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Important Question

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay I'm trying to plan a ski trip for this coming winter but I'm not sure where to go. I was wondering what you guys think is the best resort within about 6-8 hours(driving) of central PA. Also what do you guys think the best resort in the entire eastern US is? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 27
Try......www.7springs.com.....about an 8oo ft vert.----good family area--excellent tiny tots ss and jr. ski...all of which are a full day event with lunch...an excellent ss ....800 room hotel on site--bottom of the mtn...excellent food and packages----
if not staying at the hotel --plenty motels in Somerset and the next tnpk exit west.....check it out-----of course during holiday times it gets a bit pricey and sparse on rooms---like all of the other areas.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sorry I forgot to mention.....I've been to both seven springs, and holiday valley, and don't get me wrong I thouroughly enjoyed each of them. But I was hoping to head somewhere new this winter. Thanks anyways though.
post #4 of 27

You won't do better than these

Check these out, and give me a call if you'll be near Smugglers' Notch, the best family resort there is: http://www.skivermont.com/page.asp?i...witchlang=true

Not only that, Smugglers' Notch also has some hairy terrain, and LOTS of interesting places to ski.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay I checked Smuggs' website and it looks like an awesome place. However, when I looked at the reviews for the place on epinions, many people said that many of the trails were not open, and numerous people stated that the trails that connected the mountains were closed, and they had to take a shuttle bus to get to each one. This would be really bad for my family because we are all at very different skill levels. What I would like to know is what time of the year you were there, and how many of the trails were open, including the connecting trails. Thanks.
post #6 of 27

Funny you should ask!

Thanks for the questions!

I instruct part time at Smugglers' Notch, so I'm there quite a bit. The reports you read were obviously "end of the season" reports and do not reflect what happens during the main season.

For example, the 2003 Christmas season was terrific. The trails connecting the two mountains worked very well, and I used them when my supervisors wanted to switch me from one mountain to the other. However, even if you use the shuttle buses, they also work fine and run frequently. Smuggs is a three mountain resort, with one area suited for beginners through high intermediate (and with a few black diamonds) and the other two-mountain area with everything else, from low intermediate through really, really expert. At the two-mountain area, the two peaks are all part on one area and don't require any shuttling - just choose your lift, - they both interconnect, and they both end up at the same base area

Every resort has some trails closed at the season begining before the major storms have occurred, and at the end as warmer weather comes and the season winds down. However, during the season at Smuggs, trails were and are quite open and available.

Families come from all over the country - and the world - to ski at Smuggs. I've instructed skiers visiting from California, Florida, Indiana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Canada, United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Poland, Germany - heck, even New Jersey! Occasionally, I even get to instruct my neighbors in Vermont.

But Smuggs isn't the only resort in Vermont, and if you stay at the right location, you can sample more than one very easily.

Private Message me with your e-mail address and I'll give you all the information you want about Vermont ski areas - or just e-mail me here: bg@vtlink.net

Best regards, oboe
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
by the way no one answered my first question....what the best resort within driving distance of central PA is
post #8 of 27
What do you consider when you ask for the 'best'; terrain, snowmaking, off mountain amenities etc.? If you're looking for a resort that has tons of snowmaking and intermediate terrain, great off mountain activities, all day children’s and juniors programs, lots of lodging options then Larry C is right. Seven Springs beats all others. There are no truly difficult runs but for a few dedicated bump runs and some intermediate pitched glades. Seven Springs is a true destination resort as well as Pittsburgh's favorite day area, watch for crowds on weekends.


If you’re looking for challenge, long runs and tree skiing then Blue Knob is the choice. Off mountain activities are nil, the lodge is cramped and dark and snowmaking is serviceable. When there is abundant natural snow the expert terrain and numerous glades are this resort's strong suit.



Hidden Valley has a lot to offer but a small vertical, less than 400ft.



Perhaps someone can write about Roundtop.



In North Central PA, I like ElkMountain but my experience in the Pocono’s is limited to Elk, Jack Frost and BlueMountain.



In South Central PA, I like Whitetail but the low elevation makes for more limited snowmaking opportunities and longer rebound after a warm spell. Proximity to Baltimore and DC make for crowds on weekends.



For reviews of many PA, MD, and WVA resorts check out:



http://www.dcski.com
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Okay thanks for all the advice I'm looking for something dayh trippable, and like I said, I've already been to seven springs and I would like to try something new. I've also been to blue knob and thought it was great skiing, but I just didn't really like the atmosphere. I've been doing some research, and I'm interested in Camelback for a day trip, as well as smuggs for a longer trip. Anyone with experiance with Camelback, your help would be greatly appreciated.
post #10 of 27
Best skiing, drivable from central PA? Mad River Glen/Sugarbush.
post #11 of 27
Roundtop's got a sick pitch at the top but only for less than 100vert. If you can roll through there smooth and controlled, you're skiing. Theres often challenging or fun bumps the whole rest of the 500ft. They also have a huge half-pipe. So its a cool locals scene that produces rippers of all stripes (snobored, pinners, new school, race). If Blue Knob is closer though, it doesn't make sense to go the extra miles for less terrain. Blue Knob is by far the best in the mid-atlantic. Too bad it is so cold and bad atmosphere. I almost wrecked my car trying to drive up (the back way? I got lost). Sliding backwards with big drop to one side, managed to spin it around somehow and drive back down. The usual way is pretty hairy, too. If this can happen in April (6in. in a couple hours), imagine how the conditions can get in winter. Brrr, no thanks. I can't in good faith reccommend the Knob. Some hot skiers at Roundtop told me about Ski Denton after I said their run was steep. They say Denton is steeper. Its a little out of range for me. Anyone try that one? Whitetail too crowded. I like it after a warm spell, when its just the gang, but you better love you some deep wet granular! Hint: snowboard or short carvers and know how. Check Springhills link to dcski for the skinny on mid-atlantic skiing.
post #12 of 27
Depends on what you are looking for east. You said day trip, so you are going to be limited in your choices. Central PA is a big area, how long will you drive 6 hours, 8 hours? You won't find much. Look at WV, Timberline or Snowshoe. Try the eastern part of PA, Blue, Elk, Jack Frost, Camelback, maybe Montage. Drive a litter further north to Greak Peak. If you are lookign for truly great skiing you will have to go for overnight trips to VT. Sugarbush, MRG, Jay, or even Whiteface in NY. Let us know what are some things you like and I can help out a little more............

: : :
post #13 of 27
Oh yeah, MRG. I've heard good things. My favorites are Stowe, Jay, Sugarloaf, Killington (I know its not for everybody, but it seems everybody is always there!). Havent tried but would like MRG, Cannon. Should I also want to Tremblant, Whiteface? I bet they all have a lot to offer. I've more recently explored some of our western resorts. What a country!
post #14 of 27
I did Whiteface and Tremblant in Jan last year, and I will never do it again. Too cold. They are both great but go in March.

: :
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well guys thanks for all the advice. I think right now I'm most interested in Blue Mountain, Elk Mountain, or Hidden Valley. anyone who has any information about those would be appreciated.

Thanks again guys
post #16 of 27
I live one hour south of Bromely/Stratton/Magic (one hour on clear roads) and I drove to Pittsburg in 9 hours last summer so I figure those three places are within your reach. Of the three if your looking for all the amenities, go to Stratton. However the terrain more of an intermediate mtn (my opinion). I have to add Stratton usually has the best snow conditions of the 3. Bromely is fun but not much in the aminty side, a lot cheaper than Stratton and more of an old time ski area feel. They have a great bar. Magic, well Magic is a different case. Magic is hanging on by it's HKD's, it's got great terrain but it has to have snow to be any good. Magic has no amenities, but some really challanging terrain. I like this mtn the best to ski. Not very crowded either. I hope it makes it another year.
post #17 of 27
Here's an article I wrote this season about Elk Mountain:
http://snowjournal.com/page.php?cid=doc791
post #18 of 27
Elk is good. It has a more consistant top to bottom pitch than anything else in that area. Uphill capacity is lacking, they could have used a high-speed quad instead of the quad/double they installed about 8-10 years ago.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help guys
post #20 of 27
My only experience with PA skiing has been at Blue Mountain. USCSA Mid-East Regionals were held there this past season. The mountain is an excellent race hill and did a great job with the race weekend. In my time there i also had a lot of time to ski around and i was quite impressed with the size of the hill. They have some good pitch and what appears to be very good snowmaking, since thye arent in an area that can count on heavy snowfall. If you like tree skiing, this is not a place for you though... there didnt seem to be any areas that allowed tree skiing, and there wasnt enough snow coverage to allow for it anyways, although im sure that at certain times of the year there is enough snow. The hill has great potential if they decided to cut more trails. The only odd feature was that the lodge is at the top, and the return path requires good skating skills or comfort/control at high gliding speeds... but you cross about 6 trails on your way back so it may require that you stop for downhill traffic.

Dont waste your time with Western NY - especially with Ellicottville skiing - unless you are going to take some weekdays and go to Holimont (private on weekends). It has the best snow making and pitch in the area. The best resort in Western NY (with in driving distance of northern PA) is Bristol Mt. It has about 1200' vertical, and some big, wide, steep, runs. Very similar to Blue Mt actually in regards to the layout of the pitch, but is slightly bigger, and offers more variety. Nice, small hill atmosphere though.

Later

GREG
post #21 of 27
East Skier why dont you do this. Stay at Spilt Rock resort in the Poconos (Lake Harmony, PA) which is the nicest place I can think of in that area. Ski Blue one day (maybe a 25 minute drive) and Elk the next (probably a 45 minute drive). This way you can ski both and you're in between both resorts. Oh and Jack Frost and Big Boulder are about 5 minutes or less from split rock but they cannot compare to Elk or Blue. Camelback is also about a 25 minute ride from there (East on I-80). I'm partial to Blue (I think they're supposed to build slopeside condos soon) and I've never skied Camelback (a little too pricey). If you do Blue go on a Sunday night and ski 4-10 under the lights for $18. But Split Rock is at the heart of the Pocono Mountains and you can sample a few different areas.

If you're looking to go further north I also recommend Stratton VT. If you ski a day there they'll rob you but if you go with the ski and stay packages they are very reasonable and it's a wonderful big mountain atmosphere complete with village, slopeside lodging and a 2000 ft vert.
post #22 of 27

re:.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by east_skiier04
I was wondering what you guys think is the best resort within about 6-8 hours(driving) of central
east_skiier04...a little northern NE bias,
...Northern NewEngland(NH/VT/upper NYS/ME) , whatever drive_time is involved...
post #23 of 27
My two cents on: skiing from central PA assuming you mean somewhere like Harrisburg:
-day trip (1-3 hr drive): since you've tried Seven Springs, how about Blue Knob (not to be confused with Blue Mtn)? Blue Knob has a bit of an advanced slant to it, so the experts in your group might really enjoy it. Has several trails tougher than anything at Seven Sprgs, but decent natural snow conditions required for optimum effect. Some of the intermediate runs approach 2 miles in length.
-overnight trip (4-6 hr drive): how about Hunter Mtn, NY? Pretty decent for a two day visit, but recommend you avoid going on a weekend, unless in springtime when less busy.
-multiday trip (6-10 hrs): lots of great places in VT and NH; my fav in Southern VT is Stratton (but pricey), central VT is Killington (pricey and crowded, many long trails and major league bump runs), and Smuggs aint' bad in Northern VT (not too pricey or crowded). Smuggs is outstanding place for families with mixed abilities from beginner to expert (some serious glades at Smuggs).
post #24 of 27
Sorry, missed your comment on Blue Knob. Camelback is more like Seven Springs. Lots of runs, but all short. After Blue Knob, I've always thought Elk held the most interest for advanced skiers in the state of PA.

Here's some impressions of a general nature on many New England ski areas: http://www.dcski.com/news/2002/12_24...ewengland.php3
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
So it looks like Elk might be the best idea? Thanks guys.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Springhill Crazie
What do you consider when you ask for the 'best'; terrain, snowmaking, off mountain amenities etc.? If you're looking for a resort that has tons of snowmaking and intermediate terrain, great off mountain activities, all day children’s and juniors programs, lots of lodging options then Larry C is right. Seven Springs beats all others. There are no truly difficult runs but for a few dedicated bump runs and some intermediate pitched glades. Seven Springs is a true destination resort as well as Pittsburgh's favorite day area, watch for crowds on weekends.


If you’re looking for challenge, long runs and tree skiing then Blue Knob is the choice. Off mountain activities are nil, the lodge is cramped and dark and snowmaking is serviceable. When there is abundant natural snow the expert terrain and numerous glades are this resort's strong suit.



Hidden Valley has a lot to offer but a small vertical, less than 400ft.



Perhaps someone can write about Roundtop.



In North Central PA, I like ElkMountain but my experience in the Pocono’s is limited to Elk, Jack Frost and BlueMountain.



In South Central PA, I like Whitetail but the low elevation makes for more limited snowmaking opportunities and longer rebound after a warm spell. Proximity to Baltimore and DC make for crowds on weekends.



For reviews of many PA, MD, and WVA resorts check out:



http://www.dcski.com




What's up bud? This year, I PROMISE I'm going to BK with you
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry C
Try......www.7springs.com.....about an 8oo ft vert.----good family area--excellent tiny tots ss and jr. ski...all of which are a full day event with lunch...an excellent ss ....800 room hotel on site--bottom of the mtn...excellent food and packages----
if not staying at the hotel --plenty motels in Somerset and the next tnpk exit west.....check it out-----of course during holiday times it gets a bit pricey and sparse on rooms---like all of the other areas.
LC! I see nothing changes for you even in the summer...always pimping some sort of wares

How's the summer going? I emailed Rick recently, I think I'm gonna go FT this season.

As for picks for Eastern resorts:

Killington is huge, but can be rather busy. Lots of programs for families.

Sugarbush? Stowe?

I personally really want to get to MRG and Jay's for the terrain although it appears the "family services" there are limited.

I think after skiing the smaller places here in PA, Killington will blow you away with it's "big mountain" type experience.
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