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East Coast

A Quick Hop for City-Dwellers, This Berkshires Ski Area Makes Learning Easy

Independently owned Catamount is a convenient road trip for Northeastern Indy Pass holders looking to ski close to home.

Catamount’s snowmaking is among the most extensive in the East. Photo: Courtesy of Catamount

Under new ownership since 2018, Catamount is a rising star on the southern New England scene thanks to a big snowmaking upgrade—40 of the 42 trails are covered—a sprawling new base lodge, and handful of exciting new trails. One of the larger Berkshire resorts, Catamount is an easy two-hour hop from NYC and the Tri-State ’burbs. It also boasts some of the best learning terrain in southern New England, so families looking to break into the sport or teach their littles to ski should put this accessible mountain on their trip list.

Related: A Late-Season Indy Pass Could Make Your Spring Road Trip Way Cheaper

That’s not to say that intermediates and experts won’t find enough terrain to wet their whistles. The mountain’s 119 skiable acres splay out in a horseshoe from the base area, with the learning area and the majority of the green slopes to looker’s left and the intermediate and expert terrain rising to the right. Five chairlifts plus three magic carpets serve the 42 trails, some of which are surprisingly steep: double-black Christopher’s Leap is one of the new runs, and it’s legit, especially considering the “leap” required as the trail practically falls away two-thirds of the way down.

And don’t discount Catamount’s signature run, the double-black—and double fall line—Catapult. Still a true thigh-burner by any standard. Add in plentiful blue ribbons across the entire horseshoe, and Catamount has the whole package on offer.

Mountain Stats
Vertical: 1,000’
Lifts: 8
Trails: 42
Skiable Acres: 119
Average Snowfall: 100”

Trip Planning

Lodging: Inn at Sweet Water Farm
This quintessentially New England post-and-beam B&B has six uniquely decorated rooms housed in a 19th-century farmhouse 4 miles from Great Barrington and five minutes from the ski mountain. The full breakfast, included with your stay, is to write home about: omelettes, French toast, house-baked pastries, and more, all made with locally sourced ingredients. FYI: Kids must be 12 or older to stay. Indy Pass holders receive a 10 percent discount.

Insider’s Tip: Night Skiing at Catamount
Catamount offers skiing under the lights Wednesdays from 3–8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 3–9 p.m. from late December to early March. Tickets are only $30 (free for the 6-and-under and 80-and-over sets). There’s also four-hour day tickets and beginner-only access; these customizable options keep it affordable and accessible for folks new to the sport or those not wanting to go all in.

COVID-19 Policies
People traveling from outside of Mass. are required to show a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival or quarantine for 10 days. Beyond that, masks are required at all times except while skiing, some facilities may be limited by capacity requirements, and chairlifts can only be shared by members of the same party.

 

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