Flurries fly for Philly flyers


Brendan and Dale go with the floe.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. My friends the Carrs from the Philadelphia, PA area are making one of their frequent visits to Smuggs, and Brendan is checking out colleges in Burlington. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen them at the Resort in summer and in winter, but we’ve never skied together. Before we took our runs, Brendan stopped by 3 Mountain Equipment to get a pair of demo skis. We did warm up runs on Morse (Garden Path, Snow Snake) then took Midway to Sterling (Upper & Lower Rumrunner, Thomke’s). There were flurries and snow showers the whole time as well as some thick fog at the summit. The inch of fresh snow on the trails made it fun to carve as we were flying down the mountain. A good time was had by all.


View from the Village

madonnaRockin Ron for Hugh. Recent snow and moderate temps should make for some good skiing. We plan to have 51 trails open and 6 lifts operating today. Big events this weekend: on Saturday it’s the MOLLY ROWLEE FUND BENEFIT RAIL JAM, and on Sunday it’s the EXTREME SKIING CHALLENGE. For more info visit the Winter Events page.


Dropping Ropes and Riding Trees


March8th2017 025

Pete finding some soft snow in the woods



March8th2017 011

Still lots of snow in the Highway

Matt McCawley for Hugh Today I got the opportunity to spend some time with Sterling Patrol as we dropped closed ropes all over the place. Our trail count jumped today from 29 to 48…amazing what a couple wet inches of snow can do. Elevation was key as lower areas saw a mix of rain and snow, while the upper mountain saw all snow. As soon as it stopped snowing the sun came out full blast, which is always fun when you can ski fresh new snow with great visibility. The new snow also allowed us to get back into some wooded areas, where there is still a solid base, especially at higher elevations.


We also had the Wicked Witch of the West effect up here today as people from the valley think they will melt in the rain that’s falling at their house, despite snow falling at elevation, and thus keeping them from coming skiing. That, and probably jobs. The few brave souls that made it up here found great soft snow and lot of fresh tracks across the entire mountain.



March8th2017 005

Nice turns down Hangmans

Later this afternoon a wild squall came through dropping a quick inch of super wet snow, and even a few rumbles of thunder. Don’t like the weather, wait a minute. Or in today’s case, gain elevation.


Snow is in the forecast this evening, and off and on through Saturday. Projected totals are around 5 inches, but let’s all hope for more. Temps will be consistently falling into the weekend, which means this new snow that fell today and the snow in the forecast is not going to get washed away anytime soon.

March8th2017 007

Dropping ropes on Highlander Glades

We expect 48 trails to be open tomorrow, 36 of which are scheduled to be groomed this evening, that’s 129 acres!


The Zone terrain park is under reconstruction for the Molly Rowlee Rail Jam which takes place this Saturday the 11th this special rail jam benefits the Molly Rowlee Fund, which supports families with children undergoing treatment for cancer. 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 the Parking Lot 1, the Jam starts in the Zone Terrain Park at 11:00 am!

March8th2017 009

Smoothness on Exhibition

Also, this weekend is the Extreme Ski Challenge, the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club hosts this fun event — an opportunity for junior and adult freeskiers to show their stuff on some of the most difficult terrain Smugglers’ Notch has to offer! Competitors will be judged on line, control, fluidity, technique, and style.


Early morning groom

groomWe are presently checking lift and trail conditions. It’s presently snowing and 24 degrees at the summit of Sterling with winds of 25 to 45 mph. Today’s forecast is snow showers early then flurries with an inch of accumulation possible, windy with temperatures between 16 and 28 degrees. The temperatures dropped overnight and the wet snow from yesterday has set up.  Sterling Mountain will have an hour and a half delay for grooming this morning. For the latest in lift and trail closures go to smuggs.com/snowReport


Sometimes you just can’t wait

timothyThis is two and a half-year-old Timothy. He has not seen snow all winter. He could not wait to play on the snow! Today 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. 40 trails have been groomed for today, that’s 144 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Today’s forecast is cloudy skies early becoming partly sunny with temperatures between 25 and 37 degrees. It’s presently 24 degrees at the summit of Sterling Mountains with partly sunny skies and winds of 15 to 25 mph.



Sweet powder turns with my wife

harley 4I got to take a few runs with my wife Harley today.  We started on Sterling with Bootlegger woods, Alley woods, and Strawberry Fields.  We headed up Madonna Mountain for our next run. On the lift ride up Harley tells me that she skied Robin’s Run this morning before I caught up to her. We were talking about which run we should do next and I mentioned Freefall is open from the top. Freefall it was and it was good. There is quite the drift that goes down the skier’s left-hand side. After having a great time on Freefall we decided to look for some untracked snow in the glades. We lucked out and found some fantastic knee deep powder. harley 2.jpg smallAll of this snow makes you feel like a kid because all I want to do is play in it!

harley 3.jpg small harley 1.jpg small


A visit with Father Winter and more

father winter.jpg small

Father Winter

Today I did a 3 mountain tour. I started with Sterling, then headed to Madonna, and finished my day down on Morse. The conditions are just fantastic right now. I found some wonderful snow in the glades of all 3 mountains. I got to take a run with my son Hugh B after school this afternoon. We had a blast playing in the fresh snow that we found in the trees. Hugh B asked if we could stop by and see Father Winter on our way back to my office because it is Wednesday. Father Winter is at his teepee on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It’s is always fun and educational when you visit Father Winter.




Teepee.JPG small

Father Winter’s Teepee

The 24-hour forecast is calling for snow 5 to 8 inches of accumulation possible with temperatures between 16 and 26 degrees. We are 100 percent open with top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 78 trails open. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow that is 135 acres of freshly groomed terrain.


polar bear

Polar Bear Skull

mt wry.jpg small

Mount Wry in the Village Courtyard

Hugh B.jpg small

Great Conditions


Local’s race league

race.jpg small

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.


Snowmaking and more

Upper Chilcoot

We received 3 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours and 24 inches of snow in the past week. I had a great time today playing in the glades on Madonna and Sterling Mountain. I also enjoyed taking a few cruiser runs on Chilcoot and Black Snake. Tomorow’s forecast is snow in the morning with a chance of mix and sleet later in the day with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation possible, temperatures between 17 and 24 degrees. We are presently making snow on Lower FIS, McPherson’s, and the bottom of Upper FIS. We are making snow on Lower FIS for this weekend’s USASA Boarder/Skier Cross. This is an exciting head to head race with banked turns, gates, and jumps.

Freshly groomed terrain

This weekend is the Smugglers’ Notch Snowshoe Festival.
 – Atlas Snowshoe Company, Tubbs Snowshoes, and Marmot present the inaugural Smugglers’ Notch Snowshoe Festival. Bring the whole family while we celebrate winter in Vermont with a weekend of snowshoeing and outdoor fun! Saturday kicks off with a 1/2K Kids’ Fun Run, a snowshoe obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and more! This event is open to all levels and all ages, with free demos and trials as well as discounted guided tours.


Snow camouflaged trees

Smugglers’ Notch Snowshoe Festival
 – 16th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe 8K Race. Not racing? Come as a spectator! Call the Nordic Center directly to pre-register at 802-644-1173. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Cambridge Food Shelf and the IAN Fund. Register Today!





Snowmaking on Lower FIS

Gilson Snowboards will be having a demo this Saturday and Sunday in front of the Base Lodge. Fatypus Skis will be having a demo on Saturday in front of the Base Lodge.



Meet another member of the Smuggs Family


Snow Reporter and Justin on the Sterling Lift

I was a single rider on the Sterling Lift this afternoon. I got paired up with Justin Pentenrieder. Justin is an intermediate skier who lives in Grand Isle, Vermont. This is his first season at Smugglers’ Notch. He recognized me and told me that he reads my blog. I thanked him for following my blog and asked him if would not mind me blogging about him. He agreed and went on to say that he really enjoys Smuggs. He also said that he loves the terrain and the friendly people. He likes Sterling Mountain the best because of the wide variety of intermediate trails. Justin told me a story about how he was eating his lunch in the Yurt at Parking Lot 1 and it felt like a party. People he did not know were offering him food. Everyone was nice and they were having a good time.  He said it was fun meeting new people. Justin says that he really enjoys exploring Smuggs and is working towards skiing in the glades with his friends.  Welcome to the Smuggs Family Justin. I look forward to seeing you again on the slopes.