Report from opening weekend, 29 November 2019
The day after Thanksgiving was opening day at Smuggler’s Notch, and we braved the brisk temperatures to catch the stoke at our local and loved mountain. Located in Cambridge, Vermont, near the town of Jeffersonville, Smugg’s storied history of bootleggers, pirates, and rumrunners across the Canada-US border is just part of its endless charms.
The resort itself was started by a group of skiers in 1959, and the still privately-owned resort maintains a relaxed, local vibe. A snow cloud that settled into the notch Friday and lingered into the weekend, coupled with colder than average temperatures, made for powder-packed-powder conditions when we set off Saturday morning.
At peak season the resort offers three interconnected mountains, Madonna, Sterling, and the beginner-friendly Morse, with over 1,000 acres of rideable terrain for skiers and riders of all levels. My boyfriend who grew up riding here says “Smuggs has a knack for humbling the over confident,” a good mantra to have in mind this early in the season with mountain crew working hard to thaw Madonna chair, and only Sterling chair spinning.
Through the day we made our way down Sterling a 1/2 dozen times, with little breaks to take in the breathtaking views. Powder stashes along the side of the trails made for fun turns, and the snow was otherwise slick and fast. By about 3:00 pm Saturday conditions were icing up, so we packed it in and headed home, stoked, happy with the day, happy to take it easy because we knew that we’d be back after a good meal, a few cold beers, and a restful sleep.
Less than a week into the season, the terrain at Smuggs is shaping up nicely. With snowfall in the forecast all week long in the northeast, and huge flakes falling outside my office window in Montreal as I write this, I can hardly wait to get back on the mountain Saturday.
The “no bull” snow report at Smugg’s as of this morning: