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The return of Thunderbolt Ski Run!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Mt. Greylock's infamous run first used in 1933 will be having a 75th anniversary race....check it out @

post #2 of 17
Interesting... I have been planning on heading out that way to ski the Thunderbolt for a few seasons now, maybe this year will have to be the one. The link doesn't have any real info about the race (ie. what, when, etc), so if anyone has some please post it!
post #3 of 17
With our fickle southern new England snow pack the date of the race will have to be like one of those North Shore surf competitions and have a window of some Sunday between January and February when the snow is up...

Great idea. I'd like to go. I did skin and ski it once a few years ago and may go again soon.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #5 of 17
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
I did. Can YOU find any information on the site about this race? Aside from the fact that it will (may?) happen sometime in 2010, I can't figure out if it's timed runs, gates or not, chineese downhill style, or what...
post #6 of 17

Just found this site.  Nice! 


We don't have any race information up yet because we are still looking for an insurance.  Everything is in place except the insurance.  This will be be the death knell of the race if we can't find an agent to insure us. The biggest problem is that it is on state land (they state requires 1 million of coverage) and the Thunderbolt is a gnarly, narrow, and steep ungroomed trail.  The agent that insures the Inferno race on Mt. Washington thought we were nuts trying to hold this race.


So, until we get that settled, we are not putting up any specifics.  But I can share them here...we are going to have alpine, tele, snowboard, and vintage categories.  Custom made trophies will be awarded for the first 3 finishers in each category.  We are also going to have a team event.  Racers will climb to the summit and leave every 2 minutes from the starting line.  We are going to gate much of the trail to slow down racers.  It will most likely be a timed run. 


Hope this helps a little.  Again, sorry about the lack of details.  Blame our litigous society and people's unwillingness to take responsibilty for their own actions.  If this race doesn't occur, it will be a shame.  But that's where we've come to in our society.  


Glad I found this site.  For local Thunderbolt conditions, check out:





Blair Mahar 

post #7 of 17

I've been thinking of skiing that for a few years now.  This weekend looks like it may be great spring skiing conditions, and a good excuse to try it.


Where do you park to hike up?  I looked at the websites listed and couldn't find that info.  I would assume at the main visitor center, but you know what happens when you do that.  I would also assume that I can pick up a trail map there as well.  Also, do you hike up the Thunderbolt, or is there a different trail to take?


A silly question:  for a year with a decent base like this one, how long into the spring will it be skiable?  Yes, I know the answer is probably "it depends".  Maybe someone can attest to how late in the spring they have skied it in the past.


post #8 of 17

Hello welder,


Did you check out this page on my site:




At the bottom you'll see two Yahoo applications where you can get directions and a map to the Thnderbolt Trail Head.  I also have a Word document that you can download and print out and take with you.  Ithas pretty detailed directions for getting yourself from the Trail Head parking lot up to the summit.  Check it out and let me know if you have questions.


Quickly though, no you don't park at a visitor's center.  You'll want to park in the Greylock Gen on Thiel Rd.  And yes, in general most people hike up the TB...either skiing, with snowshoes, and just booting up with skis on your back.  


I've skied the Thunderbolt as late as April 5th when we have a good base a good snow year.  Other years skiing is well over by March.


Let me kwo if I can help.





post #9 of 17

Thanks for the info Blair. 

post #10 of 17
Bump.  I'm psyched.  The race is 30 days away!
post #11 of 17
Way cool!!  Anyone we know entered in the race?
post #12 of 17
Here is the seed list.

Spectators are welcome!
post #13 of 17
 BTW, there is a great article in this month's AMC Outdoors magazine on the Thunderbolt.  You can check it out online at outdoors.org
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well....after all the snow we got here the end of February and the 75th anniversary race set for next weekend, I decided it was time!

See attached pix. They've got a LOT of snow up there still. 2-3 feet up top.

Had a wonderfully scenic hike up and a fun run down the THUNDERBOLT trail.
Life is good! 

Ready for the run down!

This was the view on the trip up......LOTS of the white stuff!

Check out the snow level...

For those nearby, get some NOW while you can!


Edited by Rossi Smash - 3/6/10 at 4:34pm
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
A few more pix from yesterday......


From the trailhead


Just a little snow!


Main lodge (summer)
post #16 of 17
Awesome pics ... thanks for sharing!!

But tell us more ... how was the trail? Conditions on the descent?  What route did you hike up?  You sure picked a winner of a day!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post

Awesome pics ... thanks for sharing!!

But tell us more ... how was the trail? Conditions on the descent?  What route did you hike up?  You sure picked a winner of a day!

The rest of the story....

We parked up Gould Rd, past the orchard. Across the field and up the Gould trail till it intersected the Super Highway. This proved a wonderful route (about 3 miles) with no snowmobile traffic till near the peak. It is also a more gradual climb (or skin) than going up the Thunderbolt or Bellow Pipe trail. The Thunderbolt Ski Shelter at the summit is a welcome spot! With the wood stove burning it's a great place for a snack and to boot up for the trip down.

As for the trail itself it was in great shape with full coverage snow as there was still 2-3 feet of it up high. There were work crews there the day we skied (60+ strong) packing down and setting gates for the race this Saturday. The snow was still firm up top and the trail fairly narrow in places too. There are also some very sharp and narrow corners to watch for. All things considered it was in better shape than I thought it would be and  I enjoyed the whole day!

I can highly recommend the the trip. Depending on the day either boots with creepers, snowshoes or skis with skins might be the best choice. I was using my Alpine Touring gear but as the snow was firm in the am I just booted up in hikers with spikes and carried my AT boots in my skis. For those close by the race this weekend should be great fun to watch. 10-2pm Saturday March 13th. See more here;

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