Montage
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 4, 2002
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
Spent this weekend at Montage near Scranton PA.

While some of the areas down the coast were closed, the northern areas such as Montage had enough of a base that they were able to remain open, although with some bare spots.

If Snowshoe and Blue Knob are "upside down" mountains, then Montage is a "Halfway down" mountain. The parking lot and lodge are roughly at the middle of the 1,000 vertical. Up the hill to the right are the greens, then on to the left the blues, and there are a couple of blues that become black diamonds at the halfway point before continuing down the entire mountain. The blacks and double blacks are from the halfway point. Whoever designed the ski area was an efficient person. It is very manageable and easy to get to anywhere.

Saturday at Montage was actually nice. The green "warm-up" runs were not in very good shape whatsoever. They were making snow by the ton. The blues were a bit icy but considering the climatological disaster we had in this two-week thaw, they were in pretty good shape. But goggles were a necessity. Only late in the day did they stop the snow guns. And the halfpipe was open on Saturday but closed on Sunday gor grooming.

The black runs... Yeah... In great shape. Cannonball, a single black run, was a corduroy pleasure. Actually, the three "double-black" White Lightning, Boomer and Smoke had the best conditions I've ever seen on advanced runs in a long time. As most of the moguls had disappeared due to the thaw, the management had just poured tons and tons of snow on these three runs, making them the steepest corduroy cruisers around. And as the temperature hovered just below freezing, the conditions remained excellent. By Sunday moguls were formed in all the runs, still with plenty of snow in them, on them and around them. Edging in these conditions was a pleasure...

The only drawback to Montage is the apres-ski. There are several hotels nearby, but there is no on-site lodging. Montage is a ski area, period. Many of the hotels, however, have connections with ski shops and one can get equipment rentals and lift passes through the hotel, avoiding the lines at the ticket window.

The food at the lodges's cafeteria was undoubtedly the worst -- a thousand and one ways to ruin and burn chili... For a "health nut" looking for something that is actually nutritious, I'd rather starve than eat their food. The menu should have read: Hambugers with Grease, Hot Dogs with Grease, French Fries with Grease, Salad with Grease... Get it? Bring your own.

There is a local store and gift shop in the lodge. And they have a contract with a local hat maker that produces some of the craziest ski hats around - even Harry Potter wizard hats...

Would I return? Yep. Lines were there but very manageable. Courteous staff. Apparently it appeals to a local experienced clientele and as a result, there was the feel of a ski area that I only get in New England. But by all means, I will bring my own food...

[This message has been edited by lbotta (edited 02-04-2002).]

[This message has been edited by lbotta (edited 02-04-2002).]

JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 5, 2002
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Never been to Montage or Elk, understand they are two of the better ski options around Scranton. Can you compare? Thanks for the info.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 5, 2002
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
Unfortunately I've never been to Elk. But planning on it. When I do, I'll definitely post it. Anyone else been to Elk?

Lou

(Anonymous)
March 14, 2003
I've skied both Elk and Montage. Montage's double blacks are equal to Elk's blacks.
Montage has a lot of trails for beginners and intermediates. Elk is more for the intermediate/expert skiers. It depends on what you are looking for. Montage is a 'ski a bit and then socialize mountain'. Elk is a 'ski ALOT and then socialize mountian'.
(Anonymous)
March 14, 2003
I've skied both Elk and Montage. Montage's double blacks are equal to Elk's blacks.
Montage has a lot of trails for beginners and intermediates. Elk is more for the intermediate/expert skiers. It depends on what you are looking for. Montage is a 'ski a bit and then socialize mountain'. Elk is a 'ski ALOT and then socialize mountain'.
JohnL
March 14, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Trip report for Elk Mountain on the current DC Ski homepage:

http://www.dcski.com/news/2003/03_05_2003/elk.php3

'The green "warm-up" runs .. '

I thought all Mid-Atlantic runs were warm-up runs ...

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