Jump for JOY!

Chase in the Air

Chase is chasing the JOY in this action shot.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Today I was a chaperone for Cambridge Area Rotary’s Winter Wellness Program. It was the last day of this five day program for the 5th and 6th graders of Cambridge Elementary School. I was was with a group of level four skiers. Our first run was “Around the World” (Midway > Curley’s Cutback > Meadowlark). We then headed over to Morse Highlands, where we joined forces with school board member Mark Stebbins’ group. We enjoyed several runs on Log Jam, Hibernator, and Dixie’s Knoll. Taeghan – one of the kids in my group – told me that on her first day she didn’t know what to do, but today she had fun going really fast. She was so joyful, she didn’t want to stop for lunch. Thanks go out to SSU, 3 Mountain Equipment, CES, Rotary Members, and Volunteers for making this program so successful! BTW – Skiing conditions were awesome – plenty of coverage and easily carvable. As a bonus, the sun came out from behind the clouds. You mighta heard me singin’ “Joy to World, all the boys and girls, joy to the fishies in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me”.


Magic at Ski & Snowboard Camp


Marko the Magician playing with a full deck.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. In addition to the magic of teaching kids to ski and snowboard, Snow Sport University offers afternoon entertainment. On Tuesdays it’s a Magic Show with Marko the Magician. Marko has been performing at Smuggs, both winter and summer, for 24 years. He does Camp Shows, Family Shows, Adult Shows, Hypnosis Shows, and Tableside Magic. He is a world-class entertainer who has performed around the world. Other SSU afternoon entertainment includes the Groovy Guy, the Science Show, the Friendly Pirate Show, and the Cookie Race.

Meanwhile I rode Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift and enjoyed the fresh snow on Snow Snake and the Magic Learning Trail. I didn’t ride the Magic Carpet – that would really have pushed this “magic” thing too far.


Higher Ed for New Hires

SSU on the slopes

SSU’s newest receive some pointers while on Upper Rumrunner today.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Snow Sport University (SSU) New Hire Training was in effect today. Trainer the trainer, teach the teacher, instruct the instructor – I think you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down. Leading today’s lesson was long-time Smuggler Brian Jessiman. Our Instructors are getting ready and we hope you are too.

I didn’t see Edward. Did we… hire Ed?


Snow Sport University

hayleigh terrain parkMy 4 year old daughter Hayleigh took a snowboard lesson with Allison Dawbrowski.  She just had so much fun, especially on the features at the bottom of Sir Henry’s Learning Hill.  I want to thank Mike Chait of SSU for building these features. They are great learning tools. The features really allowed Hayleigh to work on her balance and have a great time. We have 2 lifts operating and 8 trails open. 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.


Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is now open

dec. 04, 2015 olive sir henry'sWe now have terrain open for beginners and the magic carpet at Sir Henry’s is running. It was great to watch this Snow Sport University class having so much fun today.  They were so excited about the snow that they had to make snow angels before they even put their skis on. Pictured here is Olive and she is practicing her turns. We plan to open the Birch Run Terrain Park Saturday, December 5 with 6 rails. We also plan to open Lower Rumrunner on Saturday.


Closing day is Sunday, April 19th.

greg fisThe Madonna I lift and Sterling Lift will be operating for closing day. We have 44 trails open with terrain for experts and intermediates. The conditions are just fantastic with great coverage and corn snow everywhere. I took advantage of the Madonna I lift operating today and made Upper FIS my first run. Pictured here is Greg Fatigate tearing up Upper FIS. Greg is a Snow Sport University Snowboard Instructor, Snow Sport University Training Manager, and Smuggs Park Groomer. Tomorrow’s forecast is mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 41 and 52 degrees. I’m really looking forward to one of the best closing days that I can remember.


2015 Backcountry Basecamp

backcountryBackcountry Magazine, in association with GORE-TEX, Mammut and Voilé, are here at Smuggs this weekend. They are here to showcase the newest backcountry equipment like skis, skins, splitboards and more; safety gear like beacons, shovels, probes and airbag packs; and technical outerwear, helmets, gloves, etc. AIARE educators and staff will conduct demos and classes. This is a great way to bring awareness and educate people about venturing off into the backcountry. You can learn about being safe in the backcountry and what gear you will need. The Backcountry Basecamp also hold a raffle with proceeds to benefit the IAN Fund, the Vermont Backcountry Alliance and Cambridge Area Rotary. The Basecamp is going on at the Yurt in Parking Lot 1 and they will also be there tomorrow Sunday, April 12th. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies with temperatures between 42 and 54 degrees. It’s time to get ready for some great spring skiing and riding. Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 5 lifts operating, including the Madonna I lift. We plan to have 70 out of 78 trails open. Some trails will a have a delayed opening until they soften up. 35 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including the skier’s right on Upper FIS, Smugglers’ Alley, Hangman’s Drop, and Snow Snake for a grand total of 175 acres.


SSU wants YOU!

SSU March 2

This SSU sign is near the Sterling Lift corral. You can see the snow coming down.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Uncle Sam wants you and SSU* does too! They want you to learn how ski and ride, or how to ski and ride BETTER. Whether its working with the youngest snowboarders at the Burton Riglet Park, or skiing down Freefall with an expert group, or enjoying the camaraderie of the Women’s Weekly Clinics, they have something for everyone! From hour long Private Lessons to day long Camps, from Level 1 to Level 9, come one, come all. Its true, SSU want YOU.

*SSU is an acronym for Snow Sport University. In the summer it becomes SFU or Summer Fun University.




Mountains of Adventure, Mountains of FUN


Madonna Mountain Trails, L to R: Doc Dempsey’s (a small section is visible), Upper FIS, Freefall (with a clump of trees in the middle), and Upper Liftline (featuring the headwall where the Extreme Challenge takes place on March 8th).

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Of course I love all the great skiing that Smuggs has to offer, and it has been extremely GREAT lately! I also enjoy the social aspect of our friendly mountain. I ran into SSU legend Sherm White in Green Peppers and he said he was looking forward to reading the Blog. I shared a joke with Fletch and Doug who were holding court in the Black Bear with regulars and irregulars including Larry & Michele from Long Island, Tom & June from New Jersey, and Jean from Vermont (famous for her Maple Cotton Candy). I got to say hi to Steve Wry of Mountain Ops. He told me that Matt McCawley, also filling in for Hugh this week, was in the first group of Mitey Mites kids along with his daughter. I exchanged greetings with Sara, as she was cheerily checking tickets at the Madonna I Lift. My run of the day was the classic Chillycoot > Catwalk > Fizz > Lower Doc’s > Ruthie’s > Curley’s > Meadowlark. This ‘run’ is 2,610 feet of vertical and 3 miles of unadulterated joy and I dedicated it to recently departed friend and former Smuggs co-worker Bruce Tetrault.