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3/5/21 Shawnee (PA) exceeded expectations

PAabe

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
234
Points
28
Location
Lancaster, PA
Resort or Ski Area
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
Date
Mar 5, 2021
Snow Conditions
  1. Slush or Spring Snow
TLDR; Fast lift, good vibes, friendly, good snow, good trees, consistent blue pitch top to bottom although there are several steeper black drops, reasonable prices, well managed


I thought I would do this for Shawnee because it is on Indy Pass and is probably the closest place on there for many of us in the mid Atlantic. It is frequently overlooked for the other Poconos places and there does not seem to be much in the ways of a good review/trip report/any intel at all on it anywhere online. This place has the reputation of having "affordable family skiing" for good reason, but, coming in with low expectations, I was actually pretty impressed with the operation.

I had not been to Shawnee since once when I was a little kid and remembered nothing about it. Ended up there because I wanted to try out my new tele setup and they have pretty cheap night skiing - BC & Spring were sold out and I did not mind going to check out Shawnee considering I am thinking about Indy Pass for next year.

Snow quality was actually quite good on the trails considering night skiing and the big freeze/thaw cycling that has been going on. I think they do a pretty good job grooming, at least, compared to Blue where ice is the norm. There was/is still snow in the woods there and there are lots of good spots to ski in the trees, although the snow in there is thin coverage and bulletproof right now. Possibly best tree skiing in PA aside from Laurel Mountain and Blue Knob.

The employees and clientele were all very friendly, good vibes. Again, mostly families skiing and then teens/college kids (myself being the latter) night skiing later. Much more fun vibe than Blue or especially Camelback.

Of the main lifts they had the detachable and one of the double-doubles running when I was there. There were short lines (no more than a couple minutes) for the detachable until it got dark and the double was ski on the whole time. The lifts seemed to be impeccably maintained. New paint, not a speck of rust, smooth running. The detachable gets you up to the top real fast and really makes doing fast laps viable. This seemed to me to be the fastest and smoothest running detachable I have been on in some time, at least, compared to Blue and Gore, and they must do a good job making sure everyone gets loaded good (keep in mind the clientele here) because it almost never stopped. The double was running very slow (to minimize misloads, also wide chairs and wide chair spacing) but was nice to rest the legs. They seem to have quite a bit of uphill capacity (fixed grip quad and two additional doubles were not running but have been on weekends) and a good amount of room to spread everyone out. The detachable terminals with the glass panels look pretty neat at night.

Unlike Blue and Camelback there is no stupid runout at the bottom. There is consistent blue pitch right from the top of the lifts down the whole way to the lodge. The liftline is steeper at the bottom than the top (you cannot see the top from the bottom). There are several shorter black pitches that do not last the whole vertical. There are some windy trails along the outside and a some small park features. Runs are relatively long as far as PA goes (700ft. vertical, but again, no runout). I spent most of the time lapping the liftlines.

I was pleased to find that the food in the lodge was priced pretty reasonably as far as ski lodge food goes so I actually bought dinner for once instead of eating my packed food. The lodge I thought was nice enough and there was plenty of room, at least, for a Friday. There is a 2nd story deck with a view of the slopes. There appeared to be another lodge/bar at the top but it was closed.

Now don't expect too much because there is not the steeps here that you will find at Blue, Camelback, or even Roundtop, but in my opinion Shawnee does an admirable job running their operation. I would have fun here again for a half day or night skiing, or if I get tickets from the Indy Pass in the future. This would be a fantastic place for beginner/intermediate/first time skiers.
 

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Last edited:

Cornhead

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
2,795
Points
48
Thanks for the TR. I've only skied there once. A friend was staying at a B&B in the area and asked me to join him. I had just returned from Taos, the contrast was shocking. I do remember being impressed with their terrain park, I don't ski park, but it looked really nice for such a small place.
 

Ski2LiveLive2Ski

Active member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
289
Points
28
Skied Shawnee 15-20x in 2014-2016 when both my daughters were eligible for their "kids under 42" ski free" offer and it still provided ample challenge for them 85 min from home.
 

PAabe

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
234
Points
28
Location
Lancaster, PA
I am going to have to go back when they have all terrain open. The upper mountain black and lower quad lifeline were closed as well as bushkill lift. Having a black open on the upper half and another liftline would make laps more interesting.

Indy next year looking likely unless price is dramatically more. That pocono card you mentioned in another thread would be sweet, shame it seems to have been discontinued. We used to get the the value card or whatever at roundtop, lately have just been doing a lot of night skiing or cheap midweek montage - would be hard for me to do much better than those prices per day even with a pass
 
Last edited:

Ski2LiveLive2Ski

Active member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
289
Points
28
The Upper Mt black Renegade is slightly steeper than the Lower Mt ones. But the steep part is very short - unlike lower Mt blacks it can even be done without a turn as a runout follows. It requires a bit of a traverse to get to even from closest lift and a fairly significant traverse from the high speed one. So really not set up to do laps hitting blacks on top and bottom. And these blacks would be blues at most other Mts including some in Poconos.

Trees after a nice snow are Shawnee's only real appeal to me - even being only 85 min away.
 
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