One of only three ski areas to straddle two states (Heavenly Valley, CA and NV and Lookout Pass, ID and MT, being the others), Catamount lies in both Hillsdale, NY and South Ergemont, MA. Technically part of the part Taconic Range, Catamount is one of the oldest ski areas in the country, with its’ beginnings dating back to 1939.
The terrain is varied and good for all abilities although expert trails are somewhat limited. However, the mountain claims its’ Catapult trail is the steepest in the Berkshires. It sits under the fixed grip Summit Quad and is a legitimate expert trail by any standard. Complimenting Catapult are the Upper and Lower Glade and Upper and Lower Alley Cat trails. These single black trails undulate and have double fall lines in places that make for fun and interesting skiing.
The Catamount Chair, an SLI center pole double, sits in front of the main Berkshire Lodge and serves a number of nicely pitched intermediate trails as well as the terrain park. A second soft walled, temporary building, almost like a permanent tent, dubbed the Taconic Lodge, serves as the mountain’s 2nd or overflow lodge. It is located on the NYS side by the Summit Quad and is fully heated, with bathrooms and some limited food service options.
West of the main base lodge, on the MA side, is Catamount’s beginner slope, serviced by a Magic Carpet lift. Beyond that is the Meadows Triple chair, which serves a pod of novice and easy intermediate trails, such as Upper Promenade, Mountain View, Holiday and Esplanade. Catamount is park friendly. The Junior Jib Park, Halfpipe and the Skier/Bordercross course are all off of the Meadows chair. The main Terrain Park is off of the Catamount Double chair.
The current owners/management team have a long history in the ski business. In addition to owning and operating Catamount for over 40 years, they previously managed three other NYS ski areas. In the 1960’s they developed Sterling Forest ski area (now Tuxedo Ridge). Prior to that, they also managed Fahnstock, a small ski area that was located in the NYS park of the same name and leased land from NYS to develop and open the Silvermine Ski area, which was located in Harriman State Park. Catamount’s Bill Gilbert created and marketed the first fan snowmaking guns. The company he founded, SMI, continues to be a leader in airless snow gun manufacturing.
One of the closest 1000′ vertical ski areas to New York City, Catamount can get busy on weekends. The Meadows Triple, a slower fixed grip lift, can develop a decent lift line on busy days. However, there is rarely ever a lift line to the summit. If the Summit Quad develops a line, management will spin The Glades Double Chair, which serves almost every trail off of the summit.
Catamount is a nice, friendly, family mountain with a rich history in the scenic Berkshire mountains. The terrain is more interesting and varied than other ski areas in the vicinity and is definitely well worth taking the time to explore.
Catamount Trail Map
Catamount Ski Area Stats
|Base Elevation||1,000 feet|
|Summit Elevation||2,000 feet|
|Vertical Drop||1,000 feet|
|Longest Run||10,560 feet|
|Skiable Area||119 acres|
|Uphill Capacity||5,200 / hour|
|Annual Snowfall||75 inches|