I even have my own fond family memories, from watching my girls in many a Northern Vermont Council ski race there. Navigate to our lift ticket page to view rates. At least not yet. It’s been a brilliant marketing strategy for Smuggs, which long ago identified a plan to go after families while most other resorts were bragging about infrastructure improvements and snowmaking and how radical their terrain was. Our ski vacation packages to Smugglers Notch, VT with exclusive discounts are backed by the best service in the industry. It’s also refreshing to ski at a place that’s independently owned and wears its independence proudly. For easy village access, opt for Village East or Village West. Mansfield poking up in the distance. Smugglers' Notch (or Smugglers or Smuggler's) is a mountain pass in Lamoille County, Vermont . As with Liftline, I’ve experienced the Bowls, just never in prime conditions, and never with anyone who really knew where to go. But most of Madonna’s terrain—and you’ll have to ski it to see it, because it’s hard to scout from below—is in the vein of Liftline. Just ski back to the car. Gathering your family to savor cups of hot chocolate around the bonfire, sharing an exhilarating run down the mountain, or marveling together during the evening torchlight pa Nightlife isn’t what Jeffersonville is known for, and we don’t expect much. Smugglers' Notch is part of the Green Mountains and has many neighbors that make a good day trip. We dare each other to rally for some nightlife, and pretty soon we kind of have to because no one will back down. And when those budding novices are ready for a step up and a more expansive view, there’s Sterling Mountain, over on the other side of the resort. Each person in your party will be required to show their SmuggsPass to access the following activities and facilities, plus you'll receive great discounts on our award-winning children's programs, and shopping! Not officially part of Smuggs (they’re on State Forest land), they amount to a ski area in themselves. Welcome to Smugglers Notch State Park. The notch separates Mount Mansfield, the highest peak of the Green Mountains, from Spruce Peak and the Sterling Range. And it works. We were there at the end of the Autumn leaves. For quick and casual at the resort, Village Pizzeria makes fresh pies, plus calzones, pastas, and subs. There’s a balconied master suite, another queen bedroom, and a big bunk room for kids. Jonathan and Cheryl are capable but largely lapsed skiers. Liftline’s only problem is that it’s so steep and craggy that it needs a lot of snow and doesn’t hold it for long. Smuggs' majestic trio, from left to right: Morse, Madonna, and Sterling. But I’m told that Morse offers meandering greens and ideal teaching terrain. The award-winning teaching programs include lessons for parent and child together. Bundle and Save! Sometime around noon I start to get that panicky feeling that I’m going to have to ski slow, stop a lot, and be social. Northern Vermont's beloved Smugglers' Notch has long been rumored to be the next resort joining Vail Resorts' ever-expanding portfolio. Create custom Smugglers Notch ski vacations online, 24/7, using our interactive website. And it’s karaoke. Long lift lines are better than crowded trails any day, and a 15-minute chair ride makes time for deeper chairlift chats. Morse Mountain Only - Youth (6-18) & Senior (65 & older). The ticket scanner reminds me with that little error noise every time I go through the gate. There is a two lane natural mountain pass surrounded by serenity. So, of all the places the Epic works—and they are almost countless now, including, of course, that neighboring resort just over there on the other side of the Notch—it doesn’t work here. Smuggs offers acclaimed programs for families and seasonal activities including alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing; enjoyment of 8 pools and 4 waterslides; guided hiking; children's programs and a zip line canopy tour. Stay up to date with Smuggs all year long by subscribing to our official eNewsletter, the. Joe and Mary are Smuggs regulars. This skier is cruising Upper Chilcoot from the 3,640-foot summit. Terrain so steep that grooming machines can’t touch it. Even at our age. “You ditched us!”, By the last run it’s down to just me and Bubba, and I get my insider tour of the Bowls. From your slow-moving vantage point on the Madonna 1 lift, you get a good look at its fangs right off the bat. It would instantly be the East’s largest ski area. We rejoin Cheryl, who’s been cruising solo, then meet up with late-arriving Joe and Mary. It only takes a few runs to rekindle my abusive relationship with Smuggs: It beats me up and undermines my self-esteem, but I can’t stop loving it. A personalized Notch Card is required and available to purchase for $5 plus tax. We survey the scene for a minute, but there’s no question of staying for a drink. That’s why Lot 1 is so popular with passholders and shut-up-and-ski types, and why it has a culture of its own. “I’ve cut back to six days a week. Shopping Cart, Menu; Close Close Search. Stop reading if you don’t like slow lift rides. The tree limbs create a canopy on the side of the road. On Sunday the midwinter spell breaks. I hate to see the cold spell snap—it’s been a weird and wonderful stretch of prime conditions—but the sunny weather brings the cabin-fevered locals out in force, and they’re psyched. After a few runs on any of them, you too will be begging for a 15-minute rest for the legs. On nice afternoons, it’s the quintessential ski area parking lot après scene—lawn chairs, barbecues, beers, etc. If Smuggs wants to stick with its fixed-grip program, its many fans are fine with it. The powder has long since been skied out, but the snowpack is still deep, dry, and chalky—highly unusual in Vermont this time of year, when freeze- thaw cycles are the norm. And they’re also some of the best skiers you’ll see anywhere, their mettle tested by unabiding terrain, their Zen enhanced by long reflective lift rides, their wallets a little fatter thanks to decent prices. New for the 2020/21 season, Epic Coverage is included FREE for all pass holders, and provides refunds associated with certain personal events, including illness, job loss, and injury. And thriftier. Classic Madonna. - See 356 traveler reviews, 147 candid photos, and great deals for Stowe, VT, at Tripadvisor. I needed a day for laundry. The great room, comprising kitchen and living area, lives up to its name. We eat one of those huge breakfasts you only eat in ski-vacation condos. For them, that makes Smuggs a no-go from the start. The fixed-grip lifts, while keeping the trails uncrowded, can sometimes mean long liftlines at Smuggs. Smugglers' Notch Resort: Epic conditions and fun at Smuggs - See 491 traveler reviews, 231 candid photos, and great deals for Jeffersonville, VT, at Tripadvisor. Our unit has a big corner sun room that must be particularly nice on Vermont summer evenings. Club Wyndham Smugglers' Notch Vermont® Reserve Today: 877-476-8447 4323 Vermont Route 108 South Smugglers' Notch, VT 05464-9537 Mansfield. Again, I can see why Smuggs skiers will put the quality of their tree-skiing terrain up against Stowe or Mad River any day. At the bottom there’s a short skis-off schlep back up into Lot 1, but it’s quick and easy. To get to the Bowls, you ride the Sterling lift, striking out from the summit like you’re headed for Sterling Pond and Stowe, but taking a right. In some cases, ski resorts may be part of a multi-mountain ski pass, which will be indicated when those prices are displayed. Find out why. Smuggler's Notch, Vermont's most dramatic road, passes through picturesque forests and bold rock outcroppings, the state's most famous resort village, and over a â¦ (Somehow it usually escapes the Toughest Trails lists—Smuggs getting underrated as usual—though its neighbor, the triple-black Black Hole, just out of sight from your chairlift view on skier’s right, sometimes gets a nod.). Smugglers' Notch pulls out all the stops for families. … That’s really good.”. Spring reasserts itself, and snowmelt at last begins to drip from the eaves under strong bright sun. It is because of this snake-like feature that trucks are not allowed on the road. It’s not slopeside—fine since we’ll be commuting up to Lot 1 as usual anyway—but it’s huge and perfectly situated for a great view of the mountain, especially from our top floor unit. If we didn’t scar them for life, we sure made them tougher. We traverse all the way out to the end, ski a short shot that comes down onto the dormant Visitors’ Center, high up in the notch, then ski the road down to Lot 1. Want to get great articles like this in print? Smuggs offers four season family vacation experiences unlike any other! I love that the place is so popular with families. Not here at feisty, quirky, proudly individualistic Smugglersâ Notch. REFUNDS: Epic Coverage provides refunds for COVID-19 related closures, injury, job loss, and more. Not yet. Stowe’s Mt. The sign points the way to Smuggs through quaint Jeffersonville. I confess I’ve never, ever skied there. To me, it’s the craggy slopes of Madonna, the bushwhacking off-piste of the Bowls, and the whole vibe of Lot 1 that shapes the true culture at Smuggs. These products must be purchased at the Ski & Ride Desk or at one of our lift ticket windows. Plan your next season with the new Epic Coverage. Vermont's quintessential ski town has comfortably settled into life as an epic destination. Smugglersâ Notch Resort is your playground for all types of adventure and fun for all ages. Doesn’t even own boots. The base village, for instance, is perfectly serviced by the very mellow Morse Mountain trails. A ski area that’s all tree skiing. Bootleggers, in the Village Lodge, is for sports fanatics. “Everyone always asks me about the rumors,” says longtime Smuggs owner Bill Stritzler, “and I always say I’m last to know.”, Joking aside, Stritzler admits the topic has come up, in “very informal discussions” during the course of normal interactions with his industry colleagues next door. It’s those exuberant Out of Control Ski Clubbers again. They’re a little more easygoing and down-to-earth than the average resort skier. When Bubba and I get back the lifts are closed but Lot 1 is in fine spring-Saturday tailgate form. One section is particularly difficult to navigate, even for passenger vehicles. Season Passes are no longer available for the 2020/21 season. But in between the friendly slopes of Morse and Sterling—in between those two distinct zones of sensible, homogeneous mellowness—lies fearsome Madonna Mountain, the true heart of Smuggs, and as tough a test as any ski mountain in the East. It’d be easy to forget you were at Smuggs if it weren’t for that great view of the slopes. So, of all the places the Epic worksâand they are almost countless now, including, of course, that neighboring resort just over there on the other side of the Notchâit doesnât work here. Even in stupid rental gear. There are Smuggs regulars who ski almost nothing but the Bowls all day, and prodigious amounts of clandestine labor have gone into improving the skiing in there. And now I think they’re a little preoccupied with other stuff over there.”, More from the East: Resorts of the 2019 - Awards in the East, Part of what fuels the Vail-Smuggs speculation is that Stritzler is well past the age when most guys think about retiring. You can find former SKI Mag editor and longtime Vermonter Joe Cutts in the Birthday Bowls this season—now that he knows his way around. The bumps of the upper mountain tumble out onto sweet wide cruisers near the bottom, where the snow and the pitch are perfect for zoomy arcs. But today the snow is too good, the weather too perfect, and I particularly want to chase Bubba around and find out where the good stuff is. They probably said the same thing at Kirkwood, but it’s hard to imagine Smuggs as yet another property in the Vail portfolio. Joe has to take an important business call, but the rest of us lounge around, sipping good coffee, enjoying our last hours of lavish condo life before hitting the slopes and then heading home. Now thereâs another one: world-famous beers. I’ve picked my way down it a few times in spring conditions, but I can only believe the stories of how amazing it is when 15 inches makes it chargeable. Don't let this mellow run fool you: Sterling Mountain boosts mostly blues and blacks spilling from it's 3,040-foot summit. When we arrive on Friday evening it’s cold out, but our timing is nevertheless excellent. Gnarly, wind-blasted, deeply bumped, super-steep trails like Doc’s and FIS and Freefall and Black Hole. It also expands coverage to protect you from certain resort closures, such as any due to COVID-19. Check it out: Best of the East 2019 - Smugglers' Notch. A sampling of the local flavor on tap in Jeffersonville, Smugglers' hometown village that sits under the watchful eye of Mt. The Epic Day Pass allows guests to customize their pass, choosing exactly the number of days they want, from one day to seven days, and whether or not to add holiday access. Every year, a trucker gets stuck here. At the end of your leisurely Madonna 1 lift ride, you get what is easily one of the best summit views in Eastern skiing. Despite the long car ride, a good hour farther for metropolitan skiers than even Sugarbush or Stowe, there are skiing families who don’t want to be anywhere except Smuggs. The Green Mountains unveil a spectacular vista of sugar maple, beech and yellow birch laden forests that transform into a sunset of colors in autumn. Fixed-grip chairs seem to elicit a visceral, negative response from a lot of skiers. They love the instructors, the après games, the cute, mute Mascots (Mogul Mouse and Billy Bob Bear), cozy slopeside condos, swimming pools, and age-appropriate play zones for tots to teens. And when my team here says, ‘Bill, we love you, but you’re not doing any good around here anymore,’ that’s the day I’ll retire.”. Pass/Badges Purchase after Halloween; Season Pass: Child 5 & under*+ (*lift access only) FREE: Youth (ages 6-12) $369: Youth (ages 13-18) $389: Adult (ages 19-26) $409: Adult (ages 27-34) $639: Adult (ages 35-69) $689: College (ages 18 & older) $309: Family Pass (Minimum 1 adult and 1 youth) Adult (age 19-69) $629: Bash Badge and Bash Badge Plus: Bash Badge Youth (ages 6-18) $119 Everyone loves our condo in the new North Hill Community. Epic Coverage is free with all pass products and provides a refund if you have an eligible injury, job loss, or experience other personal events that prevent you from using your pass. Later, Mary will compliment me on my crowd management skills. Smugglersâ Notch Resort: When it comes to delivering a kid-friendly vacation, the littlest things often yield the biggest memories. Meanwhile, Smuggs is very likely to remain a fixed-grip, families-first, keep-it-real kind of place. When I get there the party is in full swing. Forgot a layer? You simply place the card in a pocket and when you are near one of the RFID enabled gates it will automatically open, as long as your card is loaded with the valid access product for that lift, pool, facility or family activity. Venture on SR 108 through Stowe, Vt., a quintessential New England town and ski area, and Smugglers' Notch, a narrow pass with hairpin turns, giant boulders and steep cliffs. The traverse spools out along the ridgeline deep into the Notch, with numerous shots dropping off it, all leading down some 1,000 to 1,500 vertical feet to the closed-in-winter Notch Road, which funnels down into an easy glide to Lot 1. The Skiing. Smugglers' Notch Resort 9 months ago Despite warm conditions most open trails were good to go but as day progressed too many soft spots to catch an edge on.still had a good half day with some nice blues and blacks avoided the moguls and glades. Access your exclusive Epic Pass holder savings, including 20% off food, lodging, lessons, rentals, and more with Epic Mountain Rewards Create Account. In nearby Jeffersonville, fill up on comfort food such as buttermilk fried chicken and maple pork chops at the Family Table. The max and min adult Smugglers Notch lift pass prices range from $252 to $390 for 6 days of access to the Smugglers Notch ski lift system. We sent our crackerjack reporter in to investigateâand, more importantly ski his favorite steep Eastern lines in his spare time. Especially if it weeds out the fancy people and keeps the price of a lift ticket affordable (and Smuggs is loved, particularly among day-tripping locals, for the value of its Bash Badge discount program). The sun shines through a low layer of silvery mist, and a few sparkly flakes float down persistently throughout the morning—a perfect Vermont snow-globe kind of day. The famous Smugglers Notch is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. To be sure, there are plenty of the novice trails you’d expect at a place famously beloved by families. Simply choose your start and end dates, # of adults and children and click Create A Quote in the Trip Quote box above! Not here at feisty, quirky, proudly individualistic Smugglers’ Notch. The top of Madonna Mountain is oh-so Vermont, especially with Mt. The name Smugglersâ Notchâalso the moniker bestowed to a nearby mountain passâis attributed to the War of 1812 when the fledgling American government, at war with Great Britain, enacted an embargo against British goods. And it’s a world apart from the tidy family-vacation scene over at Morse. Additional day rates only apply to consecutive multi-day tickets purchased on the first day. From the January/February 2019 Double Issue of SKI Magazine. We all know that conglomerates happen these days, and that it’s useless to whine about them, but being indie-owned gives Smuggs a sense of place, a quirky culture of its own, that’s harder to find these days. The Epic Day Pass is a non-refundable season pass product offered in advance of the season that provides a discount of up to 50% off of lift ticket window prices. Vermont Route 108, better known as Smugglers' Notch, was temporarily closed Thursday as crews worked to remove a tractor-trailer. Today the wait never stretches past 10 minutes or so, and it’s a happy crowd. If you don’t agree, they don’t really care. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Like most locals, I zoom past Morse and the base village on my way to Lot 1. A full price list for the ? In fact, the magnificent Liftline will probably be closed as you glide above it. It’s near the end of that magical two-week stretch near the close of last winter when a couple of nice, juicy snowstorms were followed by a couple weeks of midwinter temps. In search of earned turns on the lower slopes of Morse Mountain. There’s a big crew of young out-of-staters celebrating someone’s birthday at Brewski, down the mountain road a ways. Smugglers' uses hands-free RFID technology at all of our mountain lifts. … That too. Located in Lamoille County, Smugglersâ Notch is a mountain pass in Vermont with some sharp twist and turns. The real genius of Smuggs may be how perfectly segregated its two worlds are. “You never say ‘never,’ but the only reason there’s even been informal discussion is that they own Stowe, and when you’ve got a new neighbor you sit down and chat.”, Besides, he says, “We love our independence here, and if you’re a bit of a control freak, it’s kind of hard to give that up.”, Stritzler says he’s always been a proponent of some sort of Stowe-Smuggs interconnection, and sees it as a win for both resorts. Presently, natural selection occurs, and the faster skiers suddenly find themselves separated from the slower ones, who must have missed a turn or something. Smuggs was always a tough track, with a nasty pitch right out of the start. Hearth and Candle, in the base village , is a favorite for its refined comfort food, cozy ambience, and live entertainment on select evenings. The Notch Card is a RFID card that will replace our traditional paper lift ticket, season pass, badge or SmuggsPass ticket. We sent our writer to compete in Killingtonâs legendary Bud Light Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge competition last spring. (More about Lot 1 in a minute.) Conditions are good, but the moguls are truly huge and intimidating, with backbreaking troughs, and the steepness leaves no room for error or pussyfooting. As is typical at Smuggs, we run into more friends, first Brian and Linda, then Justin and Bubba. But what gets me most excited about a trip to Smuggs—what really impresses me about the place and is so often overlooked—is the one thing no ski area can fake: terrain. When you get home and your ski boots are all muddy, you know you had a good time. Surely, say the wags, it’s only a matter of time until Vail Resorts makes that a reality. And then, of course, there’s the Bowls—the hallowed Birthday Bowls, known to some as just the Back Bowls. PASS HOLDER RESERVATIONS: Reservations are required for the 2020/21 season. So while we await an official announcement, let me infect you with my enthusiasm for Smugglers’ Notch. Much has changed over the years at Southern Vermontâs Stratton Mountain, but one very important thing has stayed the same: Itâs still an excellent place to escape the city living. Smugglersâ Notch Resort is not an Ikon or Epic Pass destination, but if you plan to ski here more than once in the season, consider investing in a Bash Badge, which will allow you to purchase daily lift tickets for $30 all season long. The group grows, abilities vary, and conditions are just getting better as the day wears on. It’s a gnarly traverse, and I’m a little preoccupied with survival, but Bubba just rockets ahead, waving his downhill pole at all the skiable shots. 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