The new terrain is the debut of the multi-phase North Face project.
Saturday, October 14, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
In what could be the largest terrain expansion in New England in the near term future, Berkshire East announced today that two new trails have been completed on the North Face of the mountain.
As reported on NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com in 2014, Berkshire East acquired 140 acres on the northern shoulder of Mt. Institute that March and received unanimous approval from the Charlemont Planning Board later that year to construct new trails and install a lift.
The largest trail set to open will start near the top of the Outback trail and wrap around the mountain to near the end of the Mohawk trail. The second trail will connect from a widened Mohawk trail (just prior to the Bear Run junction) to the longer new trail.
A chairlift could be installed as soon as 2018-19, serving additional new trails of other abilities and featuring a vertical drop comparable to the main mountain. Future tree skiing opportunities are also being touted for the northern and northeastern exposure of the new tract.
Owner Jim Schaefer has described the terrain as, "rolling intermediate, with beautiful natural features such as cliffs, steep glades with large trees and natural half pipes that we will leave in place to allow for some incredibly interesting skiing and riding."
A May 2014 Google Earth rendering of the North Face of Berkshire East
The USGS topographic map of Berkshire East
The terrain expansion is the latest in a series of major investments made by the Schaefer family since fully acquiring the ski area in 2007. Berkshire East added a snow tubing area in 2007, a zip line operation in 2009, a wind turbine in 2011, a solar farm in 2012 and summit snowmaking pond in 2012, a lodge addition and pub in early 2014, a mountain coaster, summit quad chairlift, and the Warfield House Inn in late 2014, and the Thunder Mountain Bike Park in 2015.