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Intermediate Slopes within a Few Hours from NYC?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm new to the forum, and, as you can see from my handle, only a fair to middling skier not always comfortable on dark-blue intermediate slopes (returning to skiing after many many years away-- don't have quite the nerve I had as a 10-yeaar-old). So I'm searching for suggestions for long, light and medium blue slopes where I can practice turns and gain confidence for the harder stuff. Preferably relatively close to NYC but not necessarily. Much thanks.
post #2 of 23
Hunter is simply the best mountain within 3 hours from NYC/Philly.

http://www.huntermtn.com
post #3 of 23
Well, I might disagree with that. Hunter has great terrain but is also by far the most crowded on weekends.

For longer, intermediate cruisers, try Windham.

Belleayre has more blue-square trails but they are much shorter. However, on the plus side, it's very rarely crowded.

Both are probably a shade under 3 hrs. from Manhattan.
post #4 of 23
Midweek is best for all local areas. I frequently jump in the car at 5:00, drive up to either Shawnee ( stroudsberg, pa) , Camleback ( same as shawnee ) or Mountain Creek
( vernon, nj ), get in a few runs, sip some wine, eat some chicken fingers, get a few more runs in and drive home. In bed by 10:00-10:30. Fixes your whole disposition. My suggestions while only require a 1 to 1.5 hour drive. Week days at these areas are completely empty. Also, ski clubs are usually run on weds or thurs nights - so your best nights are mon, tues and fri. You don't need to drive up the NY Thruway to ski. There's plenty of close hills to get back into skiing and tune up on.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickadee
Well, I might disagree with that. Hunter has great terrain but is also by far the most crowded on weekends.

For longer, intermediate cruisers, try Windham.

Belleayre has more blue-square trails but they are much shorter. However, on the plus side, it's very rarely crowded.

Both are probably a shade under 3 hrs. from Manhattan.
Personally, I'd be happy if all of you stay away from Belleayre (I'm selfish that way), but its longest trail (roaring brook), a blue square, is LONGER than ANY at either Windham or Hunter.

Sailor, I'll make this easy for you. Belleayre is more picturesque, a better value, more tailored for cruisers, and less crowded than any mentioned on this string. I know it's where I will be tomorrow!
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
Hunter is simply the best mountain within 3 hours from NYC/Philly.

http://www.huntermtn.com
Hunter is a great hill, but not for intermediates. There is a separate learning area, but the main mountain and West side consists of relatively steep terrain.

I would imagine Butternut (MA) or Catamount (NY/MA line) would be doable from NYC.
post #7 of 23
Bellayre would be a good choice because it's not crowded and realtively easy. Hunter and Windam would be good choices also if you can get away during the week. I've not had experience at Mtn Creek, but if the snow is good you should check it out.

There's more variety in Vermont if you are willing to make a longer drive up to Okemo, Mt Snow and Stratton. You'll have good fun at any of these places.
post #8 of 23
Midweek, Windham
Weekend, Belleayre

Hunter is more of an "advanced" area. I would thow Camelback too.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Looks like Belleayre's the place to go

Thanks for all the kind replies. Any specific slopes there that might fit the low-to-mid intermediate bill? And how is it for a 9-year-old just learning?
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor
Thanks for all the kind replies. Any specific slopes there that might fit the low-to-mid intermediate bill? And how is it for a 9-year-old just learning?
Tons of great choices at Belleayre in this case:

Iroquois and Huron are long, gentle cruisers. There used to be a free "learning circle" at Belleayre for first-time skiers. It's amazing and free!
post #11 of 23
Belleayre is my #1 choice- Iriquos, Mohecan, Huron - great easy long cruisers for beginners...Deer Run and Roaring Brook are the next step up (easy blues).

Thunder ridge - small mountain and very weather dependant, but close, cheap, and they do offer a great veriety of terrain for a small mountain...It's also 60-75 minutes from midtown.

Butternut (MA) and Catamount (NY) in the Birkshires

Bobcat Mountain, Plattekill, Belleayre in the southern Catskills

Hunter and Windham in the northern Catskills.

-Scott
post #12 of 23
Agree re Belleayre. Roaring Brook is beautiful and the new Deer Run is even more beautiful. Good network of crossover trails to reach The Tomahawk lift that services Deer Run.

Longest I've had to wait for a lift is maybe 5 minutes and that was on a President's Day weekend. Unofrtunately all are fixed grip and not that fast, but short lines make up for that.

You can also choose what lodge you want to start from. Discovery Lodge is at the base - you have to take the triple up, then ski over to the Super Chief quad to get to the top. There is a separate parkgin lot for Overlook Lodge, whcih is midway up the mountain - from there you ski down to Super Chief, etc. or grab the trip right outside the lodge to the top.

The triple from Overlook to the top has a midpoint jumpoff. Just be sure if you're not jumping off there to keep your poles UP, like the sign says! Have seen people's poles get destroyed as they went over the midpoint and pole got stuck between the hill and the bottom of the chair.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Midweek, Windham
Weekend, Belleayre

Hunter is more of an "advanced" area. I would thow Camelback too.
Right he is. And forget Catamount.

Jiminy isn't too bad though, just a bit further than the catskills.
post #14 of 23
Windham is a great family area. The ammenities are really nice too. You'll find plenty for an intermediate skier.
post #15 of 23
No one mentioned Elk, the best mountain in PA imo. It should be about 3 hours from NYC.
post #16 of 23
camelback, camelback, camelback - for a few trips. has everything you need, high speed lift, absolutely no reason to drive further for you. i think it is a great mtn for intermediates, it's big and interesting for your. spend you time skiing not driving, get your turns down and then worry about heading up the road to check some other places out.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks again. My 9-year-old beginner son and I tried Belleaye on Saturday - perfect weather, perfect conditions - we had a wonderful time. Obviously the rest of the world thought so too; it was more crowded than I expected, given its reputation. (Though as usual, only about a third of the people were skiing at any one time.)

I gather Windham's even more crowded on weekends?
post #18 of 23
I've only been there once (late Dec 2004), but I understand that Belleayre has gotten much more crowded than it used to be. Still, it does offer a lot of intermediate terrain.

Hunter has great terrain relatively speaking but it tends to be more advanced and the crowds are ruthless (in many different ways! - think worst of Staten Island/Long Island).

Windham has some good intermediate terrain. It gets crowded but not as bad as Hunter.

Plattekill/Bobcat - only if there's natural snow. They're also a bit more of a drive.

Elk - Vague memories of if being a good mountain

Camelback/Shawnee - no experience but I hear stories of large crowds

Mountain Creek - very close = crowded

Nothings perfect but you can have a good time at any resort. Try going mid-week if you can.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor
Thanks again. My 9-year-old beginner son and I tried Belleaye on Saturday - perfect weather, perfect conditions - we had a wonderful time. Obviously the rest of the world thought so too; it was more crowded than I expected, given its reputation. (Though as usual, only about a third of the people were skiing at any one time.)

I gather Windham's even more crowded on weekends?
Dude, Saturdays in the Catskills = crowds. There's no getting around that. Even Sunday is better.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsbar

Plattekill/Bobcat - only if there's natural snow. They're also a bit more of a drive.
So, how is the condition at Plattekill now? I'm thinking about going on the Friday before President's day.
post #21 of 23
Now please don't go spreading this around, but I continue to enjoy tiny Mohawk Mountain on weekday night and Friday afternoons. After 4pm on Friday, forget it. The night skiing is actually a blast and it's widespread there. It's dead close to NYC, just head up CT 7. The terrain is sedate, no expert challenges at all, but many sweet cruisers and a few tiny steep bits make it eminently well-suited for an intermediate.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr
So, how is the condition at Plattekill now? I'm thinking about going on the Friday before President's day.
I went there the day after the big storm and it was a mixed bag. The wind had scoured the tops of many of the expert trails (and I mean scoured to the grass). You can still see evidence of this in their webcam. The lower parts were good. Woods were sketchy if not outright dangerous. Overall, Pkill was in MUCH better shape last year and the year before.
post #23 of 23
I'd read this: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=23643 and think again before going to Plattekill. I love the place but they need a base.
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