My son and I took a road trip to Elk Mountain. I chose it after comparing weather predictions, costs, current base, open trails, and vertical (1000ft). I was trying to stay within 4 hours, but two more hours to Elk looked like we would have a much better time. It is probably the most northern of all Mid Atlantic ski resorts. The trip up from Fredericksburg was fairly easy. We left at noon and was on the slopes night skiing by 7pm. This included a wrong turn when we missed one of the roads for the resort. It is about a 6 hour drive door-to-door from my home. I originally had not planned on night skiing, but my son asked to go on our way up while he was reading an Elk Mountain brochure we picked up along the way. It sounded like a good idea to me. We had stopped at a rest area and changed into long johns and other ski layers so all we would have to do is pull on our outer layer once we reached the resort. Our first run was interesting. My son had decided he wanted to board goofy this year, but he has boarded regular his whole life. He found muscle memory when sliding around can be a real pain. He felt like a beginner again. We made it to the top and started to come down. At first we were very timid, since it was extremely foggy at the top. However, I was soon to be pleasantly surprised. I had expected icy east coast night time skiing, but what we got was mash potato wet powder that was a blast to play in. Our first run was on Delaware/Delaware chute which goes right pass the terrain park. By the time we got to the terrain park, my son decided the goofy experiment was not for him. We stopped and talked to the terrain park lift attendant and he said the repair shop was open and would help us setup my son's board regular style. I don't have clue on how to set it up and doing this at night in the snow was not my idea of fun. We went down to the shop and the guy at the desk had us back on the slopes within 15 min.s. He would not accept any money for helping us out. This was typical of all the people we talked to at the resort. Helpful and friendly. We went back up and came down Susquehanna. It has a very steep drop for about the first 75 yard, but again the snow was mostly wet powder and was a piece of cake to carve our way down. We then hit the green slope Tioga. It was very similar snow but did have an icy spot or two at a couple of the turns. I think Slalom was open but we missed its small opening at the top between two closed slopes. We skied the rest of the night until the lifts closed at 10pm. There were a few people on the slopes but we were often alone as we skied down a trail. Once we quit, we went back and checked into or hotel, ramada. The Elk web site sad it was 20 minutes away, but I would put it closer to 35-40 min.s. The room was nice and I had a great discount through work so it was all good. Since we didn't get to bed until almost midnight we were a little slow starting the next morning, but after a breakfast that included the obligatory ski morning waffles, was on the slopes by 9am. When we got there the first couple of parking lots was almost filled. I was concerned that it would be packed and a real mess. Again I was pleasantly surprised. On the east side they have two double chairs that run simultaneously up the mountain and on the west slopes they have a quad and another double, but was only running the quad on that side. Elk had 14 of 27 trails open but covered the entire area. We never stood in line for more than a few minutes and until late in the day the slopes never got congested. There were a lot of folks there but the size and number of slopes open keep everyone dispersed across the mountain. Lunch was crowded, but it just took a few minutes to grab a couple burgers and was back on the slopes within 45 mins. We started our morning with a run down Delaware/Delaware shoot. It was a little more granular then the night before but not bad. We skied all the slopes we did the night before and branched out to what became our favorite run of the day. It was a blue cruiser that started on Schuylkill and cut down wisshichon back to quad lift. It had the best powder cover of all the slopes and was just fun and farly long to carve from top to bottom. After that I came down Tunkhannkock and ran the edges were it was bumped up some from top to middle. I will just pass on what my son said about my bump performance, "at least you didn't fall". I think I need some more practice before I can rip them up
. The steep incline really made what were relatively small bumps and some groomer edges into something of a challenge for me. We did go back and find slalom in the afternoon, it was another steep run. It was also the iciest of all the slopes we rode that day. Nothing compared to what I'm usually used to, but I had become spoiled on the other trails and my son particularly didn't like it on his snowboard. We skied/snowboarded until we couldn't go any longer. My son stopped a couple runs before me and headed back to lodge for a pizza snack, while I put in a couple more runs down scullykill. I also ended he day by taking Lackawanna spur to pick up speed and cut across Hiawatha back to the lodge. Hiawatha has an uphill slope so you need some speed to make it to the top and back down to the lodge. These were the only two open slopes I had not hit earlier in the day and wanted to make sure I Hit them all
. It was a great couple days of skiing only marred when my son thought he lost his cell when we were loading the car to go home, we unpacked the car and repacked but could not find it. I thought he must have dropped it out of the car somewhere when we stopped but we found it once we got home and unpacked everything.
Elk Mountain website is http://www.elkskier.com
and I have already posted this link once but here are a few pics/videos I quickly stitched together after I arrived home and waited for the caffeine and adrenaline to wear off. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HDqNY4JfII