Despite warm temps, Berkshire East in Charlemont open for the season

  • Skiers make their way down Lower Competition at Berkshire East in Charlemont which has opened on a limited basis. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Berkshire East in Charlemont has opened for the season STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Skiers make their way to a lift at Berkshire East in Charlemont, which opened last month. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Monday, January 10, 2022

CHARLEMONT — Snow has been made and crowds have turned out to ski and snowboard at Berkshire East despite relatively balmy daytime temperatures and rain throughout the past week.

“Mother Nature may be on strike,” said Berkshire East Manager Jon Schaefer by phone, “but if it’s cold enough, we can make snow.”

The resort opened officially for the season Dec. 22 and has been seeing a steady stream of people throughout the past week and a half. Berkshire East is open every day with limited trails and night skiing began Jan. 6, according to its website.

“Given the weather, the conditions, we’re doing great,” Schaefer said.

Roger Cooney, an instructor for Berkshire East’s Snow Sports School, said higher temperatures have not slowed down the crowds and conditions have been “good.”

“We continue in spite of the warm weather,” Cooney said. “It’s not uncommon, we’ll get through it … everybody’s got to do their snow dance.”

Cooney said he has seen a “nice mix” of people from “all around” and skiing and snowboarding provide a chance to enjoy the outdoors. He added the tubing program will be starting up soon for those who cannot or do not want to ski or snowboard.

“It’s a little bit of normalcy,” Cooney said. “Folks should come out … it’s all about having fun.”

Jan Gliszczynska of Nassau County, New York, said it was his first time ever going to Berkshire East and called it “underrated.”

“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I’d come back.”

He added the conditions were “awesome” for the 40-degree temperatures during his visit.

Mark Case of Southington, Connecticut, said he was visiting Berkshire East with his family because the conditions in Connecticut did not provide many skiing opportunities.

“They’re OK for the warm weather,” Case said of the conditions. “We’re happy to come up.”

Case said the trip was sparked by his daughter visiting from Florida for Christmas, but it was not their first time visiting Berkshire East because his daughters had ski races at the resort in the past.

“It was a good ski day,” he said. “It turned into a mini family ski trip.”

Anthony Mattei of Portland, Maine, was joined by a group of 12 other family members for a ski outing. Mattei, who grew up in the area, said it was his first time skiing at Berkshire East in 20 years and it was nice to be back.

“The trails that are open are not that bad,” Mattei said. “It was fun to be with the family.”

Mattei’s 9-year-old-son, Charlie, said he had a “great” time.

“It was fun,” Charlie Mattei said. “I got to ski down some trails that I like.”