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Above the clouds

nov-26-2016-003On my way to the mountain this morning it was pretty foggy.  The closer I got to Smuggs the brighter it got. I love being on the mountain and looking out to see the clouds nestled down in the valley.  There was some really cool light today on the snow covered evergreens.  On my first run of the day, I decided to stay on the groomed trails.  I had my new 88’s and I wanted to do some carving. They held great and I was able to lay them over.  It felt good to make a bunch of turns and try to get back into ski shape.  tiny-timTonight weather permitting we plan to make snow on Smugglers’ Alley and Thomke’s Express.  Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly cloudy skies with flurries and a snow shower a dusting to an inch of accumulation possible with temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees.  Tomorrow we plan to have the Sterling Lift operating with 6 intermediate trails open. Tomorrow we have a 32 dollar adult all day lift ticket or a youth 20 dollar all day lift ticket with a donation to the Cambridge Food Shelf. One discount per donation please.

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Smuggs Owner at Town Meeting

Bill at Town Meeting

Bill Stritzler says YES to community involvement!

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Town Meeting is a great Vermont tradition. On the first Tuesday in March, citizens of the Green Mountain State gather to discuss and vote on local issues. Depending on the year, we also vote for state and national offices. Bill Stritzler, the Owner and Managing Director of Smugglers’ Notch Resort is a regular attendee of Cambridge Town Meeting. In fact, the Resort encourages its employees to attend their respective Town Meetings.

You may have noticed that Bill is sporting facial hair. When snow dances failed us earlier this season, Bill offered to grow a beard until 50% of our trails were open. We hit the 39 trails mark in mid-January, but Bill wanted to maintain the hirsute hoodoo, so he’s keeping the beard until the end of Winter Programming on April 3rd. It looks like it’s going to work tonight, as 1 to 3 inches of the fluffy stuff are in the forecast. I think most of us in these parts are voting for SNOW!

 

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Catching some air off the rail

birch air with grab

Going for the grab

 

It was another beautiful day here at Smuggs. It was warm enough to soften the snow on Smugglers’ Alley.  I really enjoy the neat shapes and contours that are on the Alley. It has not been groomed this season, so it still has the snowmaking whales. There are now moguls on the whales to play on.

 

 

smuggs logo rail

Check out the Smuggs logo on this new rail.

I stopped by the Birch Run Terrain Park to check out the action.  There were quite a few skiers and riders hitting the features, hiking, and then hitting them again. The soft snow made for nice landings off the rails.

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Black Snake snow-make/Black Bear remake

Randy and his gang

Shirley, Becky, Randy, and Ken share a moment of reflection.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. I took my first turns of the season today! I’m getting my ski-legs back (kind of like a pirate’s sea-legs). My plan was to take a picture of the snowmaking on Black Snake. That’s where I ran into Randy and Shirley – who have been Smuggs Owners for 25 years! They keep coming back – and this time they brought along Randy’s sister and her friend. They agreed to pose for a photo with a snowgun blasting away in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bear

Laurie and Paul enjoy a beverage at the Black Bear Tavern’s “Mahogony Ridge”.

Later on, I went to the Black Bear for lunch. I was much impressed by the recently remodeled bar. While waiting for my meal, I talked to Laurie (former ski instructor) and Paul (future patroller) from the Philadelphia area. They were enjoying grown up time – their daughter was in Discovery Camp and their son was at Treasures. They said they would come back to Smuggs again. As I was about to leave, in comes Geoff Minton (of Village Tavern fame), who was celebrating his birthday by skiing with Hugh Johnson (our legendary Snow Reporter) and Tony Lehouillier (of Foote Brook Farm renown).  Happy Birthday Geoff – have a great time! Me, I gotta get back to work. Ski ya later.

 

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Skiing above the clouds

hugh and cloudsIt was so foggy this morning on my drive to the mountain. I was pleasantly surprised to see beautiful sunny skies when I arrived here at Smuggs. The clouds stayed in the valley all day today. It looked like a sea of clouds and mountain peaks looked like islands.  We have 2 lifts operating the Sterling lift and Sir Henry’s Handle Tow. We have 8 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. The Birch Run Terrain Park is open with 6 features. 7 out of the 8 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, that’s 31 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

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Opening Day of the 2015 – 2016 Winter Season

drew ridingIt felt great to be back on the mountain today.  The weather was mild and the snow was soft.  It was easy to set an edge and let it ride.  I had a wonderful time making turns, but I also really enjoyed catching up with different members of the Smuggs family.  It was nice to hear about what people were up to for the summer and how they are excited about another great season here at Smuggs.

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Employee Rally

Justin&Ian-HKDPrior to each season Smugglers’ holds an employee rally. It’s fun to see returning faces and meet new folks, and it’s a great way for resort staff to learn about what’s new for the season through various presentations. One of the sessions today was hosted by snowmaking manager Justin Thoelke and Ian Jarrett of HKD Snowmakers. Justin and Ian talked about the resort’s improvements in snowmaking over the last several years, including the completion this summer of the pipeline that enhances the water supply for snowmaking. They also described the balance of weather, resources, and timing that affect the art and science of snowmaking. Employees asked a lot of questions that included wondering what types of snowguns Smuggs has, what temperatures are optimal to make snow, and where current snowmaking efforts have focused on the mountain (thus far, efforts have focused on intermediate trails on Sterling and on Sir Henry’s for beginner terrain).

Justin_HKD

Thanks to Justin and Ian for sharing their expertise!