How can a mountain be upside-down? You mean it’s balanced on that pointy thing called a peak, that’s usually at the bottom? Sounds weird. But JACK FROST SKI RESORT, just a few minutes from the Pocono exit of the PA Turnpike, is famously known as an “upside-down mountain.” Relax. It simply means the lodge and parking lots are at the summit and the lifts start at the base. One advantage is that you don’t stand in line for a lift to get that first run of the day — just boot up and go. Let’s head out for the tour. – Jay Lloyd
Jack Frost is a versatile mountain that blends graduated terrain steepness with the thrill of glade skiing, racing, bumps and groomed surfaces. It’s simple to find your comfort or challenge zone here. Looking down the mountain, the easier and learning terrain is to the left. Most difficult black diamond trails are to the right. In the middle, working from left to right, you find intermediate to advanced slopes and trails. By working across the mountain, skiers and riders can discover the ideal run or the next challenge.
Vertical Drop: 600 Ft.
Slopes and Trails: 21
Terrain Parks: 2
Lifts: 9 including 1 quad, 2 triples and 6 doubles
Night Skiing: No (Night skiing is available at nearby sister-resort Big Boulder.)
Tubing: 7 chutes and 2 tow lifts
THE SLOPES AND TRAILS
There’s good learning terrain with wide slopes and plenty of room to traverse over a gently graded surface on aptly named Snowflake, Frosty and Powder Puff. You’ll find them to the extreme left with their own dedicated lifts. Advancing novices and cruisers gravitate to Jane’s Lane for a longer run over a gradually steepening incline. For skiers and riders who want to see and be seen, head for the chair over Exhibition. Watch others make their runs and then take a turn in the spotlight on a moderate slope with steeper midway headwalls. My favorite run is DeMatte’s Demise. It’s the racing trail, and when it’s not being used to challenge the gates, it’s a pure bit of pleasure. To the right, the terrain becomes more challenging from black diamond Thunderbolt to the East Mountain and a nosedive plunge on a trail called River Shot. Hold your breath.
SKI AND SNOWBOARD SCHOOL
The professionally staffed teaching center offers a full range of lesson packages for kids and adults, including a beginner’s program with a lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. Jack Frost also specializes in adaptive skiing lessons for a wide range of skiers with disabilities, including amputees and the vision-impaired.
The rental shop is fully stocked with Rossignol and Head equipment, helmets and poles.
WHAT IT COSTS
All-Day Adult Lift Pass: $46 midweek , $53 weekend
All -Day Youth Lift Pass (5-18): $35 midweek , $43 weekends
Discounts are available for seniors and children under 4. Check all the rates here.
Equipment Rentals: Ski and Snowboard Gear $35, Helmets $12
Ski School Lessons: Group $28, Private $80 a person.
Catch all prices and packages here.
CHOMPS AND SIPS
High Elevations is the gathering spot for lively ski bar and lounge doings. On the upper floor of the lodge, it’s a bright airy spot with picture windows looking down at the summit and lift runouts. New this season, you’ll find cushioned lift chairs that have been re-purposed as lounge seating for a comfy sit-down and a unique decorative touch. There’s live music on weekends and lively conversation at the bar.
On the floor below, the fireplace warmed Cantina bar and eatery serves up a “south-of-the-border” menu in a new sit-down environment. For skiers and riders on the run, you’ll find a burrito bar in the slopeside room and a full cafeteria with plenty of seating in the center of the lodge.
From the Philadelphia area, head north on the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike. Get off at the Pocono exit, make a left onto Route 940 East. Go 4 miles to the traffic light at Jack Frost Mountain Rd. Make a left and follow the road to the parking lots. There’s an equipment drop-off at the lodge.