4aprice's Backyard Challange
Maybe just call it friendly competition.
So, nobody is going to call Morris County NJ a skiing Mecca, but its not the worst place either. We have Newark Airport to get to the Rockies or Alp's or whatever other skiing destination you desire, New England and New York to our north for weekends, and the Catskills for decent day tripping 2 hours away. We also have the "backyard" in the Pocono/Skylands region of E Pa and NW NJ. The backyard is defined as at or under 1 hour from Stately Price Manor near Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
There are 5 ski areas that probably fit in this category, but the challenge is between the largest 2, Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannerville, Pa and Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon Township NJ. The plan is to ski both resorts back to back (or as close to back to back as possible, at the least the same week) and compare and contrast. With my Camelback Season Pass and my Max Pass I hope to do this five times (5 rounds) over the season.
So with Winter Storm Grayson and the bitter cold abating and a relatively light work schedule I decided to start it up this week hitting Camelback on Monday the 8th and Mountain Creek on Tuesday the 9th.
The weather Monday at Camelback was interesting. Started as rain (at about 23 degrees no less) went to sleet, then to all snow. Tuesday at Mountain Creek was mostly sunny and about 38 Crowds were not an issue with MC being the busier of the 2 but not by much.
Camelback for those that don't know is a pretty broad ridge with trails spilling down form 2 summit areas, east and west. The runs aren't particularly long but the top of the ridge has some nice steeps and there are very few crossings of trails. It's very easy to do what I call a sweep and start at one end and ski each route down crossing the mountain to the other end. There are about 17 different ways down and between the 2 high speed quads its very easy to do. Monday I started on the east side and worked my way west. With every thing open it was fun.
Mountain Creek is 3 different peaks or areas Vernon, the old Great George North and the Original or Great George South. The runs are longer but it is not as easy to cross between areas and it takes much longer to ski the whole thing. Tuesday I started at Vernon worked my way over to South and then back to Vernon.
Camelback on Monday
Vernon Base on Tuesday
South Base Tueday
I want you to take a look at these next 2 pictures
Big Pocono Run at Camelback
Zero G at Mountain Creek
Conditions at both resorts were basically identical.
So in the spirit of contest which was better? Well for Round 1, I give them both a tie. (no winner). Once again I ask what's missing? Both resort deserve kudos for taking advantage of the recent cold weather and making a ton of snow. Most of the terrain at each area is open and the snow was generally good with little ice. The problem I had as the Judge and Jury is exactly what the two pictures of the trails show. Nary a bump or mogul in sight. If ball room dancing is your thing then it was a perfect 2 days but to me it becomes mundane when all it is, is groomed. Big point deduction for both areas from this judge.
I hope to do this a few more times this season and invite anyone i this area who has time to join me. Maybe you see and score things differently from me. Look forward to Round 2 later this season.
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
375 x 274 - 19K
375 x 281 - 22K
375 x 279 - 23K
428 x 281 - 13K
373 x 275 - 21K