Dave Riley provides this description of a lost ski area near Warren, Pennslyvania:
- “An area in Youngsville Pa (next to Warren) was the ‘Buckaloons’ ski area named after the recreational area in the National Forest there. It folded in the mid 80’s and they auctioned all of the equipment, which included a chair that went almost to the top and a t-bar that went the rest of the way to the top headwall. You can still see the slopes from Rt 6.”
Bill Chappell and Joel Sivillo provided some additional information on Buckaloons, along with a labeled map:
- “A friend of mine grew up in Warren, Pa. This fall I went to Warren for some business and I contacted him regarding the Buckaloons ski area. He told me how to locate it, which I did and I saw the remnents of a ski lodge right off of the road. When I returned I did some research using Microsoft Terra Server to see what the ski hill looked like. I sent it to my friend and he labled the runs. So I attach for you a labeled image of Buckaloons. All credit goes to Joel Sivillo formerly of Warren, PA currenlty residing in Durham, NC.”
In reader comments on this page, Jim Clarke asks whether this area wasn’t also named Youngsville Skiways at some point. Woody Bousquet uncovered a ski patch for Youngsville Skiways, which possibly confirms Jim’s suspicion. In early 2012, another DCSki reader, Ron Aiello, noted that Youngsville Skiways did exist. Ron notes that it was originally developed and financed by Elmer Hill and Neal Barnard. Ron skied at Youngsville Skiways the first day it opened in the early- to mid-60s, until he left the state in 1969. Originally Ron says they only had a rope tow, but later added a 3,000-foot T-Bar and opened up the upper part of York Mountain.
My family and four others from Pittsburgh purchased “Peak N Mountain” from a local bank in Warren around 1980. They operated it for a year under the old name and then changed it to the Buckaloons. I was in 6th grade the first season it opened, and I broke my leg the first time I skied there, at night on the trial from the short T bar to the top of Elk’s Tooth.
In the years that followed I grew up there in the winter. We had the cabin at the top of the mountain and my parents, for some crazy reason, let me go there with my friends when I got my driver’s license. We had a snowmobile and would ski after the lifts closed. If the lights weren’t on for snow making, we would just use the light from the sled to light the way for the skiers. It was an amazing playground for a teenage kid.
John California from Younsville was the manager of the place. He was a great guy. His wife was Rita and his son was Randy. Randy ran the snowcat at night and would sometimes give us spoiled owners’ kids a ride. I remember one time he gave me a ride down Bear’s Claw, the steepest run on the hill. That run was basically a cliff on top and was rarely open.
If anyone woud like more information, let me know. I have the old trail maps, pictures, etc.
Your old cabin is still there, btw. It’s used as a hunting camp.
I own the property at the top of the hill, over on the other side of the ski run from your old place.
The best thing was you could ski down and almost immediately get a lift back to the top. There were lines on Saturdays and Sundays but even then they moved quickly and you could make a lot of runs in a few short hours on the slopes.
Seriously sounds like a very interesting place.
Your parents sound like wonderful people.
I was one of the partners that aquired the resort from Peak and Peak and then changed the name to the Buckaloons. I was the most ski oriented of the owners and directly managed the resort until we dismanteled the lifts and sold it off. I have a lot of info etc and PINS if anyone wnats one.
6647 Bean Mountain Lane
Boulder, CO 80301
Our family recently got together and reminisced about these special times. In addition to trying to name all of the trail names, we also made a list of all of the great songs that we listened to, either on 8 track in the van, or on the radio at the base of the chair-lift. I am currently working on a box set/iMix of these singles, which are certain to bring back many more memories. If anyone has any songs that they absolutely would want to hear again, let me know. I have divided the box set into 6 CDs, which include the following genres: americana, singer/songwriter, power rock, prog rock, new wave, and even disco!
This has been a fun project that I would like to share with anyone who is interested.
Keep on truckin’
PS: Does anyone else remember Ron Campbell’s double helicopter in 1980, off of the jump on the chair, during the freestyle contest? (this, of course, was long before the x-games). That guy approached deity status for all of us aspiring kids!
Great memories…Also, if Chip ever reads this…a few years back I ended up with friends on a girls golf weekend at Seven Springs - was very surprised to see that it was your place - great pics on the wall of I’m sure your kids!
Too much fun that Buckaloons was! New Year’s parties the BEST!
Anyone interested in trying to resurrect it!
I learned to ski at Buckaloons when I was in 4th grade, which was the ski season of 1977-‘78, although it was called Peak ‘n’ Mountain at that point. I had assumed that during that time, it was run by the same owners of the sister resort Peak ‘n’ Peak, until it was bought out by new owners, who then changed the name to Buckaloons circa 1979. A night pass was seven dollars at that time, and a day/night pass was just a few dollars more. I held a season pass for three consecutive years, the final three seasons before the resort closed, which was in 1983. I skied many days and nights during that time, which was a seminal era for me that is full of fantastic memories.
The long T-bar along the Eastern side that leads to the highest elevation was called T-1. Everyone called the top face Headwall, but on the trail map, it was marked Arrowhead. Below the top face, the long intermediate run that can be seen running mostly parallel with T-1, was called Broken Arrow. The lift operators used to give us “rockets” by request. That was when they would hold the T-bar back while loading, so that the spring would stretch to the limit, and then let go, shooting the rider forward with a rush.
From the top of the Headwall (beginning just out of scope of the photo), there was a long cat track, which was marked as a green run, that looped around the perimeter of the resort. I can’t quite remember the name, but it was an Indian name of some sort, that I think began with a “T”. It eventually comes into view on the photo, and toward the bottom of the shot, runs just above York Hill road. Toward the junction with the bottom area, it merges with the run-out from Bear’s Claw.
Wildcat’s Leap was mentioned in the comments, and I think that can be seen just to the right of Bear’s Claw. It was starting to become over-grown with brush even twenty five years ago, and in the photo, it is barely visible. It had the steepest pitch of any run at the resort, and had a notorious reputation. It wasn’t lit at night (neither was Bear’s Claw), and I don’t think it was actually designated officially as a marked trail on the Buckaloons trail map. The Wildcat run could be seen very well on the hillside from the valley vantage point of Youngsville Elementary School.
I remember skiing in the trees between Snipe and Chief, but recall the officially marked “Glades” as being the patch of trees further East, between the Headwall and Chief. I could be mistaken about that, but do remember quite vividly how the glades were fondly known as a make-out area, and a major party zone at night.
The shorter T-bar was called T-2. I rode it hundreds upon hundreds of times, most often to ski the sometimes massive moguls on Elk’s tooth. Elk’s Tooth was pretty steep as well, and perfect for good bumps. There were some good freestyle moguling competitions held there in the early eighties. As a side note, during my yourger days of insanity, I once drove a Subaru down Elk’s Tooth during the early part of the fall (before there was any snow on the ground), but that’s another story.
Some other fond memories:
1 The big jump that they would build at the halfway point of Otter’s Slide that had a nice, moderately steep landing on the slope to the skier’s right, leading down toward the Bunny Hill. By the way, there was a short rope tow that ran along the West side of the Bunny slope.
2 The great speaker system that lined most of the slopes that were lit, and the memories of skiing at night to the fresh sounds of Queen, The Clash, the Cars, the Police, Rush, and many others.
I haven’t been back to Youngsville in years, but hope to visit sometime soon. I live in Utah now, and enjoy some of the best skiing in the world. Sometimes I wonder how completely different my life would be if it weren’t for the influence of our hometown ski resort.
Please keep this website up and running as I’m sure many more people will be interested in all of the great stories. Hell yes I remember Ronnie Campbell’s double heli!!!!!! We had the X-games before they were even thought of!!
The best memory of The Buckaloons to me was family; everyone to everybody. It was fun and save. I wish today that my four children had a place like the Buckaloons.
Great memories too long to list.
I loved Buckaloons, not just for the skiing but even just hanging out with friends in the warm lodge with that huge fireplace during those cold, cold winters.
I actually have the hand drawn map, without the names of the runs, from when it was Peak-n-Mountain. Where do I email it?
I last skied there in 1974 and there was plenty of snow and a good run down all slopes. We use to have live bands in the ski lodge at the bottom on Friday and Saturday nights.
Waiting in line for a ride to the top slopes was not uncommon.
Seasons change and the snow fall was less frequent, don’t know why and I was saddened when I heard it closed down.
Mr. Hill was the original owner.
Lots of pics in the Wilder Museum, in Irvine, of the skiway as it use to be.
I don’t ever remember the skiway being called the Buckaloons, being the Buckaloons is 3 miles away on the Allegheny River.
My family had a dairy farm, on the Old Pittsfield road, just below York Hill. My dad has told stories about goofing around on the access road, before the lifts where installed. He said there was a road that paralleled York and they had some track vehicle that took skiers to the top. On the map you can see where Bear Claw drops onto that old road at the bottom.
This property is prime for somebody to reopen it for just tubing and boarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
Buckaloons was not only about skiing but about the friendships we all made with people who were from different schools and who continue to be my friends to this day!
I remember Ron’s helicopter too. I so miss the hours I spent on Elk’s Tooth and other slopes. I have some real interesting memories of the glades, but they are only open to the highest bidder!
The view from the top of the mountain was great and so were the many friends that I skied with.
I was a ski instructor there in the early 70’s when it was called Peak N Mountain. Some of the founders were Elmer Hill, Deek Lay & Jack Dailey.
I can remember all of the festivals, mid-winter carnivals, the nights when the Ski Patrol and Ski Instructors lit torches and skiied down the runs.
For years after the ski area closed down, the Ski Patrol still got together anually to catch up with one another.
At age 8, I got hit by one of the T Bars on T-1 and ended up with a stich in my chin. At age 10 I broke my leg racing down from the Chair Lift over to T-1. That year was terrible due to the fact that I missed most all of the ski season and had a brand new pair of skis!
I have some great memories of the Buckaloons and the time spent there.
my address is:
I also remember Mike Shine wearing his short skis and carrying me down the slopes. We’d set up “hurdles” on the front slope and he would hurdle them. Guess it made good practice for his silver medal Olympic win.
Kathy Hill and I used to stay in the cabin at the top of the hill and then ski down for breakfast the next day. Or my dad would come up and ski down with us. Kathy was so much shorter than I and we would always be an interesting site on the T-bar. If it was at her butt it was at my knees, if it was at my butt it was under her arms. Lots of fun
My brother Jim Dailey would cook chili in a huge cast iron kettle over an open flame.
The one sad memory is the day Bart Hill was killed in the car accident at the red light crossing the bypass. Bart was like a brother to me in those days. His best friend was Randy Abplanalp. It was never the same at the skiways after that.
Thanks Brad for sending me this link. You were right it brought back so many memories of growing up in Youngsville and the time spent at the skiways.
I remember the first downhill race I was in, with skis that had no steel edges, and ran down the head wall the length of the T-Bar… several skiers plowed into the little creek that you had to go over!!!
Spent many a night skiing under the lights… and against my Coaches wishes(Harvey Shapiro)
Too many fond memories!!!
It was first named Youngsville Skiways(1961)..then renamed York Mountain(1968)…then Buckaloons(1972-73) and finally purchased by the owners of Peek n’Peak and named Peek n’Mountain..which lasted only a few years…
Designed by famed Otto Schneibs
(I have what I believe is a copy of his original drawing on the back of the Edgewood Court Motel stationary—signature is there but difficult to read)
Opened December 1961
500 ft vertical drop
12 miles of trails
Rates: Adult-day/night $2.50
1/2 day adult $1.50
I think I started skiing at 4 or 5 years old. I can remember getting to go through all the catalogs and picking out my clothes for the upcoming season…and of course that was never ordered for the ski shop so no one else would have the same!! We always had new skis and boots too. My brother Bart and a few of his buddies worked the rentals and eventually were instructors. There was heat in the shop at the ticket window and I couldn’t wait to warm up there several times a day. Yes, Jane and I skied constantly…and yes I am still short (Thanks Jane). We had quite a few parties at the cabin on top and in the lodge once it was built. The new lodge had the absolutely most beautiful stone fireplace built by the Luvison Brothers of Youngsville. The lifts were all bought and installed by a company out of Cleveland OH owned by the Sneller family. The Snellers spent nearly every weekend there and would bring busloads of people. Prior to installing the t-bar to the top of the hill, buses would take skiers up. In the beginning there were 2 tow ropes. One on the bunny slope and the other on the front slope. Sometime in the mid 60’s snowmaking equipment was installed, I can remember laying in bed and hear it start up..meant it would be good skiing the next day.
Other memories…some good…some bad:spending summer days “picking rocks” off the slopes as they would always emerge after the season was over….working the kitchen….Kettles of chili or ragout…Handicap skiers on seated skies…carnivals…annual crowning of the queen…night skiing—no lights, just torches…race days…(a couple trophies, well earned!)..people…Jane Dailey…Randy Abplanalp…Rob Ostrander…Ron Aiello…Ray Hajnik…Mike Shine…Sonia Donaldson…Scott Donaldson…The Snellers…Mark Borger…The Blume family…Verne Mauk…and so very many more!!
Wow… what a flood of great memories…
Here’s one Jane… skiing between your legs Huh???
Was I good or what???
I have pondered many times over the years where all the friends I met though skiing at the Skiways/Peek’n Mt/Buckaloons ended up. It is wonderful to read some of your memories. So many stories and so many great people. Wow, my second family, the Hill’s, (hi Kathy); Elmer’s Ski Bum Parties; Jimmy’s rope tow; Louise’s kitchen; Neil’s grooming;…..and so many more.
And about you all, long before the TBS network ever thought of it, a prerequisite for working there was ….CHARACTERS WELCOME.
It was my great honor to have worked and played with everyone during those years. My head is still spinning.
If anyone would like to share specifics, please sned me a note and I will try to get back to you as soon as my schedule allows. I am currently an over the road truck driver.
Thanks for the memories,
I grew up in Warren and PeeknMountain/The Buckaloons was my miss-spent youth. I was part of that pre X-games group that included Ron Campbell and also Scott and Kirk Hane, Jeff McKinney (Randys younger brother) and Craig Acklin. I believe Ronnies 720 was in 1977 and I cursed myself for only doing a 360 in the contest. In fact a few days before I landed a 720 and had Mike Shine come up to me and say that was cool I remember thinking it was surreal that an Olympic Medalist thought something I did was cool.
Fortunately Randy Abplanalp, aka Farley rescued me and gave me a slot in ski school which mostly meant I had a better parka and could attend much better parties. Someone said it but the ski school parties above the office did rock; Gregg Confers Rocket Fuel, one of the Bylers in Phils Downhill suit and J. Giels blasting from the cheap stereo that someone donated. My first lessons were over the Christmas holidays to the Hultman/Bartlett kids; Trent and Lizzy. Two privates a day and we mostly just skied, had fun and I kept them safe; but hey I was teaching.
My last runs there were in 1982 which was a year removed from my breaking my back at the bottom of Elks Tooth doing a very stupid jump on a cold spring day with (who else) Craig Acklin, Scott and Kirk Hane and I believe Ron.
My parents that were so supportive of my skiing passed away in the last few years. But I recall going back to visit them in Warren in about 2003 and going to the area and hiking the slopes. Yeah, they were still defined and would not take much to be turned back into a resort someone should do it. Like I read in Rons comment I wish my kids had that kind of resort to grow up at…
Thanks again for the fond memories,
Paul Volkman PV
I thought my first attempt at skiing would be my last. It looked so easy so I was pissed I couldn’t do it well at all. My friends convinced me to try it again and I was hooked. I got a job in the kitchen at the Buckaloons just so I could ski, that was the best deal ever!! I made so many friends there that I still keep in contact with to this day. A few of the guys became my fraternity brothers at IUP (Gary Larson, Jody Lobdell, Steve Crooks). To this day I still believe Elk’s Tooth and the other slopes provided the proper training ground for some of the best skiers I’ve ever seen. The Byler twins and Hane twins were “balls the walls”, “take no prisoners” type of animals. Bob Follett was equally crazy, but totally awesome to watch. Craig Acklin, Jeff & Randy McKinney, Randy Apalnap, and Randy California were all great technical skiers.
One note I haven’t seen mentioned. The worst kept secret on the mountain was all the fun being had in the Glades at night. Lots of booze was consumed and a lot of make out sessions were enjoyed by many!! I can see the smiles and laughs on all the guilty people that would partake in these activities. Great times!!
My love for skiing continues to grow. I was a decent skier in high school, but I took a skiing class for a Behrend College phys. ed credit at Peek n Peak. My skiing improved tremendously and later became an instructor at the Peek. When I moved to Florida in 1997, I thought my skiing days may be over. Fortunately I went in search of a ski club, and to my surprise, Tampa has one of the largest ski clubs in the US called the Tampa Bay Snow Skiers and Boarders (Google it). Our club takes 18 to 20 trips out west every winter. The average trip size is 40 people. I have lead trips the past 4 seasons. You don’t have to be from Tampa to join us. I would love to host a Buckaloons Reunion out west in the winter of 2013. Contact me at Terry Lee Barton on Facebook if you would be interested in a Reunion.
Thanks for the memories!!!
Good people..good community. I left the following year and took a Skiing Director job back at Cockaigne..which is not out of business after the main lodge burned to the ground. But my fondest memories are with PeekNMtn…the people…the small village there…Sigh. I actually had to move on with life and grow up!!!
the famous skier we brought in for demonstrations. I recall my parents coming down (lived in Jamestown area). I introduced him to my parents…and he sat down and spent time with them talking.
You know..skiing brings a lot of fun to many….r
Skied the Buckaloons once around 78 or 79 when I was in the area on business. To be honest I don’t remember much, other than I had fun. But I seem to have fun at every ski area I have ever been to.
Let’s not forget Dick Morris, Director of the Ski School, and his instructors. He was dedicated to the growth of the ski area and the value of the sport for young and old. He was an outstanding teacher and skier of the sport he loved his entire life, proof of its longevity value. Dick passed away last March, in 1915.