PA Mountains

PA Mountains

The ski resorts in PA range from very good to absolutely terrible. I have been to all of the ski resorts in the Pocono Mountains (Camelback, Jack Frost, Big Boulder) along with a small but popular mountain in Macungie, PA called Bear Creek.

Jack Frost/Big Boulder

Jack Frost was the first mountain I had ever been to along with where I learned how to ski. Its summit elevation is 2000 ft with a base elevation of 1400 ft and vertical drop of 600 ft. There are 21 slopes on this mountain, all ranging from green to double black diamond, along with two terrain parks. Conditions on this mountain usually vary, but most of the time is mediocre. The snow is mostly made therefore icy and very packed. Those two conditions make it difficult to ski/snowboard, and requires equipment to be sharpened and waxed so it’s easier to cut the ice. Other than the conditions, Jack Frost is a very beginner friendly mountain. I give the mountain a 4 rating.

Big Boulder is another mountain in the Pocono Mountains, only minutes away from Jack Frost. It differs from most mountains I’ve been to because it has devoted more than 50% of its slopes and hills to terrain parks (for those who want to do ramps/rails/tricks). With a summit elevation of 2175 feet and base of 1700 ft, this mountain has 15 slopes and trails. This mountain does share the same icy conditions and issues that JF has along with being very small. Mixing the bad conditions with the size of the mountain and amount of trails it has to offer, I give the mountain a 3 rating. Its better to go to JF if you are a beginner or like longer trails, Big Boulder only really attracts the trick skier/snowboarder crowd.

Camelback

Camelback is hands down my favorite mountain in the Poconos, along with Pennsylvania. Located in Tannersville, PA, this mountain has a summit of 2133 ft with a vertical drop of 800 ft. This mountain offers 34 trails, all of which are lit up at night for night skiing. Along with making its own snow, the mountain receives 50 inches+ of snow annually. Conditions at Camelback are much different than those at JF and BB as well. The snow is mostly groomed powder with very few patches of ice. This makes it a mountain that welcomes beginners along with experts. Camelback is also home to “The Nile Mile,” a trail that is 5280 ft long, making it one of the longest trails in PA. I rate this mountain 5 out of 10 for good quality snow and trails.

Bear Creek

Bear Creek is what I, along with many avid skiers/snowboarders, would consider to be a hill instead of a mountain. With a summit of 1110 ft, and a base of 590 ft, this mountain is home to 21 very small trails. The snow on this mountain is almost completely machine-made; therefore it always has icy conditions. This makes it difficult to have control over your skis/board. The resort also charges 40$ per ticket which is a higher price than those at the mountains in the Poconos. I wouldn’t recommend this mountain to many people, not even beginners because the icy conditions make it more difficult for people to learn. All in all I would say it would be better to put that extra 45 minutes of driving in and go to the Poconos because lift tickets are cheaper, better conditions and much better trails. I rate this mountain as a 1.

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