The Big Pocono Ski Area

Tannersville, Pennsylvania

Kevin Whipple writes in with information about the Big Pocono Ski Area, which used to be located near today’s Camelback Ski Area. Kevin writes:

 

The original tow that didn't work out is in the left in this picture.  The main tow was actually very long and served probably over 400 feet of vertical drop.
An aerial photo taken sometime during the ski area’s operation. The original tow that didn’t work out is in the left in this picture. The main tow was actually very long and served probably over 400 feet of vertical drop. Photo from Camelback - The Downs and Ups of a Banana Belt Ski Area by Jill Wechsler.

 

Skiers using the tow. The truck in this picture is still up on the hill today. Photo from Camelback - The Downs and Ups of a Banana Belt Ski Area by Jill Wechsler.

 

It shows the general location of the towlines, as well as some of the current facilities for Camelback Ski Resort.
An aerial image from Google Earth. It shows the general location of the towlines, as well as some of the current facilities for Camelback Ski Resort. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

A 3-d view of the hillside. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

A topographic map of the area, with the old tow lines marked and the location of the current facilities of Camelback Ski Resort. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

Looking up the towline from the base. This is just barely still discernible and it becomes much more grown in in just a bit further up the hill. Very steep. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

Looking down the towline from just above the railroad grade, and just below the truck that served as the drive. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

The nursery slope at the base of the hill. This is a rather steep learning hill, and might be of intermediate grade. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

The rear wheels have sheave wheels attached to them for the tow.  This truck sits along the towline just above the old railroad grade.
The remnants of the truck that served as the drive for the tow. The rear wheels have sheave wheels attached to them for the tow. This truck sits along the towline just above the old railroad grade. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

A close up of the truck that powered the tow. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

The sheave wheel that may have been attached to a tree or wooden post, but now sits along the towline. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

 

Another fallen sheave wheel. There are not many remnants of the tow along the towpath, but some do remain. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
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Reader Comments

newman-123@live.com
July 30, 2008
Excelent article! Very good photos. Having been to Camleback many times, even to watch them grading Nile Mile one day, I had no idea of this lost area. From the old photo, it looks like it has a share of short steep areas. Keep up the good work guys

Newman. Hidden Valley NJ
Marty
March 5, 2019 (edited March 5, 2019)
Member since 03/25/2015
2 posts

I had a chance to snoop around on my last day of skiing this year (April 1, 2018).  Time was short, but I did find traces of the "original tow lift that didn't work,"  as described in the caption above.  There are a few auto rims in the trees.  Remember, that was from decades ago, so they're much higher than you'd expect since those trees grew substantially.  Also, the trees didn't grow perfectly straight, so the mounts have turned slightly from facing perfectly uphill.  Next time I have a chance I'll search for spirits of skiers past along the lift line that did work.  That should be a fun hike.

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