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Great conditions and great weather

 

Picture yourself here

Fat-ypus skis had a demo today in front of the Base Lodge. I stopped by to check it out and see what they had. They suggested that I try the M5 all mountain ski and I did. I had a blast testing it out on groomers and powder in the trees. I headed over to Sterling next to see the George Tormey Challenge which are athletes ages 10 to 13 racing Dual Giant Slalom on Saturday and Dual Panel Slalom on Sunday.  You need to focus on the gates coming at you when you are racing and when someone is right next to you doing the same thing it can be hard to do.  It can also push you to go faster when you see the other racer pulling away from you. It was exciting to watch this head to head competition. I look forward to watching the fast action of the dual panel slalom race tomorrow on the Practice Slope. The Practice Slope will be a busy place tomorrow because there is also the Molly Fund Benefit Rail Jam at the Zone Terrain Park. This special rail jam benefits the Molly Rowlee Fund, which supports families with children undergoing treatment for cancer.

Carving it up on Lower Madonna Liftline

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 Parking Lot 1, the Jam starts in the Zone Terrain Park at 11:00 am! www.mollyrowlee.org

 

The forecast for tomorrow is partly sunny skies with temperatures between 20 and 33 degrees. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and all 78 trail open. Robin’s Run is open from the work road down. Tonight we plan to groom 30 trails, including Upper Drifter, Snow Snake, and Black Snake for a grand total of 122 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

Riding down Lower Catwalk

A sign of good times

Schaffer family on Morse Mountain

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Blue bird day here at Smuggs!

Sterling and Mount Mansfield seen from Upper Drifter on Madonna Mountain

34 trails have been groomed for today, that’s 126 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

Fat-ypus ski demo today in front of the Base Lodge

George Tormey Challenge on the Practice Slope this weekend

George Tormey Challenge on the Practice Slope this weekend

George Tormey Challenge on the Practice Slope this weekend

George Tormey Challenge on the Practice Slope this weekend

George Tormey Challenge on the Practice Slope this weekend

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Race training

race 3Today’s forecast called for cloudy skies with some showers likely, but we really lucked out and hardly got any rain. I got to ski with my nephew T.J. this morning and we had a blast. We skied Hangman’s Drop, Chute, Black Snake, Full Nelson, Practice Slope, Upper Pipeline, Smugglers’ Alley, Treasure Run, and Lower Exhibition. The snow was fast but very edgeable. We had a great time playing on the huge snowmaking whale on Full Nelson, at the bottom. The backside of the whale is steep and just so much fun. Talk about steep I watched some racers training on Snake Bite this afternoon. They were running slalom gates on Snake Bite and the Practice Slope. Snake Bite deserves respect especially when it has gates on it.

race 1Tomorrow 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. Tomorrow’s forecast is snow showers early then flurries 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible with temperatures between 16 and 29 degrees.

race 4 race 2

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Practice Slope

bending gateI was at the Practice Slope this afternoon. Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans was race training. They were running slalom gates. The only thing that needs to go around the gate is your skis. The racers were doing a great job of cross-blocking. Cross-blocking is when the racer uses their ski pole to knock the gate down and out of the way. The gates have springs at the base which allow them to stand back up once being knocked down. The racers use special poles and padding to protect them from the impact of the gate. You might not think that it would hurt that much, but when you get hit in the same spot over and over it can start to hurt. There are more gates and they are closer together in slalom racing compared to giant slalom or downhill. Things happen fast in slalom racing so you have to be quick.

race 1Tomorrow 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 55 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for flurries early then partly sunny skies with temperatures between 27 and 39 degrees. 40 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS, Smugglers’ Alley, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 144 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

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Private Lesson

 

ssu snowboard

Snow Sport University Instructor Justin Wright teaching on Wanderer

Today I was helping Snow Sport University. I was riding the Mogul Mouse Magic Lift with children who are too young to ride without an adult. I have been doing this throughout the week and I got to know many of the kids. There was one boy that I rode the lift with many times. We played the “I spy with my little eyes” game every time we rode the lift together from the time we loaded the lift until we unloaded. He had asked me to ski with their group, but I told him that I had to ski back to the lift quickly in case there were more kids needing a ride. Today I rode the lift with him again and it was the last run of their lesson. We got off the lift and he asked me again to ski with their group. I told him that I could this run because I did not have to rush back to the bottom.  I followed him down the mountain making turns where he did. We were about half way down when he turned around and said, “You are my best friend and I am going to miss you.” I told him that he was my friend too and I will also miss him. I did not expect him to say that, but it still meant a great deal to me!

 

The warm weather we had today will stick around for one more day, before it gets cold again. Tomorrow’s forecast is cloudy skies with some drizzle and showers likely, temperatures between 47 and 55 degrees. The temperatures will be falling tomorrow night with rain turning to snow. We are expecting up to 4 inches of new snow at the top by Sunday night. 30 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper Chilcoot, Dixie’s Knoll, and Practice Slope for a grand total of 125 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 64 out of 78 trails open. The Black Bear Tavern Après Sport Party this weekend will be featuring Otter Creek. This Sunday, February 26th is a USASA Slopestyle event in the Birch Run Terrain Park. Registration is from 8am till 9am at the Madonna/Sterling Base Lodge. The competition begins at 10am.

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Local’s race league

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Harvey Wesson Local’s Race

The Harvey Wesson Local’s Race starts today on the Practice Slope. It is not too late to sign up! Just head up to the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club building and register. The Sterling T-Bar is operating so it’s easy to get your runs in. The race starts today at noon and goes till 3:45 pm.  There is a weekly race party at a local bar where you can see the race results, enjoy some great comradery and a chance to win some swag.

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Snowmaking on Madonna tonight

 

Madonna, Sterling, and Mount Mansfield seen from the Village Lift

Playing in the powder

Today was another beautiful day here at Smuggs. I skied this morning on Sterling and stopped by the Practice Slope to watch some of the U 10 Team Race that was going today. I was really impressed with the skill level of these young racers. I headed to Morse Mountain midday to snowboard for the first time this season. My edges were not the only thing that were a little rusty. It took a few turns to get my groove back. My confidence level started to rise with each run I made. I switched back to my skis later in the afternoon to make some runs with my son Hugh after his Mitey Mites lesson.We decided to go searching for fresh snow in the glades. Our mission was successful and we found some untracked snow.

Morse Highlands Lift Mascots

We popped out the woods back onto the trail and then Hugh stopped. He looked at me and said “We are going to that again right?!” I then said “You know we are!”

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna 1 lift. We have 99 percent of our terrain open with 77 out of 78 trails open. Freefall is open from the Black Hole. 34 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper FIS and Snake Bite for a grand total of 125 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Tomorrow’s forecast is partly to mostly cloudy skies with flurries and a chance of a snow shower an inch of accumulation possible with temperatures between 6 and 18 degrees.

Ski and Ride

Tonight we plan to make snow on Lower Madonna Liftline, Lower FIS, Lower Chilcoot, Link to Sterling, McPherson’s, and Birch Run.

Snow Reporter testing the product