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Smuggs Adventure 3/9-22/06


New member
Nov 12, 2005
Essex, Vermont
Alright, here is the trip report from the greatest vacation of my life.

So as some of you might now, I got hired temporaraly at Smugglers Notch during their busy season to help work their camp program. I'm going to break it down day by day, from the moment I left my apartment.

Thurs 3/9 - I packed and departed binghamton for Long Island, I hate that drive

Friday 3/10 - After dropping my dog off on Long Island, I departed for Jeffersonville Vt at 2PM. After hitting massive traffic several times in Ct., I find myself taking a wrong turn and wind up in Stowe Vt. With 1hr to my check in time, I have to travel 45 minutes around the notch because map quest forgot to say that the notch section of 108 is closed in the winter. I arrive just in time at the Employee housing dorms (The Highlander Inn), but not before some pizza place in Stowe Hooks me up with some free food because they feel bad for me. (I ordered with intent to pay...ski industry people really stick togehter up there). I meet my roomate, Greg, who is the first level 3 snowboarder i've ever met, he is another temp hire from Swain Ski School. Talk about knowledgable, we talked all night about our experiences in the industry.

Saturday 3/11 - now friends, me and greg stop at Snow Sports University (SSU) to pick up our lift tickets. We head out, the mountain was depressing, more green then white, but the sun was awesome too. I found this awesome trail though under the Sterling Lift. Reminded me a lot of hunter west. It was like a terrain park for skiiers who don't like to jump. Moguls, drop offs, rocks and ice. It was sooooo much fun. We finish the day exploring the terrain on Morse where we would be teaching. We won't admit it, but the slush on the blacks tired us out enough to go to green. Later in the day we meet more of the temp staff back at the highlander. Moments later i finish off a bottle of wine and a 6 pack.

Sunday 3/12 - Training with PSIA BOD region 2 rep Sherm White. Jim G really needs to meet this guy, he is the only other level 3 skiier I know who uses twin tips. Sherm gives us a tour of the best trails to teach on and a brief overview of. Of course I know our ablilities was being analyzed, and I honestly felt like I had 2 left feet that day. Apperently me on a bad day makes most other people on a good day look like beginners. See wednesday for that one (this is not my ego...that is someone else's words). It started to rain, we cut back to moorse and went over payment. That night I checked out the pool and hot tub with some of the international girls (yeah libido!!!!)

Monday 3/13 - First day of work. I'm insulted I recieve beginners but the reasons why become apperent tomorrow. It starts raining at lunch. SPeaking of lunch, talk about crazy!!!!! It really took some getting used to to feed 10+ starving kids and yourself halfway through a day of skiing. I met some more local girls during lunch(go drew!!!!). After lunch only 2 of my kids decided to stay out, I went with them, the other stayed inside. These two troopers cory and lacey both happen to be from texas. no they never met before. Both of them were natural skiiers and were really getting the hang of it. When I can really teach someone how to ski, is truly a great day. I was soooo thrilled when I got to tell their parents about their progress. I think I drank again that night.

Tuesday 3/14 - So the reason I got the beginners is because I was working solo. The day starts with 14 kids to myself. Another instructor relieves me and I get to hand pick 7 kids from the origenal 14 to move on to the next level with me. I am still the only temp hire entrusted to work alone other then greg with the boarders. By the end of my day, I know my kids and we are skiing mid station on morse (none of these kids ever skiied before) my group is:
Jackie - she's the timid and very polite canadien. Great natural ability, she was my assistant as the second oldest. catch phrase "pardon drew, may I please use the washroom" I love canadian ettiquette, us americans need to take a lesson from them.
Alex - the quiet one, she really surprised me a few days later
Molly - the youngin, she moved up with us because she understood the concepts, but her body was too immature to keep up all the time.
John - the oldest of three brothers. this kid is the next bode miller, all he wanted to do was go fast. Also a hockey player like his brothers.
Michael- the middle of three brothers, he is just as skilled but very timid and that hurts him on steeper stuff.
Matthew - the youngest brother, also the most skilled. Great technical skiier, fast too, but not as fast as john..
TJ - the group clown, he knew his stuff, but drove me crazy and kept colliding and falling. I think on purpose. Don't get me wrong, he's a great kid, every class needs a clown.
Lacey - you met lacey, my little texan. I love this girl, she was so cute. She does all my demos, but too young to give real responsibility to like jackie. More end of day drinking.

Wednesday 3/15 - the brothers arrive dressed improperly for the snow. After taking time to hook them up with some face gear we warm up on the mid station and post lunch we get two runs in at the top of morse. A lot of them fell on the first headwall, not because of skill, fear can be such a killer. I drop the kids off to meet their parents and sneak out to grab a powder run. After arriving at Madonna peak, I sneak off behind orange ropes and go knee deep down to the bottom. First tracks are awesome, even if ski patrol is looking for you now. On the way home me and another temp, Brian, hit the bar. There he tells me how on saturday he thought he was going to be the best skiier out of us, until he met me during training. Really talked me up, it felt good to know im going to walk through my level 2 exam next year. Now, remember, yeah a drank, but I was OK to drive, only had a few and waited before leaving. About 1 mile to the highlander, the car begins to spin out. After a few attempts to recover, I go into a lateral slide and go head on into a guard rail, bouncing off into a ditch, the same ditch where a snowboard instructor died in his car 4 weeks earlyer. Neither of us had seatbelts on (the driverside broke right before the trip). I get launched into the windscreen, it shatters, im unconcious. Brian breaks the rearview mirror with his head and the center consol with his knee. The car is wrecked one fog light left to drive in pitch dark. Brian wakes me up somehow and we amazingly push the car out of the ditch. Pulling into the highlander, I notice the windscreen and brian tells me that I was out of it for a bit. That night wasn't to good, really sick, no one would let me sleep, kept making me drink water and take asprin (for blood thinning). I know why now, but it really pissed me off when the head injury made me just want to sleep.

Thursday 3/16 - im a train wreck. staff meeting early in the morning, my kids make me feel better. I teach jackie how to use the patrol radio I keep in my pocket incase I hit my head again. We are now skiing on more difficult terrain. The kids a skiing in the park, bumps, powder. They are truly an awesome bunch. Right before lunch, Alex starts skiing parellel through the whole turn. After seeing her, jackie and lacey are right behind. I'm soooo proud of them. My headache went away from joy. Those are the highlights of the day, most of it is a blur, remember, I probably should have been in a hospital bed. The threee brothers were done with their trip the day before, so they weren't with us today. We also had the "cookie race", behind my goggles there were tears. I really was going to miss these kids, today was everyone's last day but jackie. At the end of the day, I steal some free runs on the difficult terrains on the other peaks. Snow is still beatiful, especially in the trees, again I find myself on the other side of orange ropes.

Friday 3/17 - only jackie returns and I had to pass her up to a higher level. Something about cost to the mountain. I get a new group back down in the bunny hill. The group moves quick, but one kid is a behavior problem and it is unsafe to go up with him. At lunch he hits another kid and I finalyl have a good reason to call his parents and tell them he is no longer welcom in the camp (had plenty of reasons before, but none good enough to actually call). The rest of the day we have a blast at mid station. It was still snowing this day, so I again grab some time to myself at the end of the day.

Saturday 3/18 - I hitchhike to the mountain with my new friend (and soon to be roomate dan) and we tear it up all over madonna. Dan is a great snowboarder. Then we meet up with Taryn, and I ski with taryn on the blues while dan goes backcountry.

Sunday 3/19 - more hitchhiking, more skiing with dan. I really explore the mountain this day. It was fun and the fact that is hasn't stopped snowing since wed makes the conditions awesome. I even went into the real back country with some of the supervisors I bumped into on the upper mountain.

Monday 3/20 - I dont want to talk about the morning. i wound up with a group lesson of 19 kids. Lucky for me I had to leave and pick up my car. Drive back to mountain grab dan at SSU and drive over to the other mountain. On our first run we hit some heavy back country. Awesome cliff jump and then we come out near the park. We hit some jumps but on the second table top, dan takes a spill and breaks his arm. I stick with him, there will be plenty of skiing another time, but on my last day at smuggs, I got to stay with my friend. I take him home, start packing the car and get ready to go to the hospital. Someone else volunteers to drive dan to the hostpital so I can take my barley left of a car back to the highway in daylight.

Tuesday 3/21 - I arrive back on long island to pick up my dog. Take care of some business and depart.

Wednesday 3/22 - I arrive in binghamton.