Tag Archives: Poconos

An area of Pennsylvania that is actually a dissected plateau rather than a mountain range. There are many ski resorts up there.

Eastern Pennsylvania ski resorts hanging in there

Pa. ski resorts adapt to the mild conditionsThe Inky
Another season of poor snowfall isn’t holding back the ski areas in Eastern Pennsylvania like as much as last year. Cold nights have allowed for
snow-making even though the days have been a bit warm. Just a new normal it seems.

Seven Springs and other Western Pennsylvania ski areas seem to be fairing okay — they have had actual snow out there.

Southern Pennsylvania resorts are reporting “loose, granular” which I think means the slopes are covered in gravel.

I was supposed to go skiing today, but the temperatures in the 50s everywhere made me change my plans. Perhaps next weekend will work out better.

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The 2012-2013 Mid-Atlantic ski season begins today

Over the weekend, a number of resorts within driving distance of Washington, D.C. have fired up the snow guns (DC Ski).

EARLY OUTLOOK

The real stuff has been falling as well with about four inches in the Poconos yesterday after flurries throughout Pennsylvania last weekend. It is still early though and warm weather is expected in BeltwayLand in early December, according to Capital Weather Gang. I don’t know how much impact that will have for the resorts north of here, though CWG thinks we could be in for a colder, snowier winter. The Pocono ski areas are expected to open about two weeks earlier than last year with Jack Frost/Big Boulder are planning on opening this afternoon, according to yesterday’s Pocono Record. Camelback is planning on a Saturday opening, while Shawnee and Blue Mountain are aiming for that as well. Hunter Mountain is New York State is aiming for December 8.

UPDATE: Seven Springs and other ski resorts in Western Pennsylvania are forecast to get more snow than normal according to Pittsburgh’s WPXI-TV.

LAST YEAR

Last year was the winter of discontent for skiers, snowboarders and snow-lovers. My plan of going skiing three times became once and I was lucky to get that one in. If not for a couple of inches of snow falling at Blue Knob during the day, the conditions would have left a lot to be desired.

NEAR-ISH SKI AREAS

Over the last several years I have been to several ski areas, all in Pennsylvania and I have blogged about those trips: Big Boulder | Blue Knob | Camelback | Jack Frost | Whitetail. I’m hoping to get up to Hunter this year to ski in New York State for the first time. West Virginia will also be under consideration.

GETTING READY

As always, I’m getting ready with daily exercises, specifically wall-sits. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful just a few minutes every day improves both the experience and my ability. This year, I started off by watching the Franz Klammer Gold Medal run at Innsbruck for inspiration.

Another thing, if you don’t own your own equipment, rent locally. There are two big advantages of renting your skis near where you live:

1.) Renting in advance allows more time on the day you go skiing. Doing the paperwork on a weeknight in an empty, warm ski shop is better than doing it packed, chilly ski area. It is probably cheaper too.

2.) Your boots are warm when you put them on, as opposed to putting on the ski area rentals that have been sitting in a room that is 45°.

Also, wear a helmet. it keeps your head safer and is nice and warm.

THE ONLY COACHING YOU NEED

FURTHER READING

DCSki is a great resource for Mid-Atlantic skiers. I did a Q&A with it last winter.

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A snowy weekend recap

The latest snowstorm to hit BeltwayLand happened (for the most part) while I was in the Poconos skiing with my wife. We were at Camelback and it is pretty much the same as it always is except that my favorite slope, the Nile Mile has been changed to a blue square from a double green circle. That makes a lot of sense to me, the slope is not too hard, but is not easy either. I love attacking that hill, it take me about five minutes to get down when I really push myself.

Oh and we finally hit Yocco’s for their hot dogs on the return trip.

On the way back, we hit snow at about the Mid-County interchange of the Northeast Extension (I-476) and yet saw no snow removal equipment. As we got onto I-95 the conditions were quite slushy, until we hit Maryland. Let me praise the Maryland Transportation Authority for the superior job they did on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway section of I-95 — the conditions were exceptional given the weather. We could comfortably go over 50 m.p.h. DelDot and PennDot, you blew it. The former I expected, despite numerous boasts about Pennsylvania’s snow-readiness by expatriates when compared to BeltwayLand, to do much better. For shame PennDot, for shame. Delaware, most I-95 is a toll road in your state, so you don’t have any excuses either.

Back in Northern Virginia, I did not get a chance to measure the snow. Sorry internet, I know how much you like photos of rulers in snow. I did take my son sledding at my folks house in Vienna though. That was pretty sweet. Grandee got to pull her grandson around the block in a little red sled too.

It looks like we’re in for more snow later this week (Capital Weather Gang), so I’ll be better about the ruler everybody.

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Pocono ski season has begun

Big Boulder is open. Camelback and several other resorts (Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association) are making snow. Even Roundtop, near Harrisburg, is making snow (Patriot-News).

I’m getting stoked, though I’m probably two months away from hitting the slopes. Family/friends/acquittances be warned — I’m going to be asking you if you are ready for some skiing a lot once the calendar turns over.

Pocono Record links:

Camelback ready for early snowmaking
Ski free tonight at Big Boulder, tomorrow at Camelback

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Places I have skiied

Over the years, I have been skiing about thirty times in three different states. Here is a quick rundown of places I have been and my ratings for them. The scale increases from green circle to black diamond .

COLORADO

Eldora (1) – Easily the best I’ve skied because it is in Colorado.

MARYLAND

Wisp (1) — Maryland’s only ski resort was pretty good when I went in middle school.

PENNSYLVANIA

Big Boulder (17) – My home ski area through two semesters of skiing at Penn State Hazleton. Unfortunately, a lot of the best slopes have been turned into snowboard slopes :(, but it is still pretty good for an intermediate skiier like myself.

Jack Frost (1) – A surprisingly good little ski area. The lodge is at the top of the mountain.

Camelback (2) – My favorite Poconos resort, large and full of some great runs. I especially like the Nile Mile run.

Snö Mountain nee Montage (1) – I went there once, only once while in college. They had $10 lift tickets on Friday nights for students. What was I thinking only going once?

Liberty Mountain nee Ski Liberty (2) — A little better than Roundtop; at least it is in the mountains, though only the Catoctins, the front range of the Blue Ridge.

Ski Roundtop (2) – Seemingly only suitable for kids learning to ski or people who live within a 20 mile radius. Not worth the drive from here.

Whitetail (3) — The best resort I’ve been to that is close to D.C. Not bad for a spur of the moment trip.

Hopefully, I get to one of these, ideally Camelback, a week from Saturday.

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