The Mt. Greylock Hill Climb serves both as a celebration of the rollerski season and a marker of the transition to winter — which almost came to quickly (for the event) this year. 2023 marked the third edition of NENSA’s involvement with the competition, which utilizes a beautiful eight mile stretch of toll road rising from Lanesborough, Massachusetts to the highest point in the state. Fueled by increasing local participation, this years event was the largest to date with 138 skiers.
Competitors came from every state in the East, including many junior clubs, three college teams and our largest masters field of the year. NENSA’s involvement in the event was based on the vision of Joe Bazzano from Lenox High School. Hilary Greene and the Berkshire Nordic Ski Club have a long history of using Greylock as a training ground, and provide an incredible volunteer base to make the event run smoothly. We are grateful for the support of the Massachusetts DCR and their rangers who make this event possible. We also owe a huge shout out to Bread Euphoria — who’s tasty pastries and bagels fueled competitors at the summit, along with their bread which pairs so nicely with Cabot podium cheese!
The Hill Climb offers something for everyone, with both a long course (eight miles) and short course (four miles). The race is primarily a classic affair, but there are options for freestyle technique. The long course utilizes five person wave starts with competitors seeded by points rather than gender. The short course is an interval start. Perhaps one of the coolest conversations around the finish was how many folks improved upon their times from the previous year!
Quincy Donley of Harvard catches her breath after the finish. Donley topped the women’s field with a time of 56:16 — almost exactly seven minutes fast than her 2022 effort where she finished eleventh!
Canadian and Harvard super star Remi Drolet made this grueling climb look like fun! This photo shows Drolet nearing the top of the mountain nearly two minutes ahead of the next competitor — clearly with more in the tank. Drolet’s time was 43:54, within the same minute of the course record set by Ian Torchia in 2021 of 43:11.
For many competitors this was their first ski competition of the year and Greylock is a perfect way to get excited for the winter season. NENSA is so excited to see the growth of skiing in Western Massachusetts and share the Berkshire Mountains with the broader community.
College Cup Standings
Bowdoin College will be taking home the NENSA College Cup for the 2023 season with strong showings at the Good Times Roll and the Maine Event. Paul Smith’s College, the 2022 winner was the second team with participation in three events.
Open rankings reflect strong participation numbers throughout the season with 60 skiers competing in two or more races. 188 skiers were a part of the 2023 Series.
Mt. Greylock was the final event of the Masters Hill Climber Series. Forty-six masters participated in at least one event. Jessie Donavan (GMVS) and Tim Van Orden (Prospect Mountain Ski Club) are your 2023 NENSA Rollerski Hill Climbers. The Series criteria adds together each athletes two best finishes, with the lowest total being the winner.
Donavan, M4, skied both Climb to the Castle and Greylock and was the fastest woman in each event for masters — she was also 13th and seventh overall in those races. Van Orden, M5, was the top master at the Climb and second at Greylock, finishing 15th and 39th overall respectively.
It was fantastic to see so many masters skiers out on course throughout the summer and Greylock drew in the most of any event with 26 finishers!
1) Jessie Donavan – GMVS – M4
2) Kathy Maddock – Dublin XC – M4
T3) Rosalie Wilson – Ford Sayre – M4
T3) Kathy Schwenk – Knewhcs – M7
T3) Jennifer Mygatt – M3
Jessie Donavan striding to victory.
1) Tim Van Orden – Prospect Mountain Ski Club – M5
2) Robert Knapp – EMXC – M6
3) Landon Vom Steeg – Ford Sayre – M3
4) Scott Brown – Cayuga Nordic Ski Club – M6
T5) Peter Alden – Ford Sayre – M5
T5) Matt Bellizzi – Rochester Nordic Racing – M4
Tim Van Orden nearing the top of Mt. Greylock