Ken exploding through a drift
The snow today was just what we needed. We received 5 to 8 inches of new snow today and 14 inches in the past 6 days. The new snow was skiing and riding like it was deeper than it really was. I was lucky enough to catch Ski Patrol opening Upper Exhibition and got some sweet untracked turns! Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating and 46 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. Tonight we are making snow on Lower Morse Liftline, Magic Learning Trail, and Sir Henry’s Learning Hill. The snowmaking will be turned off before the lifts start running tomorrow morning. 23 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Upper Chilcoot, Black Snake, and Dixie’s Knoll for a grand total of 105 acres of freshly groomed terrain.
Photo Credit Ken Rule
Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies with a high of 6 degrees.
Making tracks on Upper Exhibition
Ski Patrollers John and Dave getting a toboggan ready.
I want to thank Lift Maintenance, the Groomers, Ski Patrol, Snowmakers, and all the other Smuggs employees for all their hard work to get all 3 mountains open to the top for this weekend. Not only do we have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains, but you can ski or ride from the top of Morse over to the upper mountains and ski or ride back to the Village.
Groomer pushing snow down into the corral of the Madonna I drive
Ski Patrollers Chris, Arch, and Ethan with supplies to bring to the top of Madonna
Sweeping the new snow off the chairs
Snowmaker Dan Gilbert coming back from checking snowguns on Lower Chilcoot
Ski Patroller Arch putting bamboo in the snow at the base of Madonna I Lift
We received 7 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 13 inches in the past 2 days. It snowed all day long! I would have to say that some of the nicest snow of the day was on Hangman’s. The low angle sections at the top and just below Upper Exhibition were filled in very well. Ski Patrol was busy today opening more terrain; in fact we doubled our trail count from 7 to 14. To open a trail it takes more than just dropping the ropes, obstacles have to be marked, closed trails off the open trail must be roped off, and because Upper Exhibition was opened today lift tower pads had to be installed. I want to thank our patrollers for their hard work which allowed us to ski and ride Chute, Hangman’s, Upper Exhibition from Upper Rumrunner down to tower 11, Bootlegger from the work road on Thomke’s, Jolly Rodger from Upper Exhibition, Harvey’s Hideaway from Upper Exhibition, and Black Snake down to the hairpin.
Installing tower pads on Upper Exhibition
The conditions were just amazing today! I also want to thank our snowmakers who are presently busy covering Lower Rumrunner and the Practice Slope. They plan to resume snowmaking on Birch Run tonight. Tonight’s forecast is calling for some great snowmaking temperatures of 6 to 18 degrees. Our snowmakers are prepared to take full advantage of this window of colder temperatures. Tomorrow the forecast is calling for partly to mostly sunny skies and temperatures to rise throughout the day. Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 13 trails open for intermediates and experts. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill will be groomed and open tomorrow without the Wonder Carpet operating.
Smuggs Public Relations Director Mike Chait kneedeep on Hangman’s
Split second before white out conditions
Smuggs Ski Patrol Director Dave Sills on Lower Pipeline
Going deep on Upper Exhibition
Patroller John on Lower Pipeline
Ski Patrollers Dave Sills and Eli Moore having their morning meeting at the summit of Madonna Mountain. We are 99 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. We received 3 inches of new snow overnight and 20 inches in the past 3 days. We are expecting up to 11 more inches of snow by Thursday night. Conditions are fantastic and just getting better!
View from the summit of Sterling
My first run of the day was on Madonna Mountain. I started on Upper Chilcoot and then headed for Upper FIS. Upper FIS was groomed last night. I made a few cruising turns on the freshly groomed terrain, which felt great under foot. I then decided to stop on the side of trail to get a few photos. I was watching the skiers and riders working their way down this long expert trail. While taking in all the action I started thinking about what made all this possible.
It starts with our snowmaking crew who hike down the trail when we are making snow on Upper FIS. Ski Patrollers also help with moving snowmaking hoses and making sure the trail is safe to ski and ride. Our groomers brave this steep trail at night. I want to thank all the Smuggs Mountain staff for providing a fun and exciting experience for me and everyone else. We appreciate your efforts.
We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating and 34 trails open.
The Zone Terrain Park is under construction
Tonight we plan to groom 34 trails for a grand total of 165 acres. Tonight’s forecast is calling for light snow with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for flurries with temperatures between 16 and 26 degrees.
Riding into the New Year
I was riding the Sterling Lift this morning and I could see Ski Patrol on Thomke’s. They were marking obstacles with bamboo, so they could open it up. They were able to open Thomke’s, Thomke’s Express, and Chute today. I headed for Thomke’s and had fun in the natural snow. I stayed on Thomke’s down to the bottom of Bootlegger. These trails closed later in the day, but they were fun while they lasted. They will open again soon; there is more snow in the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday with up to 3 inches of accumulation possible.
Nice light on last run
We have been making snow around the clock on Upper Chilcoot. Our snow makers have now fired up on Black Snake and plan to also make snow on Birch Run Terrain Park tonight. They also plan to make more snow at the base area of the Practice Slope, so that it’s easier for skier and boarder traffic coming from lot #1.
Even colder temperatures are in the forecast on Sunday night through Tuesday with the low reaching -9 degrees on Monday night. These cold temperatures will allow us to make snow top to bottom and a bunch of it!
This morning I rode the Madonna I lift with the Ski Patrol to check lift and trail conditions. We were talking about all the snow that we have received in the past week and how good the conditions are. In fact we received 31 inches of new snow in the past week. The skis that you see in the photo are all for powder. I want to take a second to thank our ski patrol for all they do. They are always here for us from milk run to sweep everyday!