Berkshire East was a new discovery for us this year. When we skied it in December we were favorably impressed so I knew we’d be back to use our second Indy Pass day there. With my Champlain Valley Ski Card (and Magic on the Indy Pass) blacked out for the holiday weekend, Saturday seemed like the appropriate time to return to The B’East!
Knowing there was night skiing available to us took some of the get-on-the-road-early pressure off so I slept in. We got to the hill by noon and jumped on the main lift. It was a pretty cold day and the snow was in great shape. I was happy to see snow guns running all over the hill, proof that The B’East is still fighting in spite of all the uncooperative weather this year.
There was a lot more terrain open then in December so we were able to explore lots of new territory, including Lower Liftline. I had hoped it would be bumped up but I guess that was too much to ask, considering the lack of natural snow. It was still a nice trail, on the narrower side, nice pitch. We came back to it repeatedly.
All but maybe one the lifts were running and I saw them clearing the snow off and running that one so I’m sure they would have put it into service if it was needed. We didn’t spend much time waiting on lines, never more then 3-4 minutes. A lot of our lift rides were ski-on, more or less. I’m sure this is in part because the bigger mountains pull a lot of the casual skiers who only get out on a couple holiday weekends a year but I don’t want to downplay the impact of Berkshire’s supreme competence as well. There were a ton of people there. They kept all the lifts running and the chairs full so the backups we see at a lot of mountains just didn’t happen. It seems like this place is just well run, plain an simple.
It was one of those days where we just got a ton of skiing in. We kept going well into the evening. We skied the cruisers and the steeps, trying to get to everything. The Polecats on Flying Cloud were puking tons of quality gun-pow so we kept returning there to ski the artificial storm. It was a good day.
It was cold enough that I returned to the car at one point to switch my fleece vest for a heavier jacket and swapped my normal gloves for warmer mittens. Eventually, after the lights came on and the crowds started to thin out, I started thinking about the three hour drive home. At some point I called it. Junior objected. He wanted to keep going. I overruled him and we headed back south, getting home pretty late at night.
The next day, I took a look at the trail map and realized there is still a corner of The B’East over on skiers’ right that we haven’t explored. It looks like there are some narrow twisters and some glades that might be fun. Between that and the couple of trails that still weren’t open, I guess I’ve got a pretty good reason to go back. Can’t wait.
I've only skied at B'East one day during early season. But could tell the folks running the place know what they are doing. I can see what some folks from Boston head west instead of north for weekend skiing.
Yeah, it seems like it may be the most competently fun little place I’ve ever seen. I met one of the Schafer family down at Catamount a couple visits ago and he really impressed me. They know what they’re doing.