2022/23 Opening Day Thanksgiving Weekend!

Mark your calendars! We’re just weeks away from beginning our 2022/23 winter season of skiing and riding. Get ready to take some turns on November 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving (*weather permitting*). Speaking of Thanksgiving, enjoy the Smuggs Thanksgiving Family Celebration November 23-26! It’s the perfect time to sneak away, avoid the craziness of cooking and allow us to take care of all the trimmings for the whole family.

Frosted tips on top of Madonna Mountain 11/14/22

With the recent snowmaking temps and some more help from Mother Nature expected Wednesday, we’re excited to continue our snowmaking efforts through the week as we approach our expected opening day of 11/25 *weather dependent*.

As excited as we are for fresh snow, please keep an eye on our Snow Report for all Uphill Travel conditions.


The Countdown to Opening Day

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It’s time for another summertime update from your favorite mountain while we all count down until opening day on November 27 (105 days as of this article being published). Sure, in this new age of safety and social distancing, there will be changes, but skiing and snowboarding outside on 1000 acres of beautiful mountains are definitely one of the better ways to go about spending a winter in Vermont. We’ll all just have to make some adjustments in the process.

In light of the changes we’ll need to make to how things are done this winter season, we had considered replacing Madonna I with a giant 12-person heated massage chairlift, but due to all the concerns with social distancing, we decided to stick with what we know works. Our classic Madonna I double. That said, we replaced the haul rope with a new one to ensure many more great years of skiing and riding on some of the best terrain in the East. This process takes a few days and is quite involved. We’ll explain in detail a little below.

Passes and Badges are On Sale!

Music to our ears. Winter is coming, and while there will no doubt be some major changes regardless of how we go about getting our snowy fix, we know that our favorite mountains will still be here for us when we need them most. Head to the online Pass and Badge store now to head straight to the lift on opening day!

So, about those favorite mountains…

Our faithful mountain operations team battled rough weather last week to replace the ropes on Madonna I. This is actually a really cool process! We posted to social media about the arrival of our new haul rope– a 46,000-pound spool of wire rope. The difference between cable and wire rope is mainly just the way you refer to it, but did you know that inside the haul ropes used for chairlifts is actual braided polypropylene rope? The polypro rope helps add elasticity, as does the way the steel threads are wrapped around it. This means more trips up and down the mountain for all of us!

Haul rope up Madonna Liftline
Hoisting the 46,000-pound spool of wire rope
Setting up equipment

Something cool about this process is understanding how the rope is attached once the new one is installed. Due to the construction of wire rope, no hardware is needed to attach the two ends. Instead, each “strand” is woven into the rope, called a splice. The tension on the wire rope is what keeps it all together. It’s the same idea as a Chinese finger trap, which has a wide range of uses from children’s toys to doctor’s offices. You might see the splice locations as you ride up the lift. Look for a very small bulge on the opposite side of the haul rope. Since there are multiple splice locations, those bulges appear over a long distance.

The more you know

Happy Thanksgiving

We received 3 to 4 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours. Tomorrow is the Opening Day of the 2019 – 2020 Winter Season. We plan to have Sterling Lift and Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpets operating. We plan to have 7 trails open with terrain for beginners, intermediates, and experts. We may open more trails due to the new snow.


Signs of good things to come

Smuggs employees Justin Allen and Justin Thoelke installing a new trail map sign in Parking Lot #1.
We plan to have Smugglers’ Alley open this Friday!

Opening Day is only two days away and we are excited!

This Friday, November 29th is the day the 2019 – 2020 Winter Season gets started. We plan to have both the Sterling Lift and Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpets operating. The Sterling Lift will open at 8:30 am on Friday. We plan to have Upper Rumrunner, Crossover, Treasure Run, Lower Exhibition, Lower Rumrunner, Smugglers’ Alley, and Sir Henry’s Learning Hill all open. There is some snow in the forecast for Thursday and Thursday night which may allow us to open more terrain. You will be able to ski or ride from Parking Lot #1 down to the Sterling Lift. You will also be able to ski or ride back to Parking Lot #1 from Lower Exhibition near the bottom of Treasure Run. We have a Black Friday Lift Ticket Special Offer this November 29, 2019.  Bring a non-perishable item to our ticket booth or the Ski & Ride Desk, for our local Cambridge Food Shelf, and receive $20 off a full-day, 3-mountain lift ticket.


We are getting ready for Opening Day!

We plan to open this Friday, November 29th.

Sir Henry’s Learning Hill

We plan to have the Sterling Lift and Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpets operating with terrain for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Our snowmakers have done a wonderful job and things are looking great for Friday. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill is just loaded with snow and is ready for beginners. Private lessons are available with our Snow Sport University Instructors starting on Opening Day.  On Sterling Mountain, we plan to have Upper Rumrunner, Crossover, Smugglers’ Alley, Treasure Run, Lower Exhibition, and Lower Rumrunner all open. More trails may be open with snow in the forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving and to celebrate we have many activities. For all the details on our Thanksgiving Family Celebration just go to www.smuggs.com/pages/fall/activities/thanksgiving-schedule.php 

3 Mountain Outfitters is having a Black Friday Sale from 8:00 am till 8:00 pm. Stop by after your first day on the mountain where you will find items discounted up to 50% off!


An Opening Day for the record books



Assistant Patrol Director Mike Duncan enjoying the great conditions on Freefall.

I had to keep reminding myself today that it’s only November and not February. The amount of natural snow coverage is just amazing! I skied Freefall from the top and it was so much fun. A few more favorites from the day are Snake Bite, Full Nelson, Harvey’s, and Dan’s Ford. I skied Snake Bite this morning for my first run and skier’s left was filled in nicely with beautiful knee deep fluffiness! Actually everything I skied today was good. It is still hard to believe that we had 58 trails open on the first day of the season. One of the great things about having so much terrain open is how it spreads every one out. Having both the Madonna I lift and Sterling lift operating today was a fantastic bonus! I can not wait to go exploring again tomorrow to see what I can find.




Floating down Upper Exhibition

Tomorrow we plan to have 3 lifts operating; Sir Henry’s Magic Carpet, Sterling, and Madonna I from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm. 14 out of the 58 trails will be groomed for tomorrow, including Smugglers’ Alley and Meadowlark for a grand total of 50 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Our snowmakers have been rapidly making some nice piles of snow on Morse the past days with these cooler temperatures. They plan to make snow on Garden Path tonight. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 38 degrees and light winds.



View from Upper Drifter


Harley having fun Full Nelson


Today is the Opening Day of the 2018 – 2019 Winter Season!



A great way to start the season off with tons of snow and sunshine!

We have 3 lifts operating the Madonna I lift, the Sterling lift, and Sir Henry’s Magic Carpet today. We have 58 trails open with the best coverage I’ve seen for this time of year! Sterling Mountain is 100 percent open and Madonna only has a few closed trails. The Madonna I lift is now loading and will be open till 2:00 pm this afternoon. We plan to have the Madonna I lift open tomorrow from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm again. Snowmaking continues on Morse Mountain with our snowmakers getting ready to light up Garden Path.



Amazing conditions

first chair

Official first chair of the season