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About


Mt. Institute
Charlemont, MA, and Hawley, MA


Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below. "Summit" photos may in fact not be at the actual summit - but instead at the best nearby vista.

Looking up the Upper Competition ski trail about two thirds of the way through the hike

Mt. Institute, home of Berkshire East Ski Area, is the steepest sustained hike I've done thus far. While Mt. Greylock (Thunderbolt) and Mt. Mansfield (north face of the Chin) are extremely challenging, hiking up the northwest face of Mt. Institute is just as hard. The route I took (Competition, Upper Competition, Avalanche) is completely uphill and requires some minor climbing on the ledges on Avalanche section.

Just because it's a ski area doesn't mean its safe - I've seen more wildlife hiking here than anywhere else - including on this hike turkey and a porcupine.

The views are excellent, looking both west and north.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Institute
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Friday, September 22, 2006
Hike Commenced: 4:05 PM
Parking Elevation: 580'
Destination: Mt. Institute
Ascent Commenced: 4:07 PM
Summit Reached: 4:27 PM
Trailhead Elevation: 590'
Summit Elevation: 1,538'
Vertical Gain: 948'
Hike Ended: 5:11 PM
Hike Vertical Gain: 970'



At the bottom of the Competition trail - this is the easy part


At the top of the Upper Competition ski trail, north of the summit.




Directions to trailhead: Take South River Road east from Route 8A, then take a right onto Thunder Mountain Road. Park in the large parking lot.

Back to Mt. Institute Profile




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