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Berkshire East & Catamount: 3 New Lifts, Terrain Expansions

ss20

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Update: Catamount and Berkshire East have both likely cancelled their expansions, meaning that only Catamount will receive upgrades this summer, with both the Catamount and Glades Quads expected to be in for the winter.

Building too much too quickly? Love B-East and Catamount but the amount of new shiny toys at both places was getting to the point where you had to question where the money was/is coming from.
 

urungus

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Building too much too quickly? Love B-East and Catamount but the amount of new shiny toys at both places was getting to the point where you had to question where the money was/is coming from.

What “shiny new toys” are there at Berkshire East ? The Summit Quad will be entering its seventh season in the fall, and all the other lifts were installed before that and are second-hand to boot.
 

ss20

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What “shiny new toys” are there at Berkshire East ? The Summit Quad will be entering its seventh season in the fall, and all the other lifts were installed before that and are second-hand to boot.

Off the top of my head....the longggg new trails off the backside, the mountain coaster, and yes, the Summit Quad. I don't know enough about the snowmaking system to comment but it's certainly newer. You can't deny that B-East has seen a significant amount of investment in it the past decade. Much more than other mountains of its size.
 

ne_skier

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Catamount has honestly seen some pretty tremendous growth lift-wise. In the early 2000s their fleet consisted of the Ridge Double, an aging Hall/Doppelmayr frankenlift, the Glade and Catamount lifts and the Mountain View lift, a secondhand early 1960s Roebling relocated from Belleayre in 1984. Not only has the size of the fleet grown since then with the addition of Promenade, but every lift standing at that time has since been replaced. Bittersweet as a lift fan, but I'm sure Catamount skiers have good thoughts about the growth and investment.
 

urungus

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Off the top of my head....the longggg new trails off the backside, the mountain coaster, and yes, the Summit Quad. I don't know enough about the snowmaking system to comment but it's certainly newer. You can't deny that B-East has seen a significant amount of investment in it the past decade. Much more than other mountains of its size.

mountain coaster is 7 years old
outback/roundabout opened 27 years ago
thunder/bolt are heading into their 4th season and are the worst trails on the mountain, although the woods between Thunder and Mohawk / Bolt are interesting, during the nice conditions last February I started exploring over there.

So nothing really exciting in last 7 years, been hearing about the expansion down to the river for awhile now, was really hoping they would make some progress on this. Instead it seems like they are spending most of their efforts at Catamount and Bousquet
 

ss20

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mountain coaster is 7 years old
outback/roundabout opened 27 years ago
thunder/bolt are heading into their 4th season and are the worst trails on the mountain, although the woods between Thunder and Mohawk / Bolt are interesting, during the nice conditions last February I started exploring over there.

So nothing really exciting in last 7 years, been hearing about the expansion down to the river for awhile now, was really hoping they would make some progress on this. Instead it seems like they are spending most of their efforts at Catamount and Bousquet

We could go back and fourth all night on this...I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you sound like you're trying to make the argument Berkshire East isn't seeing adequate investment or is "due" for something new?? That's just not true...they're wayyyy ahead of their local competition in improvements.

Jiminy Peak- no improvements the past decade, except for adding snowmaking on a single trail and a few new snowmaking ponds/pumps
Butternut- nothing added the past decade
Bousquet- was literally falling apart before new owners
Sundown- one new trail (Satan's Stairway AZ debacle....oh boy that was a good one)
Mohawk- taken good care of by the family...lodge was blown out and all but one lift was replaced in the late 00s and early 10s...I'd say its seen as much investment as Berkshire East save for zero summer stuff at Mohawk while BEast has put tons of $$$ into making a premier bike park.

Catamount before it was taken over had seen a couple new trails cut but no other improvements since the quad went in in '07ish.
 

urungus

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Since the Berkshire East Summit Quad & Mountain Coaster debuted seven years ago in 2014:

Catamount:
complete renovation of main Berkshire Lodge
new Catamount Lodge
new Promenade triple
new quad replacing Glade double
new quad replacing Catamount double
two new double black trails

Bosquet:
new main lodge
new summit triple

Berkshire East:
zero new lifts or lift improvements
minor renovations to main lodge
one new flat green trail
 

Newpylong

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I also question whether this ownership is going a little too fast on these capital expenditures, but hard to judge without seeing their P&L. That's their business.

If I was a rider down there I would question more how they are being done. To install the triple at Bosuquet they essentially turned the place into a bowl. I mean, it's really bad... wide open scar on the front. No real trail separation left in the middle.

At Catamount you have that new eye sore down the fall line next to Catapult, essentially the same trail. The two they added over by Fisher's aren't much better, fit in to be fit in and not much care for the natural topography.

Capital improvements are good, but the character of each place should be retained. Both places look substantially altered and not in a good way now IMHO.
 
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machski

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We could go back and fourth all night on this...I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you sound like you're trying to make the argument Berkshire East isn't seeing adequate investment or is "due" for something new?? That's just not true...they're wayyyy ahead of their local competition in improvements.

Jiminy Peak- no improvements the past decade, except for adding snowmaking on a single trail and a few new snowmaking ponds/pumps
Butternut- nothing added the past decade
Bousquet- was literally falling apart before new owners
Sundown- one new trail (Satan's Stairway AZ debacle....oh boy that was a good one)
Mohawk- taken good care of by the family...lodge was blown out and all but one lift was replaced in the late 00s and early 10s...I'd say its seen as much investment as Berkshire East save for zero summer stuff at Mohawk while BEast has put tons of $$$ into making a premier bike park.

Catamount before it was taken over had seen a couple new trails cut but no other improvements since the quad went in in '07ish.
Not for nothing, but Butternut is investing this summer. Their old Double is out and a new Skytrac Quad is to go in (though they also have Wyndham's old Wonderama Lift in storage too,).
 

ss20

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Since the Berkshire East Summit Quad & Mountain Coaster debuted seven years ago in 2014:

Catamount:
complete renovation of main Berkshire Lodge
new Catamount Lodge
new Promenade triple
new quad replacing Glade double
new quad replacing Catamount double
two new double black trails

Bosquet:
new main lodge
new summit triple

Berkshire East:
zero new lifts or lift improvements
minor renovations to main lodge
one new flat green trail

And that's all under the new ownership of James and his team. Before he took over, nothing at either mountain.
 

ss20

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Not for nothing, but Butternut is investing this summer. Their old Double is out and a new Skytrac Quad is to go in (though they also have Wyndham's old Wonderama Lift in storage too,).

I saw that. Wish they'd cut some new trails off of the green from the top. You could fit a few nice black runs in there down to crosstown or intersecting with the bottom of Lucifer's
 

Newpylong

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That short double had nostalgic value to me as they were running the Stadeli chairs from Brodie's Gramps lift.
 

ne_skier

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Was one of the last lifts running with Carlevaro & Savio parts. Built in 1969, it was one of the company's last lifts, later that year they would go bankrupt building Killington's original gondola. Currently, the only unmodified Carlevaro & Savio lifts left are the Bonanza and Outpost lifts at Pico.
Ironically, the "new" chairs added to replace the original ones are actually older than the rest of the lift by 5 years, the Gramp's lift at Brodie which the chairs came from was built in 1964.
 

Newpylong

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Was one of the last lifts running with Carlevaro & Savio parts. Built in 1969, it was one of the company's last lifts, later that year they would go bankrupt building Killington's original gondola. Currently, the only unmodified Carlevaro & Savio lifts left are the Bonanza and Outpost lifts at Pico.
Ironically, the "new" chairs added to replace the original ones are actually older than the rest of the lift by 5 years, the Gramp's lift at Brodie which the chairs came from was built in 1964.
Except those carriers weren't the original ones at Brodie - Gramp's had centerpoles until the late 70s. It got the blue slatted chairs (that ended up at Butternut) when Andy's lift went in next door at that point.
 

ne_skier

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Oh I didn't know that, thanks for that bit of info! Andy's was installed in 1977 so that makes sense
 

IceEidolon

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We could go back and fourth all night on this...I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you sound like you're trying to make the argument Berkshire East isn't seeing adequate investment or is "due" for something new?? That's just not true...they're wayyyy ahead of their local competition in improvements.

Jiminy Peak- no improvements the past decade, except for adding snowmaking on a single trail and a few new snowmaking ponds/pumps.
Jiminy replaced just about every snowgun in their fleet in the 2015 to 2017 timeframe. It's debatable if that was actually an improvement, but at the time there was a major push from the Fairbanks group to get into snowgun manufacture. This includes cutting up modern HKDs to weld homemade heads on them and sending demo models out to several Northeast mountains. Ask about the Sledgehammer gun...

On the unambiguously positive side they're doing a lot with sustainability generally, with efficient lighting installed, the solar farm, waste snowmaking heat use, etc.
 
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Newpylong

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Having used the Sledehammers I also would question whether it's an upgrade or not. They are kinda turds that make wet snow in all conditions. I think the HKD Standards/Genesis/Spectrums they had were just as good. Not sure if they went into R&D looking at the bottom line for the long game or to actually sell them to non-Fairbanks areas.
 

IceEidolon

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Having used the Sledehammers I also would question whether it's an upgrade or not. They are kinda turds that make wet snow in all conditions. I think the HKD Standards/Genesis/Spectrums they had were just as good. Not sure if they went into R&D looking at the bottom line for the long game or to actually sell them to non-Fairbanks areas.
Compared to a Standard, you can get double the flow (on a tower) at the same temperature with a Sledgehammer... but for what they wanted for a Sledgehammer head, they could have bought SV10 or Impulse towers with better quality in marginal and better output in the cold. There was absolutely a hope to sell, I was at the sales pitch conference at Jiminy.

I will say that when it had the right pressure, the Sledgehammer was the best single-flow low E gun I've run. Anything with valves would run away from it though.
 
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