Thunder Mountain 2016- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thunder Mountain 2016

    Good Morning,

    We are putting together our list of patrollers for the summer season. Early word is that we'll be open 6 days a week in the peak season, fewer early and late in the year. Opening will be sometime in April if the weather holds, so our Spring Refresher/Training Session will be coming up soon. I'll keep everyone up to date with the schedule as it gets finalized.

    With that in mind there are a few of things you all should do:
    o Everyone Past, Present, Future, please fill out a 2016 season online employment application at: Employment Application | Berkshire East Mountain Resort
    o Let me know your preferred day(s) - we'll need volunteers and Paid Patrollers every operating day.
    o Get your bikes tuned up
    o Check your summer patrol pack for required supplies
    o Join our bike park patrol facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1644892089058124/
    o Follow the Thunder Mountain Bike Park page https://www.facebook.com/Thunder-Mou...7836503082947/
    o Email me copies of your current medical credentials (WFR, OEC or EMT and Professional Rescuer CPR) - For those without one of these certs, the NSP Western Mass Region is doing an OEC course in the Berkshires starting soon. Email me for details.
    o If you didn't patrol last year, get me your resume'
    o Spread the word to other qualified, interested candidates

    To whet your appetites... https://www.facebook.com/chris.conra...704336818611:0

    Also, if you know anyone interested, there are openings for Shop Techs, Lift Attendants and Operators, Bike Guides and Trail Crew, please send them to the employment-application page.

    See you all soon,

    Harold Green
    Thunder Mountain Bike Park
    Patrol Director
    harold at berkshireeast dot com
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  2. #2
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    Looks like opening day will be April 23. Of course weather can change things... Stay tuned.

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  3. #3
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    Can't wait. I had an absolute blast there the handful of times I went last season.
    Instagram = @njcshreds
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  4. #4
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    Gravity Logic rolled back into town this week, snow'll be gone tomorrow. Getting closer!

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  5. #5
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    Got out there at the end of the season last year. Looking forward to getting back there a few more times this season. Hawleywood trail looks like a blast.

  6. #6
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    We pushed back on opening day. Now will be 4/30.

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  7. #7
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    Opening weekend, next week!

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  8. #8
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    What a weekend. Dry and packed house Saturday, ghost town and slime Sunday. Both awesome in their own way!

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  9. #9
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    So far it's been a great early season, though a bit of a soggy one (reminiscent of last year's opening). BUt-The new trails are great (I'm really impressed with Juggernaut: it's a black diamond singletrackish trail that blends the diversity of Wine tree with the DH pitch of schist. For those of you that liked wine tree but wished for a less pedaling and more pitch-this is your trail!)-and the ongoing labor and love going into Hawleywood is stunningly impressive...It's going to be the most significant Black diamond flowing jump trail on the East coast...though, i'll never ride it--I'm just too chicken to court that level of high-flying consequence. But I am looking forward to watching all those new school rippers ride the heck out of it.

    I'll there in red and white on Saturday--hopefully you'll only see me for social reasons!
    : )

  10. #10
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    I'm calling it: as of around 2pm on Saturday Trillium is the (and will be continue to be) the best built Bike park trail of 2016...anywhere. And, it still needs a little bit of spit and polish, but even as is, you'd be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable, flowing, exciting, wide-range of appeal trail. Solid intermediates up to ripping experts are going to dig this trail...it's the non-jump trail compliment to The Gronk and a wonderful skills precursor to Billy Badger.

  11. #11
    mdc
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    The guys building the trail yesterday let me and a few guys duck the tape and get fresh tracks about 20 minutes before it opened- soooo much fun. My second time riding lift serviced and I'm having a blast. Cant wait to get back!

    Also- a shout out to the crew putting in the hard work and building the trails. Really well done!

  12. #12
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    Did you guys make Hawleywood more intermediate friendly? I just watched some videos and it looks like some of the doubles that had hay bails in the middle are now gone, and boards in place. Looks like now if you don't clear the doubles you wont be in as much trouble.......

  13. #13
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    We closed the gaps, removing the risk of a bad takeoff resulting is a serious crash. The trail is no easier.

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  14. #14
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    Here's a great pictorial pink bike article on the ESC DH race last weekend at Thunder Mountain-love the Schist!

    Vittoria ESC New England DH Series Round Two at Thunder Mountain - Pinkbike

  15. #15
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    So I decided to reserve a timing chip for my 1st ever Enduro on August 7th with ESC. This is truly my 1st ever mtn bike race so I'm a bit nervous. Any advice or input for a first timer? My main goal is to just finish... I know experience will bring more confidence, but surviving and having fun are really all I'm hoping for.

  16. #16
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    Practice practice practice. There are a few tricky spots in all 5 legs. Get familiar with them before race weekend.

    Legs are Billy's World, Wine Tree, Juggernaut, Back of the Shack to Thunder Cliffs to Billy Badger, Harold's Blend.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2blt View Post
    Any advice or input for a first timer? My main goal is to just finish... surviving and having fun are really all I'm hoping for.
    Sounds like you've already got it dialed.

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  18. #18
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    Thanks! I think I've ridden most of those trails. Wine Tree has a pretty sketchy rock roll/chute near the top that sent me over the bars a week or two ago. Unfortunately, I have my cousin's wedding on the 6th, so I won't be able to come out for a practice day.

    How much climbing will be required?

  19. #19
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    Not a lot of climbing, about a hundred feet of vertical in the one transfer stage. The downhill riding will tire you out enough.

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  20. #20
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    I'm certain I'll be spent after stage 1... looking forward to it though! Last place, here I come!!!

    Thanks again!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2blt View Post
    I'm certain I'll be spent after stage 1... looking forward to it though! Last place, here I come!!!

    Thanks again!
    Good luck man!

    What group/class are you racing?
    Some buddies of mine should be there, riding with Wachusett Brewery.
    Good folks, if you happen to cross paths.
    Sinister Bikes
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Good luck man!

    What group/class are you racing?
    Some buddies of mine should be there, riding with Wachusett Brewery.
    Good folks, if you happen to cross paths.
    Thanks! I'll be running the 30-39 open. I'll keep an eye out for them.

  23. #23
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    1st trip to Thunder Mountain this weekend, suggestions on what trails to ride first to wet my appetite??

  24. #24
    mdc
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    Trillium is a blast, Billy Badger, Harolds Blend, Gronk, etc,etc,etc.....


    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    1st trip to Thunder Mountain this weekend, suggestions on what trails to ride first to wet my appetite??

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    1st trip to Thunder Mountain this weekend, suggestions on what trails to ride first to wet my appetite??
    All of them, seriously, in one day you have enough time to ride every trail multiple times (if you push).

    Here's some advice though:
    1. If you are a strong rider and don't need a primer, skip Sugarline. It's a great, I mean great, intro to bike park trails. But, it is best for real newbies and the endemically timid. It's long and it gobbles up a lot of time. If you have kids or newbies in your crew however, it is a great trail-especially the sugar and spice machine options near the bottom.


    2. The Mountain is basically laid out as follows:
    a. the Bikers Left (west) side of the hill has all of the flow trails, the two jump trails and the truly awesome Trillium and Billy Badger trails. All of these trails have signature Gravity logic flow lines and machine/ hand work. They embody all of the New School style of trail building and are worth paying to ride. With the exception of Back of the Shack and thunder cliffs, none of these trails are 'gnarly', almost all promote fast riding with big smiles, though Badger and Trillium will also keep you on your toes.

    b. The Biker's right side (East) contains all of the more raw and demanding trails. The Schist is the wonderful DH racing trail (probably my personal favorite trail), with a mix of some raw steep lines, great handwork, a touch of flow and a real sense of what DH is all about. Wine Tree and Juggernaut are truly unique trails, probably best described as expert enduro trails with DH elements. They take a few runs to figure out, but once you do you'll love the skill testing discovery of flow where you didn't think it could exist. These trails are pretty long and will work you in all the ways we all ought to get worked. Love both of them. The Euphemistically named 'Too Easy' is probably our most demanding trail, you've been warned. Ripping DH guys kill it, the rest of us keep an extra $20 bucks on hand to replace cooked brake pads.

    3. The 'Extras' There are some great lesser explored single track 'extras' that people just miss, and when you are looking to mix it up, or just do something a little different these are wonderful and unique Bike Park Options, they are a. Harold's Blend (Blue awesome single track off of Upper Sugarline), b. Old Blend (a blueish black line that meanders off of Back o the Shack) c. Billy's World ( a long, long, enduro style single track that wanders far to the east and then back to the lift. Guys on trail bikes are always delighted to discover this trail). d. Thunder Cliffs (an older trail incorporated into the park, it's a surprisingly rigorous Black single track little option off of Sleeping Jakes), e. Chin Strap ( a short blue single track that connects to Lower Harold's Blend). Exploring these trails adds a little spice to a day on the hill.

    Final bits of advice: If it is a rainy day or particularly slick, the West (biker's left) side holds up better than the East side (more challenging DH trails). Yes, there's always a crew of DH killers who show up just to practice on the Schist when it's crazy slippery (those folks are pretty impressive though)…but that's not most of us.

    Pop into the patrol shack at the top and ask for advice, directions, anything-it's a chatty bunch of guys and gals looking to help out the customers.

    I like to alternate trails, one run on the flowy-fast side followed by a run on the more rigorous DH side (unless it's slimy then it's a production of West Side Story). Keeps things fresh. Then again, there are people who are delighted to come and just rip Hawleywood all day.

    Lot's of entrees for lot's of biker palates.

    Hope all that helps people interested in coming to ride Thunder Mountain.
    Last edited by SuperbMan; 07-29-2016 at 05:40 AM.

  26. #26
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    I'll be at the race on the 7th, and I'm wondering about tire selection. I currently run a Minion-like front (Bontrager SE5) and semi-slick on the rear (Spec Slaughter), and I'm wondering if the fast rear tire will be perfect for the smooth hardpack or just a plain Bad Idea for a race day.

    I think in a perfect world I'd throw an Aggressor on the rear, but good luck finding one of those in a Double Down casing (outside the EWS pits). Any thoughts?

  27. #27
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    I threw the Slaughter that came on my enduro in the trash after 2 days. As dry as it is now, it would probably be ok, but with any moisture, it clogged up and became a slick instantly.

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by OttaCee View Post
    1st trip to Thunder Mountain this weekend, suggestions on what trails to ride first to wet my appetite??
    All of them, seriously, in one day you have enough time to ride every trail multiple times (if you push).

    Here's some advice though:
    1. If you are a strong rider and don't need a primer, skip Sugarline. It's a great, I mean great, intro to bike park trails. But, it is best for real newbies and the endemically timid. It's long and it gobbles up a lot of time. If you have kids or newbies in your crew however, it is a great trail-especially the sugar and spice machine options near the bottom.


    2. The Mountain is basically laid out as follows:
    a. the Bikers Left (west) side of the hill has all of the flow trails, the two jump trails and the truly awesome Trillium and Billy Badger trails. All of these trails have signature Gravity logic flow lines and machine/ hand work. They embody all of the New School style of trail building and are worth paying to ride. With the exception of Back of the Shack and thunder cliffs, none of these trails are 'gnarly', almost all promote fast riding with big smiles, though Badger and Trillium will also keep you on your toes.

    b. The Biker's right side (East) contains all of the more raw and demanding trails. The Schist is the wonderful DH racing trail (probably my personal favorite trail), with a mix of some raw steep lines, great handwork, a touch of flow and a real sense of what DH is all about. Wine Tree and Juggernaut are truly unique trails, probably best described as expert enduro trails with DH elements. They take a few runs to figure out, but once you do you'll love the skill testing discovery of flow where you didn't think it could exist. These trails are pretty long and will work you in all the ways we all ought to get worked. Love both of them. The Euphemistically named 'Too Easy' is probably our most demanding trail, you've been warned. Ripping DH guys kill it, the rest of us keep an extra $20 bucks on hand to replace cooked brake pads.

    3. The 'Extras' There are some great lesser explored single track 'extras' that people just miss, and when you are looking to mix it up, or just do something a little different these are wonderful and unique Bike Park Options, they are a. Harold's Blend (Blue awesome single track off of Upper Sugarline), b. Old Blend (a blueish black line that meanders off of Back o the Shack) c. Billy's World ( a long, long, enduro style single track that wanders far to the east and then back to the lift. Guys on trail bikes are always delighted to discover this trail). d. Thunder Cliffs (an older trail incorporated into the park, it's a surprisingly rigorous Black single track little option off of Sleeping Jakes), e. Chin Strap ( a short blue single track that connects to Lower Harold's Blend). Exploring these trails adds a little spice to a day on the hill.

    Final bits of advice: If it is a rainy day or particularly slick, the West (biker's left) side holds up better than the East side (more challenging DH trails). Yes, there's always a crew of DH killers who show up just to practice on the Schist when it's crazy slippery (those folks are pretty impressive though)…but that's not most of us.

    Pop into the patrol shack at the top and ask for advice, directions, anything-it's a chatty bunch of guys and gals looking to help out the customers.

    I like to alternate trails, one run on the flowy-fast side followed by a run on the more rigorous DH side (unless it's slimy then it's a production of West Side Story). Keeps things fresh. Then again, there are people who are delighted to come and just rip Hawleywood all day.

    Lot's of entrees for lot's of biker palates.

    Hope all that helps people interested in coming to ride Thunder Mountain.

  29. #29
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    @SuperbMan

    HIGH FIVE!!! Very insightful.

  30. #30
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    Agreed. Great info.
    Our group loved Wine Tree and Trillium. Schist kicked our asses, really challenging on getting your line right. We rolled Hawleywood and where amazed at the size of the jumps and drops. Would be tons of fun if we had the balls to keep speed to clear the jumps.

    Side note: We rented bikes and were disappointed in the staff on not setting them up to our sizes or showing us how to adjust the suspension. My bike was very poor and suggest checking it out before riding with the staff to dial in.

  31. #31
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    Thanks to Harold and the rest of the Thunder Mountain crew for getting the trails prepped for today! The ESC crew was great as well. 1st enduro down... definitely won't be my last. For missing the practice days and running the trails blind, I can't complain. I was pushing too hard on Wine Tree and had an off, but I finished. Mission accomplished!

  32. #32
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    One more race weekend coming. MIT is bring the ECCC back to Charlemont for the third visit this September. Open classes in all 4 events. XC, ST, DS and DH. All events on the south side of the valley this year.

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold.green1 View Post
    One more race weekend coming. MIT is bring the ECCC back to Charlemont for the third visit this September. Open classes in all 4 events. XC, ST, DS and DH. All events on the south side of the valley this year.

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    Is there a bikereg page for this or any more information somewhere? What time is the race?

  34. #34
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    That's in MIT's court. Nothing up yet.

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  35. #35
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    My 4 yr old will ride all day at highland on the dh training park they have there. Anything similar at thunder that a little grom can ride?

  36. #36
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    There is a training center in the base area. Some nice berms and rollers, easy to push up.

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  37. #37
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    Hi. How crowded/busy has it been these past few weekends? I just don't want to drive 4h and wait on ridiculous lines. Did that once at highlands a couple weekends before closing and I couldn't get runs to justify another trip sad to say.

    Last weekend I understand, right?

  38. #38
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    Longest line I've seen all year was about 10 minutes.

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  39. #39
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    I think Thunder does much better job than Highland (maybe because it's bigger) absorbing higher amounts of people. The lifts never seemed to bog down like they do at Highland on busy days.

  40. #40
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    You guys are liars! Was longer than I hoped for. 20min and maybe a little better as the day went on day. Last run was 5 min at 3:45. The end of season rush and the perfect weather. Whatever, I was chill about it.

    My first time there yeterday. It was a blast! No regrets! Can't wait to come back next season. Thank you crew!

    I was on a fresh too bright for me neon green Scott Gambler. My name is Manny of course. HELLO

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY View Post
    You guys are liars! Was longer than I hoped for. 20min and maybe a little better as the day went on day. Last run was 5 min at 3:45. The end of season rush and the perfect weather. Whatever, I was chill about it.

    My first time there yeterday. It was a blast! No regrets! Can't wait to come back next season. Thank you crew!

    I was on a fresh too bright for me neon green Scott Gambler. My name is Manny of course. HELLO
    I was there yesterday as well....in defense of the MTN they had started to remove the carriages that hold the bikes. There was a section of the lift that did not have a carriage every other chair. I counted 6 chairs per carriage. I understand they were getting ready for ski season and unseasonably warm weather they tried to keep the MTB'ers happy. You add the fact that Sunday there was snow in the forecast everyone came out for one last day! Im glad I was there first thing in the morning and got multiple runs in before the line was past the lodge. Got to ride Hawleywood for the first time and despite the ridiculous lines Im glad I went. I did leave early though because the line was pretty bad.

    Looking forward to next year!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY View Post
    You guys are liars! Was longer than I hoped for. 20min and maybe a little better as the day went on day. Last run was 5 min at 3:45. The end of season rush and the perfect weather. Whatever, I was chill about it.

    My first time there yeterday. It was a blast! No regrets! Can't wait to come back next season. Thank you crew!

    I was on a fresh too bright for me neon green Scott Gambler. My name is Manny of course. HELLO
    Well, not really liars. Yesterday was the biggest day crowd EVER at the park.

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