Powder Preview: Smuggler’s Notch

This is the second in a series of local Ski Resort preview reports. Look for Stowe, Sugarbush, and Killington to be reviewed in the near future. Finally, our scenery and surroundings are filling with the white substance that skiers and riders alike crave: snow. In continuation of the ski resort preview series, we’ll travel 45 minutes from campus to Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont. Typically, Smuggler’s Notch is thought of as a family resort, which is ironic considering its deep-seated past in smuggling, both during the 1800’s in moving otherwise embargoed English goods across borders and during Prohibition in transporting bootlegged booze. It was voted the #1 Family Resort in North America by Ski Magazne, but for the more avid skier/rider Smugg’s, as it is known to locals, is also home to enough steep and varied terrain, between its three mountains, to keep any powder hound fat and giggly. Their three mountains, Madonna, Sterling and Morse, are filled with 72 trails that winter weather typically dumps 287 inches of snow on in a season. Smuggler’s has 2,610 feet of vertical making for over 1,000 acres of terrain. On top of this, Smuggler’s claims to have some of the most difficult black diamonds on the East Coast, including the celebrated Fab Five, and the Black Hole, the only purported triple black diamond this side of the Rockies, whatever that means. Smuggler’s Notch also actively pursues environmentally minded policy saying, “We seek to raise the environmental awareness of guests and employees, and to broaden their knowledge and appreciation through educational programs along with our active and passive use of the land for year-round recreation.” Considering the potentially disastrous effects that poor environmental consideration can have on ski resorts, including poor snowfall and polluted water wells that come from over use of chemicals in snow-making, these come as welcome guidelines. More resorts seem to be adopting these environmentally friendly policies as both rising political pressure and increased concern for their own well-being are encouraging this. Extended stays are well-accommodated for; Smuggler’s has lots of package deals and affordable lodging that could make for a great weekend or longer in the village. Season passes have been available for $419 since Halloween, but if you had a time machine you could transport yourself back to a time before Labor Day when the pass was a mere $299. Transportation to the mountain will have to be taken care of on a skier by skier basis, as there is no regular bus service to the mountain from campus. Visit Smuggler’s Notch’s website for further information at http://www.smuggs.com