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Madonna II Lift reopens tomorrow

The base area of the Madonna II Lift

This morning at 5 am I called our snowmaking crew to get a weather update and to find out where we are making snow for the snow report. I spoke with long-time snowmaker Dave Gagnon and he told me they had a great night! He said the single-digit temperatures and no wind allowed them to “Kill it on Lower Chilcoot.” Our grooming staff will now take over and push out all the snowmaking whales. We plan to have the Madonna II Lift operating tomorrow with Link to Lower Chilcoot open. The Madonna II Lift will remain open the rest of this week and weekend. Today we have the Sterling Lift, Village Lift, Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift, Morse Highlands Lift, and Sir Henry’s Glider all operating. We have 18 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 16 out of the 18 trails have been groomed for today, including Dixie’s Knoll for a grand total of 72 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Surface conditions are machine-groomed and variable with average base depths of 6 to 24 inches. Currently, it is sunny and 16 degrees at the summit of Sterling with winds of 0 to 5 mph. Today’s forecast is calling for sunny skies early with increasing clouds later in the day, a high of 24 degrees at the base and 18 degrees at the summit of Sterling.

This weekend the featured beer for the apres sports parties at Bootlegger’s and the Black Bear Tavern is Fiddlehead.

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Winter storm on the way!

Rockin’ Ron here. You’ve probably seen and heard that there’s a major winter storm moving across the country. A lot of folks may not want the snow, but we snow sports enthusiasts welcome it… in other words… BRING IT ON! That doesn’t mean that our snowmakers are taking it easy – they’ll have the snow guns going whenever temps permit. Let there be SNOW and MORE SNOW!

We’ve got our fingers crossed and our skis crossed (metaphorically) for a major dump of freshies!
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Snowmaking Symphony

Our Snowmakers are working around the clock to make the stuff that makes us happy! Snowguns were in action up and down Sterling Mountain this morning and will be throughout the day. Snowmaking Ops will soon move to the Village to prepare beginner terrain. And you couldn’t have snowmaking without grooming. Ski you soon!

Snowguns at the base of Sterling Mountain.
Director of Mountain Ops, Mark Delaney is driving the Cat this morning.
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Snow on the ‘Slope’

Rockin’ Ron for Hugh. Our Snowmakers have been taking advantage of the cold temps and making the fluffy stuff on Practice Slope and Black Snake. Pretty soon it’ll be Tea Time at the T-Bar. For Wednesday we plan to have 23 trails open and 4 Lifts operating. Enjoy the snow on the slopes!

Snowmaking on Practice Slope. Photo by Hugh Johnson.
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Thank you snowmakers

A huge shout out to our hard-working snowmakers! The weather has been a little crazy this season, but our snowmakers have been ready every time Mother Nature turns down the thermostat. Their efforts already allow us to ski and ride on all 3 mountains. They are presently working on getting us more terrain open with snowmaking on Upper Chilcoot and the Practice Slope.

Practice Slope
Practice Slope
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Snowmaking on Madonna

Sunrise from the summit of Madonna this morning. Photo credit Smugglers’ Notch Snowmaker Dave Gagnon
Transporting snowmaking hoses on Upper Chilcoot
The Warming Hut at the summit of Madonna received a face lift this past summer and is looking good!

Our Snowmakers were busy last night and today making snow on Upper Chilcoot. Weather permitting we plan to have the Madonna I Lift operating this weekend with Upper Chilcoot open. Tomorrow we plan to have skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating. We have 20 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. All 20 trails will be groomed for tomorrow for a grand total of 86 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Surface conditions are machined groomed and variable with average base depths of 12 to 48 inches. The Riglet Park and Birch Run Terrain Park are both open. Currently, it is partly sunny and 25 degrees at the summit of Sterling. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for a chance of rain with a high of 38 degrees.

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Snowmaking top to bottom on Morse

Connecting the hoses
Snowmaker Dave Gagnon starting up another gun
Lower Morse Liftline

We are presently making snow on Garden Path, Midway, Meadowlark, and Lower Morse Liftline. Today we have skiing and riding on all 3 mountains. We have 4 lifts operating, Madonna II, Sterling Lift, Sir Henry’s Wonder Carpet, and Mogul Mouse’s Magic Lift to mid-station. We have 33 trails open with terrain for all ability levels. 11 out of the 33 trails have been groomed for today, including Smugglers’ Alley for a grand total of 40 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Surface conditions are packed powder and powder with average base depths of 12 to 48 inches. Currently, it is sunny and 10 degrees at the summit of Sterling with winds of 0 to 5 mph. Today’s forecast is sunny skies early with increasing clouds, the chance of flurries, and a high of 29 degrees.

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Sunshine and 160 acres of freshly groomed terrain

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Picture perfect

I want to thank our grooming staff, snowmakers, and lift maintenance for all they do to provide us with the best conditions possible! Our grooming staff is out on the mountain from the time the lifts close until they reopen the next day. We even have two shifts of groomers each night to get all 3 mountains ready for your skiing and riding pleasure the next day. Our snowmakers have recently been touching up Garden Path, Lower Morse Liftline, Magic Learning Trail, and Meadowlark. The Lift Maintenance Crew provides us safe transportation to the top of all 3 mountains. Each lift is checked every morning before anyone is allowed to load the lift.

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Circumhorizontal arc is formed by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.

 

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Lower Doc Dempsey’s Glades has one cat wide of groomed terrain on skier’s left

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56 inches of natural snowfall this season so far!

 

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Winter Wonderland

It has been an amazing start to the season! Mother Nature decided to turn the knob from fall to winter a few weeks ago and things have really changed on the mountain.  Our Snowmakers have been busy for weeks making snow on trails like Smugglers’ Alley, Upper Rumrunner, Crossover, Treasure Run, Lower Exhibition, Birch Run, and Lower Rumrunner. They are presently making snow on Lower Morse Mountain.  The base depths having been building up with all the natural snowfall and consistent cooler temperatures. I have been here at Smuggs for many years and I can’t remember a season starting off this good! The stoke level has been pretty high around here for weeks now and is going to be even higher tomorrow. The Opening Day of the 2018 – 2019 Winter Season is tomorrow Friday, November 23rd. The abundant amount of snow is going to allow us to have both the Sterling Lift and Madonna I Lift operating for Opening Day.

 

 

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Making tracks towards the Village

We plan to operate the Madonna I lift from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm on Friday, November 23 and Saturday, November 24. Tomorrow we plan to have 56 trails open for intermediates and experts. Most of the trails have natural snow coverage, so be aware and ski with care. Sir Henry’s Learning Hill will be open for beginners and private lessons are available this weekend. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for partly sunny skies with a high of 21 degrees. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy all the wonderful snow!

 

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Shane enjoying some fresh turns on Jolly Rodger

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Hugh B having fun on Bootlegger

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Tony floating through the fresh snow

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Snow Reporter checking out the product