The original finish line of the Thunderbolt Ski Run was cut in December of
1934 by the 107th CCC Company. Just before the finish line were two
famous steep drops that skiers had to negotiate just to make it to the
finish. The last 20 yards of the Thunderbolt was itself a steep chute into a
narrow land bridge between two rivers that flowed off of Mt. Greylock.
Often the narrow and steep drop caught many skiers off guard and
caused them to slide across the finish on their fanny.
The finish was located in a south facing river gully at the foot of Mt.
Greylock . When temperatures were mild or when there was a lack of
snow, often the finish line would be washed out or completely bare.
Because of this, the trail couldn't be used even when there was plenty of
snow on the upper two-thirds of the trail. In 1936, the lower third of the
Thunderbolt was rerouted to a more isolated north-facing part of the
mountain. Maybe by chance, or maybe by design, the second 1936 finish
line also ended between two rivers and was preceded by a steep,
Besides several minutes of grainy 8mm film of the 1935 and '36 races,
today little remains of the original finish line. If you have a keen eye and a
GPS, you may still visit the site and see some original CCC era bridge
stonework that is visible. But the forest has reclaimed all traces of the
original finish to include the last two steep drops that came just before.
A skier crossing the finish during the first race in 1935 (note the 2 rivers on either side of the trail).
"If you didn't stop in time, you went for a swim in the river..."
- Greeny Guertin
A skier sliding down the big chute just at the finish.
This guy manages to stay on his feet as he negotiates the steep
chute at the finish.
The last big hill before the original finish during construction in 1934.
A look at the last two big drops just before the finish.
A racer takes a fall on the 1st big drop just before the finish
during the 1936 race.
times, and was last updated on March 25th, 2013.
Copyright 2013 Bigschuss Productions
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|A look at the racers crossing the finish
line during the 1935 Massachusetts
State Downhill Championship.
|Ski Runners of Adams patch.
|Contact the webmaster with questions or comments.
Two nice pictures (far left and right) of the area highlighted in RED in the center
pic. Both racers seem to be enjoying a well groomed race course. These are
probably from the 1936 Massachusetts State Championship Race.