Squally – Wood

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Matt McCawley for Hugh. Squallywood is a well known nickname for California ski area Squaw, but seemed a fitting title for my day, as I endured multiple squalls and skied mainly in the woods. This morning I reported 5 new inches of snow, and it snowed all day, so the totals should have gone up, but the wind was blowing so ridiculously hard that it’s tough to tell where all the additional snow went. I know I skied on zero inches in places and found other spots that were close to knee deep. Protected wooded areas seemed to hold the best and most consistent snow. The unfortunate thing for riders today is that MI remained on wind hold, the good news for those of you planning on skiing tomorrow is that MI remained on wind hold, so there should be a fair number of powder stashes there.

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Yes those are fully custom skis. @Whiteroom Skis

A big heads up for people excited to ski in the woods tomorrow or throughout the weekend…  the snowpack is much much deeper at higher elevations. Lower gladed areas have taken a major hit from levels earlier in the season, and now only a few inches of snow is hiding various obstacles. Be safe out there, know where you are going, and trust Patrol judgment of trail closures.


Tomorrow expect 50 trails to be open, as usual the groomers will be out making surfaces friendly on over 122 areas of terrain. Temps should be in the upper teens and low 20s with WNW winds between 10 – 30 MPH.

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Must be Present to Win!

We have more snow in the forecast as up to 4 more inches of snow could fall by Saturday. With the Northwest flow pumping we could very well see more, like this morning. There are two big events happening this weekend too with the Molly Rowlee Rail Jam on Saturday and The Extreme Challenge on Sunday. Check out smuggs.com for more info on both of those events.

Lastly, I want to thank all the readers out there who have followed my reports for the last 4 days. It really has been a good time, and I promise there is more to this then just skiing, pictures, and posts. Thank you Patrol and Mike Chait for all your support these last couple days. Thank you Hugh for letting me take the reigns, and I’ll gladly help out anytime you need. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their season, keep doing the dance, keep thinking snow.



Dropping Ropes and Riding Trees


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Pete finding some soft snow in the woods



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Still lots of snow in the Highway

Matt McCawley for Hugh Today I got the opportunity to spend some time with Sterling Patrol as we dropped closed ropes all over the place. Our trail count jumped today from 29 to 48…amazing what a couple wet inches of snow can do. Elevation was key as lower areas saw a mix of rain and snow, while the upper mountain saw all snow. As soon as it stopped snowing the sun came out full blast, which is always fun when you can ski fresh new snow with great visibility. The new snow also allowed us to get back into some wooded areas, where there is still a solid base, especially at higher elevations.


We also had the Wicked Witch of the West effect up here today as people from the valley think they will melt in the rain that’s falling at their house, despite snow falling at elevation, and thus keeping them from coming skiing. That, and probably jobs. The few brave souls that made it up here found great soft snow and lot of fresh tracks across the entire mountain.



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Nice turns down Hangmans

Later this afternoon a wild squall came through dropping a quick inch of super wet snow, and even a few rumbles of thunder. Don’t like the weather, wait a minute. Or in today’s case, gain elevation.


Snow is in the forecast this evening, and off and on through Saturday. Projected totals are around 5 inches, but let’s all hope for more. Temps will be consistently falling into the weekend, which means this new snow that fell today and the snow in the forecast is not going to get washed away anytime soon.

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Dropping ropes on Highlander Glades

We expect 48 trails to be open tomorrow, 36 of which are scheduled to be groomed this evening, that’s 129 acres!


The Zone terrain park is under reconstruction for the Molly Rowlee Rail Jam which takes place this Saturday the 11th this special rail jam benefits the Molly Rowlee Fund, which supports families with children undergoing treatment for cancer. This is the fifth year at Smuggs for this event, and it promises to again be awesome – come out and have some fun and support this great cause! The good times include music, giveaways, and a raffle. Registration starts at 9:00 am at the Yurt in the Parking Lot 1, the Jam starts in the Zone Terrain Park at 11:00 am!

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Smoothness on Exhibition

Also, this weekend is the Extreme Ski Challenge, the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club hosts this fun event — an opportunity for junior and adult freeskiers to show their stuff on some of the most difficult terrain Smugglers’ Notch has to offer! Competitors will be judged on line, control, fluidity, technique, and style.


It’s dumping!

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Where are my skis?

I went to the Nordic Center today for the Smugglers’ Notch Snowshoe Festival. I watched the 16th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race. There was an 8 km race and a 4 km fun run. I was glad the race was early in the day before the snow started falling. The snow was coming down so hard this afternoon that it reduced visibility. I went to my office midday to upload the photos from the Nordic Center. I headed back out to take a few more runs and my skis were already covered in snow. The tracks that I made skiing to my office were also gone. I picked up my son Hugh B after his Mitey Mites lesson and we went in search of fresh snow, which was not hard to find.

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Nice snow in the woods

The wind was blowing pretty good, so we decided to head into the woods. We skied a line that I skied this morning and I could not find my tracks. We received 3 inches of new snow this afternoon and it is still snowing very hard. We could see up to 9 more inches of snow in the next 24 hours. Tomorrow’s forecast is snow early then flurries later with temperatures between 13 and 26 degrees. We plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We are 96 percent open with 76 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels.



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Catching air off the Spring Roll

Tomorrow is going to be really good, so if I was you, I would call into work, tell them that you have a problem with your eyes and you can’t see coming to work!



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Photo taken by Hugh B. Johnson III


Tele pow turns on Smugglers’ Alley


Deep and getting deeper

Geoff enjoying the powder in the woods

The wind has been moving the snow around a little bit today. The best snow can usually be found on the skier’s/rider’s left side of the trail. The photo of Geoff on Full Nelson shows that there can also be snow on the skier’s/rider’s right side. I would have to say that the best snow so far today is in the glades. I found some great pockets of powder near the highway. The conditions are fantastic and only getting better with each inch of new snow that continues to fall. The forecast is calling for another 4 to 6 inches of new snow in the next 24 hours with the majority of the accumulation falling overnight. The Madonna I lift was on wind hold today, so there is bunch of untouched snow waiting to be tracked up.

Geoff finds some nice snow on Full Nelson

We presently have 67 trails open and the new snow that we receive tonight might allow us to open even more terrain tomorrow. Tomorrow’s forecast is flurries and a few snow showers an inch of accumulation possible with temperatures between 18 and 30 degrees. 35 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Snake Bite and Snow Snake that’s 122 acres of freshly groomed terrain. There is more snow in the forecast Saturday night into Sunday with another 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible.




Snow Reporter buried in work


Knight’s Revenge

img_2455This Fall’s annual inspection of Knight’s Revenge provided a challenge: a big spruce tree blew over and crushed an old feature.  No sweat though it fell on one that needed to go. In the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade, we milled the log on site and created a few new features.




img_2457Pictured here is the log before milling, and one of the new features.

To enjoy this new feature buy your season pass or badge before Halloween.

Thank you Greg Fatigate for being on location and keeping us up-to-date.


Cookie Race and Powder

One of the great things about Smuggs that we have everything from the World Famous Cookie Race on Sir Henry’s to powder filled glades on the upper mountains.  I had a great time at the Cookie Race this afternoon watching the young skiers and riders showing off their newly learned skills.  Mogul Mouse was at the finish line giving out high fives.  Everyone wins at the Cookie Race and receives a cookie!  I headed to the upper mountains after the cookie race  to meet up with my good friends Tony and Geoff.  We had a blast hunting for powder stashes.  They found many great lines and a few that were untracked.


Reid riding through a hoop


Hayleigh having fun

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Tony finds the goods

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Geoff enjoying the fresh snow

We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 54 trails open.  Tonight snow making moves to Snake Bite, Practice Slope, Lower FIS, and Lower Madonna Liftline.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 6 and 21 degrees.


Glade skiing

matthewToday we are a little cool and breezy. I found protection from the wind in the trees. I find that I stay warmer skiing in the trees because I ski slower and make more turns. The snow is also protected from the wind in the glades. The wind can knock the air out of the snow and make it wind packed. I had a great time today exploring the trees on Madonna and Sterling for powder stashes. I am looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with less wind and a high of 21 degrees. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. We have 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. All 6 Terrain Parks are open. 37 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley, Hangman’s Drop, Snake Bite, Timberrr, and skier’s right on Upper FIS for a grand total of 178 acres.


Another beautiful day with great conditions

The 6 inches of new snow that we received in the past 48 hours is the icing on the cake.  The cake is the 235 inches of snow that we have received this season.  The conditions continue to be just amazing. I had a great day searching for new vantage points and powder stashes.  I was looking for a powder stash on my last run and found my good friend Bruce Morrissey from Smuggs Photos – n – Videos.  We had a wonderful time skiing in the sun and powder filled glades.  I think Bruce’s photo sums up what I’m talking about.  A perfect way to end another beautiful day at Smuggs.  The refresh button is going to be hit tonight. We’re expecting 2 inches of new snow to fall late tonight and another 2 more inches predicted for tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for temperatures between 19 and 33 degrees. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift and 77 out of 78 trails open.
Hugh pic from bruce drifter view


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!


Glade skiing

phil sun powder branchToday started off a little cold, but the sun warmed things up. I ran into my good friends Phil and Andy this afternoon. We had a great time playing in the powder filled glades. Phil is pictured here enjoying the great conditions. The wind moved some snow around last night and we found some of the best snow to be in the low angle glades. Tomorrow we plan to be 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails and all 8 lifts operating. Tuesday’s forecast is mostly cloudy skies with some flurries, a high of 15 degrees and light wind. Tonight we plan to groom 31 trails including Smugglers’ Alley, Snake Bite, and Upper Pipeline for a grand total of 158 acres.