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Berkshire East - 3/2/2008 Mini Gathering

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
After much prompting by SkiMangoJazz to come ski his home mountain, I hooked up with RISkier, Ice Queen and hrstrat57 for a bluebird day at Berkshire East.

I had never skied the B'East before. It's about 2 hours from my house so it's a little far for a quick morning run and I tend to head north into NH or VT if I'm looking at a longer drive.

Berkshire East is a classic, small New England ski area. No detachable quads, no Starbucks in the lodge, but some great skiing that belies the smaller stature of the mountain. The B'East compares in size to Wachusett, but has more varied and challenging terrain and far fewer crowds. Without 1,000 terminal intermediate skiers choking up the advanced terrain, the skiing was awesome and held up really well throughout the day.

Southern New England got hit with 6-8" of new snow on Friday/Saturday and conditions were exceptional. Packed powder on the groomers and some nice soft, natural bumps on many of the trails. A little icy on some of the steeper trails near the summit, but once you got down into the shelter of the trees even the steeper terrain held up well throughout the day.

Was great to hook up with some fellow Bears. While we had all skied together last year, we've never been able to make it work this year. As always, skiing with the Bears forces you to take your game up a notch and everyone brought their "A" game yesterday.

So .. Great conditions, great company, great weather + an awesome grilled chicken sandwich for lunch (thanks for the recco SMJ!) made for a perfect Sunday ski experience. We even got a great gaper photo

post #2 of 15
What a motley crew. It was great fun getting together with some SkiMangoJazz, OldEastern Skier, and hrstrat57 at the B'East. All are really great guys and they hardly ever talk about their eqipment. We picked a great day. After the Friday night/Saturday storm there was lots of soft snow to be found and not a cloud to be seen. Berkshire East doesn't have high speed lifts or a luxurious lodge. But it has very interesting terrain (I do think there is quite a bit more terrain than at Wachusett), short lift lines, uncrowded slopes, and a friendly, retro atmosphere. I'm hesitant to sing the praises of B'East. I'd like it to remain something of a secret. But it's really a gem. Though we hadn't really intended to stay till closing we jumped on one of the lifts for a last run. Not knowing the time we asked the liftie, it was 4:15. Time flies when you're having fun and the get together was just plain fun.
post #3 of 15
Thanks for the TR. I'd like to meet up with some of the locals some time.

I live ten minutes from Nashoba but have never skied at Wachusett or B'East. I tend to drive north, but it would be fun to meet some folks here.

--Lee
post #4 of 15
Starting wednesday of last week (when the B'East got a 'surprise 12 inches of snow), continuing to Saturday when we all awoke to another cold 8 inches of snow and even today (monday) as warmer temps kept everything pleasantly soft-the upper mountain is all moguls, I can't remember a better five day stretch of skiing at Berkshire east.

Saturday morning (some of us camped out the night before in the top lodge) was just epic-getting 3-4 runs in before the lifts were open to the public and then skiing lines in the woods that we had only imagined skiing (I can't believe how epic the coverage is this year)-making multiple turns in thigh deep (not an exaggeration) snow deep in the trees on secret runs the old-timers talk about-just about as good as it gets this far south. I was going to post up and tell all locals that they should make there best efforts to get to the B'East before tomorrow's impending rain and see just how great southern New England can be.

Glad to see that SMJ brought a few more bears to the little hill that could.
post #5 of 15

Berkshire East

Much prompting from SMJ?

Dude wouldn't leave us alone about it.

I kept saying:

-too far to drive for 1200 vertical
-too much to do to spend a whole day skiing at a little place when I can just hop up to wa
-too busy, gotta play golf...
blah, blah etc

Verdict...??

I was flat out wrong.

The beast is nice and I look forward to going back. This day requires many, many "do overs".

Nice consistent pitch on all the trails regardless of difficulty(no ridiculously long runouts like Wachusett) Lots of double fall lines, twisting, winding classic NE terrain, just a flat out joy of a little place that skis big. Most folks in line were complaining it was too busy!! Wow, these folks got it good.

Good challenge in spots, delivers the goods anyway you want it....a great mountain that will make you a better skier. The place just has a sweet vibe about it....reminds me of a king sized King Pine.

I observe a lot when I ski a new mountain and I noticed some interesting things about Berkshire East. Let me share....

Ski Patrol...all ripping skiers....I mean really solid. I was very impressed.

Ski School...same thing, I didn't see any hackers. In fact I saw quite a few jackets who were legit Level 9 regarding personal skiing. Tho there is a place for lower skilled skiers in every ski school, I just didn't see any. All the ski school classes were well organized and controlled and lessons were conducted on appropriate terrain. Trust me, despite the fact that SMJ and his s.o. are on staff I make these comments with no attachments. Unlike at wa, where classes can really tend to intrude on your experience you didn't even notice these folks were out there. I was very impressed and in this particular area I don't give praise very easily.

So I echo all of oldeastenskier's remarks and add one more....

This is the type of mountain all bears should support. We need places like this.

Pure.

Support your local beast....Route 2 Charlemont, Ma look to the left, can't miss it.

Do it.

- - - -
I got a gaper pic on my camera too...

In it I am saying "I wish these bears would just shaddap and ski" They yap so much I had to cover my ears

You'll also notice too that OES stole my new Head i supershapes.....maybe I'll post a review tonight...I was really impressed with his new Fischers, they ski just like RX8's only supercharged...highly recommended!!

:
525x525px-LL-vbattach2885.jpg
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier View Post
What a motley crew. It was great fun getting together with some SkiMangoJazz, OldEastern Skier, and hrstrat57 at the B'East. All are really great guys and they hardly ever talk about their eqipment. We picked a great day. After the Friday night/Saturday storm there was lots of soft snow to be found and not a cloud to be seen. Berkshire East doesn't have high speed lifts or a luxurious lodge. But it has very interesting terrain (I do think there is quite a bit more terrain than at Wachusett), short lift lines, uncrowded slopes, and a friendly, retro atmosphere. I'm hesitant to sing the praises of B'East. I'd like it to remain something of a secret. But it's really a gem. Though we hadn't really intended to stay till closing we jumped on one of the lifts for a last run. Not knowing the time we asked the liftie, it was 4:15. Time flies when you're having fun and the get together was just plain fun.
Could be wrong but,

methinks I am sniffing out ice queen driving up riskier's post count again.....

I would have liked to have ski'd 'till closing with you guys....but I had to get home and put my secret formula hotwax job on the new skis before I went to bed.

Had the coconut jelly stick at honey dew on 146 on the way home....just like wa return trip....

u guys missed it.
post #7 of 15
DANG! Drop me a line next time if you think of it - I'm just a little ways west (in Lenox) and would love to get the chance to get some runs with you all. Must have been a sweet day.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awalkspoiled View Post
DANG! Drop me a line next time if you think of it - I'm just a little ways west (in Lenox) and would love to get the chance to get some runs with you all. Must have been a sweet day.
Yep, it was fantastic.....

One more would always be welcome More bears the better!!!

Take some time off and get up there before the weather changes....I'll bet conditions today were fluffy bumps everywhere: esp on the steeper blues and blacks.

What a great little hill:
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilh View Post
Thanks for the TR. I'd like to meet up with some of the locals some time.

I live ten minutes from Nashoba but have never skied at Wachusett or B'East. I tend to drive north, but it would be fun to meet some folks here.

--Lee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awalkspoiled View Post
DANG! Drop me a line next time if you think of it - I'm just a little ways west (in Lenox) and would love to get the chance to get some runs with you all. Must have been a sweet day.
Hey, it may not be Jackson Hole, but the BEST skiing is really just about sharing some runs with your Bear Buds .. no matter where you are!

Always nice to find some new friends to add to the crew list! We're pretty laid back, but there are a few rulz if you're going to join us ...
  1. Just shaddap and ski! Lifts are for talking ... otherwise you best be skiing
  2. You must be effusive in your praise for SMJ's boots ... no matter what he's wearing today.
  3. You must own, have owned, or desire to own a pair of Fischer RX-8's ... the best Eastern ski money can buy
  4. You must have a 305 boot sole so you can swap skis with hrstrat57 and me
  5. You must be willing to pose like a gaper to get your face displayed prominently on the Trip Report.
OK ... just kidding ... none of this is true ... except #1 ... and maybe #5

Keep your eyes on the Wachusett thread and this one for gatherings. Always welcoming new members!!!!
post #10 of 15
It was a great day of skiing, thanks to all of you for coming!

hrstrat, you're so right about the skill level of the skiers there. It just proves what a good mountain it is that all these great skiers want to patrol and teach at the B'east. We have a number of Level III PSIA Instructors there, very unusual for a smallish mountain - why? Because they love to ski that mountain.

And those lift lines WERE very long for there! (Maybe 2-3 minutes, OMG!) Of course if you could handle the adventure of the high speed (non-detachable) double you could avoid the lines.

OES, if you can you should join a ski school next year. You're skiing really well, and being on a school really helps to refine one's skiing. Free lift tickets, chances to clinic and ski with great skiers, a sense of camaraderie and community (better then the "Cheers" model at the bar) not to mention getting to share your love for the sport with others and seeing the HUGE smiles that students get when they accomplish things.

RIS and IQ, you two are proof of the effectiveness of contemporary ski teaching and equipment. You ski so well, and have so much fun. For the few years you've been at it you (and your coach) should be very proud!

I'm there every Sat./Sun. folks, PM me if you want to hook up. Mountain usually closes at the end of March (regardless of the amount of snow they have - I think it's the cost of insurance.)
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
You must own, have owned, or desire to own a pair of Fischer RX-8's ... the best Eastern ski money can buy
I ski on Fischer Race SC. Does that count?

--Lee
post #12 of 15
Close enough for jazz ilh!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
Could be wrong but,

methinks I am sniffing out ice queen driving up riskier's post count again.....
No it was me though I probably was hearing IQ's voice in head when I wrote it. ilh, I think the Race SCs will get you a ticket. They even let me in and I'm on Nordicas. Awalkspoiled, we'd love to meet more Bears. There's been some talk of trying to organize some kind of a greater MA Bear gathering but getting something planned and organized takes a lot more work than just talking about it. This was a pretty last minute get together. Indeed, hrstrat57 kept saying he couldn't go, he couldn't go... But he beat us to B'East on Sunday morning. Great day!
post #14 of 15

I may be srazewed

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
Hey, it may not be Jackson Hole, but the BEST skiing is really just about sharing some runs with your Bear Buds .. no matter where you are!

Always nice to find some new friends to add to the crew list! We're pretty laid back, but there are a few rulz if you're going to join us ...
  1. Just shaddap and ski! Lifts are for talking ... otherwise you best be skiing
  2. You must be effusive in your praise for SMJ's boots ... no matter what he's wearing today.
  3. You must own, have owned, or desire to own a pair of Fischer RX-8's ... the best Eastern ski money can buy
  4. You must have a 305 boot sole so you can swap skis with hrstrat57 and me
  5. You must be willing to pose like a gaper to get your face displayed prominently on the Trip Report.
OK ... just kidding ... none of this is true ... except #1 ... and maybe #5

Keep your eyes on the Wachusett thread and this one for gatherings. Always welcoming new members!!!!
Tough group. I can do #1 and # 5, but my boots are 311 and the last pair of Fischers I owned were a pair of Alus when I was 16. Current mini-quiver is iSL chip 165, Crossmax 185 and a custom Coiler Racecarve 181 (but that stays in the car when I'm with a group of purists of course). Weather seems to be breaking down around here, so the MA Bears may have to go slummming up in Vt pretty soon.
post #15 of 15
Awalkspoiled, don't listen to any of these guys. My rule, I guess it's number
6, is that one must not talk excessively about equipment. It's regularly violated by OES, SMJ, and hrstrat. In fact, they're the motivation for my creation of the rule. The first time we skied with hrstrat he gave us a detailed list of his equipment and clothing so we could recognize him at the mountain, and the only thing I understood was the "Red Sox hat." A Karbon shortie? What? RX-8? Is that a car? As far as I'm concerned, it's the operator that matters, not the machine.

It was a fantastic day. But the mountain is awful, everyone should avoid it at all costs.
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