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Mountain Policies

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#1 Resort in the East - SKI Magazine Reader Survey 2023

Uphill, Drone, and Off Trail policies for ski terrain usage

Uphill Policy
Read the full Snow Report to see what's open daily!
Like all Resorts across the ski industry, Smugglers’ has experienced greatly increased demand for uphill access. We’re always happy to see people out enjoying the mountain when it is safe to do so. However, with regard to uphill access, it’s a bit of a love-hate relationship between operations staff and uphill travelers due to the high-risk nature of the work being performed on-hill and the activity created by uphill travel. With equipment in use on trails at any time of day or night, operations staff out on the hill 24/7, and a wide range of weather conditions, safety is a huge concern of ours. Once uphill access is open, routes available for uphill access, the run back down, and the times that are available will be posted on the Snow Report daily by 4:00 pm for that night and the following morning. It is imperative that you check the report as changing weather conditions can often lead to changes in the grooming schedule, especially for mornings on Sterling.

When available,

Nighttime access will be:
, Friday - Wednesday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Madonna, , Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Closed on Sunday
Sterling, Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Closed on Sunday

Morning access will be:
, Daily 5:30 am to 7:30 am
Morning users must be off the hill by 8:00 am. All times are subject to change so remember to check the Snow Report before you go!

We do intend to experiment with allowing uphill access on Lower Chilcoot during operating hours this season once we are 100% open. It will be announced on the Snow Report when available.

The following rules apply to uphill access users:
  • Anyone participating in uphill travel, do so at their own risk and assume all liability for their use of the mountain.
  • Please be aware that Resort emergency services are not available from 4:30 pm to 8:00 am. Call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Please be aware and respectful of snowmobile and snowcat activity that may be present on the trails during any time period.
  • Avoid trails with snowmaking or grooming operations underway. Utilize the routes identified for access on the daily snow report. If you do encounter a groomer or snowmobile, please step off the side of the trail until they have passed. This is especially important at night when the operator’s field of vision is constrained.
  • Robin’s Run, Freefall, Madonna Liftline (above Link), and all closed trails are off-limits as descent routes at all times.
  • Do not approach winch cat operations under any circumstances. They can have over 2500' of high-tension cable strung out that is impossible to see and very dangerous to be around. These areas are OFF-LIMITS!
  • Always wear reflective clothing and use a headlamp at night.
  • No dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or other pets allowed. Sloths are cute and all, but again, leave them at home.
  • If you pack it in, please pack it out. Don’t leave litter behind.
  • Parking is available in Lot 3 ONLY. Please don’t park at the Base Lodge, Lot 1, or the Patrol Chalet.
  • Smugglers’ Notch employees may monitor your behavior in the name of safety and compliance. Failure to abide by the guidelines may be grounds for revocation of Resort access privileges.

Thank you for your cooperation and let’s all have a great winter! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via email at mtnops@smuggs.com
Closed Trail Policy
Smugglers' Notch Resort is intent on providing a safe and fun skiing and riding experience for our guests and employees. We know that part of the fun comes from dealing with the challenge of an occasional hazard or obstacle or less than ideal snow conditions. We strive to open our trails and glades as soon as possible, using our experience and knowledge to balance the fun and challenge against our responsibility for safety on the hill. Trails are closed for a reason and it is frequently not one you can see from the lift or the rope at the top of the trail. Skiing or riding closed trails puts you in a higher risk situation and also puts anyone who might have to rescue you in a similar situation. Therefore, Smugglers' Notch Resort will enforce a policy of No Skiing On Closed Trails for our guests and employees. People observed skiing or riding on closed trails will be subject to potential loss of lift privileges as explained below.

> First violation will be the loss of skiing/riding privileges for the remainder of the day or the next day if it occurs after 3:00 pm.
> Second offense will result in loss of skiing/riding privileges for 7 days. Subsequent offenses could result in loss of skiing/riding privileges for the remainder of the season with no refund.
Drone Usage Policy
The use of drones or radio controlled model aircraft (currently considered Unmanned Aerial Systems or UAS) for photography or other use is prohibited at Smugglers' Notch Resort.
Off Trail Policy
Wooded areas between named trails and glades are not marked in any way, are not patrolled, and have no skier/snowboarder services. If you decide to ski or snowboard in wooded areas, within the ski area boundary, you are solely responsible for yourself. You should be an expert skier/snowboarder and you should stay in groups of three or more. Do not ski or snowboard on or across closed trails.
Private Snowmobiles are not allowed on our ski trails.
Much of the land Smugglers' trails are located on is owned by the State of Vermont. The lease held by Smugglers' Notch Management Company that permits operation of skiing services stipulates that Smugglers' is responsible and liable for the maintenance and safety of the mountain at all times. The lease gives resort officials the ability to grant, limit, or terminate property use at any time. Smugglers' Notch Management requests that those enjoying our terrain police their own behavior and abide by the following rules. Failure to abide by this code of conduct will result in more restrictive policies.
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