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Inside Line: Jiminy Peak, MA

What Jiminy lacks in vert, it makes up for in pitch and lift speed.
posted: 10/13/2004

Elevation: 2,380 feet
Vertical Drop: 1,150 feet
Acres: 156
Snowfall: 100 inches
Getting There: From Boston, take I-90 west to exit B-3 in New York State, then Route 22 north to 43. From New York City, take the Taconic Parkway north to Route 295 east, then 22 to 43.
Info: 413-738-5500; jiminypeak.com

BETA:
What Jiminy lacks in vert, it makes up for in pitch and lift speed. Not only does the Berkshire Express six-pack rocket to the summit in a mere five minutes, it runs 14 straight hours on weekends and holidays (8:30 a.m.—10:30 p.m.), making 80,000-foot days entirely possible (hey, we said possible). The challenge would be purely academic if the terrain weren't worthy; thankfully, Jiminy boasts numerous runs that exceed 35 degrees. Tree-skiing is notably lacking, but when steeps like Jericho, Wild Turkey, and Whitetail fill in, you'll shed no tears.

POWDER DAY
Hop the Berkshire Express chair to Upper Lift Line, a narrow shot that sees neither Bombardier nor man-made snow. Roped off? Skate down West Way and look for the wormhole at the top of North Glade; a steepish and technical descent follows—and it's obscure enough to stay fresh. Rumor has it that you can also duck into the steep, tight trees between Jericho and Upper Whitetail. But don't say we told you so.

3 DAYS LATER
Mellow and overlooked, Ace of Spades and John Hancock are so far out on the resort's fringe, they're almost off the radar. Take the Berkshire Express chair to West Way, slip under the Grand Slam chair, and ski across to where the trails fork.

PROVING GROUNDS
Marquee Route:
Skate the summit ridge to the vertiginous shaft of Jericho. Scrape across the wind-scoured entrance, then arc 'em straight down, dropping a thousand feet in less than 60 seconds.
Off-Broadway:
From the Widow White's chair, hang a left, then look for any remaining stashes from the last nor'easter on (what else?) Noreaster. The Widow White lift is often deserted midweek, so the fluffy stuff stays until you or the snowcat find it.

BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS
Drive a few miles north to 3,491-foot Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachu-setts. Skin and ski the historic Thunderbolt trail—one of the East's first testpieces—on the mountain's east side.

Weather
When nor'easters swirl up the Atlantic coast, north-facing Jiminy Peak gets slammed. Watch the weather maps for low-pressure systems swirling north from the Carolinas.

APRES
Knock back a Widow White's Brew at Christiansen's Tavern, the barn-board hexagon at the base of the triple chair. Or walk down the short access road to Powder Hound's at Jiminy's entrance. The place feels like Grandma's house—if she kept kegs of Guinness and Bass on tap

FUEL
It's Christiansen's again, for an Olympic Alpine sandwich—grilled chicken on focaccia bread. For dinner, get a slice at Powder Hound's, or walk to the Founders Grille in the Country Inn. Try the Spice Root for curry or a kabob.

UP ALL NIGHT
Drive 20 minutes to Williamstown and crash a Williams College party, or pound brews at the Purple Pub on Bank Street while challenging an "Ephman (pronounced "eef-man) to foosball.

Digs
The Country Inn at Jiminy Peak has slopeside one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites starting at $149 per night; two lift tickets included (jiminypeak.com). Ten miles uproad, Berkshire Hills Motel ($69, breakfast buffet included; berkshirehillsmotel.com) is quaint, kitschy, and clean.

OCT 2004

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