Monday, May 7, 2007

East Coast Skiing 2007 (Mountain Creek)

I tried skiing at Song Mountain ( in Tully, NY (South of Syracuse) over the New Years holiday. I got to the mountain but I was not able to ski. The lifts were running but it was not worth the effort. Since I knew that I was going to be able to ski in Lake Tahoe in January I was not really worried about it.

I was back on the East Coast in March and I figured that my skiing for the year was over. However, just as I got back the big snow for the year showed up.

I never really thought about skiing in New Jersey but I had heard that Intrawest ( ) owned Mountain Creek ( in Vernon, NJ and I had wanted to give it a try. Mountain Creek used to be called Vernon Valley Great Gorge. It is only a little over an hour from my house. I figured that it might be a good opportunity to work on my ski form so I took a day off from work, loaded up my car and drove up to Vernon, NJ.

While I was prepared to be disappointed, I actually enjoy skiing at Mountain Creek. Taking a day off during the week is the way to go. It is less crowded and there were $25 lift ticket coupons on the website. Weekends are a different story.

The main lift at a Mountain Creek is a detachable Gondola called the Cabriolet. It is really designed for snowboarding since you have to take your skis off to ride. It also serves the main terrian park. There is a triple lift that gets to the same spot but it was only open two of the days that I went moves much slower.

I mostly skied the 3 black diamonds and the 1 double black diamond. Two of the Black diamonds are at the top of the Cabriolet and have some good moguls. The other 2 runs require a transfer to another mountain that is served by a high speed quad. The black diamond is steep but does not have a lot of bumps. Pipeline (double black diamond) was only open one of the days I was there and it is a steep narrow run.

I knew that I was skiing in New Jersey because as I was walking from the parking lot someone asked me if I wanted to buy 2 tickets. Running into scalpers is kind of a funny thing. The other reminder that you are in New Jersey are the large number of people skiing in Giants and Jets Jackets.

Intrawest is trying to turn Mountain Creek into a destination resort. I am not sure how successful that is going to be. However, if it is snowing in New Jersey or the temperature is below freezing it is definitely worth calling a vacation or sick day and spending the day on the slopes.

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