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Jiminy Peak vs. Berkshire East

ts01

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If anyone can update me as the weekend approaches on conditions and crowds at Jiminy or Berkshire East, I'd really appreciate it.

I'm planning to ski Jiminy on Friday 12/30 and it's a tossup between the two for Saturday 12/31. If conditions were good I'd be at the Beast on Saturday for sure, I've never been and a holiday weekend seems like the right time to check it out. But the current report there looks bad (only one black trail open) and with rain in the outlook for Thursday, I'm inclined to stick with Jiminy for the 2d day as well.

Thanks in advance for advice or observations.
 

Greg

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This is a somewhat outdated thread, but here is my take on Jiminy vs. Berkshire East. I enjoy both hills a lot. Both are of similar vert at ~1,100 and they both offer a similar consistent pitch and are by far the steepest in the Berkshires and quite possibly Mass (haven't skied Wa Wa so I can comment there).

Despite some similarities, they are two completely different animals. For early season skiing, or after crappy weather (like now), Jiminy is your better bet - a ton of snowmaking and excellent grooming. When the natural snowpack is high or after a recent dump, hit the B-east. The mountain has the best natural snow trails in Southern New England without question and it really shines with one foot+ of fresh powder. The mountain seems to be in an area where it can really wringe the most out of a snowstorm with it often picking up several more inches than areas only a few miles away. If the Berks get dumped on, hit Berkshire East.

I like to think of Jiminy as a ski resort and the B-east as a ski area. Jiminy has a ton of amenities; on-slope lodging, dining, guest services (and associated crowds). The B-east is a throwback ski area; a local "skier's mountain". No frills, just good skiing. All fixed grip lifts at the B-east, but usually no crowds. Jiminy has the Berkshire Express, a six-passenger detach, which on uncrowded days, let's you get in a ton of skiing and let's you have a big day of skiing at a small hill.

So, again two totally different places. One can be better than the other based on conditions and your mood. If every day was a powder day, I'd pick the B-east because I like the trail layout a lot better. If cranking down the fall line making GS turns is your thing or if you really want to rank up the vert, check out Jiminy. Both are good; they're just different.
 

powderman

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I think the BEast is better than Jiminy Peak, even when only snowmaking trails are open. Yes, Jiminy has a lot more snowmaking trails than the BEast, but do any of their trails have as much character as War Dance or Big Chief? Do any of Jiminy's bumps match Flying Cloud? No. Yes, I have skiied at the BEast when there is no natural snow. Although I am disappointed that only 1/4 of the mountain is open, I always have a great time. I don't enjoy Jiminy as much as I enjoy the BEast, even when there isn't natural snow, and I have to pay more to ski at Jiminy. Also, in the past 15 years, the BEast has made a bunch of improvements in snowmaking and grooming. As a result, there's huge base depths on the BEast's limited snowmaking trails, so you won't be skiing on thin cover on the snowmaking trails. Jiminy also builds huge base depths, and do so on a lot more trails, but again, I don't enjoy these trails as much as the BEast's trails.

I highly recommend staying away from Jiminy Peak after a snowstorm!! They do have natural trails, unfortunatley, none match the BEast's natural trails. The powder will get tracked out quickly do to the fact that Jiminy is more crowded than the Beast and also because the HS6, Widow Quad, and Q1 Quad dump too many skiiers on the hill. Now we come to the question - quality vs quantity? Would you rather log 40,000 vertical in one day, all on boring tracked trails? OR, would you rather log 20,000 vertical in one day, all on interesting untracked runs? I think the obvious answer is the second one. Now back on BEast's natural trails. BEast has glades, from those who are learning how to ski glades to extreme glade skiiers who are looking for a challenge. Jiminy has only one intermediate glade. Apart from glades, BEast has other natural trails including a narrow bump run, Jug; a two mile intermediate trail from the summit, Mohawk; and several other natural black diamond trails including Beast, the most challenging trail in SNE. Jiminy has John Hancock and Liftline. These trails are in no way bad, but they aren't open as much as the BEast's natural trails because Jiminy's Ski Patrol is conservative. BEast's ski patrol will open a natural trail even when the cover is sketchy. With all that said, I'd reccomend the BEast, natural snow, or not, but it's just my opinion.
 
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powderman

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Jiminy has bump runs? I've skied there a lot and haven't found them.

I meant to say Jiminy's bumps aren't as good as the BEast's bumps. The bumps on the side of Fox aren't bad, I just don't find them as good as the BEast bumps.
 

Greg

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I meant to say Jiminy's bumps aren't as good as the BEast's bumps. The bumps on the side of Fox aren't bad, I just don't find them as good as the BEast bumps.

I was being sarcastic. Skier's right of the Foxes and sometimes right under the Q1 Quad (only a line or two) are the best bumps at Jiminy. Cutter is usually sweeping push piles and the Mogul thing is barely a trail.
 

arik

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I agree B. East is real nice, I like the uncrowded relaxed feeling there, it's a special place. I haven't been to Jiminy Peak so I can't really compare, but I drive by it all the time and the windmill and night skiing lights are impressive.

At B. East I have had a lot of trouble finding the entrance to the East Glades. On the trailmap it looks like the entrance is from Mowhawk but I never can find it when I ski there, haven't seen a sign or any obvious area of thinner trees, does anyone here on AZ have a tip?
 

powderman

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I agree B. East is real nice, I like the uncrowded relaxed feeling there, it's a special place. I haven't been to Jiminy Peak so I can't really compare, but I drive by it all the time and the windmill and night skiing lights are impressive.

At B. East I have had a lot of trouble finding the entrance to the East Glades. On the trailmap it looks like the entrance is from Mowhawk but I never can find it when I ski there, haven't seen a sign or any obvious area of thinner trees, does anyone here on AZ have a tip?

You're right, it's on Mohawk. Go on the Mohawk trail for a little while, and to the left, you should see a sign for East Glades and tracks in the woods. There's two other glades, as well, the only that was open when I went was Blizzard Island which is loads of fun.
 

Lost sailor

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You can also access the East Glades (lower section) off Bear Run. Or if you are really adventurous, look for the guy on telemarks with wild hair and beard and wearing the old style avaiator style goggles (looks like ZZTOP meets Sopwith Camel) and try following him. He is there most every day and finds lines through the trees like no one else.
 

powderman

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You can also access the East Glades (lower section) off Bear Run. Or if you are really adventurous, look for the guy on telemarks with wild hair and beard and wearing the old style avaiator style goggles (looks like ZZTOP meets Sopwith Camel) and try following him. He is there most every day and finds lines through the trees like no one else.

That person is me. :wink:
 

Greg

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At B. East I have had a lot of trouble finding the entrance to the East Glades. On the trailmap it looks like the entrance is from Mowhawk but I never can find it when I ski there, haven't seen a sign or any obvious area of thinner trees, does anyone here on AZ have a tip?

You're right, it's on Mohawk. Go on the Mohawk trail for a little while, and to the left, you should see a sign for East Glades and tracks in the woods.

You can also access the East Glades (lower section) off Bear Run.

Upper East Glades is off of Mohawk and is almost unskiable most of the time. It seems the snow blows up and out of there very quickly. You can find it off of Mohawk on the left as the trail flattens out. Look for some large evergreens and head for them. I don't believe there is a sign for the upper section. It will then drop off steeply from there. But again, it's usually pretty boney:



Lower East Glades off Bear Run is very well marked and holds snow much better:

 

powderman

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I never saw the lower section, only the upper, and that lower section sure looks like it's a lot of fun. Can't wait to hit the BEast this year.
 

Greg

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I never saw the lower section, only the upper, and that lower section sure looks like it's a lot of fun. Can't wait to hit the BEast this year.

Here's a vid from that day. I think we grabbed video on all the major areas - East Glades (starting around 3:51), Jug, Liftline, Beast, Blizzard Island, etc. The only thing we didn't hit that day was the Tomahawk Glades, and that's only because Jug was so sweet.

 

bvibert

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That was a fawking awesome day! I'm bummed I didn't make it there last season... :(
 

arik

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Thank you everyone for an excellent thorough pictoral answer to my question. I think I understand now why I couldn't find east glades off Mowhak, and am pretty sure I will be able to find it this year. The pictures are sweet!

BTW Powderman, I meant scared me in the sense "that guy looks like an awesome hardcore skier and I better not follow him as I might end up in over my head."
 
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