Mid-Atlantic 2019/2020 Poconos (greater area) -- Conditions, Resorts, Meet-ups

kitchener

Still At Large
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247
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Wilmington, DE
The season is coming and the wind is at our backs!

Given the distance between the western PA/WV Mid-Atlantic ski areas and the "greater" Poconos ski area (greater meaning, also including Elk and Mountain Creek, etc.), last year's Poconos-dedicated Mid-Atlantic thread saw a lot of use. I think we're all of a mind to fire it up anew for this coming season.

For my own crew (my cousin Wayne, myself, and a bunch of walkie-talkied teens on a tether), we tend (Sundays, mostly) towards Camelback when we're not headed out West once or twice a season. We usually matriculate up the turnpike to Elk on major holiday weekends. Wayne and I got together just this past weekend and agreed we'd try to make it up to CBK this season for a few Thursday days, too (for some crowd-free mayhem). We're looking forward to all the new snow guns at CBK, and given all the troubles at Timberline, feeling lucky our sliver of Mid-Atlantic skiing doesn't have those First World problems, lol. Anyway, I'd love to meet up with you all if you find yourself planning to be at CBK on a Sunday -- reach out to me here or PM me. Our kids are pretty sociable, too, if you've got some teens.

As I mentioned last year, we're always thrilled to bang around with fellow Pugskiers (let's toss back a few Moscow Mules at the bar off of Stevenson) — hopefully this thread will help make Pugski meet-ups a little more easy at all the area resorts over the season.

Outside of the upgrades at CBK, what else has been going on through the region (beyond ownership changes, etc).?
 
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Scrundy

I like beer
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Posts
365
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Conklin NY
I’ll be at Elk nights mostly so anytime someone needs some a partner, yell at me. Elk changed night hours, kind of sucks. Sunday they close at 7:30 and no night skiing Monday and Tuesday, Sunday no big deal as I skied to 7:30 on Sundays anyway. So guess I’ll get a few extra days at Greek or run down to Montage.
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
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1,192
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PA
I'd like to get back to Montage this season -- last time I was there was there it was way below zero (CBK didn't open that day!) -- I'd like to see Montage when my goggles aren't frosted over!
It is way more chill than Camelback, especially on weekends. The North Face is a fun area and that’s where we spend most of our time....it’s a pretty hemlock/mountain laurel forest....so the PA state tree and state flower are represented there! Also White Lightning is a fairly steep run, @Large Squirrel could give some stats, I am sure. It can get some big bumps on it. I *think* it is listed as the steepest marked trail in PA at 32 degrees. “Elevator” at JF is steeper, but it’s not a marked run.

The lifts are slow, but that’s what keeps the body count down on the trails, methinks. We fill up that time with good conversation.
 
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Wendy

Trying not to face plant
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1,192
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PA
+ @Wendy now knows how to pronounce Ullur
You spelled his name correctly! (Not Ullr). :)

Ha! Well, I will elaborate:
In Icelandic literature, Ullur doesn’t appear all that much. (Oðin and Þór are much more prominent. Ullur is primarily found in Norwegian, Swedish and Germanic lore).

Anyways, his name is spelled Ullur in Old Icelandic and the double l, when followed by a vowel, is pronounced “tl” so Ullur, or Ullr/Ullur is pronounced “ut-lurth” with the accent on the first syllable and the “th” being very quiet (it’s just how the r sounds at the end of Icelandic words).

People often mistake Ullr as the “god of snow” but he was an archer (he is always depicted with a bow) and a “skiðihlaupari” (Ski runner). I would think his modern equivalent would a 10th Mountain Division soldier, who is also a sailor, with some godlike powers.

Don’t confuse the Icelandic word “ull” with Ullur.....”ull” simply means wool.



Sorry for the nerd hijack...now back to our regular scheduled programming.
 
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Large Squirrel

a.k.a. guitar73
Skier
Posts
187
Location
Philly 'burbs
It is way more chill than Camelback, especially on weekends. The North Face is a fun area and that’s where we spend most of our time....it’s a pretty hemlock/mountain laurel forest....so the PA state tree and state flower are represented there! Also White Lightning is a fairly steep run, @Large Squirrel could give some stats, I am sure. It can get some big bumps on it. I *think* it is listed as the steepest marked trail in PA at 32 degrees. “Elevator” at JF is steeper, but it’s not a marked run.

The lifts are slow, but that’s what keeps the body count down on the trails, methinks. We fill up that time with good conversation.
i wouldn't touch weekend's at CBK with a ten foot pole! way to crowded for my liking.

Montage really flies under the radar, which is fine by me. The North Face has a great variety of advanced terrain with good snowmaking coverage. Ditto @Wendy about White Lightning. Indeed it is the steepest run in PA at 32 degrees, and since there are a ton of fan-guns on that trail WL is often open very early in the season. Also, the man-made snow gets blown into the trees on skier's right, so a small area of steep tree skiing is usually in play as well. Extrovert at BK being only slightly less steep at 29 degrees, but a much longer trail. Both are fun times IMHO.

The other thing i like about having no crowds at Montage is that there is plenty of space in the base lodge. Unlike at Elk, Montage's base lodge was recently updated and has full-sized tables and seats that one can comfortably sit at and get ready for the ski day. Full disclosure: i am not a fan of Elk's base lodge, and have stated so in other threads.

Def would consider a Pugski Pocono meet-up at some point this season.
 

BC.

NEPA ShopRat/Skier
Skier
Posts
753
Location
Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
i wouldn't touch weekend's at CBK with a ten foot pole! way to crowded for my liking.

Montage really flies under the radar, which is fine by me. The North Face has a great variety of advanced terrain with good snowmaking coverage. Ditto @Wendy about White Lightning. Indeed it is the steepest run in PA at 32 degrees, and since there are a ton of fan-guns on that trail WL is often open very early in the season. Also, the man-made snow gets blown into the trees on skier's right, so a small area of steep tree skiing is usually in play as well. Extrovert at BK being only slightly less steep at 29 degrees, but a much longer trail. Both are fun times IMHO.

The other thing i like about having no crowds at Montage is that there is plenty of space in the base lodge. Unlike at Elk, Montage's base lodge was recently updated and has full-sized tables and seats that one can comfortably sit at and get ready for the ski day. Full disclosure: i am not a fan of Elk's base lodge, and have stated so in other threads.

Def would consider a Pugski Pocono meet-up at some point this season.

Skier's left on WL is where I usually can be found while at Montage.....in and out of the snow gun towers along the tree line......that's where the gun powder tends to be.....Lapping North Face is really the only thing we do at the Taj.....I have a shop pass, so I go for a couple hours in the am and call it a day/beer in the lot..(Look for a Tundra)....they have been doing a good job of blowing snow on North Face, so the conditions there are usually decent first thing in the am. Montage is what it is.....and believe it not, sometimes it's just less of a hassle to go there then go to Elk.
 

Scrundy

I like beer
Skier
Posts
365
Location
Conklin NY
Got to get down to Montage never skied there and I live 1:15 maybe from there. Elks lodge never really bothered me much or the cattle truck either. Skiing nights bypass all that crap, if any given night there was more than 20 people in lodge I would think something was going on. Elk is 35 min from house so real convenient for me and if I wanted a change of pace I went north to Greek, about 45 min from home. Gonna make the trip this year some night probably a Friday, been saying it for 2 seasons now but it’s getting done this season. I know this sounds terrible but I always associate Scranton with a bunch of drunks and figured I’d have to deal with out of control skiers.
 

BC.

NEPA ShopRat/Skier
Skier
Posts
753
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Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
Got to get down to Montage never skied there and I live 1:15 maybe from there. Elks lodge never really bothered me much or the cattle truck either. Skiing nights bypass all that crap, if any given night there was more than 20 people in lodge I would think something was going on. Elk is 35 min from house so real convenient for me and if I wanted a change of pace I went north to Greek, about 45 min from home. Gonna make the trip this year some night probably a Friday, been saying it for 2 seasons now but it’s getting done this season. I know this sounds terrible but I always associate Scranton with a bunch of drunks and figured I’d have to deal with out of control skiers.
Skiing first thing in the AM at any Pocono ski area is a vastly different experience than skiing after 1:00pm let alone going night skiing.......lol. My recommendation to any place in the Poconos is to ski first thing in the AM and get the heck out of there by noon. I live by the lake....so I am a sophisticated drunk....:D
 
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4aprice

Getting off the lift
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Posts
249
Skiing first thing in the AM at any Pocono ski area is a vastly different experience than skiing after 1:00pm let alone going night skiing.......lol. My recommendation to any place in the Poconos is to ski first thing in the AM and get the heck out of there by noon. I live by the lake....so I am a sophisticated drunk....:D
Ding Ding Ding, Winner.

I chuckle a little as people are correct, Camelback can get quite busy but you have to know how to negotiate the place. One of the perks of having the Camelback Super Pass is 1st tracks on weekends and its on the busy ones we try get out there at the 7:30 am bell. Generally it goes somewhat like this: 1st hour (7:30-8:30) no lines, no traffic, yo-yoing t2b non stops 9-10 runs, 2nd hour (8;30-9:30) General public gets involved but slowly waits of a couple of chairs,,,keeping on the move we try to stay ahead of the crowds as back up lifts start opening, 7-8 runs. 3rd hour (9:30 - 10:30) Getting busier corrals open on Sullivan quad usually 4 - 6 min waits for the quads, back up lifts remain empty options but slower, certain trails start to get busy but there's still room to play, 6-8 runs. 4th Hour (10:30 - 11:30) the masses have now arrived gotten through the ticket and rental lines and out to the snow. Quad lines probably up to 10-12 min, small line on Bailey, but still probably no line on Marc Antony. Trails pretty busy, but we are also winding the morning down usually knock off for lunch at 11:30 ish 5-7 runs. So a morning of approximately 4 hrs and 30 runs. Lunch is a time of decision, if not too bad its out for some more,(mogul practice if bumps are up) , if its bad its home or to the bar.

So BC is correct, the early bird gets the worm. I (purposely) tend to see the biggest and worst crowds there. Its my go to during Christmas, MLK and Presidents Day weekends. There are plenty of other better times to hit the road during the season so its nice to have a home option that's only 45 min from home if the masses become intolerable.

Just want to add that past Presidents Day things die off quite rapidly and crowds are non-existent on what is usually a well covered 100% open mountain.
 

BC.

NEPA ShopRat/Skier
Skier
Posts
753
Location
Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
Ding Ding Ding, Winner.

I chuckle a little as people are correct, Camelback can get quite busy but you have to know how to negotiate the place. One of the perks of having the Camelback Super Pass is 1st tracks on weekends and its on the busy ones we try get out there at the 7:30 am bell. Generally it goes somewhat like this: 1st hour (7:30-8:30) no lines, no traffic, yo-yoing t2b non stops 9-10 runs, 2nd hour (8;30-9:30) General public gets involved but slowly waits of a couple of chairs,,,keeping on the move we try to stay ahead of the crowds as back up lifts start opening, 7-8 runs. 3rd hour (9:30 - 10:30) Getting busier corrals open on Sullivan quad usually 4 - 6 min waits for the quads, back up lifts remain empty options but slower, certain trails start to get busy but there's still room to play, 6-8 runs. 4th Hour (10:30 - 11:30) the masses have now arrived gotten through the ticket and rental lines and out to the snow. Quad lines probably up to 10-12 min, small line on Bailey, but still probably no line on Marc Antony. Trails pretty busy, but we are also winding the morning down usually knock off for lunch at 11:30 ish 5-7 runs. So a morning of approximately 4 hrs and 30 runs. Lunch is a time of decision, if not too bad its out for some more,(mogul practice if bumps are up) , if its bad its home or to the bar.

So BC is correct, the early bird gets the worm. I (purposely) tend to see the biggest and worst crowds there. Its my go to during Christmas, MLK and Presidents Day weekends. There are plenty of other better times to hit the road during the season so its nice to have a home option that's only 45 min from home if the masses become intolerable.

Just want to add that past Presidents Day things die off quite rapidly and crowds are non-existent on what is usually a well covered 100% open mountain.
Totally this^^^^^A recently retired ski buddy in our group specifically got a Camelback season “senior” pass this winter because of the ability to lap HSQ in the am and get a ton more skiing than his usual Montage/Elk passes.

He rips...and is taking the year off of the slow, ancient lifts at Elk....among other things... He said from his trips last spring he could easy get double the amount of runs at Camelback lapping the HSQ’s.....as long as it was midweek....in the am.....and get out of there by noon.
 
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Wendy

Trying not to face plant
Skier
Posts
1,192
Location
PA
haven't really seen much of that at Montage....def at CBK and Blue Mtn, lol.
The one time there was a drunk guy being an ass on the chairlift, Ski Patrol got him and escorted him off the snow.
Never saw yahoos at Montage like I have at Blue or CB or JF.
 
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