The Put’s Peril route to the summit is the most challenging route on Blandford. It also the steepest route, although it only requires less than two hours two get to the summit and back. It has one "cliff" that is only about twenty or thirty feet high, but travels up the second and third steepest trails on the mountain. There are three summits, each of which are on top of chairlift hills. The shorter route would be to end at the third chair on the Puts route.
The cliff is located in the middle/beginning of the route. It won't take you more than 10 minutes to get over. You should make it over in 5. Anyone without a fear of heights can make it over.
Underneath the cliff are the two ski trails. Directly underneath it, Put's Peril, is the second steepest groomed trail on the mountain. It won't take long to get up it, for it's only about 75 yards up. However, you could get caught in a wall of prickers and get your self in a predicament.
Below Puts is Ledge. Ledge is generally steep trail but is only about 60 yards up. You won't have any trouble at all getting up it. Make sure when you get to the top you continue to move forward and not take the route to the side.
In the winter, the trail is at its best. However, the cliff is off limits. If you still want to hike, talk to the people at the chairlift if its O.K. to hike.
Puts is covered in fresh snow during the winter. It will take a little bit longer to get up, however. I would recommend staying to the sides because people will come racing down that slope. The left side has the stump jump, if you want to climb up that. The right side has rocks and woods. I would recommend the right side.
The cliff, at the top of Puts, is off limits during the winter. Ski patrol keeps a careful watch around that area, and the chairlift runs right above it. If you can do it on a really cold day, however, it will be easy to get up the cliff before ski patrol gets there.
Getting ThereFrom the North (Cummington)
Head southeast on Main St toward RT-112/RT-9. Continue on Fairgrounds Rd. for 1.8 miles. Continue on Cummington Rd. for 2.3 miles. Turn left at Main Rd/RT-143 for about 40 feet. Turn right at Ireland St and continue for 4.7 miles. Turn left on Huntington Rd. to stay on Ireland St. and continue for about 50 yards. Turn left at Huntington Rd/RT-112 .Continue to follow RT-112 for 8.9 miles. Turn left at Huntington Rd/Russell Rd/US-20 Continue to follow US-20 for 3.9 miles. Turn right at Blandford Stage Rd. and continue for 1.4 miles. Continue on Russell Stage Rd. for 0.7 miles. Take a slight right at Nye Brook Rd. and continue until you reach Blandford Ski area. Once in the main area between the two lodges, continue on the trail at the base of the area an continue until you reach the third and final chair lift
From The South (Hartford)
Head south on Main St. toward Wells St.(About 100 yards). Turn right at Wells St. and continue for about 200 yards. At Pulaski Circle, take the 4th exit onto Whitehead Hwy. and continue for 0.6 miles. Take the exit onto I-91 N toward Springfield/Bradley Int'l Airport and continue for 31.6 miles. Take exit 14 for I-90/Mass. Pike toward Boston/Albany NY and continue for 0.9 miles. Follow signs for Albany/I-90 W and merge onto I-90 W/Massachusetts Turnpike/Mass Pike and continue for about 5.1 miles. Take exit 3 toward RT-10/Westfield/US-202/Northampton and continue 0.4 miles. Merge onto Pride Way and continue for 0.1 miles. Turn right at RT-10/US-202 and continue for 1.5 miles. Turn right at Franklin St/US-20 and continue for about 8 miles. Turn left at Blandford Stage Rd and continue for 1.4 miles. Continue on Russell Stage Rd. for 0.7 miles. Take a slight right at Nye Brook Rd and continue until you reach Blandford Ski Area. Once in the main area between the two lodges, continue on the trail at the base of the area an continue until you reach the third and final chair lift.
Directions - Google Maps
Route DirectionsThe Summer, Spring, and Early Fall
Begin your ascent by starting up the Ledge ski trail. After you reach the break in the slope, do not go to the right or left. The right is the "Bear" route and the left is the "Chute" route. You can take either of these if you'd like but Chute skips the cliff and if you climb Bear you will have to descend down a small slope to the right to get to the cliff.
Once you reach the top of Puts, ascend up the cliff and then continue until you reach the summit at the top of the third chair lift hill. If you want to skip the cliff, just take a right and then once at the top above the Bear route take a left which leads you to a path to the original route.
Begin your ascent by starting up the Ledge ski trail. After you reach the break in the slope, do not go to the right or left. The right is the "Bear" route and the 2nd Lift Line
and the left is the "Chute" route. You can take either of these if you'd like but Chute skips the cliff and if you climb Bear you will have to descend down a small slope to the right to get to the cliff.
If your skipping the cliff, which you probably should, take a right at the top of the Put's Peril ski trail and then take a left onto a path to get back on the main route. Conitnue on the path until you reach the summit on top of the ski lift hill.
Note to both: There are three summits, which are each located on the ski lift hills.
When To CLimbThe Winter
The best time to climb is in the in the winter. During the winter it offers the hardest sections of the mountain. Also, ice is more abundant on the cliff during the winter. This will add on to the challenges of the route.
The down side about climbing in the winter are the ski patrol. It's the hardest time to get up the route without being seen. If you get seen, get off the mountain. Climb when it is snowing and there is not so good visibility. This will decrease your chances of being caught.
The Spring, Summer, and Fall
This is the easiest time to climb the route. The cliff is very easy during the summer. You won't have any trouble at all unless you run into unsuspected weather.
The scenery in the fall is said to be spectacular. The soil is a little loose during the climb but will hold you for a good amount of time. The cliff scenery is the best during the fall.
Essential GearThe Summer and Spring
All you are going to need during the summer are a few snacks and a hiking stick if you want one. You won't need anything to climb the cliff. It is very easy during the summer. You might want to were pants, however, because Poison Ivy is abundant as well as prickers.
The Winter and Fall
During the winter and fall months, all that is necessary are boots, and crampons and ice axes if the cliff is icy. I think with just crampons you should be able to make it up. Ice axes are only necessary if the cliff is very icy the entire way. You should only bring crampons if it is your will, for you might not need them either.
Ropes for the cliff may be necessary if you plan to climb straight up but if you want to travel criss-cross don't bother bringing them. It just makes it harder.
There are no pictures because I need to download a few before I can post them. There should be some in a month or so. Pictures of the cliff in the winter won't be available until I can get up there in the ski season.