This is my nephew Jacob who is visiting from Georgia. I had so much fun today giving him a tour of Madonna and Sterling. We did a warm up run on Upper Chilcoot. We stopped at Dan’s Ford and noticed that it only had a couple of tracks on it. We decided to put a few more tracks on it. We were riding up the Sterling lift and I asked Jacob if he had ever been out to Sterling Pond. He said that he had not, so we made it our next stop. We skied Black Snake next and headed to the balcony. The balcony is the lookout that is in the woods behind the race start building. It’s a wonderful view of the notch.
This photo shows one of the reasons why I like Upper Drifter so much. There are just so many great vantage points. As I ski down I find myself stopping along the way to take in the ever changing views. I love how you look down on to Sterling Pond, Sterling, and the notch in the background. Many of the trails on Sterling have a double fall line. The trails not only pitch down the hill but they also pitch towards skier’s right. This allows skiers and riders on Sterling to be pretty visible from Drifter.
This morning I went on the Cat Trax Fresh Trax Tour up Madonna Mountain. It was a beautiful sunny day. We had great views from the cabin of the cat on the ride up the mountain but the 360 degree view from the summit of Madonna was the best. We had a great time cruising down the corduroy of Chilcoot. I went to the Zone Terrain Park to check out the Slopestyle event. There was a great turn out of competitors and the park was in great shape. It was amazing to watch these skiers and riders throwing down their best tricks for the judges. It was also pretty cool to have Vermont’s own Ty Walker show up and help announce the event with Connor Manning.
Today was clear, calm, and cool. The sunlight bouncing off the snow covered trees made them look like they were turned on. I rode the Madonna I chair lift to take in the amazing views from the summit. Many people had their cameras out capturing the special moments. I stayed on top for a while getting photos from different angles. This photo was taken on Upper Drifter by the fence. I would have to say that Upper Drifter is definitely one of the best scenic trails at Smuggs.
I went down to the Nordic Center this morning to check out the 13th Annual Northern Vermont Snowshoe Race and Family Snowshoe Festival. There was a ½K fun run for kids, a 3.5K fun run/walk, and an 8K race that is a qualifier for the 2014 US Snowshoe Association National Championship. This is a wonderful event that is fun and also raises money for some local charities. One of the neat things about snowshoe racing is watching the snow fly. The hinged action of the snowshoe really kicks the snow up into the air.
I headed up to the Upper Mountains next to meet up with my friend Brad. We went up the Madonna chair lift first and skied Drifter. I would have to say that Drifter is one of the most scenic trails here at Smuggs. You get some great views of Sterling Pond, Sterling Mountain, and the Notch. We decided to do some glade skiing next to see if we could find some powder stashes. The photo you see here is Brad enjoying both the views and fresh snow.
Today started off cloudy with some flurries, but the sun made an appearance in the afternoon. The snow and frost covered trees were shining in the sunlight. I took a cruiser run this afternoon on Upper Chilcoot. Upper Chilcoot has some great turns, different pitches, and wonderful views. The new snow that we received the night before last has been groomed in and was skiing great. I took a run on Sterling next and ran into a couple of friends. We skied Upper Pipeline down to Black Snake. We got to the “pine tree start” and saw a sign that said race training in progress. We stopped and watched some of the racers. They were flying out of the race start building and down through the GS gates.
My favorite long cruiser run is Chilcoot. I love the way it goes off the back side of Madonna and then works its way back to the front side. There are sections of Upper Chilcoot that look out to the east towards Morrisville. The S turn above Waterfall is where you can look out to the east and see Lake Champlain. There is also a great view of Mount Mansfield from this spot.