- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 5
- All-Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 3
Cons: the usual suspects
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2010
i've been to smuggs three times. never been on MORSE (beginner slopes). been on a majority of the trails on STERLING and MADONNA. first time was not good. they groomed. it froze solid. it didn't soften up that day. came back later that spring and did FreeFall, on the best day of the year for that trail (according to my ski patrol buddy). exposed rock, grass, other stuff sticking out of the snow, but definitely able to be skied. loved it. FINALLY, went this past january after the big storm in burlington. 18 inches of fresh pow on the trails and knee plus deep in the trees. had a really good day. the weather can drastically affect the mountain's conditions...dress appropriately and go.
MADONNA has the toughest terrain (black/double black) in the east i've seen or been on so far. the trails are tough and even when the conditions are great, trails can still be gnarly. it will push you and challenge your skiing or riding. and then someone will come by you and make the trail you're on look like a green circle that's been freshly groomed.
i would really recommend to anyone thinking about poaching trails at this mountain (madonna) -- think about it three or four times. if the trail is closed on this mountain, ski patrol REALLY has a reason for it. if you have to do a few more runs, or wait a few weeks, do it. and even when it does open, it doesn't mean it will be great. or even good. any trail from the top of madonna that is open could still be NASTY. some of these trails can become really nasty after only a couple of skiers and riders. expect hard conditions and to be challenged, and go.
The GLADES are good, real good. smuggs has a solid progression for learning to ski/ride in the trees leading up to their super-duper triple black diamond glade, The Black Hole. they are spread out all over STERLING and MADONNA. like others have said, most skiers and riders here better than at a lot of other resorts. and most ski the trees, so expect to see people in the trees. don't worry, smuggs has plenty.
FAMILY MOUNTAIN -- i think they are considered the definition of family mountain from everything i've heard/seen.
TERRAIN PARK -- the park i remember is a PROFESSIONAL park. MASSIVE, Olympic style features. for those of us a little less talented/experienced, i didn't see anything -- could be on MORSE?
LIFTS & LINES -- slow and slower; can't handle it, go somewhere else...
NIGHTLIFE -- i usually leave after i ride...