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Catamount Ski Area facts for kids

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Location Egremont, Massachusetts / Hillsdale, New York, USA
Nearest city Great Barrington, Massachusetts (7.5 Miles), Albany, New York (51 Miles), New York, New York (129 Miles)
Vertical 1,000 ft (300 m)
Top elevation 2,000 ft (610 m)
Skiable area 119 acres (0.48 km2)
Runs 36
Longest run Ridge Run To Upper And Lower Promenade 2.5mil
Lift system 8 Lifts, 3 surface lifts, 1 Quad, 2 Triples, 2 Doubles
Terrain parks 3
Snowfall 75"
Website Catamount Ski Area

Catamount Ski Area is a ski resort located on Mount Fray of the Taconic Mountains in Hillsdale, New York and South Egremont, Massachusetts. It is one of the few remaining family-owned ski areas in New England. Catamount is also one of the largest ski areas in the Berkshire/Taconic Mountains. It has slowly become a world-class all-season resort that is in the unique location in between NY and MA states. In addition, Catamount is home to one of the largest youth ski race programs in the Northeast.

History

Fray Mountain was discovered by John (Jack) Falconer Fisher in 1937/38. When Jack was a young man of 16, he earned his pilot's license. He would fly over mountains, sculpting trails in his mind as he had a vision of creating either a golf course or a ski area. Jack was from nearby Salisbury, CT, and had helped bring to fruition, Lime Rock Race Track, and the Salisbury Ski Jump. He had many Scandinavian friends that were ski jumpers and skiers. After talking with his friends he decided to buy a farm (Fray), and called it, Catamount. In 1937/38 Jack and his friends all camped out for the summer at the base of the mountain, creating trails and deciding on a vision for one of the first ski areas in the country. Jack was an architect of the land and a pioneer of the ski industry.

When Catamount opened for business in 1939, with three rope tows, run by a car engine with a bull wheel attached and a rope around it, pulling skier up the hill, it was a success.

Many skiers came up from New York City on the train, as the train runs through Hillsdale, New York. When the skiers arrived, there were trucks with hay bails in them, ready and waiting to pick up the skiers and deliver them to Catamount for a day of skiing.

In 1953 Jack married Florence (Flukie) Kendall from New York City, they had two children, Katherine and Barrie. In 1958 she started the ski shop.

The lodge was decorated with two large fireplaces, a gravel floor, and picnic bench tables for 30 years. It is a family-friendly area that has had additions throughout the years, with the Ski Cat Club (Modeled after "Club 10" at Sugarbush, ski area) a racing trail with a race shed for the racers, snowmaking, four chairlifts, one T-Bar, one J-Bar.

Bill Gilbert and Don Edwards took over management, purchasing Catamount in 1974. Since the change in ownership, many trails and lifts have been added. In addition, snowmaking coverage has been increased from 25 to 98 percent.

In 2006, the summit double chairlift was replaced with a fixed-grip quad chairlift from Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.

In May 2018 the Schaefer family, of Charlemont MA, longtime owners/managers of Berkshire East Mountain Resort purchased Catamount Ski Area. Which enabled Catamount to evolve and turn into a world-class resort from the ever-changing mountain.

The 2018-19 season also completed the renovation of the main Berkshire Lodge in addition to a new triple chair on the MA side of the mountain to relieve crowds.

In the summer of 2018 came the introduction of the Zip Tour with the Catamonster, the longest zipline in America.

In the 2019-20 ski season, the new Catamount Lodge opened for seating, a store, restrooms, and ticketing. 5 new trails with snowmaking also opened with varying difficulty.

Food services in the new Catamount Lodge started in the 2020-21 season, using the 2nd floor as additional seating. The Glade double chair was removed, making way for a higher capacity used triple chair in its place. This new chairlift will begin construction in the summer of 2021 and is expected to be ready for the 2021-22 ski season. A new trail called Overlook rated as a blue square intermediate also opened with snowmaking.

The 2021-22 season will transfer the main office to the new Catamount lodge 2nd floor during the 2021-22 season. In addition to having a new triple chair serving trails alongside the Ridge Quad to help relieve crowds.

Ticketing

In 2018, RFID gates from Axess were installed and the Catamount Direct card was introduced. Catamount is one of the first smaller ski areas in the northeast to install this technology. Catamount is part of the Berkshire Summit pass, a pass that combines Berkshire East season pass with Catamount. In 2020 it was announced that Bousquet would join the pass after the sale with Mill Town Capital. Which the Schaefer family collaborated with to have it on the Berkshire Summit pass.

Berkshire Summit Pass types

Type Description
Unlimited No restrictions to all 3 resorts
Locals Valid Sun-Fri
Weekday Valid Mon-Fri
Night Night only

Catamount is also part of the Indy Pass which is an affordable multi-mountain pass that promotes visitation to smaller resorts around the U.S.

Trails

  • Skiable area: 119 acres (0.48 km2)
  • 39 trails
  • Longest trail - 2.5 miles (4.0 km) Ridge Run to Upper and Lower Promenade

99% of the trails have the ability to support snowmaking, with a glade as the only exception.

Easiest More Difficult Most Difficult Expert Terrain Park
Ali's Alley Catamount (n) Lower Alley Cat (n) Ripper (m) Bobcat (n)
Cat's Meow (n) Chute (n) Upper Alley Cat (n) Lynx (m) Sunrise
Colonel's Caper Mountain View Expressway Christophers leap Panther Park (n)
Esplanade (n) On Stage (n) Lower Glade (m) Catapult
Holiday (n) Race Slope (n) Upper Glade
Kelli's Run (n) Walter's Way (n) Off Stage (m)
Kid Cats Shawenon Marty's Run
Lower Promenade Lower Sidewinder
Upper Promenade Upper Sidewinder (n)
SnowSports Learning Area (n) Turnpike
Spencer's Way Upper Turnpike
Birch Cathedral Fishers Fluke
Ridge Run (n) Birch Glade (g)
Echo Run Lookout
Lauren's Run
Ridge Run Extension
  • (m) - Trail with moguls most of the time when conditions provide
  • (n) - Night skiing (on select days during the core season)
  • (g) - Glade Terrain (no snowmaking)

Lifts

There are eight total lifts at Catamount, all of which ranging from age, length, and value. Catamount is home to one of the last remaining SLI double chairlifts in the world, and the only one in the northeast.

Surface Lifts
Name Notes
Learning Area Carpet Connect to fixed-grip triple pair
Kids Cat Carpet Kids Cat use only
Learning Area Carpet
Fixed Grip Triples
Name Manufacturer Notes
Meadows Triple CTEC/Thiokol Mid-station, from Solitude
Promenade Triple Poma From Berkshire East then Magic Mountain
Glade Triple Poma Ready for 2021/22 season
Fixed Grip Doubles
Name Manufacturer Notes
Catamount Chair SLI Rare center pole
Fixed Grip Quads
Name Manufacturer Notes
Ridge Quad Garaventa CTEC From Belleayre

Lodges

  • Berkshire Lodge: The lodge is the original lodge and includes food services, tavern, restrooms, rentals, and seating. It is located to the left side of the Catamount Chair
  • Catamount Lodge: Opened in 2019, this is the new lodge that houses food services, offices, ticketing, shop, restrooms, and seating. It is located in front of the Kids Cat carpet.
  • Taconic Lodge: This is a temporary lodge with a shop, restrooms, and seating. It is located at the bottom of the mountain near the Ridge Quad.

Coordinates: 42°10′17″N 73°28′40″W / 42.171457°N 73.477764°W / 42.171457; -73.477764

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