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Harvey Wesson Local Race Series

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday was another beautiful day with partly sunny skies and mild temperatures.  I had a wonderful time on all 3 mountains today. I took a few cruiser runs on Morse and checked out the Morse Highlands area. I skied Madonna with my son Hugh B this morning. We skied Upper FIS to the traverse which brings you to Freefall.  Freefall skied well with nice edgeable snow and good coverage.  I headed over to Sterling later in the afternoon to get my race runs in. I thought that I did pretty good until I watched a few of the club kids run the course.  I also had fun watching the Saint Michael’s Race Team slalom gate training on the Practice Slope this afternoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating.  We have all 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 34 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Waterfall, Black Snake, and Curley’s Cutback for a grand total of 138 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 30 degrees.

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Morse Highlands Fun

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn Airboard is an inflated sled similar in size to a water raft and A-shaped. Similar to an inflatable sled or boogie board, they are lightweight and easy to maneuver. You can carve perfect turns as you cruise down the mountain. Airboards are about 48” long and weigh six pounds. At Smugglers’ certain trails at the Morse Highlands area are designated for Airboard use from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Guests must attend a short instructional clinic before venturing on their own. Users must be at least 12 years old, 49” tall and wear a helmet. The rider and Airboard are easily transported on the Highlands Lift. If you love adventure you must try the latest craze in downhill sliding.

Clinic: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm $25 includes instruction, rental and 1 hour free ride.

Advance sign-up is required at the Guest Service Desk or Nordic Center, space is limited. Weather permitting Airboarding is available December 8, 2017 – April 8, 2018

 

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Bluebird skies

 

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Trail sign at the top of Catwalk

Today was another gorgeous day with beautiful sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the teens. The colder temperatures have been great for snowmaking. Our snowmakers have been working around the clock on Morse Mountain. Last night they made snow on Garden Path, Sir Henry’s Learning Hill, Midway, and Meadowlark. They made snow on Snow Snake the night before last. Snow Snake will be groomed tonight and open tomorrow. Our snowmakers moved over to Morse Highlands today. During the day they have been making snow on the lower half of Log Jam. They are making snow for Log Jam Terrain Park. Tonight they plan to make snow on Dixie’s Knoll, Sam’s Run, and Log Jam.

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Lower Doc Dempsey’s

The snowguns on Dixie’s Knoll and Sam’s Run will be turned off in the morning and these trails will be open tomorrow.  Tonight we plan to groom 30 trails including Smugglers’ Alley, Waterfall, and Wanderer for a grand total of 121 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift with 53 trails open and terrain for all ability levels. Birch Run Terrain Park is now open top to bottom with 10 features. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for periods of light snow with an inch of accumulation possible and a high of 24 degrees. We could see another 1 to 2 inches of snow Tuesday night into Wednesday.

 

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Sterling Pond with Mount Mansfield in the background

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Mini Half Pipe is under construction

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Sugar woods

 

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Hannah finds some fresh tracks

The sugar woods are located at Morse Mountain on skier’s right below mid-station on Lower Morse Liftline. They are called the sugar woods because there are nearby sugar lines that collect sap in the spring time. The sap is collected from the Sugar Maple trees and it is then made into maple syrup. The sap runs in the springtime when it freezes overnight and the following day reaches over 40 degrees, this allows the sap to flow. The sap is then collected and put into an evaporator. This is where the Morse Highlands trail gets its name. The evaporator is a stainless steel box with maze-like partitions inside. The evaporator sits on top of a firebox known as the Arch. The Arch can be fueled by wood, fuel oil, and even natural gas. The sap boils in the evaporator removing the water until it reaches 67% sugar content. It is now Maple syrup; it is then filtered and bottled. It takes around 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Vermont is by far the country’s largest producer of maple syrup. U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show the state yielded 1.9 million gallons in 2016, up from 1.4 million gallons in 2017.

 

 

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Hayleigh with the Way Up High School building in the background

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift with 65 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 27 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper Chilcoot, Snake Bite, and Curley’s Cutback for a grand total of 118 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for partly sunny skies early with increasing clouds later in the day, a chance of flurries and a high of +6 degrees.

 

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Morse Highlands

 

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Wide open spaces

This is a wonderful beginner area with its own day lodge. There are nice wide gentle trails that make learning easier. The lift ride is short so it wonderful for chilly days like today. You can always stop into the lodge for continental breakfast, snacks, lunch, and beverages. The lodge is open daily from 9am till 3pm.

 

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Corduroy is always in fashion

 

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Lower Morse Liftline

25 trails have been groomed for today, including Ruthie’s, Curley’s Cutback, and Black Snake for a grand total of 107 acres of freshly groomed terrain. We have 66 skiable trails and 53 lift accessible trails open today. The Madonna I lift is presently on cold hold. We have 6 lifts operating today Sterling, Madonna II, Village, Morse Highlands, Mogul Mouse, and Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpet. Today’s forecast is partly to mostly sunny skies with a high of 0 degrees. It’s time for function not fashion. Wear an extra layer and enjoy the great conditions.

 

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104 acres of freshly groomed terrain and new snow

 

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Lower Morse Liftline

Our groomers have been working on Morse Mountain this morning. They are grooming in the 7 to 10 inches of new snow that we received in the past 24 hours. This gives our beginners a nice smooth surface to ski or ride. Speaking of beginners, Morse Highlands opens today. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating and 61 trails open, including Upper Madonna Liftline, Freefall, and the Black Hole. Today’s forecast is calling for freezing rain and rain early then a chance of drizzle in the afternoon with temperatures between 31 and 36 degrees. Colder temperatures and more snow return tonight with up to 3 inches of new snow possible. We also have snow in the forecast Sunday night into Monday with another 3 to 5 inches of accumulation possible.

 

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Top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains

 

Madonna

Madonna Mountain seen from Midway

Our snowmakers have shut down snowmaking on Upper Chilcoot and the Practice Slope for now. We are presently making snow at Morse Highlands on Log Jam, Curley’s Cutback, and Hibernator. We have some great snowmaking temperatures tonight and our crew is ready to take full advantage. We hope to have the Morse Highlands area open this weekend. For Friday, we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating and 54 trails open. 22 out of the 54 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Thomke’s and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 95 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 7 features and is groomed daily. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for periods of snow with 2 to 4 inches of accumulation possible with temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees.

 

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Another great day

Upper Chilcoot

We received 8 to 14 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 29 inches in the past week. The conditions are amazing with all the new snow that we received along with the colder temperatures. The snow is staying light and fluffy. I had great time this morning on Madonna Mountain. I skied Sally’s Alley, Madonna Liftline, the Black Hole, and Freefall. I skied with my family and the Lehouillier family over at the Morse Highlands midday. The Morse Highlands Area has something for everybody with nice big open gentle beginner slopes, glades, a terrain park, an intermediate trail, and a nice lodge. The kids were having so much playing in the powder filled trees. The parents were having fun too! It snowed hard pretty much all day long. The conditions were just too good for me not to go back to the upper mountains for a few more powder turns this afternoon. I was lucky enough to find some untracked powder in the trees. I can’t wait to ski it all over again tomorrow! Tonight’s forecast is flurries and a snow shower another inch of accumulation possible. Tomorrow’s forecast is cloudy skies with flurries and temperatures between 7 – 19 degrees. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and 76 out of 78 trails open. 38 trails will be groomed for tomorrow including Snow Snake and Ruthie’s for a grand total of 136 acres of freshly groomed terrain.