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Ski Resort Life

Resort Guide 2013: #3 Smugglers' Notch

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It says a lot that you can be the No. 3 resort in the East and not have a single high-speed lift. But surging Smuggs, with a deft combo of peerless family-friendliness and legit expert terrain, proves there’s more to life than fancy infrastructure. Again it’s No. 1 with families, who love its good programs, cozy slopeside lodging, gentle terrain, and No. 5–ranked Value. But as anyone who has ridden the Madonna chair can attest, Smuggs has teeth too (No. 4 in Terrain Variety, No.6 in Challenge). No. 2 for Weather? Think stealth powder squalls, not bluebird skies. Throw in the wintry back-side-of- Mansfield scenery (No. 4), and it’s irresistible for nostalgic, soulful skiers who know slow lifts mean uncrowded trails. “No glitz, just skiing!” 

Don’t Miss >> Live music, decent barbecue, and Olympic memorabilia rock The Rack.

Bragging Rights >> Commit to Misery Whip, a take- no-prisoners natural bump run down a no-exit T-bar line.

Family Experience >> Book climbing-wall and trampoline time at the antigravity Complex, the antidote to “But we’re not tired.”