Wachusett Mountain (ski area)

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Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort
Aerial view of the ski area
Aerial view of the ski area
Location Princeton, Massachusetts
Nearest city Worcester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°29′58″N 71°53′11″W / 42.49944°N 71.88639°W / 42.49944; -71.88639
Vertical 1,006 ft (307 m)
Top elevation 2,006 ft (611 m)
Base elevation 1,000 ft (305 m)
Skiable area 110 acres (43 hectares)
Runs 26
Longest run 7,050 ft (2,149 m)
Lift system 3 magic carpets
1 triple chairlift
3 high speed quads
Terrain parks Alpine Park
Racing venue
Snowfall 100 in (254 cm)
Snowmaking 100% (110 acres)
Website http://www.wachusett.com

Wachusett Mountain is a ski resort, on Mount Wachusett, in the towns of Princeton and Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has 25 trails, served by 8 ski-lifts, including 3 high-speed chairlifts and 3 child-friendly magic-carpet lifts, 1 Triple Chairlift, and 1 Pony Lift (rope tow).

Wachusett Mountain appeals mostly to skiers from Boston and Worcester, because it provides a weekend shuttle service to and from a MBTA commuter stop in nearby Fitchburg, Massachusetts.[1]

Wachusett Mountain has 100% snow-making capacity. It also has night-skiing on most of its trails.


The original Beginners' Area Triple chair lift

The first ski trails were cut into Mount Wachusett by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1934 and 1937.[2] Those trails were called Pine Hill Trail and Balance Rock. Today skiers can still ski down the upper and lower half of Balance rock. The middle section closed in the 1980s. During World War II, the 10th Mountain Division trained at Wachusett. There is now a plaque at the summit commemorating this. The first lifts installed were a T-bar in 1960 (the Oxbow T-Bar) and in 1962 (the West T-Bar). At the time, the West T-Bar was the longest T-bar in New England, measuring a total of 3,800 feet (1,160 m). [1]

The Massachusetts State Downhill ski championships were run on the Pine Hill Trail until 1966. The race was called off that year after 3 racers were injured, and moved in the years following to the Balance Rock Trail until ski area expansion cut that trail in 1983.

In 1969, Ralph Crowley was granted a lease for a 450-acre (1.8 km2) parcel of land on Mount Wachusett by the state to operate the ski area. In 1982, a major expansion was completed which included the construction of the base lodge.

Stands of old growth hardwood forest on Mount Wachusett became the object of a court ruling in favor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in joint contract with the ski area regarding plans for a ski slope expansion into an environmental buffer zone around the old growth stand. The old-growth forest contains trees over 350 years old; the buffer zone contained mature trees about half that age. The Sierra Club and other conservation organizations criticized the ruling and two members of Earth First! staged a sit-in protest by climbing into the crowns of several of the trees in the area slated to be clear cut.[3][4] As of 2007 wording on the website of the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area included strong language prohibiting skiers and snow boarders from entering the old growth area: "Anyone found entering old growth areas will have their lift ticket revoked. Subsequent offenses will be subject to fines." [5]

Mountain information[edit]

Wachusett Mountain Center

The resort features 26 trails, ranging in difficulty from easiest (green circle) to most difficult (black diamond). Amidst these trails is a terrain park, and a racing venue. Two high-speed chairlifts (Minuteman and Polar Express) service the two main peaks as well as a newer high-speed lift for the beginner area (Monadnock Express).[6] One additional 3-person chairlift (Vickery Bowl) services the mid-mountain area. Two magic carpets service the mountain's training slopes with a third open only during weekends and holiday periods for ski school lessons for young children.

In 2006, the National Ski Patrol named Wachusett Mountain Ski Patrol as the best Large Alpine Patrol in the country.[7]

The base lodge has recently been expanded, and is now nearly 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2). It contains public areas, a cafeteria, The Black Diamond restaurant, and private suites, that are available for daily rental.

The resort includes nearby Wachusett Village Inn which provides overnight accommodations. A shuttle service connects to the ski area during the winter season and for private functions during the summer.


Easier More Difficult Most Difficult
5 16 5


Lift Name Vertical Rise Length Type
Polar Express Quad 944 ft 4,307 ft high speed quad
Minuteman Express Quad 600 ft 3,516 ft high speed quad
Monadnock Express Quad 230 ft 2,340 ft high speed quad
Vickery Bowl Triple 279 ft 1,500 ft fixed grip triple
Easy Rider 36 ft 350 ft magic carpet
Ollie's Carpet 18 ft 200 ft magic carpet
Polar Kids 9 ft 100 ft magic carpet

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ski Train To Wachusett". Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  2. ^ http://www.newenglandskihistory.com/Massachusetts/wachusett.php
  3. ^ DeMarco, Peter. "2 Tree-Sitters Staving Off Ax at Wachusett, Massachusetts" Boston Globe 10 September 2003.
  4. ^ Sierra Club, et al. v. Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Management. 439 Mass 738 (2003).
  5. ^ "Protect the Old Growth Forest" Mount Wachusett Ski Area. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  6. ^ "Wachusett to replace triple chairlift with a new high speed quad" Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  7. ^ "Outstanding Award Winners". National Ski Patrol, Eastern Division. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°29′58″N 71°53′11″W / 42.49944°N 71.88639°W / 42.49944; -71.88639