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Jiminy Peak. MA

Inside Line
posted: 01/14/2005

Elevation: 2,380 feet Vertical Drop: 1,150 feet Acres: 170 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 DayHop the Berkshire Express chair to Lift Line, a scary-steep 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 steep-woods ride that's technical enough to keep the masses at bay. Rumor has it you can also duck into the trees between Jericho and Whitetail. But don't say we told you so.

3 Days LaterMellow 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 GroundsMarquee 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. Widow White's often doesn't run at night 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 Mass-achusetts. Skin and ski the historic Thunderbolt trail, one of the East's first test pieces, on the mountain's east side.

Weather When storms swirl up the Atlantic Coast, north-facing Jiminy Peak gets slammed. Watch the weather maps for low-pressure systems heading north from the Carolinas. —Peggy Shinn

Apres: Try 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 Grandma kept kegs of Guinness and Bass Ale on tap.

FuelIt'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 Founder's Grille at the Country Inn. Try the Spice Root for curry or a kabob.

Up All NightDrive 20 minutes to Williamstown and crash a Williams College party, or pound brews at the Purple Pub on Spring Street while challenging an Ephman (pronounced "eef-man) to foosball.

Digs The Country Inn at Jiminy Peak has slopeside suites and condos starting at $179 per night (jiminypeak.com). Ten miles uproad, Berkshire Hills Motel ($69 per night, breakfast buffet included; berkshirehillsmotel.com) is quaint, kitschy, and clean.

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