The Big Chief Rules

by: GregMorell - Nov 29, 2009

  • Overall Rating 4
  • Family Friendly 5
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 3
  • Terrain Park 2
  • Nightlife 1

    Pros: Informal, Freindly, Fun, Affordable

    Cons: Busy with Busloads on Weekday afternoons

    Recommended For: Family Friendly

    Date Visited: Mar 1, 2009

Full review

When the white trails of Berkshire East Mountainside first break into view off the winding turns of Massachusetts Route #2, I feel a rush of excitement knowing that I am in for a few hours of winter fun. Route 2 snakes along next to the Deerfield River in Mohawk country and the Mountain was revered by the native population as a sacred space of rich spiritual power—however when I travel there I am in search of rich spiritual powder.

Berkshire East is an informal, friendly resort, with a varied assortment of trails. I learned to get comfortable on a snowboard after numerous runs down the Big Chief trail after being coaxed on a snowboard by my teen aged son. It was on the Big Chief that snowboarding was transformed from aching calf muscles and a sore butt to a fun and exciting cruise down the hill. For this alone, I will always be very grateful to Big Chief and Berkshire East.

Although not massive in size, the terrain is varied with an ample assortment of intermediate trails, a few diamonds, and a long set of green cruisers that take you around the backside of the mountain.

What is so appealing to me about Berkshire East is the affordability of the lift ticket, the scenic riverside drive along Route 2, the night skiing, and the fact that I can ski in the morning and still get to work in the afternoon, or leave work a few hours early and enjoy the snow under the lights.

Berkshire East is a very popular destination for school groups and scholastic ski teams on weekdays in the late afternoon and early evening. If you are a midweek skier and enjoy short lift lines, its better to get your ski time in the morning or early afternoon.