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Billy Bob Bear surveys his kingdom

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Photo by Jayden Lepsic and Jared Salls.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. On top of old Smokey? No, we’re not talking about the Smokey Mountains or Smokey the Bear, we’re talking the Green Mountains and Billy Bob Bear. Our favorite bear ventured to the top of Madonna Mountain for the first time! He finally got to experience how much fun it can be to ski Upper Chilcoot. Normally he’d be hiber-napping (he’s so busy with all the parties with all the families that he doesn’t have time to do full-on hibernation).

 

 

 

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Photo by Jared Salls and Jayden Lepsic

After Town Meeting, I also skied Upper Chilcoot, hair pinning onto Catwalk to Lower Catwalk (sorry Mogul Mouse, I know you don’t like those “Cat” trails), to the adrenaline rush that is Shuttle, making a mellow completion of that run on Lower Rumrunner – with a little Rumrunner Variation for good measure. I finished the day with the nearly 3 mile run of Upper Chilcoot > Catwalk > Upper FIS > Lower Doc’s > Ruthies > Curley’s Cutback > Meadowlark. Back at the Snow Report Office, I now compose run-on sentences for your pleasure – HAHA!

 

 

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Picture perfect

 

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Sun dog photobomb

Today was just a gorgeous day with beautiful sunny skies and light winds. I had a great time today with my good friend Ken. We skied Sterling Mountain in the morning and then Madonna Mountain in the afternoon. We had so much fun looking for powder stashes and amazing views. We were able to find plenty of both. The snowmaking on Morse Mountain sent ice crystals into the air that were creating some wonderful sun dogs. A sundog is a concentrated patch of sunlight occasionally seen about 22° to the left or right of the sun. Sundogs often form in pairs on either side of our daytime star when sunlight refracts through icy clouds containing hexagonal plate crystals aligned with their large, flat faces parallel to the ground.

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Dancing in the light

Technically known as parhelia (singular parhelion) they are often white but sometimes quite colorful, looking like detached pieces of rainbow, with red on the inside, toward the sun, and blue on the outside.

 

Snowmaking continues around the clock on Midway, Garden Path, Snow Snake, Meadowlark, and Sir Henry’s Learning Hill. 27 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 120 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and 53 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Birch Run Terrain Park is now open top to bottom with 9 features.

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Ken finds a nice drift in the woods

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Flying onto Shuttle

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Sundog

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Mount Mansfield seen from Madonna Mountain

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Another beautiful day on the mountain

 

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Upper Drifter is like skiing or riding into a picture

The sun was out all day long which warmed things up pretty nicely. I skied Madonna Mountain this morning and the views were amazing in every direction. The trees at the summit are just so full of rime ice and snow. They look beautiful against the bright blue sky. I took a run down Upper Chilcoot and the groomed snow was wonderful. I was having so much fun making GS turns in the corduroy. 31 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Ruthie’s, Smugglers’ Alley, and Dixie’s Knoll for a grand total of 132 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Snowmaking continues around the clock on Sterling Mountain. We are presently making snow on Snake Bite, the Zone Terrain Park, Black Snake, and the Practice Slope.

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Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club the shining stars of tomorrow

Weather permitting tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and 65 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 7 features. The Flowground is also now open with banks, berms, bowls, and rollers. Tomorrow’s forecast is partly sunny skies with a high of 0 degrees. Bundle up and enjoy the great conditions!

 

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Mount Mansfield seen from the summit of Madonna Mountain

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Armand and his dad Tony spending some quality family time on Morse Mountain

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His first day skiing and Jameson is already making parallel turns on Sir Henry’s Learning Hill

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Snowmaking cloud over Practice Slope

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Sunny skies

 

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Madonna Mountain seen from the gazebo in the village

Today we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift and 66 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We are presently making snow on Mulcahy’s Link, Lower FIS, and Lower Madonna Liftline. Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 5 rails and 2 jumps. Today’s forecast is partly sunny skies with a high of 4 degrees. Some trails will have a delayed opening due to grooming. Bundle up and enjoy the great conditions!

 

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Calm before the storm

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Sterling and Mount Mansfield seen from the summit of Madonna Mountain

The day started off a little cool, but the sun worked its magic and warmed things up nicely. I really enjoyed the blue sky and great visibility. I even took my skis off at the summit of Madonna Mountain, so that I could walk around to take in all the wonderful views.Upper FIS was groomed last night and I had fun spraying snow side to side as I worked my way down the smooth steep edgeable surface. I decided to head over to Sterling next and to get a photo of the pond. It was just too nice out not to take a pic from one of my favorite spots. The image is at the bottom of this post. The sunny skies will not last long, because a snow storm is rolling in tomorrow and staying around for a couple days.

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Ski Patrol headed down Catwalk

I’ve seen multiple predictions with a range of 16 to 24-inch storm total. If I said that I wasn’t excited I’d be lying. The snow coverage that we already have is great and 1 to 2 feet of new snow would really be icing on the cake! Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. We have 54 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 30 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS, Hangman’s Drop, Snake Bite, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 125 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

 

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Top of the Notch building at the summit of Sterling Mountain

Tomorrow’s forecast is snow 4 to 7 inches of accumulation during the day with temperatures between 13 and 24 degrees.

 

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Upper Chilcoot

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Upper FIS

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Sterling Pond with Mount Mansfield in the background

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View from the Village

madonnaRockin Ron for Hugh. Recent snow and moderate temps should make for some good skiing. We plan to have 51 trails open and 6 lifts operating today. Big events this weekend: on Saturday it’s the MOLLY ROWLEE FUND BENEFIT RAIL JAM, and on Sunday it’s the EXTREME SKIING CHALLENGE. For more info visit the Winter Events page.

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Squally – Wood

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Freshies!

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.

-Matt

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Terrain Park Fun and more

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Zone Terrain Park

The forecast called for some rain showers today, but we made it through the day dry. I had a great time playing in the soft snow today. I ran into Ski Patrollers Teigh and Duncan on Madonna Mountain. We did a run on Upper FIS, to Link, and then Lower FIS. I headed over to Sterling Mountain next. I stopped by both the Zone Terrain Park and the Birch Run Terrain Park. Birch Run Terrain Park was pretty busy today with a line at times to hit the jumps. The soft snow made for great landings and a good time to try out a new trick. It was fun to watch as the skiers and riders would flow from one feature to the next. Stomping the landing so they don’t lose momentum for the next feature.

 

 

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Birch Run Terrain Park

Tonight’s forecast is calling for some rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm followed by snow with 1 to 3 inches of accumulation possible. Tomorrow’s forecast is flurries early then skies becoming partly sunny with temperatures between 19 and 32 degrees. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and 57 trails open. 24 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s a grand total of 100 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

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Birch Run Terrain Park

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Zone Terrain Park

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Ski Patrollers Teigh and Duncan on Upper FIS

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The view from Mulcahy’s Link

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It’s going to be another great day

Dave and EliSki Patrollers Dave Sills and Eli Moore having their morning meeting at the summit of Madonna Mountain. We are 99 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We received 3 inches of new snow overnight and 20 inches in the past 3 days. We are expecting up to 11 more inches of snow by Thursday night. Conditions are fantastic and just getting better!