Pocono Manor Ski Area

Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

Kevin Whipple writes about the following lost ski area:

Kevin provides the following topographic map. “This shows what I think the lift layout looked like,” Kevin writes. “The longest red line is the t-bar. The next longest was a rope tow serving a large slope that descended from the lodge (this was later the snow tubing slope). The shortest red line near the top of the hill was what I think was another rope tow serving a small learning slope.”

Picture provided by Kevin Whipple.

Kevin also provides the following photos:

This is the view from the deck on the summit lodge. The slope below it was the rope tow slope that was later used for snow tubing. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
This photo shows an old lift tower footer for the main rope tow. Beyond is the summit terminal for the tow, beyond that and to the lift is the summit lodge which is now a private residence. Looming above that is part of the Pocono Manor Hotel on top of the hill. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
This is the main slope (top-to-bottom) which was served by a t-bar. “It had a ‘true-blue’ grade near the bottom, but was likely rated as advanced,” Kevin writes. The t-bar ran along a lift line through the woods to the left in this picture. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
Looking up the rope tow slope with a snowmaking pipe in the foreground. In the distance is the summit lodge, with the Pocono Manor Hotel rising up beyond that. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
A snowmaking shack sitting at the very bottom of the hill, along the Swiftwater Creek, which supplied the water for snowmaking. “It is still in good shape with all pipes and components in place except the actual pump(s),” writes Kevin. “It looks like one could simply toss in a new pump and fire the system up.” Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
A small, open slope just under the summit lodge and skier’s right of the t-bar summit. “No trails descend from it and remains of a rope tow are found in the woods alongside,” writes Kevin. “I believe this was probably a learning slope.” Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
Looking down the t-bar liftline from about 50 yards up the hill. In the foreground is one of the t-bar towers, still standing, minus the haul rope. The cluster of pines at the base of the hill are hiding the base terminal of the lift. Within this stand of pines is the bottom bullwheel, counter-weight, and a destroyed lift shack. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
The bottom bullwheel for the t-bar. “Nature has retaken this terminal of the lift,” writes Kevin. “Saplings are now growing through the bullwheel.” Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
The top terminal of the t-bar, still in good shape. According to Kevin, the liftline is grown in but can still be followed up the entire hill. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
One of the t-bar towers that still stands along the liftline. “A classic ‘lost ski area’ picture,” writes Kevin. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
Woody Bousquet provided this scan of a Pocono Manor ski patch. Photo provided by Woody Bousquet.

 

A 3-d view from Google Earth showing where the tow slope lift may have run further down the mountain at one time. The topographic map would suggest this as well. Image provided by Kevin Whipple

 

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

In late 2019, Mason. E. provided the following update about Pocono Manor:

DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort

Reader Comments

Jose
July 7, 2009
I'd like to go hiking in the lost ski area you just previewed. Is this private property or can I go walk on these grounds? Thanks for putting this piece together.
Samantha Rufo
January 10, 2011
I learned to ski here in the 1970's. Every year our family would drive from Long Island to Pocono Manor during the Christmas holiday week. The small slopes at the top were for beginners and kids. One of the main drawbacks -- there was no place for people not skiing, to see the slope or for a parent to watch a child. Another drawback, getting "stuck" at the bottom of the main lift. There wasn't a lift line or instructions of how to get on the t-bar. Consequently, you could usually watch as someone tried to sit on the bar and fall off. Overall though, we always had a good time and great memories.
Rob Jennings
September 8, 2011
Our family learned to ski at Pocono Manor during the mid-sixties. Leather tie boots and cable bindings. It was a very active begineer ski area with a full time instructor that offered group lessons. They did use snow making machines which could always be heard at night from the hotel rooms. We have many memorable photos from this "lost ski resort." Although we quickly grew out of the beginner terrain within one season, it served as a perfect stepping stone to Lake Placid, Vermont, and Colorado.
DrMellowSkiBum
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 04/13/2020
6 posts

Hey all! I recently visited what remains of the Pocono Manor ski area. Sadly the historic hotel itself is no more as well, having burned down at the end of 2019. This was one of the last examples of the grand hotels of the Poconos, and it will be missed. 

A surprising amount of old ski infrastructure remains. The alpine ski area seems to have been established around the mid 1960s, although it seems that cross country skiing was established on the trail network around the area going back much further, perhaps to the 30s or 40s. The first lift I can find a record of was the main top to bottom lift which was in fact a J-bar, not a T-bar. It was a rather unique piece of equipment being manufactured by a company called Larchmont which only made a few other lifts in the early 60s before getting out of the business. It's interesting to note that the drive for this lift is at the top terminal, not the bottom. The towers and terminals of the J-bar still stand but are very overgrown, although the lift line itself is still easily discernible in the woods. I'm not sure on an exact closing date. Seems to be sometime in the 1980s. They had a snowmaking system which covered two fairly wide straight slopes with a decent pitch on about 250 vertical feet for the main slope and a shorter slope on about 125 vertical feet. That shorter slope was serviced by its own lift, however this was not, at least not always a rope tow. A T-bar manufactured by Poma was installed there in the 1970s and in fact you can still find sections of haul rope and T-bar grips and assemblies in the woods besides the slope. I can't speak to whether this slope continued to the bottom before being shortened. I do know the T-bar only serviced the top 125 vertical feet. It's also possible they removed the T-bar for another rope tow on this slope for snowtubing after the ski area closed. There were a couple trails that seem to have led from the bottom of the short slope down to the bottom of the J-bar though. The lodge, which was at the top is also gone. It had been converted to a private residence but at some point in the last few years was demolished. 

For an area that has been abandoned for over 30 years this place is surprisingly well preserved. With the destruction of the hotel now it remains uncertain what the future for this property will be.

You can see a walk through of the remains of the ski area here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMv509-kw9Q

Ski and Tell

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