Originally Posted by NJskier164
Belleayre is a "tiered" ski area, easy slopes on the bottom half, more difficult ones on top. Also, Belleayre is more similar to areas like Camelback where the runs come from a wide ridge. By comparison, Elk is more like a typical New England ski area where there is a summit, and the runs peel off to either side for the easier ones and straight down for the steeper ones. Elk also is usually less crowded than the southern Pocono areas simply because it's a longer drive for people from the NYC and Philly areas.
Ive never been to Plattekill but I know people who have gone and from what I hear it is a no-frills area that doesn't get very crowded, then again it also sounds like an area that can't support crowds very well. Also further from civilization than Belleayre and Hunter.
I've been to Catamount one time, hated the general layout of the place. I prefer Butternut if I'm going to be in that area.
So Camelback is similar to Bellearye, just smaller? (and about 1/2 hour less drive for me)
For me Elk is a similar drive as Belleayre. (My trip report to Belleayre from April.)
I definitely would like to ski at Plattekill. (Perhaps a 2-3 day ski trip to Belleayre/Plattekill would be a idea for me to try. :) )
Never went to Butternut or Catamount, but they are close enough together that 15 minutes more driving is worth it if I considered Butternut to be much better than Catamount.
Originally Posted by steamboat1
That may change soon since Belleayre got approval for a 600 room hotel, golf course, etc. They're talking $365 million plus investment.
Would be interesting to see what develops. Hopefully, it will only make the ski area better. It might even indirectly benefit Plattekill.
Originally Posted by marznc
I've been to Elk, Belleayre (spring conditions), and Plattekill. If there's been a snowstorm within a day or two, well worth the extra drive to Plattekill if you want to ski 1000 ft vert in one shot, with or without soft bumps. A few of the top-to-bottom trails are never groomed, at least one is only groomed on one side. There is also tree skiing at Plattekill.
The advantage of Belleayre over Elk in terms of terrain is that there are trees that are skiable at Belleayre.
Elk on a weekend is pretty busy midday. Best to arrive early, stop to eat around 11:30, then ski when the lodge is packed with people 12:00-1:30. I think many families start going home by 2:30 or so.
If interested in staying overnight, there is not much in the way of decent lodging really close to Belleayre. For Elk, can stay 20 min away in Scranton/Dickson City. I stayed at the Microtel just off I-81 in Dickson City. Plenty of food options nearby. They have a stay&ski package that's a good deal for 2 people. The owner/GM is a skier who gets up to Elk as much as he can.
If someone wanted to drive to Belleayre a few times from NJ, worth looking into the Ski3 lift ticket and pass options. Could get in a few days at Gore and/or Whiteface.
At this point, tree skiing is not high on my list. (I never skiied through the trees)
Ski3 is a nice deal, especially if one planned on skiing a good number of days at Belleayre/Gore/Whiteface. (For me those 3 areas are easier drives than other NE areas in VT, NH, and ME)
Originally Posted by x10003q
Do you realize that Plattekill is about 20 minutes past Belleayre? Plattekill skis like Elk with way less crowds, easier parking and steeper slopes, plus, as mentioned, the woods are in play. They seem to get more natural snow than Elk also. Belleayre, too, is worth the drive. The upper section of Belleayre also skis like Elk. If you are skiing on a holiday weekend go to Plattekill.
Yes. (although I thought it was about 30 minutes further -- not a big difference either way) I could see Plattekill from the upper slopes at Belleayre. Thanks for the comparison of Plattekill to Elk.