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Buckaloons Ski Area / Youngsville Skiways
Youngsville, Pennsylvania

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.

A patch from Youngsville Skiways. Image provided by Woody Bousquet.
Ski patch from Buckaloons. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.

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DCSki Reader
12 years ago
I own the property adjacent to this abandoned ski run and have a small cabin at the top. Although the runs are getting pretty overgrown, they are still passable. Last weekend I hosted my nephew and some of his friends to some private snowboarding down the longest run from the top, next to the old T-bar lift. I used my 4WD to shuttle the kids from the bottom to the top, and it was a great deal of fun. The kids are used to snowboarding at public areas, and had never been on two feet of virgin powder before. Nobody has used this run in years.
DCSki Reader
12 years ago
I own the property adjacent to this abandoned ski run and have a small cabin at the top. Although the runs are getting pretty overgrown, they are still passable. Last weekend I hosted my nephew and some of his friends to some private snowboarding down the longest run from the top, next to the old T-bar lift. I used my 4WD to shuttle the kids from the bottom to the top, and it was a great deal of fun. The kids are used to snowboarding at public areas, and had never been on two feet of virgin powder before. Nobody has used this run in years.
Tim McChesney
12 years ago
I learned to ski here, for $5 I got a 1/2 hour lesson, my ski rental and a lift pass. It was alot of fun skiing there with my friends from Youngsville High……..
DCSki Reader
12 years ago
2005-03-04, 20:52:49
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.
DCSki Reader
12 years ago
I’d like to see your pics and trail maps. My email is: kwhitehead@excite.com
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.
DCSki Reader
11 years ago
Would be great if the old trail map could be sent in to this site. Would bring back memories for a lot of NW PA skiers….
Mike Bader
11 years ago
My wife and I only skied there once. I think we took wrong turn on the way to Peek n Peak. I just remember that the place was a blast to ski and it had one very steep section of hill (I was a beginner) Can anyone provide directions and maybe some old photos. There’s something about those old forgotten ski areas. Send any info to:
mpbader@zoominternet.net Thanks
Andy Brincko
11 years ago
Thanks for the memories gang! Buckaloons was the area that kindled my interest in skiing. I was doing field service work in Warren, PA just east on Rte 6. one winter in the late 70’s. One evening I went out to dinner in Yougsville and afterword drove over to watch the “fun” at Buckaloons or it may have still been Peak n’ Mountain at the time. I thought to myself “that really looks like fun,I should try it.” Later that year I did begin to ski at Brandywine in NE Ohio closer to home. The following winter I got to try Buckaloons for the first time. It was the first of many enjoyable visits.
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.
Alisasny
11 years ago
You broke your arm? Did you sue? LOL

Seriously sounds like a very interesting place.
Your parents sound like wonderful people.
Jerry Thornton
11 years ago
We skied at Buckaloons 79-82. I’d like to know if anyone would have a ski pin from Buckaloons that they would want to part with. E-mail me at jthornton27@yahoo.com. Thanks
Chip
11 years ago
Just found your site.
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.
Charlie Campbell
11 years ago
my little brother and i were just now brainstorming all of the names of the trails…..googled buckaloons and look what i found!…my brother ron campbell was a ski instructor there…we basically lived there from the time it opened until the time it closed…what great memories…
Jim Clarke
11 years ago
As an avid collector of ski history (particularly patches from old areas) I would love to get a trail map and/or patch from the Buckaloons ski area. Was it once named the Youngsville Skiways? Thanks for the help.

Jim Clarke
6647 Bean Mountain Lane
Boulder, CO 80301
303 516-0371
jim.clarke@comcast.net
Scott Hultman
11 years ago
I learned to ski at the Buckaloons when I was a teenager, in the late 70s and early 80s, and I have very fond and dear memories of that time. My brothers and sisters, with our parents, went on road trips from Pittsburgh, almost every weekend. My father, Ched Hultman, was one of the investors who tried to resurrect the resort when it went bankrupt as Peak ‘n’ Mountain.

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’

Scott Hultman

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!
Scott Hultman
11 years ago
For those interested in the Buckaloons Box Set, I can be reached at cshult@med.unc.edu, or call 919-966-4446 at the University of North Carolina. If anyone has artwork (mountain logo, trail map) that could be put on the CD, please send it! Thanks,

Scott Hultman
Ken
11 years ago
Just for the sake of nostalgia, here are a couple of pics taken at Buckaloons this past winter. Cut and paste the addies into the address bar to view them.

http://www.geocities.com/kdwhiteh/Camp/davidandjamie.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/kdwhiteh/Camp/downhill.jpg
David Broudy
10 years ago
I learned to ski at Buckaloons in the early 80s. My grandparents had a place near there (Warren I think) and my parents used to take me. I was pretty young (4-6), and when I went back a few years ago, my memory was pretty spotty, but the memories I had were all good ones. When I was there, the lodge at the bottom had been turned into a bar and was open, so that was pretty cool. There was a poster sized ski area map back by the bathrooms.
Don L
10 years ago
I skied at Buckaloons once when I was in high school, probably 1981 or 1982. It closed shortly thereafter. Loved the place! I really regret never getting to go there again. I was told that one of the reasons it closed was the lack of snowmaking. Any chance this place would re-open? I welcome any Buckaloons trivia or pictures, please send responses to pittwriter2@yahoo.com.
Jim Clarke
10 years ago
I collect ski patches from “closed” or “lost” areas and am interested in tracking down a patch from Buckaloons if anyone has an old one lying around. I’d also be interested in brochures etc. Willing to pay or trade other ski memoriabilia. You can contact me via e-mail at mountainlord@bigfoot.com. Thanks for any leads, help or info. Happy trails!
Jeff Williams
10 years ago
My brothers and I skied there in the 70s; what a blast! I collect patches and pins from all of the areas Ive skied. Id be very interested in purchasing a pin or a patch from there. If you have one willing to sell; e-mail me at mitty@connecttime.net . Thanks
K.D.
10 years ago
If anyone is interested, the lodge is for sale! The building has seen a few failed attempts, a bar, a restaurant and a home. Being from Youngsville, I was a regular. What great memories!
David Schwencke
9 years ago
of course.. right next to Bear’s Claw is the little known “Wild Cat’s Leap.” I grew up at Peak-N-Peak (then Buckaloons) Can’t tell you how much I miss it and wish it were still open! A former resident of Warren.. oddly enough I know live in Pittsburgh. I’d fork out some cash to ski there again. If any of you former owners re-gain some interest… look me up in the Steel Building
Rob Graham
9 years ago
Another former regular here and I loved that place. We have some 8mm home movies of jumping and the “glades”. We were just talking about Down Hill Phil and some of the other folks from there. My knee still hurts every time it rains from my failed helicopter attempt on broken arrow! I’d love a pin! rgraham@tremcoinc.com
Jolene Jordan Lowry
9 years ago
Learned to ski there, although Randy McKinney would wonder who taught me!!! Actually instructed/babysat for a couple of years. And, YES I do remember Ron Campbell’s double heli - awesome - I think I started dating his brother soon after that!!!
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!
Greg Wenom
9 years ago
What a thrill to find this site! The wonders of google never cease to amaze.

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.
Pete Mahood
9 years ago
I grew up skiing the Buckaloons. I almost fell out of my chair when I discovered this website. Thank you for putting this information together, it brings back alot of great memories growing up.
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!!
Ron Campbell
9 years ago
Jolene I saw your name and it brought back great memories; fishing in Canada what a time!

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.

Ron Campbell
Al
9 years ago
I remember skiing this area in the early 1980’s. The thing I remember most was that you could stand at the top of the hill at night and have a great view of flaring gas off at the refineries down by the river. I know of no other ski area with this kind of view in such an industrial setting.
Mike Mayes
8 years ago
In reference to Greg Wenom’s question on the winding trail, the name was Squaw’s Escape…and I believe you’re right in saying that the Glades were between Headwall and Chief. I certainly miss those days.
Patty Campbell McKeon
8 years ago
Buckaloons was the best! We use to live there Thursday-Sunday……..met alot of great people, some of which I still keep in touch with. Wish it was still around….
Lisa (Cook) Smith
8 years ago
I grew up in Y-ville. Skiing at Buckaloons are the fondest memories I have of growing up. From my house on Thatcher’s Lane, you could see the front of the mountain and there plainly you could see Wildcat’s Leap. It had been “rumored” that someone died on that trail and that’s why it was shut down.

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.
Tim Volk
8 years ago
Ok, I offered a trail map in my comment back on March 4, 2005. I’m getting around to it, don’t rush me.

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?

Tim Volk
Scott
8 years ago
Tim, you can e-mail it to me (Scott, the Editor of DCSki). Click on “About DCSki” (top right menu) to find my e-mail address. (Look under the Feedback and Article Suggestions section.)
RobD
8 years ago
I never skied Buckaloons, it was on my list but I never got there before they closed. A friend’s brothers nows owns The Wild Wind Farm on a ridge opposite the mountain. When I visited there on a cold, windy Labor Day some twenty years ago you could clearly see the trails spread down the mountain across the way from their farm . It looked like it had some challenge and decent vertical. The Sivak brothers followed work as snowmakers to Buckaloons. They started ski area work at a small rope tow area outside of New Kensington, PA on the hill above the Golf Oasis, a driving range by summer. Another great memory of my visit to the farm was the most awesome display of the Northern Lights that I’ve ever seen, like luminescent ribbon candy shimmering in the sky.
RobD
8 years ago
I never skied Buckaloons, it was on my list but I never got there before they closed. A friend’s brothers nows owns The Wild Wind Farm on a ridge opposite the mountain. When I visited there on a cold, windy Labor Day some twenty years ago you could clearly see the trails spread down the mountain across the way from their farm . It looked like it had some challenge and decent vertical. The Sivak brothers followed work as snowmakers to Buckaloons. They started ski area work at a small rope tow area outside of New Kensington, PA on the hill above the Golf Oasis, a driving range by summer. Another great memory of my visit to the farm was the most awesome display of the Northern Lights that I’ve ever seen, like luminescent ribbon candy shimmering in the sky.
GIB MASON
8 years ago
When I was about 13 years old I picked rocks by hand off the slopes of the Youngsville Skiways. We got paid 50 cents a bucket. Big money then. My kid brother Ric Mason was a ski instrutor there. I can remember big events being held there in the winter, girls sking down the slopes in two piece swimsuits, a circus atmoshpere unmatched in those times.
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.
Past memories,
Gib Mason
Keith
8 years ago
If you go to Hollyloft, in Lakewood, NY, Les Johnson has a section of his wall devoted to the Buckaloons, including one of the old t-shirts hanging up.
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.
Cami
8 years ago
I too learned to ski there starting in 3rd grade. And lived there until it closed. It’s last winter open was ‘82 - ‘83. I can still remember the day I came downstairs for breakfast and there on the front page of the Warren Times Observer that Buckaloons would not open for the 83- 84 seasons, Tim, Pete and Patty and my senior year.

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!
Bill Wilbert
8 years ago
Like Gib and his brother Ric, we grew up in Youngsville. I learned to ski there…my parents got a discount because my mom ‘volunteered’ in the concession area with the owner’s family (Elmer and Marge Hill, the original owners) when indeed it was Youngsville Skiways. I too broke my leg right on the front slope. I was in 5th grade (1966) at the time…that slowed me down. I can remember when the ski lodge was constructed…can’t remember the name of the local mason but he did superb work. If anyone gets into the old lodge, look up on the chimney inside, about 2/3 the way up—-there’s probably still a beer can there, left by the mason before the scaffold came down. I don’t think anyone was ever brave enough to climb the stome chimney to remove it.
Brad Thompson
8 years ago
I learned to ski at Youngsvile Skiways in the early sixties. At that time it just had 2 rope tows, 1 on the bunny hill and 1 on otter’s slide. The following year they expanded an added the 3,000 ft t-bar on the far left side of the resort and opened several new slopes. We had a great time every winter. Lift tickets were $2.75 for all day on week ends. I had a season pass every year and would ski everyday we had snow.
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.
Heather
7 years ago
I grew up skiing there with my cousins in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I fell off the chair lift there and remember my cousin Matt breaking his leg as well. Many good memories of night skiing with the radio blaring through the slopes. Some songs bring an immediate memory of skiing at Buckaloons! We are all turning 40 and I would love to get some Buckaloons memorabilia to frame up as a gift! I live and ski in Alaska now. Please contact me if you have any memorabilia you are willing to part with. plucin@mtaonline.net. or (907) 242-5939. Thanks!
Barbara
7 years ago
I grew up in Youngsville and started skiing at the Buckaloons when I was 2. My Father was a member of the Ski Patrol from his early twenties until it closed down. Everyone who worked at the Buckaloons was like family because we were there so much, not just in the winter, but throughout the year.

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.
mark shields
7 years ago
I, too, would love to have any additional info, including maps of the place. I grew up in Warren and remember the area well.
my address is:
shieldsmark42@yahoo.com
Jennie Acklin
7 years ago
What great memories! I started skiing there when I was in 4th grade, and ended up as an instructor. Had great lessons in those early years from Dininny, Abplanalp, Downhill Phil, and Werner! I still have a newspaper clipping of the girls and boys race winners - given to me by a friend in Warren. And my whole family still has their old ski passes tacked up on the wall - such a great, great way to grow up - we spent our entire winters there!
tye campbell
7 years ago
I grew up in younsgville and worked and skied at the buckaloons! Too many memories to tell; best part was by working there, you could get free skiing. My family couldn’t afford lift tickets, but by working as a parking attendant and lift attendant I took advantage of this great amenity of Youngsville! Too bad it is gone.

Tye Campbell
YHS 1977
Jane Dailey-Oswald
7 years ago
Ahhh the memories. My father Jack Dailey was one of the original owners with Elmer Hill, Deek Lay and Mr. Barnard (can’t remember the first name). He also designed many of the slopes. We had so many family gatherings over there at the lodge. I remember a slumber party in the lodge for maybe my 13th birthday. My dad gave us the run of the building, and the slopes. My grandfather Jimmy Lucas ran the rope tow and I can still see him tucking stocking caps into people’s jackets so they would not get caught in the rope.

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.
Mike Shine
7 years ago
I have you all beat!!! I grew up with the slops in my back yard… In lived in the house directly across the RR tracks from the lodge, and could look out my back window and watch everything… Like a lot of the old guys, Bart Hill a classmate and many of us were allowed to have sleepovers in the lodge and ski for free the next day!!!

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!!!
Kathy Hill Herman
7 years ago
Sorry Mike But I think Jane and I have you beat!!! Let’s see…It was Deek Lay, Jack Dailey, Neil Barnard and my dad Elmer Hill that fought to get this place going…And poured money in year after year to keep it. Deek, as I recall was either clearing or packing (with the “Tucker”) what was known as The Cliff, it rolled and crushed his legs. Never the less, Deek would always be there the first couple of years until we lost him. Neil Passed several years later leaving dad and Jack to keep the place going. Many of the residents of Youngsville did not like the added traffic and strangers in town, there was constant opposition. I have wondered over the years since it closed, how they would feel now…probably a lot more jobs..
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
Child-day $2.00
night $1.50
1/2 day adult $1.50
child $1.25
family $6.60
$5.50 eve.

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!!
Mike Shine
7 years ago
I think your right Kathy!!! But I always felt like was an adopted son cause of your Mom and Dad.

Wow… what a flood of great memories…

Here’s one Jane… skiing between your legs Huh???
Was I good or what???
Randy Abplanalp
6 years ago
WOW, a blast from the past is a huge understatement. Reading all your comments has my brain smoking.

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,

Randy Abplanalp
rmaski837@aol.com
scott burns
6 years ago
Discovered this site basically by accident. I grew up in Pittsfied and though I was not a skier I have fond memories of the buckaloons. Reading comments from so many people I remember from YHS has made my evening.

sburns1963@gmail.com
mary
6 years ago
Reading the comments, I’m understanding that the ski area was open from 1961-1982. Am I correct about that?
Elke
6 years ago
Definitely some great memories at the Buckaloons. And great to read all the posts here, sure brings back memories. Too bad it closed!
Karen
6 years ago
I went to Buckaloons as a teenager with my brother. We lived in Warren and it was both close and inexpensive. I learned to ski on Wednesday evenings. Great times. I wish it were still there because now my son loves to snowboard. We just came from Boyce park in Pittsburgh. I was telling him about Buckaloons. I guess those years, the thrill of coming down that hill, the music, and the lodge are just one of those nice memories.
Susan Iseman Cramond
6 years ago
Loved the good times at the lodge. Does anyone know where the skis are that were over the huge fireplace in the lodge. My family donated them and wondering where they went?????
Glenn Shaw
6 years ago
I grew up in East Hickory, Forest County, PA. Learned to ski at Youngsville Skiways as an adolescent in the early to mid 1960’s. I never rode it, but they took people to the top of the hill in an old school bus. They also had a rope tow. When they got a T-bar, I had never seen one, and I thought it was a chairlift! People used to use a gripping device attached with a cord to a belt around your middle, to hold on to the rope. I gather that they have been pretty much outlawed for liability reasons. Too bad. I miss Youngsville Skiways - it was a great place.
Glenn Shaw
6 years ago
PS- When I learned to ski, we wore leather boots- there was an inner boot with laces, and an outer boot with laces! The bindings had cables that went from the front of the boot, along the sides of the skiis, and then up and onto the back of the boots. gasdoggy@yahoo.com
Paul Volkman
6 years ago
I will echo Farleys comments and say WOW! No idea what possessed me to Google PeeknMountain recently but I was shocked to find this and all the great comments and people contributing to it.

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
pvolkman@comcast.net
Michael Lyon
6 years ago
I recall working at Buckaloons my Junior year and if I remember correctly it was only open one day my senior year in 1983. It was a sad day when the trucks where there removing the lifts. I worked on the week-ends and skied for free all week. Many nights were spent doing homework in front of the fireplace. Years later my brother-in-law turned the lodge into a home; I recall telling him good luck with the heating bills.
Michael Miller
5 years ago
My Great Grandpa and Elmer Hill, were good friends and had the oil leases on the hill. My Grandparents ( Paul and Ruth Miller )were close with John and Rita California when they took care of the slopes. My aunts all skiied there- Bobbi, Linda and Jane Miller, and my dad (David Miller) remembers all the names i showed him on this thread. I m an avid Snowboarder and have always heard all these stories about the Ski area in Youngsville. Neat piece of history…its a shame its closed. But the winters are so sporadic anymore, it would be a leap of faith to try and open it again. Even Peak n Peak has gone bankrupt a few times over the last few years
Doug Riehl
5 years ago
I only skied Buckaloons once , I am from the east side of Cleveland , I used to ski in NY all the time , we had a great time skiing Buckaloons it was a great little mountain and pretty steep , that was a great trip and it had to be 1981
William King
5 years ago
I remember when this was a thriving ski area way back in the late 60’s when I was a teenager. I never got a chance to ski there but I remember going to the Lodge itself and watching the Musical groups they would get to play on Saturday night. That was a big deal for me to ride to Youngsville all the way from Tidioute with my friends. Those were great memories. How could you not be entertained by bands with names like “The Cardboard Baloon”? LOL
Chuck Armstrong
5 years ago
Wow, what a terrific stroll down memory lane. Like so many others who have posted here, I too spent many of the best days of my youth at Youngsville Skiways (aka York Mountain, Peakn Mountain, Buckaloons). I was there when it opened in 1961, and was a regular until 1965 when I graduated from high school and moved away. Actually, before the Skiways opened, Vern Mauk one of the founders, operated a little place to ski in a pasture outside of north Warren for a couple of years. He had built a rope tow, powered by an old car, and a warming shack. I was about ten years old at the time and regularly skied there with my dad. A few years later, Vern connected with Elmer Hill, and Youngsville Skiways was born. Initially, although slopes had been cleared all the way to the top of the mountain, there were only two rope tows, with the big one providing access to about 200 feet of vertical. But there were lights for night skiing and a great little lodge at the bottom..everything we needed. The first few years, Vern, my dad, Jim Kellar who had skied with the 10th mountain division during WWII, and a few others, served as a volunteer ski patrol and ski school. The place was never crowded, which meant that in spite of its modest size, we were able to get an amazing amount of vertical in on a Saturday or Sunday. I remember so many good times there; night skiing with my friends, the annual winter carnival, bus rides to the top of the mountain before the T-bar was installed, skiing through the woods on the wrong side of the rope tow, hanging out in the cozy little lodge listening to Beatle songs. And especially, I remember the people; my skiing buddies (Jeff McComas, Bruce Swanson, Lee Borger, Fred Blackman, Wendy Ruthven) and so many others who were part of the first generation to pass through that special place. As others have commented, what set the place apart from any other where Ive ever skied, and what made it so endearing to so many over the years, was the Cheers-like atmosphere that existed. Without a doubt, that was a direct result of the people who ran it; Elmer and Marge Hill (two of the kindest people I ever met), Neal Barnard, Deek Lay, the guys who ran the lifts and the shop, Neals daughters who often worked the snack bar, and so many others. It truly was a place where everyone felt welcome. Im so glad to learn that, in spite of many changes in ownership, that never changed, and that what we experienced in the sixties continued on for so many years. Thanks to all those who have posted here for stirring up so many great memories.
GIB MASON
5 years ago
My kid brother, Ric Mason, was a ski instructor at the Youngsville skiways, still lives at the base of the old runs. My first job when I was about 13 was picking rocks off the slopes for 50 cents a bucket. I last skied there in early 70’s. Live bands of the area played in the still standing Ski lodge. They had ski festivals with girls in bikini’s sking down the slopes. Yes many memories.
Betty Fitzgerald
5 years ago
We are blessed to live in the home that John and Rita California, managers of Buckaloon’s built. Our home has a finished basement with stone bar and fireplace and barn board from The Lodge. There were two tables with candid photos of skiers laminated to the tops which I sold to the owner of Huey’s in downtown Youngsville. My husbands daughters had season passes to Buckaloon’s, and he still has one of their passes from 81/82.
Linda
5 years ago
I never skied at the Buckaloons, but I did work at the Lodge when Bruce Morrison owned it. Worked there with Cindy, Jacki, and Daria, we had such a blast. Very good times with good friends !!!
Terry
5 years ago
Being a kid in Youngsville during the 70’s and early 80’s was a special time. We had the Brokenstraw Valley Swimming Pool in the summer and The Buckaloons in the winter to ski. Don’t even think snowboards were around back then!!

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!!!
Terry Babe Barton
5 years ago
Forgot to mention the banana boots they used to rent … great indicators so stay the hell away from people wearing those!!!
JV
5 years ago
Someone need to reopen it.
Brenda Agnello
4 years ago
My husband and I stopped by the Buckaloons today to show our colleg age son where we learned to ski and often went on dates. I thought I would be sad but many good memories came rushing back. My son is a student at Pitt Bradford and snowboards Holiday Valley. He was amazed at the vertical drop of the Bukaloons.It was a great place. I still downhill ski a couple times a week during the winter. Thanks to the former owners/operators for giving me a place to learn to ski. I will never forget the fun I had at the Buckaloons.
john albright
4 years ago
if found the ski area on google maps but there also appears to be a,new/old/pvt ski run on grunder run to….anyone have any info on this place?
Ray Harkness
4 years ago
well, I have no idea why I decided to check this..but for some reason googled Peek N Mountain..and came across this. I see lots of great memories here. I recall the names..I co-directed the ski school ( and ski rental shop ) during the first year it was operated by PeekNPeak. Sadly, that fell on hard times to. What a great bunch of people Nothing but great memories. Randy, Craig, Werner and some other crazy people. The view from the top of that mountain was great. Perfect location, just the problem is with weather, staying cold enough to make snow etc. This was fun to go through and hear about the entire history. How about the time we had an Open House, and brought in the world famous skier for demonstrations. Heck.I cant’ remember his name now….He was in the movie Ski The Outerlimits. I have been trying to find a copy of that movie on dvd..but can’t seem to find it either.

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!!!
Ray Harkness

raharkness@earthlink.net

Ray
Ray Harkness
4 years ago
OH..follow up…think the guys name was Art Fuhrer

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
DCSki Reader
4 years ago
This was where I first skied. What memories. I wish they would revive the place!!
DCSki Reader
4 years ago
As a Warren Area High School student back in the 60’s, by joining the “Ski Club” you could ski at Youngsville on Wednesday nights under the lights at a discount. I took beginner classes there and the same night was skiing down the big slope. I was hooked and soon began skiing there as often as possible. How many pairs of gloves were ruined by that original rope tow? Then when the T-bar lift opened, it was amazing. Many great memories sitting by the fire in the lodge with our snow-covered ski boots, hot chocolate and good friends. Beautiful!
Lee S
4 years ago
Chip Kamin passed away this past Monday. The skiing community lost a great advocate and good friend. I remember after a long day on the slopes at the Buckaloons coming back to the lodge and climbing the fireplace. Chip always pushed the limits. A true athlete.
Mike S.
4 years ago
As a life long skier and lover of all things past, I have an affinity for abonded ski areas. I stopped by here last summer hoping to walk the slopes and take some pictures. Someone at the property at the base of the hill turned me away, only saying, “Its posted”. I tried to make a quick plea but again he stated, “Its posted”. I may try again this summer.
Barb
3 years ago
Does anyone know who the current owner is and how to reach them? Any information would be great-my email is barritzco@aol.com
Thanks!
Robin Kamin
3 years ago
Chip and I were newly weds when he became a partner in the Buckaloons Ski Area so many years ago with Dean Bartlett, Ched Hultman and some other Pittsburgh families. We drove the three hours up to Youngsville every weekend. It was a wonderful time of our lives and I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s memories here. I remember breaking my wrist riding a motorcycle up the T-bar line, adding a hot tub to the cabin at the top of the hill, fried eggs and chili in the lodge, rocking my infant son to sleep during a New Year’s Eve party in the lodge, designing the Buckaloons patch, the pin, a canvas ski bag and boot bag. For about four years Chip and I flew to Las Vegas in March for the annual ski show where we would order merchandise for the tiny ski shop on the hill. And the skiing was FUN! Thanks all, for the chance to capture and share these great times.
Larry Titchworth
3 years ago
My father Roy Titchworth was one of the investors of the Buckaloons. I was in middle school and remember climbing the fireplace and the late night skiing after closing. They are good memories. Who does own the property now? Any info ljtworth@aol.com
2 years ago

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.

Rick G

one year ago

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. 

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