Heading to the Upper Mountains
I was getting ready to ride the Village Lift this morning when someone from behind me asked if I was a single. I said that I was and I would enjoy the company. It turns out that my lift partner is from Pennsylvania and has been coming to Smugglers’ Notch for the past 19 years. The funny thing is that she did not know who I was. She told me about her family and how much they enjoy coming to Smuggs. She told me that her kids learned to ski here at Smuggs and now they are in their 20’s and even one is in their 30’s. She said that they are staying in Willows this week and they really like the convenient ski in / ski out. As a matter of fact, she waved to someone in their condo as we rode the lift past their unit. She also went on to say that the next generation of their family was going to learn to ski while they are here this week. I think it is so cool that she wanted to tell me all about her family and their ties to Smuggs even though she did not know that I work for Smuggs.
Myself and Rick on the Village Lift
I would like you to meet Long Island Rick. Rick has to be the biggest fan of Smugglers’ Notch that I have ever met. He has been coming to Smuggs now for over 4 years in the summer and winter. He has such a love for snow sports and the great outdoors. Rick is a school teacher, husband, father, and a volunteer firefighter. Rick has a huge heart and loves helping people. I had a great time taking a few runs with Rick today on Morse. He had me laughing the whole time we were together. He has a great outlook on life! The world needs more people like Rick. Thank you for being who you are and thank you for choosing Smuggs for your home away from home.
Hugh B and I checked out the 2016 Backcountry Basecamp today at the yurt in parking lot 1. They will be here tomorrow, Sunday February 28th as well. Come join the editors of Backcountry Magazine for a resort-based showcase of all things backcountry. For nearly 20 years Backcountry Magazine has been the leading source for the backcountry movement and now they are bringing that expertise to a one-on-one setting through their Backcountry Basecamp Tour at Smugglers’ Notch. Weekend activities feature alpine touring, avalanche training, demos, trade displays, and on mountain course treks. This event is free and on a first-come first-served basis. For more information go to backcountrymagazine.com
After visiting the Backcountry Basecamp we skied two of my favorite trails on Sterling Mountain. Full Nelson and Upper Exhibition. Skiing with Hugh B is a lot like skiing with his Dad. He loves to jump off of everything that he can.
This is Harley Johnson filling in for Hugh Johnson. Today was another amazing day on the mountain. We received 5 inches of new snow last night. All three of my sisters were at the mountain today with family and friends. It was so much fun to ski with everyone. Hayleigh didn’t want to ski with us today though. She chose snowboarding with Allison at Snowboard camp instead.
Hugh B and I got to race in the locals race with Hannah and family cheering us on. Hugh did a great job in his first race. Then we were off to ski the new snow. We found many pockets of great powder all over the mountain.
I love the ice flow on Thomke’s. It is always a great spot for a group photo. We were on the mountain until 4 pm. We are looking forward to another fun day tomorrow.
This is Harley Johnson for Hugh Johnson (Editor’s note – her husband). The kids and I had a great time filling in for Hugh today. We got to the office just in time to watch the groomers doing a late groom. Sometimes they groom early in the morning after we get new snow to give our beginners on Morse mountain some fresh corduroy. Once I was done with the morning report the kids and I hit the slopes to enjoy the 3 inches of new snow we received last night. We had a blast. It started to rain but we love skiing in the rain. The snow is so soft and easy to turn in. We met up with Alex Martin to do the No Bull Video Snow report. It is so much fun to ski with all three kids.
I was playing on Morse Mountain this afternoon with my family. We were having a great time making runs from the top of the Mogul Mouse Lift. We were lucky enough to make a run with Snow Sport University Snowboard Instructor Greg Fatigate who was cross training. He was hard to recognize because he was on skis. He made some nice parallel turns and was even working on a few tricks. We saw other family friends out spending quality time together also. We ran into some family friends, sisters Gabbie and Emma who were out on the hill snowboarding. All the kids had a wonderful time riding the chair together and playing follow the leader as they came down the slopes. It’s great to watch the kids having so much fun as they share the mountain experience together.
We were getting ready to take another run on the Mogul Mouse Magic Lift when I saw Snow Sport University Ski Instructor Dara with her class. She was getting her class ready to ride the lift for their first time. What caught my eye was all the matching helmets covers. I thought they looked like light green minions from behind. The helmets covers are new this season and are different colors for different groups. This makes it easier to keep the classes organized and they also look cool.
Gabbie making a nice toe side turn on Garden Path
Greg cross training
Dara with her class of light green minions
Fun with friends at the summit of the Mogul Mouse Magic Lift
Pictured here Justin and his daughter Michaila. Justin is the snowmaking manager here at Smuggs. This was Michaila’s first time ever skiing Sterling Mountain. The photo on the left shows Justin capturing the special event. The photo on the right shows them living the moment. We have the Sterling lift operating with 31 trails open for Wednesday. 10 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley, Thomke’s Express, and Black Snake for a grand total of 51 acres. Great spring conditions! Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 34 and 49 degrees.
The Discovery Course at the Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s on Morse Mountain at Smuggs in Vermont, USA, indeed.
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. All week long, vacationing kids make their parents jump through hoops. At the COOKIE RACE its payback time – kids ski through hoops and around gates for their parents pleasure. Thanks to our Wyndham friends, all the kids get a cookie at the finish line. I have a jolly good time announcing the race as my alter-ego Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate. Bruce from smuggsphoto.com is also on hand to take photos of all the racers. The Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s is a long standing Thursday tradition at Smuggs. Elsewhere on Morse Mountain, I was bouncin’ on the bumps of Upper Morse Liftline, navigating the glades of Whitetail Woods and cruisin’ down Garden Path. For intermediates and experts who are on Morse because a family member or friend is a beginner, know that there are blue-squares and black-diamonds on the green-circle side of the Resort. So, you can HOOP it up on Morse!
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. The season isn’t over for this hardy crew. As long as there’s a run to take – there’s fun to be had. Good food, good friends, good times. Pictured left to right: Unknown Man in a Ski Helmet doing a Daft Punk impersonation, Doug, Trish, Brett (his first appearance on this year’s Blog), and Fletch.
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Shake it up and FIZZ is not a recipe for a cocktail but how Fletch states his trail pick. That’s ironic because Fletch is the bartender in the Black Bear Tavern at the Base Lodge. The trail he’s referring to is Upper F.I.S. aka Fizz, which is intoxicating in its own way. After cruising down the upper part of Upper F.I.S., I tend to turn onto lower Doc Dempsey’s aka Doc’s, but Fletch said let’s stay on Fizz. So I cancelled my Doctor’s appointment, and we shook it up and fizzed some more. By the time we reached Link, I felt like a drunken sailor but without the rum. Pictured on top of the snow-covered Madonna Mountain prior to fizzing, are the aforementioned Fletch, and Hokie one of our Shuttle Drivers.
Elsewhere around the Resort, I saw the Hogans and the Coadys – families from Canada who vacation here together. In an interesting twist, the kids are skiers and the dads are snowboarders. Skyler, one of the young boys, had a chance to become a boarder but decided against it because he would have to wait until he was good enough to go on some of his favorite trails like Smugglers’ Alley. In fact, Skyler told me his goal this week was to ski Upper F.I.S. for the first time. To quote Fletch “Shake it up and FIZZ!”