New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Chute and Tow 1 (2002)
Mt. Greylock Ski Club
Williamstown, Massachusetts
Status: Open
First Season:1939-40
Vertical Drop:350 feet
Standing Lifts:Surface lifts
Past Lifts:Surface lift
Left: Chute and Tow 1 (2002)
Recent News: Profile
Located on a western sub-peak of Mt. Greylock, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club facility has hosted lift served skiing for decades.

Origins of the Club

Members of the Mt. Greylock Ski Club in 1935
Members of the Mt. Greylock Ski Club in 1935

The concept for the Mt. Greylock Ski Club was reportedly developed from a Pittsfield YMCA dry course ski instruction in 1932. On December 18, 1932, 10 members of the so-called Mt. Greylock Ski-Runners Club skied the Cheshire Harbor Trail under the direction of Charles L. Parker.

In the fall of 1933, the club, now named Mt. Greylock Ski Club, began clearing trails on Brodie Mountain and Bassett's Hill. Future Berkshire Museum science curator, World War II veteran, ski photographer, and Jiminy Peak founder Bartlett Hendricks was an organizer. The club's first ski race on the Brodie Mountain trail was hosted on January 20, 1934.

Meanwhile, the club was making trips to Goodell Hollow in Williamstown. The Berkshire Eagle described the area as slopes with "Alp-like contours." Around this time, club member Max H. Sauter was filming reels of club members skiing.

The Thunderbolt

Reportedly concerned about skiers eschewing the Berkshires for New Hampshire, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club became involved in developing a championship ski run on the east side of Mt. Greylock in 1934. Eventually named the Thunderbolt by former club president Orrin McCarthy, the trail was considered one of the top ski trails in the country.

Meanwhile, the club publicized plans to use Clarence J. Bousquet's mink farm for skiing. As was the case with the Thunderbolt, members of the Mt. Greylock Ski Club participated in some of the trail work. The Bousquet ski run was inaugurated with an informal race on January 26, 1935, which won by club president Bartlett Hendricks. Weeks later, the first snow train arrived in Berkshire County, with hundreds of New Yorkers hitting the Bousquet slopes. On February 17, 1935, the club helped to put on the Massachusetts Championship race on the Thunderbolt, which was won by Dartmouth College student Dick Durrance before a crowd of 3,500 spectators.

The club continued to grow in popularity during the 1934-35 season, incorporating night skiing with a gasoline lanterns on a slope just north of the Brodie Mountain ski trail. The club also served as trip coordinators for snow train visitors.

Following the 1934-35 season, the group continued to expand its efforts by planting trees along the sides of the Ghost ski trail in Pittsfield State Forest.

Activities continued to grow for the 1935-36 season, with the club coordinating races throughout Berkshire County. The club also used its portable lighting to hold evening events, including at Bousquet At this point, the club reportedly had 270 members.

Meanwhile, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club was conducting a fundraising campaign to purchase land at the bottom of the Thunderbolt ski trail so that the trail could be lengthened. Once procured, the land would be transferred to the state so that CCC labor could be used.

In March 1936, the ski club led a ski trip to Canada, as "Nearly all of the snow in Berkshire has gone to Long Island Sound in the flood" and even Mt. Washington "is virtually devoid of snow except at Tuckerman Ravine."

With its membership growing to 350, at its April 1936 annual meeting the Mt. Greylock Ski Club put $200 into a fund to acquire land for its own ski development. Future Jiminy Peak manager George Maynard served as club president at this time.

In May 1936, the Williams Outing Club announced that a ski trail designed by Charlie Parker would be cut by the CCC from Stony Ledge down to Goodell Hollow.

Later in 1936, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club picked up an option to purchase from the Collins family a 90-acre farm in Goodell Hollow near the bottom of the new Stony Ledge ski trail. Plans for the property included ski trails, slopes, a jump, and a skating and swimming pond. Kenneth Cuddeback served as chairman of the project. The club faced competition, as the Amateur Ski Club of New York and Williams Outing Club also reportedly expressed interest in the property.

The winter of 1936-37 was a struggle due to a lack of snow. Numerous races were cancelled and/or relocated, including the Eastern Downhill Championship to be hosted by the club on the Thunderbolt in mid-February. The club was reportedly able to ski the new Stony Ledge trail in late March.

Goodell Hollow Land Acquired

James Stack was elected club president at the annual meeting following the 1936-37 season. Meanwhile, the attending membership failed to approve a motion to purchase the Goodell Hollow property. A campaign was subsequently launched to garner support before the April 20th option deadline. Meanwhile, according to Bartlett Hendricks, a skier from New York attempted to buy the ski area out from under the club, allegedly telling Collins, "Don't pay any attention to that option of those Pittsfield hicks," and offering him an additional $300. Collins reportedly responded, "Get out of here, you subway varmint. I gave my word to those boys and I'll keep it!"

On April 16, 1937, the club voted to purchase the 90-acre Collins Farm in Goodell Hollow for $3,000. To facilitate the purchase, the ski club was formally established as a Massachusetts organization on May 5, 1937. A $2,000 mortgage was obtained, while additional membership dues were assessed on members wishing to use the new property. Club members began using the property that off-season.

The Mt. Greylock Ski Club skied at the Goodell Hollow area when natural snow allowed during the 1937-38 season while also continuing night skiing activities at Bousquet and hosting races at venues such as the improved Thunderbolt trail. The season may have come to a close in late February or early March.

Following the 1937-38 season, a potential new ski trail was laid out adjacent to the Goodell Hollow open slope.

An early season storm allowed members to hit the slopes in late November 1938, though the snow quickly melted.

Concerned with the lack of use of the new property, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club held a meeting in January 1939. The group decided to retain the property, with the Berkshire Eagle noting that it decided to "ride out the trend of winters with little snow, whose discouraging effects are held primarily responsible for a membership shrinkage of nearly 80 per cent in two years." The club also discussed plans to complete a ski cabin and construct a ski tow, with the hope having "slopes where members will be assured ample room" as compared to crowded public ski areas. In addition, the club discussed constructing fences to reduce the loss of snow from wind. Weekend events subsequently drew crowds of 50.

On February 26, 1939, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club held what was considered the first "no-fall" race the country, in which falls were penalized. Otto Schneibs endorsed the new rule, opining that "injuries in a championship race have been shocking, and they will continue to be so if a stop is not put to that brainless plunging down a fast dangerous course," adding that "No sport is worth such a gamble." The race has won by 19-year-old Toni Matt.

In March 1939, the club coordinated its first cross country ski race, located in Pittsfield State Forest.

Goodell Hollow Ski Tow

The new Goodell Hollow ski tow (1939)
The new Goodell Hollow ski tow (1939)

In the fall of 1939, the Berkshire Eagle noted that club membership had dropped to 100 because the "superficial boom aspects of skiing have diminished somewhat," members had moved away, and the loss of "hangers-on who never really belonged to the hardy working group but whose payment of fees nevertheless helped the club carry on." Nevertheless, the club worked to install a gasoline-powered 750 foot long rope tow and brush snow fencing at their Goodell Hollow property. Construction was completed in mid-November, with Max Sauter celebrating by giving the work party a ride up the slope on former property owner William Collins' buggy.

An early January storm allowed the club to debut its tow on January 7, 1940. Eighty members and guests skied at the area that day, though the Berkshire Eagle described conditions as "not good, owing to the thinness of snow." Club membership quickly rebounded to an estimated 250 people.

The 1940-41 season kicked off on January 5 with a crowd of 80 members, as well as an appearance by National Ski Patrol founder Minne Dole. That spring, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club formally opposed the proposed Mt. Greylock Tramway. Club president Max Sauter sent a telegram stating, "Based on our observations during nine years of organized recreational and racing skiing, we believe snow conditions on ski trails in this area unsuitable to support concentrated traffic brought in by [a] tramway."

1941 off-season work at Goodell Hollow included improvements to the rope tow line and construction of several hundred feet of fencing for snow retention. The small ski jump was also rebuilt, as it had been knocked over by wind during the prior winter. Philip Kemp became caretaker of the area, moving with his family into the farm house.

World War II

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club reorganized its ski patrol to anticipate potential wartime needs, such as searching for wrecked planes and guiding troops through mountain routes. The club did operate the tow briefly when natural allowed on December 14. The club also had to change its race timing practices, as it could no longer use radios due to wartime restrictions. A telephone line was used on the Thunderbolt ski trail to allow for wired timing.

In addition to the focus on the war effort, the 1941-42 ski season was impacted by a lack of natural snow. Following the season, the Berkshire Eagle stated, "So irregular was the snow last winter on the club's slopes at Goodell Hollow, South Williamstown, that most of the store of gas remains in the tank at the foot of the tow line, ready to fuel the engine this season."

Despite concerns of how members would drive to Goodell Hollow due to gas rationing, and that more and more members were leaving for military service, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club continued off-season maintenance of the ski area. Since the tow only needed five gallons of gas per day of operations, the club estimated that it had enough fuel on-hand to operate the tow throughout the season on Sundays.

It is not known if there was any skiing at Goodell Hollow during the 1942-43 season, mainly due the ban on "pleasure driving." In addition, the club did not sponsor its usual prominent races. The club resolved to keep military members on the rolls without requiring dues. For the balance of World War II, club activities likely took place closer to Pittsfield, such as at Pittsfield State Forest, Clapp Park, and Bousquet.

Post War

Following the end of World War II, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club awarded free membership for the 1945-46 season to returning servicemen and women. A committee was formed to look into expanding the Goodell Hollow ski area and constructing a lodge. The club also considered hosting national ski championships, however concerns about traditionally unreliable snow in late February, too little notice, and no suitable slalom slope resulted in the group ultimately rejecting the offer.

In February 1946, the City of Pittsfield held its first winter carnival. Spanning multiple days and events, the Mt. Greylock Ski Club helped to stage a ski race. Later that month, the club held its first Roger Cushing trophy race since 1942, with the downhill staged on the Stony Ledge Trail and the slalom at the Goodell Hollow slope. More than 100 people used the rope tow that day.

Initial site work may have commenced in the summer of 1946 for a "new" rope tow (or more likely a new base terminal for the existing tow). That fall, the access road was reportedly improved with additional gravel.

It is not known if the 1946-47 season had any skiing in Goodell Hollow before February. That month, Bartlett Hendricks wrote a piece about Goodell Hollow in the Berkshire Eagle, calling it "an ideal place for family ski outings," adding, "The informality of eating lunch in the ski shack with people you know is always a highlight of an outing at the Hollow." Hendricks noted that "The tow is generally operated at moderate speeds but occasionally is shifted into high, and zips you up the hill at 28 miles an hour." According to Hendricks, "The design and much of the work was done by Willy Bridgham and Win Guttmann," adding, "The power plant is a thoroughly professional job, one of the best I've seen."

The 1947-48 season may have started just after New Year's. A bus was operated from Pittsfield to the ski area each Sunday afternoon. In early February, the club put on the Eastern Ski Championships on the Thunderbolt ski trail.

During the off-season, the club adopted a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, relocating and reopening portions of it under the leadership of Max Sauter. The club also cut a portion of the Taconic Skyline hiking trail.

Construction of the base lodge (1948)
Construction of the base lodge (1948)

Improvements for the 1948-49 season lengthening the rope tow by 600 feet to 1,400 feet long, cutting two new trails, and constructing a lodge. Ernest Smith served as the foreman of the all-volunteer construction team, which built the 20 foot by 50 foot structure in less than three months for $1,100. The building featured a concrete floor, large slope-facing windows, and two wood-burning stoves. The building was dedicated to Edward Stepnowski, the only club member killed in action during World War II. Stepnowski enlisted in the 10th Mountain Division shortly after graduating from Pittsfield High School and was killed in action in Italy on February 23, 1945.

The 1948-49 season likely started in late January on minimal base depth. Struggles continued, as the club lost the coveted National Junior Ski Championships race on the Thunderbolt in February due to rain and above average temperatures. The race was moved to the second place bidder, Mt. Rose in Nevada. The Mt. Greylock Ski Club subsequently decided not to bid for the 1950 race.

When there as adequate snow, Goodell Hollow was a popular place, seeing 300 skiers on one Sunday in February 1949. That winter, the club began making plans for a second rope tow and a 35-meter ski jump, the latter which would allow for a bid for the New England Interscholastic Championships.

In October 1949, the club held a Halloween party at the Goodell Hollow lodge. Themed as a hobo party, dancing was accompanied by the accordionist Robert Danforth and the recorded music of Stan Hood.

The 1949 off-season work included completing the lodge (which was formally dedicated on November 11, 1949) and constructing a ski jump.

Subsequent Years

Tow 1 (March 2023)
Tow 1 (March 2023)

During its heyday, the ski area operated at capacity and the club had a waiting list. By the 1970s, there were three rope tows and a ski jump.

The economic downturn in Berkshire County, as well as other issues plaguing the ski industry in general, slowed down the Mt. Greylock Ski Club soon thereafter. While larger nearby areas such as Brodie and Berkshire Snow Basin have ceased to exist, devoted members have been able to keep the Mt. Greylock Ski Club operating.

Whiffenpoof (March 2023)
Whiffenpoof (March 2023)

The ski area continues to operate to this day for members (and prospective members) with no electricity, no snowmaking, two rope tows, and a one-way dirt access road. Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
March100%    (2 reports)100 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Mar. 11, 2023 by rocket21
Wet Powder, Packed Powder
Mar. 11, 2023 by brianna
Wet Powder, Powder
Mt. Greylock Ski Club on News
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Mt. Greylock Ski Club News Page

2022-23 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map
2000-01 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map2001-02 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map2002-03 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map2003-04 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map2004-05 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map2005-06 Mt. Greylock Ski Club Trail Map
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Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2020s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2022-232022-23 Ticket Price Graph2022-23 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 172022-23 Skier Visit Graph
2021-222021-22 Ticket Price Graph$85.002021-22 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 222021-22 Skier Visit Graph
2020-212020-21 Ticket Price Graph$85.002020-21 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 192020-21 Skier Visit Graph
2019-202019-20 Ticket Price Graph2019-20 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 72019-20 Skier Visit Graph
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2018-192018-19 Ticket Price Graph$85.002018-19 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 202018-19 Skier Visit Graph
2017-182017-18 Ticket Price Graph$85.002017-18 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 30March 312017-18 Skier Visit Graph
2016-172016-17 Ticket Price Graph$85.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph2016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-162015-16 Ticket Price Graph$85.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph2015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-152014-15 Ticket Price Graph$85.002014-15 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 282014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2012-132012-13 Ticket Price Graph2012-13 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 292012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2000-012000-01 Ticket Price Graph2000-01 Season Pass Price GraphApril 142000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1976-771976-77 Ticket Price Graph$40.001976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1959-601959-60 Ticket Price Graph$10.001959-60 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 11959-60 Skier Visit Graph
1950s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1952-531952-53 Ticket Price Graph1952-53 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 41952-53 Skier Visit Graph
1940s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1948-49$1.001948-49 Ticket Price Graph1948-49 Season Pass Price Graph1948-49 Skier Visit Graph
1945-461945-46 Ticket Price Graph1945-46 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 231945-46 Skier Visit Graph
1941-421941-42 Ticket Price Graph1941-42 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 141941-42 Skier Visit Graph
1940-411940-41 Ticket Price Graph1940-41 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 51940-41 Skier Visit Graph
1939-401939-40 Ticket Price Graph1939-40 Season Pass Price GraphJanuary 71939-40 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"I have wonderful memories of learning to ski at Goodall hollow. My father would have us kids get our boots on in the basement, then we would load up the car with our neighbors the Soldos and head up the very narrow ro road (you couldn’t come back down until noon as there wasn’t enough room for 2 vehicles). Club members took turns making lunch: the lodge had potbelly stoves that warmed wonderfully between runs. The trails ran thru a canopy of trees making for magical runs. We also went up in the summer when our fathers volunteered cutting the trails. I also remover packing the trails until the tractor got running. It’s amazing the club is still operating."
diane (Betit) ponti, Jan. 15, 2024
"Learned to ski there in late 60s and early 70s along w my dad and 4 siblings. Hiked up to tower out of goodwill hollow numerous times. Great memories, no amenities."
Gerard Harvey, Jun. 13, 2020
"Lived with family from 1947 nine years old until 1958 my family continued to live there for some time There was only one tow there across the road from the house I lived there when they built the ski jump and when they the collages used it for computations sadly when my mother died all the pictures somehow were lost although the picture you use as your cover was taken by me I have one hanging in my home and I gave that one to the club the day my sisters children had a service for my sister the club was kind enough to let us have the get together at the ski lodge I never miss a visit to my favorite place in the world when I visit Mass just luck the gate is open and I get to hang out there I am amazed how the other side of the brook has grown up my timeline is Carolynne Dunn Porter on face book "
Carolynne Dunn Porter , Jul. 14, 2019
"I am the MGSC Membership Secretary. I have never seen any photos of the ski jump we used to have here until the 1970s. If any photos come to your archive please contact me, so I can share with the membership."
Ilona Sherratt, Dec. 20, 2017
"I'm just converting some old movies to DVD, and have a few hundred feet of action at Goodell Hollow. In 1959-61 a family membership was $15,a great bargain for a full winters activity. We lived in Dalton, I worked at the GE Ordnance Dept on Plastics Ave in Pittsfield, and my wife, Millicent taught math at the Dalton schools. Son Douglas learned to ski when he was 3, and we went to Goodell Hollow every weekend during the Winter. The road up the hill to the ski area was a challenge, and most folks parked at the base of the hill and walked up. The second season, I was driving an old 1930 Model A, and during the winter I installed wider 16 inch wheels, and with chains was able to chug up the hill. Incidentally, the pulley's on the rope tows were old Model A wheels. We would bring a pot of chili and have lunch out in the sunny snow. By the way, part of the membership deal was that members needed to donate some time to the running and maintenance of the area. It was certainly a great area for young families."
Alan Taplow, Sep. 11, 2015
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External Links
  • Mount Greylock Ski Club - official site
  • Mount Greylock Ski Club - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Last updated: August 22, 2023

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