SMUGGLERS' NOTCH RESORT GUIDE
Images courtesy of Smuggler' Notch
Smugglers' Notch Intermediate Itinerary
Morse Mt., Sterling Glades, Madonna Groomers
From Smugglers' Notch Village – Morse Mountain – Sterling Mountain – Madonna I – Madonna II (Weekends) – Return to Village
1. 9am –Acclimating on Morse Mountain
From SMUGGLER"S NOTCH VILLAGE, catch the Village Lift to the summit of MORSE MOUNTAIN. Get acclimated to the terrain by starting on Garden Path. Exit the lift to the lift for this nice, winding Green trail. Use its easy pitch to get your legs under you and feel free to take as many laps on Garden Path or Sam's Run as you need.
Once you're feeling confident with Smuggs' Green trails, head over to Snow Snake on the far skier's left side of MORSE MOUNTAIN. You can access it by turning immediately right off the Mogul Mouse. Mogul Mouse runs parallel to The Village Lift.
2. 10-10:30am – Making your Way to Sterling Mountain
It's time to head to STERLING MOUNTAIN. Thankfully, Smugg's has runs interconnecting its three peaks. For a long, slow, but scenic run, take Midway straight from the top of The Village Lift. There is a very short area in the beginning that could be classified as a Blue. The trail then mellows out and provides excellent views of Madonna Mountain, Sterling Mountain, and even neighboring Mt. Mansfield. Take Midway all the way to the Madonna I.
If Midway is closed, catch a free ride on one of Smuggs' blue buses that ferry skiers from the SMUGGLER'S NOTCH VILLAGE to Lot #1 on STERLING MOUNTAIN. If you have taken Midway, take Madonna I up and exit at the mid-station.
3. 10:30am – Sterling Mountain - an Intermediate's Paradise
Welcome to STERLING MOUNTAIN! STERLING is home to a variety of intermediate trails. We recommend starting by getting your feet wet on Rumrunner. Take the Sterling Lift and exit right towards to the Sterling Summit warming hut. This is an excellent place to warm-up on a cold day, or just to take a break. The warming hut usually has snacks and hot chocolate available for purchase on weekends.
If you're ready to ski, follow the signs for Rumrunner all the way back down to the Sterling Base. If you're up for more of a challenge on your next run, check out Black Snake. This time, exit Sterling to the skier's left and follow the signs for Black Snake. Black Snake is steeper, and usually less skied that Rumrunner. Find your edges and get some practice on the steeper terrain.
4. 12pm – Lunch @ The Base Lodge
When you're ready for lunch, head down to the The Base Lodge, at the base of Madonna and Sterling Mountains, this is the only place to find food on this side of the resort. Enjoy a bowl of clam chowder, or grab a delicious waffle from the Waffle Hut just outside of the Base Lodge.
5. 1-2pm – Fun in the Trees off of Madonna II
After lunch, push the short-distance over to the Madonna II lift (this lift only runs on weekends). Take the lift to the top. Madonna II provides ~70% of the vertical of Madonna I, without the highly exposed chairlift ride. Madonna II is well-protected by trees and offers a great alternative or a warmer chair ride.
For well-maintained groomers, we recommend Lower Chilcoot, and Mulcahy's Link. If you feel like pushing your limits, check out Moonshiner's Glades. They are easily accessed from the skier's right off of Mulcahy's Link. The Moonshiner's Glades are an excellent option for a first tree-run experience. They are relatively short and have a mellow pitch. When you're done with Moonshiner's, head to Madonna I.
6. 2-4pm – Longer Runs on Madonna I
Madonna I provides access to the longest runs at Smuggs; explore the winding Upper and Lower Chilcoot or head to Drifter to experience both sides of the mountain. Most of the Blue-rated trails on MADONNA MOUNTAIN are groomed. Use caution when exploring a new trail, there may be some moguls, but you should feel relatively comfortable with MADONNA'S groomed runs. When you're ready to call it a day, Chilcoot and Drifter come together under Madonna I and run into the Base Lodge. Stay left as you approach the lodge. You can then catch a complimentary shuttle back to the Village below the Sterling Lifthouse.
Congratulations! You just tackled a broad range of intermediate terrain at Smugglers' Notch. Now go enjoy a beverage and food at Bootlegger's back at the Smugglers' Notch Village. See our full après guide here.