Reporting Jay Lloyd
Jim Moore was fond of saying, while wagging a finger, “If skiers don’t see snow on their lawns and city streets, I can’t convince ‘em that there’s snow on the Mountain.”
Jim was an original operator of Camelback Mountain in the Poconos, and he’d be busting his lederhosen this week. There’s been snow in the valley and there’s a ton of snow on the mountain. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the season Jim Moore and skiing partners put Camelback on the map. Here’s what you’ll find there. – Jay Lloyd
Camelback Mountain can easily boast the largest network of trails, slopes and lifts in the nearby Poconos. The entire mountain is covered by an ultra-modern snowmaking system and is bathed in light for night skiing and riding. More than half of the mountain can be handled by an intermediate skier and rider. The colorful, feature studded “Graffiti” terrain park covers five trails on the eastern side of the mountain. It’s the side where I prefer starting on a weekend, before it’s discovered by the late morning crowds. Just hang a left out of the Lodge, ski down the “Sunbowl” beginner slope and catch the “Glen” lift to the terrain park or the “Stevenson Quad” to the summit, where you find a versatile variety of long trails for busting bumps, steep sliding or just easy scenic cruising. Ego Alley at Camelback is a pair of nosedive slopes in center mountain, right below the summit lodge. If you want to be seen, hit either “Margies Delight” or “The Rocket.” The top cruising trail is “Nile Mile,” and the best for novice skiers and riders is “Julius Caesar” connecting to “Honeymoon.”
MOUNTAIN STATS & SERVICES
There are 34 trails and slopes served by 16 lifts, including two high speed quads. Camelback has a vertical drop of 800’. Camelback’s snow tubing park is impressively large, holding 42 lanes served by two lifts.
The Camelback Ski School is professionally staffed to launch beginners into a new sport or brush up advanced skiers planning a western or European ski venture. The school is an innovator in children’s instruction and boasts a highly regarded racing program.
A full service rental shop stocks high performance skis and boards, boots, poles and bindings and offers a trained staff of fitters.
From top to bottom, Camelback caters to cravings and comfort, with a scenic summit lodge serving up beer and burgers and a smokehouse lodge in a laurel glade, dishing out rib racks and smoked turkey joints. The spot that jumps here is the Thirsty Camel, a brassy bar with a sit-down restaurant and weekend entertainment. A pair of cafeterias running from breakfast to dinner caters to families on the go while the “Eastside Bistro” puts a touch of class on traditional ski food. The frosting on the cake is a hole in the wall bar on the lodge porch where skiers grab a quick beer before parking on a sun drenched deckchair.
WHAT IT COSTS
Open to close adult lift tickets are $51 midweek and $63 on weekends, with discounts for online purchases, juniors and seniors. Active duty military and veterans also get a break. See all the rates here.
Ski and Snowboard set rentals check out at $37 a day. Find all the rental rates here.
Learn to ski group lessons for adults clock in at $35. But you can find packages that include group or private lessons, rental equipment and lift tickets or any combination. Find them here.
Children’s lessons and packages include single lesson, group or private and half-day. Plan it here.
From Philadelphia: Take I-476 (NE Extension of the PA Turnpike) North to Lehigh Valley Exit 56. Then take Route 22 East to Route 33 North to I-80 West, where you’ll get off at Exit 299 Tannersville. After that, follow the signs to Camelback Mountain Resort.