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Sea of clouds

I rode the Madonna lift this morning for my first run. I could see little spots of blue here and there showing through the clouds. As I got closer to the summit everything got brighter. I then suddenly I rose above the clouds. I felt like I was in a plane looking down on the clouds.  Today was magical with the mountains sticking up out the clouds like they were islands. I said a sea of clouds as a title but it was more like a river as the clouds spilled over the mountains. It was like watching water because the clouds had waves that built up as they moved over different objects. As the clouds came over the top they would then roll down the mountain as if they were cascading. Everyone was staying on top of Madonna with their phones out taking photos and soaking up the beautiful sunshine.

Tomorrow we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We now have 62 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 32 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Thomke’s Express and Curley’s Cutback for a grand total of 122 acres of freshly groomed terrain.

 

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Clouds rolling over Sterling Mountain

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Ski Patrol at the summit of Madonna Mountain this morning

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Panoramic photo from the summit of Madonna Mountain

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Slalom training on the Practice Slope

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Skiers on Snake Bite seen from the Base Lodge

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John riding the corduroy on Upper Chilcoot

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This is how you flatten a slalom gate

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Cool early morning light

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Lee enjoying the nice conditions on Upper FIS

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Catwalk on Madonna Mountain with Mount Mansfield in the background.

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Making the Scene

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Looking toward Madonna Mtn from the Sterling Lift. You can glimpse the moon in the center of the sky through the flat light of a December afternoon.

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh.

I got in my first turns of the season! With the Snow Macon, the Natch and the sunny skies, my timing was perfect. As I skied a Blue Trail, the late afternoon light cast a blue hue (not to be confused with Hugh) over the mountain.

It was great to breathe the mountain air and let the mountain scenery take my breath. You shoulda seen the scene.

 

 

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smuggsphoto Op

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. My friend Bruce Morrissey of smuggsphoto.com, not unsurprisingly, knows where and how to get the money shots. For many years he’s been taking photos & videos of families on the mountain and around the Resort, in Winter and in Summer. Today, we shot video of me skiing as the Friendly Pirate on Morse and Morse Highlands. This footage will be used to promote skiing to kids. When we finished filming we took Midway to Madonna for a fun run: Upper Chilcoot > Catwalk > Lower Catwalk > Lower Drifter > Red Fox Glades > Mulcahy’s Link > Lower FIS. Along the way Bruce snapped this photo of yours truly in action. Whether there were photos or not, it was a sunny day and I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

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Where did Bruce take this shot?

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The Zone Terrain Park

board and snowI started the day with the Cat Trax Express on the Upper Mountain Fresh Tracks tour. The temperature was mild and the wind was light. There was some nice soft morning light on Upper Chilcoot as we skied the fresh corduroy. I stopped many times to take in the wonderful views. Today we opened the Prohibition and Zone Terrain Parks. I had a blast watching the skiers and riders hitting the big jumps. We have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with all 8 lifts operating. We have 77 out of 78 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 174 acres of freshly groomed terrain for Sunday. The forecast calls for 2 inches on new snow tonight.

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50 Shades of Glades

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. O-M-Ski!!! 14 inches of new snow means freshies galore in the Glades. Poachers Woods, Attitude, Red Fox Glades and 3 Mountain Glades were packed with POWDER! Mark and Greg from Virginia and Billyjoe from North Carolina joined Shelly Schaffer (from Treasures Child Care) and myself for a wonderful day in the woods.Them southern boys like to hoot and holler as they’re going down the mountain, maybe Billyjoe got it from his 5 years as a Burton Pro Rider.

You never know who you’re gonna see on the slopes, so, it was a nice surprise to see former Smuggs Activities Director Marge McIntosh, as well as Rachel Niekhardt from Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in the Attitude Glades. We didn’t ski 50 glades today, but we had at least 50 smiles and another 50 shouts of joy.

Mark the Bridge

Has anybody seen the bridge? Mark has found that confounded bridge in Poachers Woods.

Shelly Attitude

Shelly Schaffer took this picture of Sterling Mountain as viewed from Attitude.

 

 

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Black & White Black Snake

Apr 16, 2014 Black and whiteRockin’ Ron for Hugh. A view of the Village from Black Snake, right above a section of the trail referred to as the Graveyard. No, children, there is no one buried there. This picture is from my Ski Noir period.

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Another beautiful day

 

chilcoot snowy.JPG blogThe sun almost felt as good as the soft snow under my skis today. We received 19 inches of new snow in the past 5 days. We are 100 percent open with all 78 trails open. I had a great time today carving up the corduroy. I also enjoyed the deep fluffy stuff that I found in the glades. The views from the Madonna I chair lift were also hard to beat.

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Double grab

 

double grab.JPG blogI started the day off with the Cat Trax Fresh Trax Tour up Madonna Mountain this morning. It was a little cloudy but we could still see Lake Champlain and the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There were a few people on the tour who had never been on top of a mountain before. They were amazed with the beautiful views in every direction. I skied down Chilcoot and enjoyed the fresh corduroy. I went to the Zone after finishing the morning report. There was a group of skiers and riders that were nailing the rails and jumps. Pictured here are two of the skiers and I was lucky enough to capture them getting the grab at the same time.