Beautiful Sunny Day

2.27.2016 Backcountry Base CampHugh 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


2.27.2016 top of Full NelsonAfter 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.







2.27.2016 Hugh B air on Sterling


New snow makes for happy skiers and riders.

race 2.26.2016This 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.





powder 2.26.2016Hugh 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.




ice flow 2.26.2016I 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.


All in the Family

3 JohnsonsThis 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.





Mountains of adventure and mountains of fun

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

cross training

Greg cross training


Dara with her class of light green minions

the kids group shot

Fun with friends at the summit of the Mogul Mouse Magic Lift


Making memories

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.
justion picture justin and makela


HOOP – there it is

Hoop there it is

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!


The Party Faithful (or Faithful Party-ers)

Apr 13, Party Faithful 1 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.



Shake it up and FIZZ!


Feb 4, 2014 Fletch n HokieRockin’ 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!”


Visiting Father Winter in his Teepee

ikids teepeeToday was a great day on the mountain. It started with the Cat Trax Express, our 12 passenger heated cabin snowcat that brings you to the top of Madonna Mountain on Saturdays for first tracks. The Cat Trax Express also does fireworks tours and early evening tours. We had a fantastic time this morning getting first tracks in the early morning light.

I finished the morning report and then met up with my family to do some runs on Morse. We were riding the kid friendly Mogul Mouse Magical Lift to mid station. King Billy Bob’s Den was open on the Magic Learning Trail. The kids just love going though the tunnel. We ran into some great family friends at mid station and did a few runs with them. The kids then decided that it would be a great idea to visit Father Winter. Father Winter is in the teepee between Lower Morse Liftline and the Magic Learning Trail on Saturdays and Wednesdays. He has a wood fire going with a pot of hot cider that kids pictured here really enjoy on a chilly winter day. It’s always a fun educational experience when we visit Father Winter.



Upper FIS


Jan. 10, 2014 harley blogMy wife Harley and our youngest daughter Hayleigh went skiing together this morning. Hayleigh really enjoyed the magic carpet at Sir Henry’s and riding on the Mogul Mouse Magical Lift. Hayleigh was starting to get tired, so Harley took her to Treasures for her lunch and a well deserved nap. While Hayleigh was napping, Harley and I were skiing on the Upper Mountains. We had a great time on Madonna and Sterling. We skied Upper FIS for our last run and it was the best. Our snowmakers had just put down a nice new surface for our skiing and riding pleasure.