I want to thank the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club for hosting the competition today. I also want to thank all the sponsors, volunteers, and the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Patrol for all they did to make this event happen. The weather was just fantastic with sunny skies and temperatures in the 20’s. There were 115 competitors this year. The competition showcased Upper Exhibition and all the wonderful features it has to offer. It was very exciting to watch these athletics catch big air and pull off amazing tricks!
We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating and 63 trails open. 37 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS and Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 172 acres. Tomorrow’s forecast is snow and mixed 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible on top with temperatures between 30 and 41 degrees.
Shadow and Light. Madonna Mountain as viewed from Upper Rumrunner.
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. To paraphrase Hugh “It was another beautiful day at Smuggs”. The sun was shining, the air was fresh & crisp, and the turns were exhilarating. I saw signs of snowmaking everywhere: Lower Liftline on Madonna, Lower Liftline on Morse, and Black Snake on Sterling. In fact, I spotted more whales (snowmaking piles) than they have at Sea World – and I didn’t even sea ’em all! Don’t quote me, but I hear rumors that Madonna could have lift operations in the near future. Back on Sterling, I rode the lift with Andrew Shaw who wasn’t going to let a recent arm injury keep him off the slopes. Andrew has been skiing at Smuggs since he was 5 years old, now he’s working here as a bartender at the Black Bear Tavern. I witnessed Kendal racing down a slalom course on Lower Rumrunner with her SNSC (Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club) team mates. I traded hellos with Patrollers Mike Duncan and Arch. I shared a joke with Kathleen at the Ticket Booth. All in all, twas a good day to be Snow Reporter.
Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. What a difference a day makes.Yesterday was torrential rain and today was sunshine and powder. I saw Dave Sills (aka P1 or Patrol One) at the Top of the Notch. He said they had a heck of a time assessing the conditions this morning. After just a couple of runs, I can see what they went through. Well, my hat (or helmet) is off to you Dave, and the rest of Patrol and Mountain Ops. I chanced upon Greg Fatigate and he raved about the Birch Run Terrain Park, and he was right – it was in excellent condition with 4 rails and 3 jumps. Pictured is Brendan Simpson getting some fresh powder on the trail that connects Thomke’s to Bootleggers and Smugglers’ Alley. We skied a nice variety of terrain including Highlander Glades and Pipeline.Today was a crowning achievement to the season – we felt like Princes of Powder – like Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.
Today was all about having fun and celebrating spring. Wild costumes, barbeque grills, and people trying to skim 100 feet across water! The 2nd Annual Pond Skimming was a great time with a jump and a longer pond this year. 100 people attempted to make it across the icy water on alpine skis, snowboards, airboards, cross country skis, a monoboard, ski blades, and even a kayak. Mogul Mouse and Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate went Pond Skimming too. I want to thank our Elvis impersonating Life Guard / Ski Patroller Lee Anderson for wading in the cold water to save those who did not make it across the pond! I also want to thank all the Smuggs employees who made this wonderful event possible.
The Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge was just amazing today! It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a great turn out. This year’s competition had more age brackets with 10 and under, 11 to 13, 14 to 18, 19 to 44, and 45 plus. Pictured here is Pete Kochalka competing in the 45 plus category and ripping it up! There’s a reason why they call it the Extreme Skiing Challenge and Upper Madonna Liftline has some of the gnarliest lift serviced terrain in the east! This is a fantastic event that really showcases what Smuggs has to offer. Smuggs is of course known as “America’s Family Resort” and people think of Mogul Mouse, Billy Bob Bear’s Cave, the World Famous Cookie Race, Sir Henry’s Learning and Fun Park, the Burton Riglet Park, Log Jam Terrain Park, Father Winter’s Tee Pee, and many more things found on Morse Mountain. One of the great things about Smuggs is the diversity of terrain that we have on our 3 mountains. If you enjoy long groomed intermediate cruisers with awesome views we have that. If you are an expert who enjoys steeps, glades, and moguls we have that also. This event highlights the Headwall’s toughness with its double fall line, steep pitch, rocks, and changing conditions.
A huge thank you goes out to the people who made this event happen. The driving force has been the members of the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club, the SNSC Freeski Team, Andrew Snow, Matteo Campbell, and Bryan Salatino. The Smuggles’ Notch Ski Patrol also worked hard with side stepping the trail days before the event, prepping the Upper Madonna Liftline and most important was their presence at the competition.
The 2014 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge is this Sunday, March 9. I posted a photo on March 2 of Ski Patrol and members of the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Club side stepping down the Headwall of Madonna Liftline. The past few days they have still been working on Upper Liftline for the competition. The extra work has paid off and the conditions are better. Hopefully we will be able to hold the competition on the Headwall. Pictured here is Miles testing out the conditions.
I want to thank the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club along with the Ski Patrol for their hard work today. They side stepped down Madonna Liftline to get it ready for the 2014 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge. The event is this Sunday, March 9, 2014. Extreme Skiing Challenge – The Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club will host the 2014 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge – an opportunity for junior and adult freeskiers to show their stuff on some of the most difficult terrain Smugglers’ Notch has to offer! The course is planned for the Madonna headwall, an ungroomed steep with a double fall line descent filled with cliffs, bumps, trees, chutes, and stumps. Competitors will be judged on line, control, fluidity, technique and style.
As the competitors run the course on the headwall from just below Catwalk to just above Madonna midstation, the best seats in the house for watching the excitement will be on the Madonna summit lift. Spectators also can view from a roped off area at the Red Fox Glades near the finish area at the base of the Madonna headwall, easily accessed from midstation.
$45 entry fee (includes t-shirt) and $29 lift ticket available. The field will be capped at 100 competitors. Register now at www.snscvt.com!
I was talking with Ski Patrol after they did trail check this morning. They told me that Smugglers’ Alley was groomed last night. They also said that snowmaking on Smugglers’ Alley was as good as it gets! My son Hugh and I decided to make Smugglers’ Alley our first run. The Ski Patrollers were absolutely right. The Alley was smooth with a fresh coating of snow. Hugh thought that we had first tracks, but I told him that it’s because of the snowmaking. I skied up to Hugh at the bottom of Alley and he says “Let’s do that again!”