Travel & Outdoors

Getaway Guide: Jack Frost Mountain

December 5, 2012 7:00 AM

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twin-tip-image JF
The guns of winter – the ones that lay down light powdery snow on the Pocono Mountain slopes are firing away at Jack Frost Mountain. Jack Frost is traditionally among the first in Pennsylvania to get its terrain open with a snowmaking system that rivals anything in the east. This versatile ski and snowboard area is affectionately known as, the “Upside Down Mountain.” Simply put, the base lodge is at the summit which means skiers and riders step from the lodge to the headwall and they’re on the way without taking a chilling lift ride before warming up with a blood circulating first run. – Jay Lloyd

jack frost pix Getaway Guide: Jack Frost Mountain

JACK FROST MOUNTAIN

One Jack Frost Mountain Rd.
Blakeslee, PA 18610
www.jfbb.com

WHAT YOU’LL FIND:
The mountain boasts 20 trails and slopes with a terrain park and a snow tubing center, served by 9 lifts. It’s unique in allowing skiers to pick trails that match individual comfort zones and avoid wandering on to a slope that’s over the head. Facing down the mountain, the easiest trails are on the left, intermediate ones in the middle and the most challenging terrain on the far right. You can’t get lost. Jack Frost is also among the Pennsylvania pioneers in offering a western tradition, “Glade Skiing,” skiing along tree lined trails that offer scenic beauty and a unique challenge. New this season are glades designed specifically for novice and intermediate skiers. Jack Frost is a day time area, with night time action under the lights at nearby sister area, Big Boulder, the subject of another report.

The base lodge holds a ski school, adaptive learning center for handicapped skiers, large rental shop, ski shop and a variety of eateries and pub stops. My favorite is E2000. There’s a friendly bar and lounge area with a dance floor and top local entertainment on weekends.

WHAT IT COSTS:

All day adult lift tickets: $50 weekends, $44 weekdays

All day youth and seniors: $40 weekends, $33 weekdays

Equipment rental: $32 adults, $28 youth

Ski school group lesson: $28 weekends

For all lift, rental and ski school costs, visit: www.jfbb.com.

WHERE I’VE STAYED:

I like being slopeside. Jack Frost provides ideal accommodations in tastefully furnished condominium units at the base and trailside. Many Snow Ridge Village units allow you to ski right from the door to the slopes and lifts. Two and three bedroom units, some with lofts for the kids are available through the resort realty service. All units have fully equipped kitchens and fireplaces, some feature hot tubs. The kitchens are a money saver if you have a full house and want to avoid restaurant bills. The weekend rate for a unit to accommodate 7 is about $450. Packages are available that include discount lift tickets. Find it at: www.prr1.com.

Split Rock Lodge, just 3 miles from the mountain is a classic Pocono Mountain resort that has grown over the years to include comfy cottages and a modern hotel in addition to the venerable lakeside lodge that several generations of Pocono visitors remember. It now includes an indoor water park and six dining options that include a sports bar with a tempting pub menu, a pizzeria, a fine Italian eatery and a tony continental restaurant. I prefer to stay in the Galleria section of the sprawling property. It’s at the heart of the action and closest to the mountain where rooms for two on a weekend go for under $150 a night. =

The Woodlands, another classic nearby Pocono Mountain resort offers comfortable hotel rooms, a modern spa, a pair of restaurants, including the Shogun sushi and hibachi room and very close proximity to the Mohegan Sun casino at Pocono Downs. Ski by day at Jack Frost and enjoy a night of entertainment, dining and casino action. If you avoid partying and driving, Woodlands offers a free shuttle between hotel and casino. Winter weekend rates for a couple start at $160 a night.

twin tip image jf Getaway Guide: Jack Frost Mountain
WHERE TO EAT:
Shenanigans on Lake Harmony is where you’ll find the active ski crowd from apre ski happy hour to late night dancing. The massive menu here runs the gamit from pub grub to prime rib with a stop at Ahi tuna. There’s a busy bar scene with a crowd that ranges from 20 somethings to the 70 plus ski crowd.

Nick’s Lake House, another eatery and sipping stop on Lake Harmony is a more restrained version of Shenanigans and is located a stone’s throw away. The menu is geared to more traditional tastes with a balance of steaks, ribs, familiar poultry dishes and seafood. The shrimp scampi is a winner. The bar scene revolves around ski chat and weekend entertainment.

HOW TO GET THERE:

From the Philadelphia area take the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Pocono exit. Make a left turn onto route 940 east. Go 4 miles to a traffic light. The Jack Frost access road is on the left and is well marked; can’t miss it.

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