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TDawg
02-22-2009, 05:54 PM
Decent articile on this historic trail from The Globe (http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/ski/articles/2009/02/22/a_trail_for_the_hardy/).

Thoughts? Anyone care to share their own experience?

David Metsky
02-22-2009, 06:35 PM
On weekends if there's good snow, it's rare to get any solitude. Locals get up early and get first tracks and it often gets tracked out later in the day.

--M.
02-22-2009, 07:36 PM
Good call, thanks, TDawg. Any press for old-school New England history is good stuff.

I've hiked the hill, stumbling accidentally on a Thoreau seminar out of Amherst & the Forest Service. Weirdly a propos and entertaining.

But I've never skied it; would love to.

--Mike.

bcskier
02-22-2009, 08:31 PM
The Globe article mentions Blair Mahar and the Purple Mountain Majesty vid. There is a forum that is moderated by Blair and is dedicated to discussions about the Tbolt and especially the plan for a 75th anniversary race next year.

This first one is the website of the club that has been formed in the spirit of the early clubs that used to sponsor teams and races on the mountain:
Thunderbolt Ski Runners (http://www.thunderboltskirunners.org/)

The second one is dedicated to the trail itself and is one way to get a copy of the Purple Mountain Majesty DVD. I highly recommend it. My old second edition video has been worn out, I've watched it so many times.
Thunderbolt Ski Run (http://www.thunderboltskirun.com/)

My first run down the Tbolt was in the early 1980's. I was immediately smitten. I have tried to ski it at least once every winter since. I've seen it go from being untracked for days and days, even weeks at a time, to what it is now: a pre-dawn start required to get first tracks after a new snowfall.

Sadly the skiers shelter at the top has recently been vandalized. That was one way to get first tracks if you weren't a local or didn't want to start driving in the wee morning hours, though technically it is not supposed to be used for overnight visits and now would not be too comfortable for one.

I don't regret the new popularity the trail now enjoys. It's experiencing a well-deserved renewal. The history of the trail is amazing, to which the Globe story alludes but which the DVD really gets across. I think those early guys would be happy to see the traffic it gets these days.

bc(thunderbolt)skier