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Massachusetts skiing 2018-19 --Wachusett, Berkshire East, Jiminy Peak.... and more!

I've decided it is time to explore the hills in my home state more this season. Wachusett is my home hill, but there are a bunch of others within not-to-bad driving distance that I would like to check out. If you know of anything going on at any Massachusetts hill, please post them. Demo days, women's clinics, good lesson experience or instructor, favorite runs, trip reports, ski swaps, ways to score a cheaper lift ticket.... post it here! Big or small hill. Berkshire East and Jiminy Peak I've heard a little about from posts by @newboots and @marzNC . I've skied Blue Hills once or twice, and when we first moved to MA I took the girls to Nashoba one day. What about some of the other smaller hills? Butternut, Blandford, Otis Ridge, Ski Ward, umm, I know there are others , just blanking right now.


Angel Diva
When does Wachusett usually open? With Thanksgiving being relatively early, is it likely to be open for Thanksgiving weekend? I'm spending Thanksgiving week in Weston with my daughter, but not bringing ski gear. Will be back later in December just before her winter break starts.
I'm not sure about usually, but last year it was November 12. They put in new guns a year or two back, so that will help too. The frustrating thing last year is that no email or announcement was sent out to pass holders in advance of the opening. I found out from Facebook. But I've only been skiing at Wachusett for the past 2 seasons. Maybe @Divegirl can remember further back for when they usually open?
Berkshire East is about 45 minutes from my house in Southeastern VT and I love it. Old school feel, beautiful lodge, all fixed lifts but there is a magic carpet on the summit lift to speed it up. They also cut a couple new trails last year.

I've only skied there during the week, which unless the schools are racing you pretty much have the place to yourself. They don't try to push the season, usually opening mid december and will close down on windy/rainy days. They have discount days for MA residents if you check their calendar.

I'd be glad to have someone to ski with there during the week so let me know if you're headed that way and maybe we can meet up.
I haven’t skied at Berkshire East for a year, but I will vouch for weekend skiing there. The lodge is a madhouse on race days, but all the racers are freezing in line, waiting for their turn on the course. I’ve never had a long wait for the lift (they have a second lift to the summit that they open up whenever there’s much of a line. Like 3 minutes.)

The trails are rarely crowded, either. The only time I experienced worrisome crowding was a Thursday evening, cheap night skiing with utter beginners in jeans drinking beer. No thanks! So even if you’re a weekend skier, you’ll probably have little competition for a seat on the lift or nice turns on the trails.
Any guess how B East would be during the Christmas holidays? Not for me, but someone was asking about places to go that wouldn't be super crowded.
I don’t know. I can’t remember early skiing there. I had to go to Stratton for my first lesson because B East wasn’t open yet. The first time I skied B East it snowed six inches while I was there; may have been January.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@diymom - I usually don't pay attention to opening days because I am prepping for our Nov/Dec dive trip. I think Nov 12th is a bit early for Wachusett unless we have a freak cold or storm. I think they shoot for Black Friday most of the time. I did ski the Monday after Thanksgiving a couple years ago when we had travel restrictions and didn't dive. I did 2 runs on Ralph's and quit before I killed myself. It was the whole of a NE ski season conditions on a single trail.

I also should try more local ski places, sometimes I think I have outgrown Wachusett. I've done Nashoba once as they had a particular ski I wanted to demo. I learned to ski at the Blue Hills and when they are open, they are good for a quick ski fix as they are about 30 mins from me.
I actually had a weekday pass to Blue Hills when we first moved to Quincy a few seasons back. The price was right, and I was thinking "quick ski fix" just like you. Drop the kid off at school and swing by to get a few runs in. But it didn't really work out that way for me. It didn't sink in when I bought the pass that Mon- Weds they don't open until 1, really limiting the times when I could go. Then it seemed that just about every Thursday morning it was raining that year in the Boston area. And most of the few times I went, they would have Big Blue roped off for race training leaving me lapping Patriot. I don't regret buying my pass- I figure I was helping to subsidize a local hill. But I haven't bought one since. Maybe if they would open more mornings and upgrade the chair I would consider it again.
Interesting, the Instructor Training Course (ITC) at Wachusett is 7 sessions on weekends in Nov thru Dec. 2. Seniors who aren't members of PSIA can take the course for $99. If someone doesn't already have a season pass, don't need lift tickets until Evaluation Day.

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The free pass until evaluation doesn't mean too much though since the class only goes until Dec. 2 and evaluations are held at the end of the course. Basically evaluation will be as soon as they have enough snow to open most years.
For anyone who lives close enough to make an evening event worth while, this Friday Wawa is having their annual "wine, cheese, chicks and skis" event. If I lived closer I would consider going not so much for the wine and cheese, but a way to meet other women who ski at Wachusett. But there are also raffles, donate canned food for a $5 wax coupon, and a deal on a tune up while you are there. And the ticket proceeds go to a local charity.

Other events coming up at Wawa are a blood drive on Nov. 12 (I think you get an early season ticket for donating) , and there are still 2 "Wednesday night tune up" sessions on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7. For $12 you get your skis tuned on their new tuning machine, yourself "tuned" with a pre- season fitness training session, and there is food and drink available if you decide to hang around a little to be social at the end.


Angel Diva
Wachusett just sent out word that the scheduled opening day is Nov. 23 or sooner. Counting down!
Have you ever been the Saturday after Thanksgiving? In theory I could toss ski gear for me and skis my daughter's into the minivan when I drive north for Thanksgiving week. But not sure we would want to deal with crowded slopes. Would the crowds thin out for the night session? Or grow?
I have never been there earlier than December. I would think others would be either out shopping or going a little further North, but maybe some of the other Wachusett divas have more experience with early season there....


Angel Diva
Just checking in as a Wawa skier. Now I'm having lots of problems with my L knee so the future looks uncertain! I just want to stay in the loop!
With the high speed lift for the greens at Wawa, that makes it a good place to take it slow when getting back on skis. Especially midweek before 2pm when the school groups start showing up.

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