Sterling – Smugglers’ Notch, VT

The Sterling lift comes very close to Stowe Mountain Resort even though it is an hour drive between the two mountains in winter.
View up at tower 6.
The first few towers.
Unload ramp up top.
The famous Long Trail which cuts across Vermont also travels right through the top terminal.
Top operator house.
View down from the summit.
Another angle down the line.
Top bullwheel and long tension carriage.
And a big counterweight.
There is a rare additional tower after where skiers get off.
Bottom station overview.
The lift line seen from T4.

12 thoughts on “Sterling – Smugglers’ Notch, VT

  1. Northeast Chairlifts January 31, 2019 / 10:57 am

    from the day I visited/filmed

    speed: 510 fpm
    ride time: 10:50
    towers: 29
    chairs: 190


  2. Benjamin Edwards February 3, 2020 / 7:30 pm

    I really dislike Smuggs, its not my cup of tea, but of all the lifts, this is my favorite.


  3. VTONNY January 25, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    Hardest-working double in the Northeast. And yes, you used to be able to fairly easy go back and forth to Spruce Peak at Stowe using the traverse over the Sterling Pond. The lifties would let you do a couple runs and then send you back. Those days of cooperation are long gone due to the frostiness of Stowe management.


    • Denis McLane March 10, 2022 / 4:48 pm

      Way back when the area was called Madonna you could buy a single trip ride for Big Spruce, ski over to Madonna and buy a discount ticket for IBMers there. Just don’t miss the last ride up


  4. tlthemusical January 28, 2021 / 10:51 am

    The cliff is kinda scary (The pic isn’t here)


  5. May 29, 2021 / 8:23 pm

    You are absolutely right about the proximity to Spruce Peak at Stowe. There are two trails connecting the two areas (one to Spruce Peak, and one back to Sterling), and assuming you’ve got a pass for both areas, you can ride Sterling, cut across to Stowe, and ski, and then come back at the end.

    Also on a separate note, this is an awesome lift. In summer, you can enter the lift shack, and climb the return cage for views and a overview of the terminal. The Long Trail does indeed pass below it and several feet below there are massive anchors for tension and support cables.


  6. Carson May 29, 2021 / 8:37 pm

    A awsome vault drive hall


  7. Donald Reif November 2, 2021 / 6:09 pm

    In a straight line, it’s about 2,900 feet from the top of Sensation (Stowe) to the top of Sterling.


  8. BB17 March 5, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    This lift has 29 towers, not 19 as listed on the spreadsheet.


  9. Ryan March 11, 2022 / 2:17 am

    Whats with all the bricks on the counterweight? –


  10. BB17 July 12, 2022 / 3:40 pm

    An interesting thing about this lift is that it exclusively uses 4-sheave assemblies on all the towers. This also means that this is a rare example of a lift in which every tower has the same amount of sheaves on both the uphill and downhill sides.


    • Aidan Reilly July 14, 2022 / 11:05 pm

      The Gondola at Winter Park also has the same number of sheaves on each side. Towers 1 and 2 recently got catwalks to make it easier to access those large sheave assembly’s.


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