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Catamount Terrible For Skiing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I had skiied at this mountain a few times with my family. Then bought a season's pass. What a mistake. The main lift is broken more than in operates; it was broken for 7 days straight this year; then broke down a week later.  They seem to have a 'lets open when we want to' attitude during the week and they do not update there website until like 8:45 when someone get there. They don't realize some people leave home at 6 AM to go skiing; and let me tell you, they don't seem to understand you anger when you drive all that way and they are closed. And the excused....snow lightening.....not enough people were coming for night skiing, so we did decided to cancel mid-week.....um excuse me....perhaps you should put that on your flyier.

Most food is fair at best at ski places; but we got dsome chicken fingers at 3 PM that might dog wouldn't eatl they were like rocks. The hot chochlate machine almost never is in service. Not sure why they can't heat up a few cups in the microwave.

The logde is just depressing with the decor or a high school caferia and plexiglass windows.

There are no change rooms; the bathroom has 3 stalls, all of which get trashed by 10AM, so be ready to do an old dutchman off in the woods if you have to take dump.


And there is the reason we went; the skiing.

The grooming is substandard. They seem to groom only for the weekend, and if weather has not been great, even that is not for certain.  Catapault is a great expert trail; but unless you are there the first 2 hours after it snows it is shear ice. Other than that the mountain is essentially intermidaite terrain. I never saw them make snow for the half pipe once after it was set up, so it was more like a luge.

And the lifts are Soooo slow. The only good thing about that is the trails are not crowded; but it makes for very few runs per day when you have to wait in a long line, then sit on a chair that take 10 minutes to get up 1000 foot elev.

The night skiing, is basically one intermediate trail (socalled expert) and 4 beginer/advanced.


Go to Jiminy (slightly more $) or Butternutt (same price, much better run) if you want to ski ; or make the trek to VT.


post #2 of 10

Welcome Solar.  Thank you for sharing.popcorn.gif

post #3 of 10

Maybe Alpinezone.com would appreciate the rant.







Maybe not.

post #4 of 10

I appreciate the rant/information. I like to ski little areas when I travel and had planned a stop in that general area and am glad to know that much of Catamount may be a problem because of the lifts. I looked up Butternut earlier in the winter.


Anytime I get edible food at a ski area, it is a surprise.

post #5 of 10

Butternut has always been a very well-run, albeit very easy ski area.  Catamount has generally been under-capitalized.  I too like smaller ski areas for a break from the mascara....

post #6 of 10

I actually really like Catamount, specifically for a reason that to you (OP) is a negative: The lack of grooming.


It's really hard to find small, budge oriented mountains that have the courage to skimp on grooming.  I've found Catamount to be a good place for moguls on a budget.  When I was at UMass I skied there a bunch for that reason.


The rest of your criticisms are accurate, IMO.

post #7 of 10

No one wants to hear it Solar. Especially me - Catamount was my home mountain from when I was about the age of 6 to 12 years old. I love Catamount. People may hate it, but don't go ranting on an internet forum you're not part of and hating on a mountain, especially  my home mountain. Catamount is a great low-key, family area. Best bumps in the Berkshires perhaps, some big kickers in the park, and has some of the most fun runs I've skied (I love bombing Alley Cat, Sidewinder, Glade - that trio is great). I enjoy the food there, albeit expensive, but tastes pretty good with an average choice selection. Sure, the lifts are slow, but that's part of the atmosphere. Also notice how it's pretty uncrowded there on the trails which is great. If you're complaining about 10 minute lines at catamount, you will face even worse lift lines at Jiminy and Butternut at that same time (both are usually more crowded). Not to mention, it's got the steepest run in the Berkshires in Catapult, which is a pretty darn steep run out East. And don't give me Jericho at Jiminy is steeper, because it's not.  It is perhaps the best ski area to learn at in the Berkshires, with a good 30+% of the mountain (the left side) devoted to long twisting and wide beginner and intermediate runs. Catamount has a little of something for everyone. But - what it does lack is in grooming and snowmaking, but thats also just another part of its laid back awesome atmosphere and I'll easily let it pass. Once again, I love Catamount.

post #8 of 10

We learnt to ski at Cat, and kid is on the race team.

So some highlights:

BIG POSITIVE: Ski school at Cat for kids as good if not better than any ski school I have seen, at least when mine learnt there.

SLIGHT NEGATIVE: And last year, Cat got a pretty crowded with the snow, the marketing and so on, which is ok, after all it is a business enterprise, not a charity. But the crowds got serious on the quad as the day wore on, so the glade chair was the way to go, but then no catapult skiing (avoiding the hike or cross-trail).

BIG POSITIVE VOTE FROM CONSUMERS: It has it's own character and to give you an idea of it's popularity, the J6 program for ski racing, also called interclub, had in general this year across 6 mountains, 325 odd racers competing I think when full participation occurred, and of which, you will not believe it, there were 96 from Catamount!

SLIGHT NEGATIVE: Now note, mountain management for some reason are not entirely supportive of the race program, don't know why since that's a ton of season passes and in a year like this one, those families, friends, racers spent their time and dime on the mountain !

POSITIVE: And to give management some credit, given that there was no snow to speak of, we enjoyed skiing at the Cat, and even this past weekend was nice! They have done a tremendous job keeping trails open and managing it so we have had a great season with NO natural snow to speak of. 

NEGATIVE: bathrooms are in bad shape, get in, don't look down, get out ! Ok, a bit of stretch but you get the picture. 

BIG POSITIVE: Lifties are the best I have ever seen, considerate, cheerful, and take care of kids better than anywhere else I have experienced, so that is more important than almost anything else.

POSITIVE: Terrain is fun, and Skiking is on target, and he know, has been mapping these mountains with great precision for a long time. 


So on the whole, OP's complaints are fair, quad chair was busted a few times this season, and it's funny to see how dated the technology is,  facilities are from the 1940's. But if you read the positives I have noted, that makes for a great family mountain, and the race program is a testament to its popularity. Hey they groomed well this season, that is one unfair observation by OP, and he is permitted to sound off, complaints make management wake up, but the grooming, was diligent, expensive with all that snow they had to make, and well worth it for all of us who skied there!




post #9 of 10

Solar Skier should be banned.  He comes on Epic and dumps his garbage and leaves.  Ban him and get rid of this thread.

post #10 of 10

I learned to ski at Catamount 38 years ago.

I did race training at Catamonut

My kids learned to ski there.

My kids school ski there every Friday afternoon and early evening.

It was a great family and community bonding experience for us.

Yes it is a little area, and they will close mid week especially if it is raining.   Really, if you are a season pass holder (you probably got the $199 end of year special) then you should quickly have the smarts to call.   It takes a lot of electricity to light the area and run the lifts if they are going to be 99% empty.   I want the place to stay in business not close like so many small areas did in the 80's, so using smart management practice is OK by me.     They make enough snow to get the place open and then don't waste a ton of energy trying to stay open until June like some big name resorts will.


It's a great local resort and offers us a lot of value. 

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