Families take to slopes at Berkshire East in Charlemont following snowfall

  • A group rides the quad chair up for a run down Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Ethan Thoresen, 12, of Monroe, Jonathan Bedard, 13, of North Adams, and Colton Randall, 11, of Florida, head to the ski lift for another run down Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Skiers at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont on Friday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The main lodge at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 1/29/2023 2:51:34 PM
Modified: 1/29/2023 2:51:21 PM

CHARLEMONT — Families from all over soaked up the thrill of gliding on skis and snowboards down the trails at Berkshire East Mountain Resort over the weekend in what, for many, is a yearly tradition.

“This season has been surprisingly good despite the weather,” said Berkshire East’s Marketing Manager Nathan Marr.

He explained about 75% of the mountain’s paths are open for skiing, or 24 trails in total. The season officially began for Berkshire East on Dec. 11, and Marr said the resort will stay open as long as possible.

Many who were resting in the ski lodge on Saturday spoke about the family fun they had had on the trails, following some substantial snowfall earlier in the week.

“It’s a family thing for us,” said Glenn Juchno from Paxton. Juchno has come to Berkshire East every winter weekend for the past 30 years. He stays with his in-laws in Shelburne Falls and raised his children on the slopes.

Florence resident Daniel Cook, who was at Berkshire East on Saturday with his 4-year-old son Gavin, agreed with Juchno’s sentiment. Cook explained the bunny hills are great for children his son’s age who are just starting out.

“This is bonding time to enjoy the slopes together,” Cook continued.

Children slightly older felt similarly. Hazel Morgan, who is 10 years old and from Buckland, has season passes and said she skis in all weather.

“We will even ski in the rain,” noted her mother Elizabeth Morgan.

The Morgans are working on their “french fry” form, or keeping their skis parallel.

Another aspect that draws families to the mountain is the Indie Pass. This seasonal ski pass includes two days of access to more than 120 resorts, including Berkshire East. Families like to visit as many resorts as they can.

Peter Flockhart and his 11-year-old daughter Molly Flockhart found themselves at the mountain through their Indie Passes. They said they were happy about the couple of snowstorms the region just received, which made for better skiing conditions. They are from Winsted, Connecticut, where they described the conditions as “bare.”

Marr explained the recent snowstorms are not the only thing keeping snow on the mountain this season. The resort recently invested in 50 new snow-making guns to ensure broad coverage. The resort makes its own snow every night when the temperature is below freezing.

Christy Brooks from Mansfield, who came because of her Indie Pass, said skiing is becoming harder amid the changing climate.

“New England winters used to be white,” she said. “Now they are gray.”

Those with season passes, such as Chesterfield residents Tracy and Tom Dawson-Greene, also found themselves at Berkshire East over the weekend. The two had met when they were both ski instructors at Berkshire East in 1985. Now as retirees, they hold season passes and come about three days a week. They said they encounter many of their retired friends on the slopes throughout the season.

“We love having a winter sport,” Tracy Dawson-Greene said. “It is something to look forward to.”

Marr said booking ski tickets in advance is the best way to get a discount. Night skiing can cost as low as $15 per ticket. He said the resort is open late, accepting many school groups and people who come after work.

“A lot of people think the winter is miserable,” Juchno commented. “Those people clearly aren’t skiers.”

Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.


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