The new lift will change the layout of the summit at the Massachusetts area.
Sunday, November 19, 2023, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Berkshire East's new high speed quad is starting to take form as the 2023-24 season approaches.
NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com was the first to report on the project in February. The new Leitner-Poma lift is being installed parallel to Berkshire East's fixed grip summit lifts, the Mountain Top Triple and the Summit Quad. Plans presented to the Town of Charlemont suggest that the Mountain Top Triple could be located to the north face of the mountain in 2024, serving new terrain.
At present, all towers have been installed and much of the base terminal is now standing. The summit pedestals are in place, with terminal components staged nearby.
According to Berkshire East's snow report, the new lift will be called the "T-Bar Express Quad." The base terminal and lower half of the new lift follow the original T-Bar line from Thunder Mountain.
The cliff above Upper Competition has been filled in, creating a steep chute from the summit ski patrol building. The new chairlift extends behind the building.
As part of the installation, three short connector trails have been constructed, allowing riders to access Upper Mohawk/Upper Big Chief, Upper Thunder/Outback, and Upper Minnie Dole. Snowmaking infrastructure has already been installed on the latter.
With the new lift, Berkshire East joins Jiminy Peak and Wachusett as the only areas in Southern New England with high-speed detachable chairlifts. In addition to providing faster lift service for skiers, the lift will improve loading and ride time for the popular lift-served mountain biking operation.
The Schaefer family has owned Berkshire East since 2007, when Roy and his son Jim bought out Union Terminal Piers' stake in the area. Roy Schaefer and Union Terminal Piers had owned Berkshire East since the late 1970s. The family acquired Catamount in 2018 and has provided management services to Bousquet and Haystack. The family also acquired Big Red Cats in British Columbia in 2021.