Powder Day!

Ski Patroller Ethan Costello trail checking Bootlegger

6 to 10 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and we could see another 3 inches during the day today. Powder and packed powder conditions! We have 2 lifts operating and 58 trails open.

Ethan having fun




Ski Partroller Walt Lattrell shoveling out the Top of the Notch building this morning

Single track in the winter





Powder Day


Ski Patroller Mike Duncan on trail check

We received 8 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and more is on the way. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 4 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift.  We now have 67 trails open!


Ski Patroller Ethan Costello trail checking Freefall


7 inches of new snow


Yes it is still snowing

Today’s forecast is snow showers and flurries early, with another 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible and temperatures between 4 below and 8 above zero and windy. The Madonna I Lift is presently on wind hold. Bundle up and enjoy the fresh snow! We have 78 skiable trails. The forecast is calling for another 2 inches of snow Thursday night into Friday.



It just keeps getting better!

Matt riding the wave

I can not believe that we received another foot of snow last night after receiving 40 inches of snow since Tuesday morning. The snow we received last night was nice and fluffy. The wind moved some of it around last night, but the snow in the trees stayed put. My first run of the day was with Snow Sport University Instructor Oliver Blackman. We skied Upper FIS and the skier’s left-hand side was just fantastic! Most storms that roll through Smuggs load up the skier’s left-hand side of Upper FIS and today was no exception. I ran into Snow Sport University Instructors Matt McCawley and Mike Brainard in the afternoon along with Smuggs Employee Lenny. We had a great time on Black Snake, Harvey’s Hideaway, Full Nelson, and Half Nelson.

Lenny making a powder turn

I love the combo of Harvey’s to Full Nelson. If you do this run always be aware of people coming down Jolly Rodger as you come off of Harvey’s and head up to Full Nelson. I found some great snow on the skier’s right-hand side of Full Nelson, especially at the bottom. We all headed to Madonna for our next run and hit up the Headwall.

It skied fantastic with tons of snow, especially on the sections where there is less of a pitch and the wind does not get to it. We jumped into the bottom half of Red Fox Glades after finishing the Headwall. I was pleasantly surprised with all the snow that was in the trees. It was all

Snow Sport University Instructor Matt McCawley enjoying the deep powder

so good that we headed back up Madonna and this time we went for Freefall. Freefall is not open from the top, but you can get to it from the traverse on Upper FIS. We cut into the Black Hole and I was floating through the trees in powder up to my waist! It’s hard to beat good times with great friends.




We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift and all 78 trails open. 39 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Goat Path, Wanderer, and Bootlegger for a grand total of 134 acres of freshly groomed terrain. There is a chance for another inch of accumulation tonight. Tomorrow’s forecast is flurries

Snow Sport University Mike Brainard loving the powder conditions

early, then skies becoming partly sunny with temperatures between 11 and 25 degrees.


Hey did you see the photo of my ski pole?

Lenny taking on the Headwall

Mike catching some air on the Headwall

Matt finds the good in the woods

Mike goes deep into the powder


It is still snowing!

Oliver Blackman checking the trail conditions on the Black Hole this morning

We received another 10 to 12 inches of new snow overnight and 52 inches of snow in the past 3 days. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift with all 78 trails open. Snow surfaces are powder and packed powder with average base depths of 20 to 60 inches. 40 trails have been groomed for today, including Upper Drifter, Jolly Rodger, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 146 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


100 percent open!

We received 30 – 36 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours! We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 7 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. Best conditions of the season!



Stella has been upgraded

stellabombBombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a midlatitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours. A millibar measures atmospheric pressure. This can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The formation of this rapidly strengthening weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which creates what is known as a bomb cyclone.

The snowfall totals have now been increased to 27 inches of accumulation possible by Thursday night!



Squally – Wood

March9th2017 014


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.

March9th2017 006

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.

March9th2017 009

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.



Sweet powder turns with my wife

harley 4I got to take a few runs with my wife Harley today.  We started on Sterling with Bootlegger woods, Alley woods, and Strawberry Fields.  We headed up Madonna Mountain for our next run. On the lift ride up Harley tells me that she skied Robin’s Run this morning before I caught up to her. We were talking about which run we should do next and I mentioned Freefall is open from the top. Freefall it was and it was good. There is quite the drift that goes down the skier’s left-hand side. After having a great time on Freefall we decided to look for some untracked snow in the glades. We lucked out and found some fantastic knee deep powder. harley 2.jpg smallAll of this snow makes you feel like a kid because all I want to do is play in it!

harley 3.jpg small harley 1.jpg small