Western Mass-Pioneer Valley
Submitted By: Dobish on April 29, 2010
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Steep wide open bowl. The bowl tops out in the 30 degrees so only ski this in times of pretty safe avalanche conditions. If you go too far to the north there is a MONSTROUS cornice usually there so watch out for that. You'll ski down to a bench which makes a great island of safety to watch your buddies from (pick your location wisely). After that there are a few mellow tree shots that you can pick up further to the east that will add into the descent and take you right back to where the road first switchbacks. Be careful though, even these tree chutes can have pretty high avy danger.[more]
The Pioneer Valley makes up the valley and hill region around the Connecticut River, between Worcester county and the Berkshires. The pioneer valley is often considered to be the drainage of the Connecticut River and the drainages of the following rivers: The Westfield, Swift, Chicopee, Deerfield, and Millers.
Because of the snowfall totals and the weather patterns, the good skiing is generally in mid winter (january, february) but can be pretty fun in february and march. Elevation gain for backcountry skiing in the pioneer valley is between 1000 and 1500 ft.
How to Get There
The Pioneer Valley is located in western mass, near the Connecticut River and the surrounding drainages. Amherst, North Hampton, and Greenfield are the closest towns to where the backcountry adventures are in the Pioneer Valley.