Berkshire East: Another New Frontier

I got a third day on my Indy Pass last Saturday at Berkshire East in Massachusetts. It got me thinking: multi-resort passes are appealling to me for three reasons.

young skier

The economics are paramount, of course. The price, divided by the number of days you’re hoping to ski, is compared to the window price for all those days. For my Freedom Pass or Max Pass, I needed ten days of skiing to break even. For the Indy Pass, it’s five or six.

Second is skiing hills I know and love. That’s the hook. Last year, I had a Freedom Pass through my Plattekill season pass. The year before I had a Max Pass. I loved several of the Max Pass hills including Whiteface, Gore, Killington and Pico. Both passes felt like a safe purchase.

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Mount Greylock Ski Club

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.

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Catamount in the Sweet Spot

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.

Catamount's Catapult trail

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.

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