times, and was last updated on march 25th, 2013
Copyright 2013 Thunderbolt Ski Runners
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"...it seemed like only 5 feet wide when you went down through it,
but it was 15 or 20 feet wide."
- Adolph Konieczny
The Needle's Eye is the narrowest part of the Thunderbolt. Skiers
who successfully negotiated the Big Bend and The Steps soon
found themselves picking up speed and approaching this narrow
chute. Wiliams College widened the Needle's Eye in the 1950's for
collegiate races, yet today it still remains the narrowest section of
Very few pictures from the era exist of the Needle's Eye. Because
it was so narrow, photographers tended to either stand just above
or just below it to capture the action.
Today, the Needle's Eye is just as dangerous as it was back in the
day. Unless you snowplow or side-slip the entire thing, it's tough to
avoid picking up speed in the Needle, as it is not wide enough to
make turns. Instead, it's best just to put your head down, your skis
forward, and schuss it at full speed like your daddy used to do.
View of the Needle's Eye from above, looking down the trail.
View of the Needle's Eye from below.
|A racer "threading the Needle's Eye" during the
1935 Massachusetts State Downhill Championship.
|A rare image from the 1935 Massachusetts State Downhill
Championship. This racer is about to "thread the Needle's Eye."
|Souvenir pin from the
1938 U.S. Eastern Downhill
|Membership pins for the
Mt. Greylock Ski Club.
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