There's snow tellin'.
North Mountain
Near Sonestown, Pennsylvania

Bill O’Hara remembers a ski area named North Mountain, located in Sullivan County, near Sonestown and close to Eagles Mere. Bill says North Mountain operated from 1964 to 1984.

“They have a j-bar that is still there and have a Poma lift that was purchased from Snowmass, Colorado that was never installed,” Bill writes. “The area had a potential for 1,400 vertical feet! Plans to expand the summit were shot down by the local zoning board when they wouldn’t let the area expand across a ‘paper road.’ The owners operate the J-bar for family only now.”

Bill provides this link to a topographic map showing the area.

I have some new info for an area I visited in the summer of 2008.

North Mountain, PA

Kevin Whipple visited the site of North Mountain in the summer of 2008. Kevin writes:

    “Upon my visit in 2008, the j-bar was in place but looks like it may not have been run for a season or two. The slope it serves was still very clear and maintained. The upper slope that was cut for the second j-bar is also very clear and maintained. Speaking with the owner of the property, the second j-bar from Snomass still sits on property. The owner had a plan to put a chairlift to the top of the mountain which would have made it the PA vertical drop leader. He says he had access to the land in the adjacent canyon from the one the j-bar was built in as well. Talking to the owner about him hiking up and skiing from the summit over the ‘headwall’ was great. Sounds like this place had some real potential and an owner with some vision, but this was another one of those great ideas that would not make it through the local politics. I think a place of this size would have done wonders for this area’s winter tourism. It is a gorgeous section of mountains that offers alot of summer activities, and limited winter ones.

    Unfortunately, I had alot of great pictures that inadverantly got erased from the camera. Not cool, this was a nice trek from my house. Perhaps I can get back sometime. My visit to Keystone Mountain Park was on there too.”

Kevin provides the following images.

From the base of the J-bar. The main slope it serves is to the left. The liftline is grown-in a bit. It ran up the woods for a little ways above the slope visible in this photo. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.


A 3-d view of North Mountain from Google Earth. The owner had plans to build into the valley to the left in this picture. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.


An aerial view of the area. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.


A topographic map of the area. The second J-bar was to run to somewhere near the top of the white area on this map. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

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J Faust
9 years ago
I do remember seeing this area from Rt 220 sometime around the late 70’s early 80’s and thinking wow, what potential. I was always looking at mountains in the area where I think a good ski hill could go. I couldn’t figure out how to get there back then. I think the bridge was out from earlier flooding. Too bad it never took off. This area needs something other than Ski Smallhill…
john ohara
9 years ago
My grandpa jack aqqiuered the land in the early 90,s but died in 2008 and the land was then transferred to me we are investing 2.5million$ for two lifts and a snow making sysstems.
9 years ago
John, We’d love to hear more details about reopening. More trails? More vertical? Type of lifts? etc.
9 years ago
John, that’s great news! Always good to hear about a ski area reopening. So many have closed for good. Will you be open to the public?
9 years ago
John - I think you will need more than $2.5 million to install 2 lifts and a snow making system. The previous owners were not allowed to expand the ski area due to a paper street that cut across the mountain. It seems the challenges are many. The best of luck to you.
John Ohara
7 years ago
Hi guys it me again with a new update we have obtianed all the needed permits so far for land usage,we do have one road block there is a tiny mining claim next to our land and the owners are concerned that snow drainage my cause the tunnel to cave in,but still looks very promiseing yeah,as far as the 2.5million well our family is putting that up and 2.75million is being invested by a corp.that wished to be nameless or a silent investor.
Rob M
7 years ago
This sounds great John! I live in the Phiily burbs but have come to Forksville for ages to visit family there and enjoy the outdoors. I always thought the area needed an economic stimulus in the winter. I read this over the summer and swung by in August. I’m an avid skier and instruct down here at Spring Mtn. I also do GIS mapping for a living. I looked at lidar contours of the site and can tell you it looks Fantastic! You have the PA vert king there for sure and I hope you become the Aaron Brill of the east!

If you need any mapping for any of your reports I’d be willing to help you out for a few tix :)
I assume you have help but I work for an engineering firm that can help you with any needs A-Z.
7 years ago
in regards to the reopening posts… wow… the trials tribulations of trying to open a new ski area now-a-days… john ohara, if you see this, were you one of the folks in the restuarant when I came off the hill in the rain on my visit in ‘08??? i suppose that was jack i spoke to concerning his grand plans to build up the mountain… back when ski lift competition made for affordable ski lift options… and that silly dirt road that helped squash it… yall, thought i was pretty looney having so much interest in a dilapitated j-bar in your back field… lucky I wasn’t shot… i thought jack had owned the land previous to the 1990’s… perhaps I’m absolutely mistaken it was jack i spoke to… good luck… PA vert leader!
Huck Barbour
7 years ago
There is no plans to re-open North Mountain…nor did anyone purchase or otherwise obtain permits. This land has been privately held since 1966. The natural gas pipeline has just been put through this area.
Huck Barbour
7 years ago
Kevin - you were not mistaken. You spoke to Russ Quava, who has solely owned this property for 40 years. There is no-one named Jack nor John O’Hara associated with this property.
7 years ago
Hi John, I just stumbled upon this posting and would love to discuss your plans on moving forward. I’ve had a life long dream of being part of a new ski area and you’re in my back yard. My e-mail address is please shoot me an e-mail when you see this.
thanks so much! - Shawn
Sharpen your edges. And pencils.
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