Recommendations Wanted: First-Time Ski Trip (PA)

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  1. #1

    Recommendations Wanted: First-Time Ski Trip (PA)

    Hi All,



    I am planning a first-time weekend ski trip with a couple folks that are beginners at skiing/snowboarding. I am looking in the Pocono region just to keep the travel time short for the new folks. Based on reading these boards, it looks like if I do go to Blue or Camelback that I should try to make this a Thursday-Saturday trip rather than a Friday-Sunday, simply because of the crowds.

    Also based on reading these boards, it seems like booking a weekend ski trip in PA right now might not be the most reliable course of action. Should I be reserving lodging the month of the trip vs 4 months out (due to unpredictable conditions)? Id like to go in December, but I dont think those areas have reliable snow at that time, so Im probably looking at January.

    Can you recommend?
    Lodging (I was going to just look for houses to rent for a couple days, but open to other options)
    Other activities in area (snow tubing, snow mobiling, restaurants, lodge quality, anything fun)

    Thanks!

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottySkis View Post
    Elk
    I second Scottys recommendation. For first timers crowds can be intimidating that being said Elk is off the beaten path and has less traffic on beginner trails. Although there are not as many beginner trails as Blue or Camelback .

    Camelback and Blue are jammed on weekends .Elk has better snow conditions consistently vs the Poconos. Not much in the way of lodging close but definitely worth the drive .
    "Make Greenland Green again"

  4. #4
    Definitely appreciate the input. Elk is about an hour more worth of travel compared to blue and camel

    If we do go with Elk, how do you suggest I do lodging? Also are there extracurricular activities? some of the ladies on the trip might not want to do a full day and night on the slopes.

  5. #5
    December in the Poconos is extremely risky. The Poconos in general relies on snow-making nearly 100% to get trails open. If the weather doesn't cooperate, they won't have enough time to cover all the trails and get them all open. January is a much better option if you're looking for them to have most of their terrain open.

    One thing you didn't mention, where are you traveling from?

  6. #6
    Montage if open. Wide mellow trails up top, great lodge and bar, right in Scranton and no crowds


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  7. #7
    December in the Poconos is likely not going to be great (although you never know), so your suspicion that January will have better odds for conditions is correct.

    Given the skiers are never-evers, forget Camelback & Blue Mountain. I'd go with Shawnee instead, as it will be much less crowded, and a much more low-key mountain, and the beginner terrain will be fine for them.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    December in the Poconos is extremely risky. The Poconos in general relies on snow-making nearly 100% to get trails open. If the weather doesn't cooperate, they won't have enough time to cover all the trails and get them all open. January is a much better option if you're looking for them to have most of their terrain open.

    One thing you didn't mention, where are you traveling from?
    We're traveling from central NJ, about an hour and 20 east of Blue mountain. One of the people will literally be first-time snowboarder, so I'd hate to travel 4 hours roundtrip just for him to hate his life on the mountain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntpancakes View Post
    We're traveling from central NJ, about an hour and 20 east of Blue mountain. One of the people will literally be first-time snowboarder, so I'd hate to travel 4 hours roundtrip just for him to hate his life on the mountain.
    Belleayre is an excellent choice for never evers. The beginner area is large and mellow and has its own lodge.There are better odds of decent conditions in December. It might be only a little longer to drive to Belleayre vs Elk.

  10. #10
    Also, not to add to much to your plates, but I actually wanted to try cross country skiing for the first time this season (I've snowboarded for several years now). Based on the location I'm looking at do anything of these locations offer a scenic XC trail?

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