Fantastic day on the slopes

I skied on all 3 mountains today. I was lucky enough to be on Madonna Mountain when patrol started dropping the ropes. I was riding the Madonna I Lift, and just as I passed mid-station, I could see someone on the Headwall. Once I got closer, I realized that it was patroller Jason Nemo, and he was ripping up the skier’s left side. It looked really good, and I was hoping that patrol would open it up. Just then, I got a text from Patrol telling me that Madonna Liftline, Black Hole, and Freefall from the Traverse were all opening. I got to the top, took an immediate right turn around the top shack, and headed down Liftline. Ski Patroller Alissa was dropping the rope at Catwalk just as I got there. I got a few fresh turns in, and then I took some photos of the skiers and riders in the fresh snow as they passed me. It was only a few people, and I still found some fresh turns as I skied down to the Robin’s Run work road. The skiers and riders in front of me did not go down the Headwall, so I did. I got the skier’s right side of the Headwall fresh! I then continued down Liftline for a true “shack-to-shack” run. I got to the bottom and jumped right back on the Madonna I Lift. I ran into Ski Patroller Ethan at the summit of Madonna; he was headed to drop the rope on Sally’s Alley and invited me to join him. We then took the traverse over to Freefall from Upper FIS. Ethan took the left side, and I took the right. The new snow was skiing fantastic! 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 have 73 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 27 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including McPherson’s, Midway, and Snake Bite, for a total of 112 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Surface conditions are packed powder and machine groomed with average base depths of 16 to 40 inches. Currently, it is cloudy and 23 degrees at the summit of Sterling. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a chance of freezing drizzle becoming drizzle with a high of 35 degrees at the base and 33 degrees at higher elevations.

Ski Patrol Assistant Director Ethan Costello on Freefall
Upper Madonna Liftline
Snowmaking operations on Log Jam, Dixie’s Knoll, and Hibernator last night
Patroller Alissa dropping ropes on Madonna Mountain
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Hugh Johnson


  1. Wow! Conditions look splendiferous!
    My family and I will be up at Smuggs the second week of February and my son Connor- or as he is known on the slopes, “Corn Gnar” – loves the Morse Highlands. Are there any specific snow dances we should be performing to elicit more snow on this area of the mountain? We know y’all are hard at work and appreciate it!

    • We have been making snow over at the Highlands and we plan to open it this weekend. It may close early next week for more snowmaking operations, but will then reopen.

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