By: Dennis Symons, Jr.
HILLSDALE, NY, S. Egremont, MA—I arrived at Catamount Mountain Resort Monday December 2, 2019 during Winter Storm Ezekiel that was providing north east ski resorts with plenty of fresh powder. This happened to be Catamount’s 3rd operating day of the season. During my visit it appeared they had about 8 or more inches at the base and their three-day storm total by Tuesday December 3 was over 20 inches of new snow from the storm.
Never have been to the resort before but upon arrival you could immediately tell that improvements have been made and construction is on going in the base area. There is a new Catamount Lodge under construction and is scheduled to open after Christmas according to one local that was riding the lift. The ticket windows and offices in the new lodge are under construction so a temporary ticket operation is set up in the updated Berkshire Lodge.
I was visiting Catamount for the first time using the Indy Ski Pass set up by numerous “independent” resorts to help them compete against two large corporate passes the IKON and EPIC. For as little as $199 (preseason) and with a current price of $219. You could ride a total of 46 destinations for a total of 2 days each, additional discounted tickets apply after you use your two days at many of the resorts. It was simple to use the Indy Ski Pass, I told them my name they looked me up in the system showed ID and printed me a lift ticket on the spot. It was an easy experience using the Indy Ski Pass. Currently 46 resorts are involved with Indy Ski Pass but that almost seems to change weekly as more independent ski resorts jump on board with this great pass making it an even better value.
After putting my RFID pass in my pocket, I proceeded to the Ridge Quad, there was no wait or no line to board the lift for several runs, and snow quality was great. After a bunch of runs and a short break in the lodge I went to the left side of the mountain and did a few runs off the Promenade Triple Chair. Snowboarded a total of 18 runs for the day. Trails open on that day were Upper Glade, Lower Glade, Off Stage, Upper Sidewinder Walter’s Way, Racing Slope, On Stage, Catamount, Kelli’s Run, Esplanade and the snow sports learning area.
Catamount opened a couple weeks earlier than planned. With the help from mother nature the snow was in great condition for being open so early in the season. Check the website and snow reports for current operating schedules. The local snowboarder riding the lift told me that weekends can get busy at times but weekdays the lines are empty. The resort is off the beaten path so that also helps keep the lift lines minimal. Overall great experience for a first visit and will be back once the new lodge opens.
Catamount has 1,000 feet of vertical that straddles the States of New York and Massachusetts in the Berkshire Mountains. Catamount boasts 43 trails and the longest run is 1.75 miles in length. The resort has steepest double diamond trail in the Berkshires called the Catapult. There are a total of 8 lifts, two chairs and it appeared 2 wonder carpet surface lifts were open during my visit. There is night skiing on 15 trails with more than 4 miles of coverage including two terrain parks.