Catamount 3-8-20


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  1. #1

    Catamount 3-8-20

    Temp: upper 40s to low 50s; Conditions: spring corn
    My first time skiing the Cat, first time skiing the Berks. As you enter the large parking lot off Rt. 23 your view is dominated by the new, almost-completed base lodge complex that any area would be happy to have.

    Inside, the distressed wood walls contrast the huge glass & metal windows facing the trails. Parents can relax inside while watching their kids learning to ski in the small learning corral directly in front. I'm told a restaurant will occupy the upstairs level while a cafeteria is located in the adjacent lodge, newly renovated as well.
    ^ Racing awards ceremony outside
    To the right (the "N.Y side") are the two lifts that go to the summit: a fixed but fast-running quad and double chair. To the left (the "Mass. side") are several mid-mountain chairs servicing a large complex of greens and easy blues and I'm guessing the bulk of the ski school (I didn't get over there). The most challenging trails on this 1000' vertical hill flank the quad on either side. As you ascend, Catapult & the new Ripper trails lie to the left...
    ...(^Catapult foreground) while Lynx, Marty's, and The Glade (not actually a glade) are to the right of the chair. From the chair Catapult and Ripper appear to be mirror images but on closer inspection Ripper is steeper and slightly longer, a legit double black that gets the heart pumping. It would feel at home with some of the steepest trails over in the Catskills- significantly longer and probably steeper than Belle's steeps, and steeper than anything at Blue in Pa. By the time I reached it, much of the loose granular had been scraped to the sides making it even more challenging. I'd rate its neighbor Catapult as a solid single black with a nice sustained pitch. Under the double chair lies Lynx, a fun narrow single black trail with good pitch on its "steps."
    One trail near the bottom was bumped:

    While these trails were my faves there was plenty of other varied terrain that kept things interesting.
    Last edited by legalskier; Mar 16, 2020 at 10:36 AM.
    If it's snowin' I'm goin'

  2. #2
    They are cutting a new trail for next season called Christopher's Leap which may end up being the steepest one of all:
    Cat has a comfortable "family vibe"- lots of kids enjoying themselves and folks who seemed to know each other. I rode the lift with a dad and his two young kids who ski there every weekend and sometimes at its sister hill B-East. The employees I encountered were friendly and helpful to a person. Berkshire East's owners clearly are invested in improving the Cat- the new lodges, trails, and a 5,500' zipline that will be ready this spring.

    I'm happy I finally got there- if you're anywhere in the area it's worth checking out.
    Edit: Good thing I got there when I did- they just closed for the season.
    Last edited by legalskier; Mar 15, 2020 at 12:52 PM.
    If it's snowin' I'm goin'

  3. #3
    Recent piece that describes the changes in more detail:
    If it's snowin' I'm goin'

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