Feels Like A Club, Not A Clique
I felt welcomed at The Springfield Ski Club's Blandford Ski Area even though I'm not a member and didn't bump into a familiar face all day. The terrain, although not particularly challenging, has a couple things going for it. The top of the hill is a flat ridge and the lifts drop you off at an even elevation that allows you to take any chair that happens to be most handy and just traverse the ridge until you see something you want to ski. The few steep turns they have to offer are preceded by a short, uphill stretch that wouldn't qualify as a hike but, would keep those who shouldn't ski it away. Everything about this place is perfectly functional for a local club's learning hill. From the, I'm guessing, reliable old Hall double chairs that get you where you're going at an acceptable pace, to the lodge that needs updates, (what do you really need to do in a lodge at a 450' hill?) to the hill itself, this place serves its purpose pretty well. That is, it teaches people how to ski and provides families and friends a handy place to enjoy the sport together. What Blandford lacks is snowmaking which is critical in Southern New England. The flip side of that coin is their limited operating schedule. So, while you may need to pick your days carefully and want to head somewhere else if it hasn't snowed in a while, or, during a warm spell, if there has been recent snow, you might find that its fresher at Blandford than at other hills that have run lifts day and night since it fell. In fact, the next time all of New England gets dumped on a day before I get to get at it, and/or, I don't feel like driving up North to get my pow, I may very well go to Blandford.