LAKE HARMONY, Pa. — After spending the afternoon on Jack Frost Mountain, Wiley and I headed for
Big Boulder. We drove the private toll road (25¢) connecting the two ski areas, winding through Split Rock, a pleasant resort community on Lake Harmony, over to Big Boulder. We arrived just after opening and bypassed the lodge and headed straight to the slopes.
It was parka weather at Big Boulder
My ski classes in college were at Big Boulder, so I am more familiar
with it than any other ski resort. I have been there at least fifteen times, mostly at night, so this is my “home” for skiing. However, as I had mentioned in my Pocono Skiing I, Big Boulder had transformed itself into a very snowboard friendly resort, so I should say that I was familiar with it rather than I am. In total, there are four snowboard parks on the mountain, one of which replaced my second favorite slope ever, Merry Widow. So, with this in mind, my attitude towards Big Boulder was not as positive as it otherwise would have been. However, since it was our second resort of the day, Wiley and I were still pretty upbeat.
Wiley on Upper Sitzmark, I think.
Our first ride up the lift quickly reminded us that Big Boulder is a bigger, colder mountain. I threw my royal blue parka on over my hockey sweater for the rest of the afternoon. Wiley remained in his stylish
Channel 69 (Family Zone TV) parka. The winds were also stronger. We started off on Upper Sitzmark which fed into Lower Sitzmark. This proved to be a bad idea since we quickly got stuck in the area. After two trips up short lifts, we drifted back over to the middle of the mountain. I cannot recall the exact order, but we took a ride down Mittl-Weg and a few rides down Bunny’s Elbow. Mittl-Weg’s conditions were typical of Big Boulder, overgroomed to the point of being crunchy in spots. It had forgotten how Big Boulder tended to be icy, though that is likely in part to the fact that I skied it during the day no more than twice and had not seen the sun during either of those visits.
Skiing down Bunny Schuss
Thankfully, Bunny’s Elbow still had pretty good conditions. In what is likely the only improvement of the move to greater snowboard friendliness, the top of the run is fashioned as a border-cross. The three or four additional dips make the run a lot of fun, despite its rating. I spent the rest of the evening on this slope, since my legs were just too tired for trails. I took a run or two along Bunny Schuss, essentially a shortcut off of Bunny’s Elbow, but found it a little less enjoyable since it was slightly shorter. For one thing, Bunny’s Elbow had a view of the Pocono Speedway and Delaware Water Gap.
So much for the Golden Hour. Wiley with Pocono Raceway in the background.
As the sun set, we started getting cold again and finished off the second part of our snow day. We returned my skis, stopped at the Pocono Interchange McDonald’s, and headed back to York.
I’ll give Big Boulder a rating of , a demotion due to the increase of snowboard parks.