Category Archives: PA
Since my son started skiing, we’ve made a point of visiting at least one new hill together each season. Two years ago, we skied at the Poconos’ Alpine Mountain. Last season, he got his first taste of fresh powder at Mount Peter in southern New York.
This year, we checked out Shawnee, another ski area that allows families in the New York City/New Jersey region to maximize slope time while minimizing drive time.
Only a few miles from the Delaware Water Gap and a convenient one-hour drive from my house, it’s easy to see why Shawnee had already gotten our business. For starters, it’s a far less busy place on weekends than nearby Camelback and has a friendly local-hill feel about it.
Averages are averages after all. And while averages for snowfall were impossibly out of reach at the end of the season, April temperatures took a nosedive. After the record highs in March, the first full month of spring was cold, and served up an unlikely epilogue to the lift served season.
In December of 2010 it was announced that the Tanglwood Ski Area in Tafton, Pennsylvannia was closing. On April 26th of this year the ski resort’s infrastructure was liquidated. Snowmaking equipment, lifts, groomers, the rental shop and everything else was auctioned.
Representatives from Plattekill, Thunder Ridge, Kissing Bridge, Mount Peter, Big Bear and Camelback were on hand to look for values in ski area equipment. Laszlo Vajtay, co-owner of Plattekill mountain has built his business by recognizing and capitalizing on these kinds of opportunities. I spoke to Laszlo about the auction and his acquisitions.
I spent the day Monday watching the NWS radar in total disbelief: a huge, swirling, stalled storm was dropping snow on western New York and Pennsylvania. It was hard not to think, “why couldn’t this have happened in February?”
But something was different about this “after the bloom” storm; there were shades of blue, grey, and white over the higher terrain, and up to 24″ was expected when things were said and done.
Seven Springs was tweeting that they were going to spin the lifts. My skis and boots came out of the closet in the afternoon, but I still wasn’t sure would drive west towards the snow. For years I’ve ranted about ski areas closing with perfectly good snow on the ground, and I felt the need to put my money, time and fuel where my mouth is.