Mount Greylock Ski Club is a small members-only ski area located on the flank of the tallest mountain in Massachusetts. Established in the 1930s, the club has no electricity, plumbing or telephone.
It also has no snowmaking and no chairlifts and two rope tows. In most meaningful ways it’s no different then when it was established during the Great Depression. I learned of the place a few years ago though NELSAP, the New England Lost Ski Area Project. I was surprised that the rustic little place had escaped my attention because I learned to ski just a few miles away.
Once I learned about Mount Greylock, I knew I would have to check it out. Recently I sent an email, to see if I could set up a visit.
I started skiing at Catamount because they had two magic carpet lifts. It may seem like a small thing, but when you’re trying to get two brand new skiers up to speed it really helps.
Back then the quality of a mountain’s ski school and beginner lifts were just as important to me as it’s vertical and it’s snowmaking capacity. I tried out a number of different small and medium sized hills before I found Catamount.
Catamount exists in what I now think of as the sweet spot for family skiing. It’s two hours from New York City, has a thousand feet of vertical, a world class kids’ ski program and terrain for all levels.
Recently I googled “Jiminy Peak 1989.” I found an E-bay listing for an old booklet celebrating Jiminy Peak’s 40th anniversary, which turned out to be the 1988/89 season. I had to have it.
I was 17 in February 1989. The day after a school dance my friends thought it would be fun to drive to Jiminy for some skiing. Most of us had never skied but we were fit and confident.
We schlepped our cooler full of food to the lodge, rented skis, bought lift tickets and headed out. In hindsight it might have been smart to take a lesson. I fell twice just getting my boots into my bindings. I figured out how to brace myself on my poles and got through the lift line on pure high-school-senior upper body strength.