"Come on up and see," Catamount Vice President Rich Edwards said when asked what conditions the ski area might have for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "It's winter here. We've rebounded nicely."
It took a ride up the summit quad, a right-hand turn off the lift and about six turns on the Upper Alley Cat trail to see he wasn't kidding.
Yes, it's winter at Catamount and the Berkshires.
After a frustrating December, Catamount, located on Route 23 on the Massachusetts-New York line, is sporting a base of about 3 feet and has 25 trails open. Cold temperatures allowed crews to get a base down on the double-black Catapult this week and natural snow added the solid foundation elsewhere around the mountain.
Catamount is a gem for several reasons. The first is how easy it is to get to from central Connecticut. It's a quick jaunt on I-84 to Route 44 to Route 7 to Route 23 - about an hour-and-a-half.
The second is it is one of those mountains that will always surprise you with what it has to offer.
Catamount has respectable vertical - 1,000 feet - and its 33 total trails offer everything from the steepness of Catapult to the cruising on Glade and Alley Cat.
The entire right side of the mountain off the Meadows chair features meandering green trails and gentle blue cruisers.
The real hidden gem of the mountain is the short but diverse Off Stage trail.
Catamount also features a first-class ski and snowboard school with an enthusiastic staff, several learning areas and a good student-to-teacher ratio.
Edwards says no massive storms are in the forecast for the remainder of the month, but perfect temperatures for snowmaking and small storms are in the crystal ball to keep the snow enjoyable.
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The snow sports industry lost an icon this week in Sarah Burke. She was a freestyle skiing pioneer and six-time X Games gold medalist. Burke died from injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Utah, according to ESPN.
A memorial foundation has been set up in her name. Connecticut native Jen Hudak shared this link: www.giveforward.com/sarahburke.
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