  The pond is really taking shape. I am really looking forward to skimmin’ n chillin’ n grillin’ this weekend!  We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 73 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels.  Tomorrow’s forecast is partly to mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries or a light shower early with temperatures between 37 and 45 degrees, which will make for some great spring conditions.  33 trails will be groomed tonight including skier’s right on Upper FIS, Smugglers’ Alley, Wanderer, and Hangman’s Drop for a grand total of 168 acres.
cutting the pond out drifter


Visiting Father Winter

father winterWe have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating. We received 6 inches of new snow in the past 3 days. 28 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Drifter, Thomke’s Express, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 160 acres. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 22 and 34 degrees. We are also expecting 1 to 2 inches of new snow tomorrow night and Monday.


Bluebird Day

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Northern Vermont! The close to Spring Equinox Sun shined brightly across the upper spine of the Green Mountains, as the early sub-zero temperatures moderated to a quite comfortable level. I personally have been skiing my tail off lately, so I thought I might take it easy and enjoy a few cruisers. I grabbed a brand new pair of 4FRNT skis, and headed up Madonna to carve some corduroy. My first run was down Chilcoot, which has a great variety of turns, bends, dips and rolls. Combine that with a little speed and fresh skis, and you’re sure to have a fun time and warm your legs up as well. My next run was down Drifter, another long cruiser off of Madonna, with equally as much character as Chilcoot.

I nabbed the first picture below from the top of Shuttle, which is accessed off of Drifter and connects you back to Sterling. You can see the top of Mt. Mansfield AKA “The Chin” in the background, this is the highest point in the state of Vermont at 4,393′. In the foreground you can see a zone known as “The Highway” which is part of the 1000 skiable acres here at Smugglers’. Make sure if you are planning on skiing or riding anywhere off trail that you play it safe, know where you are going, and don’t ride alone. If you are interested in learning more about side-country skiing and riding, perhaps look into a private lesson/guide, which is booked at the Ski and Ride desk by the hour for up to 6 hours.

I headed over to Sterling from there via Shuttle, and headed up the mountain to ski Black Snake to Practice Slope, so I could do my locals race runs. There was a lot going on in this part of the mountain. There were two slalom courses set for training, the locals race Giant Slalom, the machine made bump lines, and the two big jumps in The Zone. I ended up taking a couple laps on the T-Bar so I could try each of these things. It was a pretty cool sight watching everyone practicing in their own way so I grabbed the second picture to try to show everything that was going on.

Tomorrow look for sunny skies, temperatures moderating even more, and probably many folks enjoying the sun in the upper lot! There will be skiing and riding on our three mountains and all 8 lifts will be operating.

-Matt McCawley


“The Chin” over “The Highway”


The practicing place