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Skiing near NYC for beginners?

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
My friends and I are planning to learn skiing and would like to know a place near by (within hour or two of NYC) to ski.

We have looked at Shawnee Mountain, Alpine Mountain, Camelback Mountain in the Poconos. Do you know among these which will be more suitable for beginners and cheap. We will need lessons and a package deal (including lift tickets, rentals and lessons) will be most viable.

Also please let us know if you have any other suggestions for places to go.

Thanks a lot in advance.
post #2 of 69
Belleayre has a great lower area just for beginners
post #3 of 69
Bellayre is nice but I think it is more than 2 hrs. from NYC. When my son was little, we started him off at Shawnee. That was about 16 years ago though. It was a nice little area. Not sure how it is now.
post #4 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobojo View Post
Bellayre is nice but I think it is more than 2 hrs. from NYC. When my son was little, we started him off at Shawnee. That was about 16 years ago though. It was a nice little area. Not sure how it is now.
Belleayre is just over 2 hours away, so's Hunter and Windham.
Haven't been to the Pokyanose in 25 years, but Hunter has a great beginer package called a try-pack. It's 3 days of lifts, lessons and rentals for $109. It doesn't have to be on consecutive days and is good for the year.
http://www.huntermtn.com/huntermtn/t...s/try-pak.aspx

There are all sorts of great deals out there for beginners, check out the websites of the mountains you are interested in.
post #5 of 69
For sheer accessibility, head to Mountain Creek in NJ. It's only 50 miles from NYC, and NJ Transit has a bus that gets you from Port Authority to the mountain for $20.50 round trip. On top of that, you get a nice $10 discount on your lift ticket with a bus receipt. More info here.

Campgaw Mountain in Bergen County is only 20 miles north of the GWB. So if you have access to a car (as many New Yorkers like me do not), check it out.

Hidden Valley in Vernon, NJ, ought to be nice and uncrowded, as they have a membership policy (but as far as I can tell non-members can ski there as well). They're 45 miles from the GWB, only an hour out.

I learned to ski (and then taught) for 16 years at Shawnee, from when I was 3 years old, just a wee lad! Now that I've moved from Philadelphia to NYC, however, I'd say hit up the Catskills instead of the Poconos. Better mountains, same driving time, and the ski schools might be better. I'd recommend searching for reviews of the adult beginner ski schools at Belleayre, Hunter, Windham, and Plattekill (all Catskill resorts), and comparing them to Shawnee, Elk, Camelback, Blue, and Snö (Pocono resorts). 2-turn makes a good case for Hunter with the Try-Pak. 3 non-consecutive days of lifts, lessons, and rentals for $109 just can't be beat!
post #6 of 69
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for your replies. I will check these out.
post #7 of 69

beginner area near NYC

Paramount:
Shawnee rearranged their beginners/teaching area this year. They now have a "magic carpet" lift, which is really great for first-timers, since you don't have to worry about the learning curve of getting on (and especially off!) of a chair lift, or dealing with a rope tow (which is what Bellayre had, last time I checked). I think they also regraded the area so the slope is more consistant. Rope tows and beginners really don't mix (although the results can be hilarious).
Also, go to the Shawnee website; they have a coupon for a beginners special, $59 per person.
MountainCreek gets really crazy on the weekends, as does Hunter. I would go there only if you enjoy rush hour traffic on snow.
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
Thanks NJskier164. I will look into Shawnee mountains. Does anyone know anything about Campgaw mountains? How many trails they have and are they good?
Campgaw seems close and I have a car so I can easily drive there.
Thanks!
post #9 of 69
Damned lucky you have a car! I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get to Hunter this Sunday.

OnTheSnow's reviews say that Campgaw is really good for beginners. They don't have a trail map, strangely enough, so I would suggest giving them a call and finding out the snow conditions. Campgaw might honestly be your best bet in terms of proximity and price. Once you can get down the bunny slopes there without a problem then I might graduate to Shawnee (the mountain where I was taught!) and then from there head on to the Catskills and further north.
post #10 of 69
Closest mini mountain, great for a day trip for beginners and where me and my family first skied, http://tuxedoridge.com. 45min from Manhattan.
post #11 of 69
^^^ Looks like a winner for beginners!
post #12 of 69
I've been a NJ based skier for over 30 years, and have never skied at Campgaw. Keeping in mind it's operated by Bergen County, you may find the snowmaking not up to the same level as other areas.
Also, on MountainCreek, they don't have a lot open for this point in the season, so the slopes will probably be more crowded than usual. I'm regretting getting a triple play card for the place.

Keep that magic carpet in mind. It really is a nice feature for beginners.
post #13 of 69
For adult beginners, Belleayre can't be beat, although it is more than 2 hours from NYC. The lower mountain trails have a gentle slope, are wide, and are rarely crowded.

Campgaw is a great hill, but in my opinion, it's a better fit for children, as the terrain is limited and the runs are short. I was there this past Sunday with my 4yo and there was plenty of snow.

Shawnee, Camelback, and Mountain Creek are good, but they all get very crowded on weekends, which can be disconcerting for a beginner. Go on a weekday or plan to get there early (especially if you'll be renting skis at the mountain).
post #14 of 69
Mt Creek has a new program for first time skiers called Guaranteed to Ski
At $119.00 it's a good deal for three days of rentals, three limited lift tickets and three group lessons (click on the link above for all the details) As others have noted it can be very busy on the weekends but they are gradually opening more terrain and the snow forecast for tomorrow will help with getting more trails open. If you need more information send me a PM, I'll be more than glad to answer any questions. And yes I work there.
post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducedfatoreo View Post
Damned lucky you have a car! I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get to Hunter this Sunday.

OnTheSnow's reviews say that Campgaw is really good for beginners. They don't have a trail map, strangely enough, so I would suggest giving them a call and finding out the snow conditions. Campgaw might honestly be your best bet in terms of proximity and price. Once you can get down the bunny slopes there without a problem then I might graduate to Shawnee (the mountain where I was taught!) and then from there head on to the Catskills and further north.
check out this page, there are numerous bus trips on Sunday from various ski shops around the city. They are a great deal, lift ticket and ride back and forth for about the price of a lift ticket.
BTW, today was fabulous, they're blowing snow like mad and possibly getting up to a foot Saturday afternoon/evening.
http://www.huntermtn.com/huntermtn/r...bus-lines.aspx
post #16 of 69
Hunter Mountain has Hunter One. Not bad for beginners but Belleayre is better. Windham is about the same as Hunter except Hunter has less advanced skiers on their beginner runs since it has it's own section of the mountain. Windham is at the bottom of expert runs which makes it necessary to go through the beginner runs to get to the base.
post #17 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Closest mini mountain, great for a day trip for beginners and where me and my family first skied, http://tuxedoridge.com. 45min from Manhattan.
Similar in terrain and overall size to Tuxedo Ridge and only 5 more mins down the road is Mt. Peter. Free beginner lessons too.
http://www.mtpeter.com/beginner.html
post #18 of 69
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your inputs. We went to Shawnee and it was great day out for us. Learnt a lot and the magic carpets were great. Thanks for all your suggestions. I will use them for future trips.
post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Tell View Post
Similar in terrain and overall size to Tuxedo Ridge and only 5 more mins down the road is Mt. Peter. Free beginner lessons too.
http://www.mtpeter.com/beginner.html
Ive never skied Mt Peter but I did stop by two years ago in the fall...it makes Tuxedo ridge look like Everest....LOL....but yeah its good for beginners.
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paramount123 View Post
Thank you all for your inputs. We went to Shawnee and it was great day out for us. Learnt a lot and the magic carpets were great. Thanks for all your suggestions. I will use them for future trips.
Glad you had a good time there! It was a great mountain for me to learn on, and teaching SkiWee there was fun, too. I hope you got to try the hot chocolate in the lodge...I have yet to find a mountain that does hot chocolate better than Shawnee . I'll have to go back at some point to check out the carpets and all the other upgrades.
post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paramount123 View Post
Thank you all for your inputs. We went to Shawnee and it was great day out for us. Learnt a lot and the magic carpets were great. Thanks for all your suggestions. I will use them for future trips.

Glad to hear the magic carpets worked out for you. I did one season as an instructor, and rope tows and chairlifts can be a major obstacle for first-timers. Once you get your "ski legs", then you can concentrate on the lifts much better.
One other factor most people don't mention is if you have any fear of heights, chairlifts can really raise the anxiety level of an already stressful day.
post #22 of 69
for kids, especially young ones, catamount is the best hands down..program called mountain cats..and catamount for adults is good but runs are not very long but neither are any at the places mentioned above and hunter and windham are really crowded..western resort in upstate ny..
post #23 of 69
Check out NY State Skisite and SnoCountry

NY Ski Areas very near NYC
Tuxedo Ridge
Holiday Mountain Ski Area
Mt Peter

NJ Ski Areas very near NYC
Hidden Valley
Mountain Creek


More NY Northern Catskills ski areas
Belleayre
Hunter
Plattekill
Windham
post #24 of 69
Let me give a big vote for Tuxedo Ridge.  They have a 650 foot bunny hill that is great for teaching and a low to the ground beginner chairlift that gets kids comfortable getting on/off without the height.  It was great for my 4 year old son, who then was very comfortable getting on/off the bigger lifts.  Been to Tuxedo Ridge 5 times this year (year is likely over) as well as Mt. Peter, Shawnee and Kissing Bridge.  Tuxedo Ridge was the best for young beginners.
post #25 of 69

ski.gifIf you must stay in PA I would suggest Shawnee as the better choice. I have not been to Alpine so I cannot  give you my opinion.

 

But, you would be better off at either Catamount in NY and Butternut in Mass. and they are only 20 minutes  - 1/2 easy drive from each other. Also, if you are skiing for the first time i would suggest you check out the January 2013 FREE LEARN TO SKI areas where you get the beginner package that includes lift, lesson, and rental for free!

 

Good Luck! I know your going to love skiing. See you on the slopes!

 

Midweek is always better - less crowds and much cheaper to ski and stay.

 

Catamount has the Holiday House Motel nearby and Butternut has a motel 1/4 mile or less from their mountain with free coffee and a great chinese restaurant practically outside your kidoor and they also have ski and stay packages at every ski area you go to. Just do your homework online, and check for your price range.

 

Have Fun!

snowfight.gif

post #26 of 69

Alpine is a small mountain that does not get nearly as crowded as Shawnee or Camelback. Shawnee is less crowded than Camelback. Mountain Creek get much more crowded than Hidden Valley. I would suggest sticking with the less crowded places to start with.

post #27 of 69

Goodness gracious, this is a 3 year old dormant thread. Why in the world did you think of responding to this as your VERY FIRST epicski post?

 

.

post #28 of 69

If your looking to save $, learn to ski/snowboard, and have fun, there are 2 places you can go to learn to ski/board. one is in NY - Catamount and the other is in Massachusettes - Butternut. They are small and have more trails for beginners and less crowded. Right now January 2013 and every January is Free Learn to Ski month - check which ski areas have it, i KNOW Catamount is offering $59 learn to ski/board package now. As for Camelback and Shawnee - all you will get are large crowds and they are more expensive because most of NY goes to these areas. I have been to both of them and it is not worth it.  Alpine I have never been to so I cannot tell you anything. If you are driving, try Catamount or Butternut or both - they are not far from each other and there are much cheaper less crowded and more friendly and helpful. There are 2 motels I know of that are cheap and close to the ski areas. closest to catamount is the Holiday House, and closest motel to butternut is the Mountain View motel. Good Luck and Enjoy yourselves. Let me know what you decided.snowfalling.gifski.gif

post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post

Goodness gracious, this is a 3 year old dormant thread. Why in the world did you think of responding to this as your VERY FIRST epicski post?

 

.

Some people don't bother to read the question before they post their "answer".

post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

Some people don't bother to read the question before they post their "answer".

Buy boots first from an experienced boot fitter.

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