One of the consequences of New England’s restrictive COVID-related interstate travel mandates is altered, long-held habits for skiers and riders. The result is that winter sports enthusiasts are discovering (or re-discovering) new stomping grounds and creating opportunities for properly positioned ski resorts.
Ski mountains across the Berkshires are gearing up for a season full of social distancing and capacity limits, but also “magical moments” at revamped après ski areas designed to fit the times.
Thanks to a stormy and snowy Thanksgiving week, we are in prime position for a great start to December!
Willy Booker, head of Burke Mountain Academy which hones some of America’s finest ski racers, bemoans that kids are less active and athletic today and don’t get outdoors enough.
One way to remedy that is to have fun at a mountain resort this summer.
Excitement for this snowy March continues at Okemo. (Okemo/Facebook)
How about this start to March? We’ve already had two nor’easters to kick off the month and another may be around the corner.
New trail Thunder cruises under the mountain coaster. (Berkshire East/Facebook)
Now with the most terrain in Massachusetts, Berkshire East cut two new trails last summer that bring sweeping views of the Berkshires, accessible for even the resort’s newest skiers and riders.
About one-third of American ski and snowboard resorts have strung ziplines to keep the mountain thrills going through the summer.
Hundreds of thrill-seekers hook up and slide every offseason, choosing from full-speed rides (60 mph in some cases!) to more leisurely flights using hand brakes. Many combine with suspension bridges and other aerial challenges for a tour. Most ziplines have age and height restrictions – and require parents or guardians for youngsters.
Hit high speeds on alpine coaster at base of Snowbird (Snowbird/Facebook)
Since the mid-1990s, summertime alpine coasters have sprung at winter resorts all over the country. The wind-in-your-face speeds, high-speed turns and mountain vistas mimic the sights and sounds what skiers and snowboarders feel during the snowy times.
Twelve miles of gravity-fed, lift accessed downhill mountain biking are now open at Massachusetts’s Berkshire East. Gravity Logic, the company that built Whistler’s bike park, the largest of its kind in the world, designed the park for Berkshire East.
UPDATE 2/8: Guess it wasn’t all hype this time. The widespread blizzard (dubbed Nemo) that has been top of the news all week is here. Governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have already declared state of emergency conditions.