Smuggs 12/07


New member
Day 11, Smuggs
Uh, oh, there's already two other cars in the upper lot. I guess I'll be third chair again today. Maybe one day I'll be early enough for first...Gear up, slide down to the Sterling lift. What's this? No one in line. I did it! Finally, I made first chair! M1 is scehduled to open soon. I'll make one run and head over.

Dip into the woods just before Smuggler's Alley. Steep, silent, solo...shredding powder in the forest forgetting life's, well, everything except my line...focused, in the zone, in the moment...leg's burning but gotta keep on moving toward the fresh lines that lie in wait on Madonna.

Get down, get up. I wonder what those glades off Doc's are like. No time better than the present to find out. The top is soft. That's a good sign. Keep your eyes peeled. Where's the line? Ahhh....there it is, poof...soft and silky...oops, needed more speed, well, a breather's good, too. Get up, get going down the path less traveled where tracks are much fresh powder and no one around...nice, wide open lines...sail through smiling and race to the bottom riding hard in the back seat through the pow on a side trail...f the crunchy groomed stuff littered with death cookies...poppin' over water bars, back leg burning. Rest on the lift, baby, there's powder everywhere.

Robin's Run is open. It's hardly ever open. I shout to a's Robin's. It's good. Everything's good. It's day one (officially) on Madonna, and there's untouched everywhere. Thank you, hikers/skinners, for leaving some for me. Lift line looks good. I've never done the whole thing. Most, but not the narliest of the headwalls. Always have dipped onto Freefall and hooked back up with it from Drifter. Today it looks doable...I feel's the day. Man, the view on the way down sure is steeper than on the way up. That's cool...I got it...jump turns wimping out, take the drops...EXPLODE! Cartwheel...once...twice...gotta stop this...three times...back on my feet..still moving. Can't breathe for a moment. Gasp! There's the air. Don't drown on the snow, Rachel. Pay attention...stop talking to yourself...shut up and ride! My wax is fast today. Hoots and hollers from above. Do I look good? Chicks rip! Uh, oh...drop, explode, cartwheel...gotta stop that...keep going, take it easy? No such thing today. Pound the pow, stomp the landings, stick 'em, ride away (I'm bound to at some point). Dip into more newly advertised glades...two tracks, I make three...keep those knees bent and eyes wide, fresh lines and powder everywhere! Where is everyone? Oh, there's so much mountain to be had! Hey, there's more...Norweigan Woods...reminds me of the Beatles, of my dad, only for a moment. There's no room for thoughts, just ride.

Breathless at the bottom, load up for another. I have a newfound appreciation for the long, slow ride up. Sips of water, a granola bar. At the top, I'm ready again. They've dropped the rope on Drifter. Guess I know where I'm going. Drifter to Three Mountain...pow stashes...back onto the lift line to get the bottom piece I skipped out on last run. No wimping...take the drops, stomp, stick, ride away...I did it! Raise my arms above my head in trimphant glory! Pump my fists! YES!

Meet a friend at the bottom. He's new to the sport, rides blues, parked in the upper lot, needs a guide back to his car. I'll be nice. I slow down to check on him. Whoa, he's right there...slow down, dude, you're gonna miss your turn...I shout..left, left, left! There he goes...missed it. He stops at the top of Exhibition. I eye it. He says he's gonna walk back up to Black Snake. Have fun, dude, just stay left. Secretly, I'm glad. Now I can bomb down the lift line. Knees bent, flying, stick the turns in the puffs of pow...stay left...hit the steeps, the drops...air off waterbars at the bottom. Legs are toast. One more. Should I hike out back? I'm solo and spent so not today. Long, slow cruiser back to the car. When I finally stop, I realize it's snowing...correction, puking...again! Alas, I've had my fill. My legs are noodles. Tomorrow is another day...another powdery promise. I'll keep my end of the bargain. See ya' for first chair. Thank you, mountain. Thank you, Mama Nature.

Peace and Pow.
sweet day! by the sounds of it, there was no need to hike anywhere. i wish i was working up there again this year. oh ya, bills. i couldn't believe that liftline was open under madonna already! one of my favorites in the east. look forward to further reports.
Hey mtngirl,

Great report, look forward into reading your next adventure.

Yes, Smuggs is a great place.
fantastic! you captured the essence, mtngirl, you totally captured the essence.

and now I'm going to be totally useless in the office today.
:!: Don't give up all the best runs!!! JK....Just some
of my personal favs too. M1 headwall cartwheeling?
Wow. That's quite the incline to be freefalling on...
lol...hope you were wearing a helmet. I was up there
12-03,04,07 early and was rewarded for my efforts each
day too. M1 was just the best I've ever seen it this early,
had some of the best turns I've ever made too in untouched
woods, and open trails...Never experienced early season
blower freshies like that. It was just the sickest, even
ventured into the woods too. I was entirely in disbelief
each day!


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Yes, great report; hopefully we can expect expect a number of these reports from Smuggs or wherever you go.

But if you're a Smuggs girl thru and thru (at least for this year, or however long you live in Jericho), that's fine by me, as I have great memories of learning to ski at Smuggs, as my buddy at Johnson St worked there during one or more of his college years.

And gee whiz, HogbackVT in Waterville...that's where my buddy lived during his senior year, Waterville VT! And we did used to get to his place by taking Hogback Rd from the outskirts of Johnson, toward Waterville. I'm assuming that road - or close to it - is now your 'hood.

Let me know if my hunch is correct.
Thanks for the props everyone. You make me think that maybe there's a future in my dream job...writing and riding, of course. Rest assured that there will be future reports, mostly from Smuggs but also Bolton and wherever else I find myself. I have a blogs with reports and picks if anyone ever felt the inclination to check it out.

That was you, right, you inquired about my noggin protection. Yes, it's firmly attached, always! And yes, it is quite the pitch to be falling down. I'm lucky I didn't get hurt. I keep replaying that part of my day in my head, thinking about what I could have done differently...slowed down, carried more fear, visualized the feeling of my landing better...I guess I'll have to go back for a rematch.
Peace and POW.