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.
Today was another great day here at Smuggs with beautiful sunny skies and light winds. I enjoyed watching the race today on the Practice Slope. These racers were 7 to 10 years old and ripping up the course. It was great to hear the parents cheering on all the kids as they skied by. These racers had great form and were getting down into a tuck to all the speed they could. I skied with good friends Tony and Dave after the race. I have not skied with Dave in quite a while and it was great to catch up. Way back in the day Dave and I were Ski Instructors here at Smuggs. We had a great time finding some fresh lines in the trees. We decided that we need to get together again real soon and do some more tree skiing.
We now have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 66 trails open. 27 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s 140 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Snowmaking continues around the clock on Snow Snake. Tomorrow’s forecast is partly sunny skies with temperatures between 19 and 30 degrees.
The dual slalom race on the Practice Slope today was exciting to watch. There are many things going through your mind when you are racing down a course and having someone else racing next to you just adds one more thing. Your focus should be downhill looking ahead, but you are also keeping tabs on the racer next to you. There was also a jump in the course that the racers had to contend with. The racers did a wonderful job of getting theirs skis back on the snow to make the next gate after catching air off the jump. Speaking of snow, we received 6 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours. The snowfall started off pretty wet last night which allowed the snow to stick. The temperature fell over night and the snow dried out. The dense snow on the bottom with the lighter snow on top is just what the doctor ordered. The dense snow skis deeper than it is and the light snow makes it that much more enjoyable. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for partly sunny skies with temperatures in the 30’s. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 76 out of 78 trails open. We have 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I Lift. 38 trails will be groomed for tomorrow for a grand total of 172 acres.
The best part of the Local’s race series is the comradery. You might not win the race, but you want to beat your friend. You know the one who always finishes right ahead of you. Today that friend beat me by more than I would like. Pictured here is my good friend Darrin. He even looks like he is moving in a still photo. This weekend we have many events like the Molly Rail Jam in the Zone Terrain Park starting at 2 pm on Saturday. Also on Saturday we have Boston’s Sports Hub Radio 98.5 in the Black Bear from 2 pm till 4 pm with music, games, and prizes, including a pair of tickets to see the Boston Celtics! We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. 38 trails will be groomed for Saturday, including skier’s right on Upper FIS, Smugglers’ Alley, Chute, Harvey’s, Snow Snake, and Evaporator for a grand total of 181 acres. We are also expecting up to 5 inches of new snow by Sunday night.
The Colchester / Rice High School GS race was held today on Snake Bite and the Practice Slope. It was exciting to watch the racers take on the steep pitch of Snake Bite. It was snowing pretty hard during the race and the course had to slipped repeatedly to keep it clear of new snow. The new snow slows down the racers and can throw them. The accumulating snow made me head for Madonna Mountain. I saw that the Headwall was open from the lift and was looking good. The 2015 Smugglers’ Notch Extreme Skiing Challenge is Sunday, March 8th and I need to train. I went for a non stop run down Madonna Liftline top to bottom to work my leg muscles. I was very glad to have the new snow slow me down. We are expecting up to 6 inches of new snow by Saturday. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains and all 78 trails. The 3rd Annual Rails for Ryan Rail Jam is Friday, February 13th in front of the Madonna / Sterling Base Lodge from 6 pm till 8 pm under the lights. Competing and spectating are both FREE, with a suggested $5 donation to benefit the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation.
The 14th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race and Family Snowshoe Festival were held today at the Nordic Center. This event really has something for everyone from beginner to expert. There was a half kilometer race for kids, a 4 kilometer fun run/walk, and an 8 kilometer race that is a qualifier for the 2015 US Snowshoe Association National Championships. I was really surprised to see how fast people can run with snowshoes. This event is not only fun but it raises money for the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington and the local food shelf here in Cambridge. I want to thank everyone at the Nordic Center and all the volunteers that make this wonderful event possible. We received 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 38 inches in the past week. The forecast is calling for another 9 inches of new snow by Tuesday. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 166 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Monday.
I love hanging out at the Practice Slope on the weekends. It’s pretty busy with racing on one side and the Zone Terrain Park on the other. The key factor that splits the two is the T-Bar. The T-Bar makes it possible to be back on the top of next run through the race course or another lap in the park in a short amount of time. It’s great to watch these young athletes fine tuning their skills no matter what side of the Practice Slope they are on.