It’s time to stop referring to Smuggs as “underrated.” Everyone knows it’s the East’s original family-friendly resort, with activities, accommodations, and a genuine top-down desire to make parents’ lives easier. In the age of conglomerates and real estate investment trusts, everyone loves the fact that it’s still independently owned, reasonably priced, and locally controlled. And everyone knows it’s a place that doesn’t have a single high-speed lift. But no one gripes, and many prefer the leisurely, restful ride up knowing there’ll be fewer skiers on the trails. As for what might still be underrated, it’s the breadth and real-Vermont gnarliness of Smuggs’s expert terrain, from the rowdy steeps of Madonna to the innumerable tree shots of the out-of-bounds Birthday Bowls. Even terminal intermediates can brag that they’ve skied from the summit of fearsome Madonna. The Madonna 1 chair offers a sobering view of Smuggs’ expert terrain on the way up, one of the East’s best views from the top, and an easy way down on Chilcoot. Best of all, beginner and expert areas are so effectively sequestered from each other that everyone’s happy. Readers from both camps rave about Smugg’s authentic Vermont charm paired with amazing snow, minimal crowds and terrain for everyone.