Ridge Run to Mountain View to Holiday, not a bad route down Catamount on a Saturday morning.
Let me backtrack. It was a couple of weeks ago and one of those nights in which wind gusts kept waking you up, partly because of the noise and partly because you were a little worried about taking a 7-year-old out on a potentially cold day.
Blustery as it was when we woke up, we nevertheless boarded the SUV and turned it toward Catamount and the Berkshire Mountains.
The mountain has become one of our favorites because of its close proximity to the Greater Hartford area — about 60 miles. The terrain varies across 33 trails and the vertical drop is a legitimate 1,000 feet. Not bad for such a short drive. You can ski and ride in both Massachusetts and New York with the mountain straddling the border.
My daughter has also shown up in one of the trail map photographs, so that is an added bonus.
We arrived at the mountain early, booted up, put the frostbite cream on our faces and made sure the balaclava helmet liners were worn. It was windy, but not horribly cold.
My daughter did not want to fool around and pointed immediately to the Ridge Quad chairlift, so on it we went. We hopped off turned left and headed to Ridge Run, a relatively flat traverse but one that has to be designated blue because of a few pitches here and there. The snow was good.
If I am with some colleagues, we usually hop onto Catapult, a double-black gem just below the summit, billed by Catamount as the steepest trail in the Berkshires. But with the 7-year-old, the choice is Mountain View, a nice cruise for the novices and intermediates.
We then went onto Holiday, a wide green trail that heads to the base area and allows the youngsters to work on their turns to finish the run.
It was a nice sequence of trails that lets the youngsters work on their skills while having fun at the same time. It all really sums up Catamount as a whole.
Catamount is in good shape heading into March. All six lifts are running and the bases on the 28 open trails are as deep as 38 inches.