Elk Mountain has been on the goto list for a long time. Driving my son back to school provided an excuse to ski a 12:30-4:30 shift on Friday. Elk lives up to its billing. There are 11 black diamonds at Elk and we skied the 9 that were open. These trails would be diamonds at most Eastern ski areas. The diamonds all ski a little differently. The trails feel similar to the expert trails off the double at Plattekill, although they are not quite as steep and have a longer runout. Conditions were mostly excellent packed powder with a few spots of frozen granular underneath.
View of the double/quad heading up the steepest trail Tunkhannock.
Riding the double looking up the East Slope and Susquehanna
The base lodge
In all the pictures you can see the results of Elk ownership planting over 13,000 mostly Norway Spruce trees over the years. It gives the place a feel of skiing at a more northern mountain. These trees seem to act as wind blocks for chairlifts and snowmaking.
Riding the quad - there is a double hanging on the other side of the tower. It was ski right on all afternoon.
Looking at the steepest part of Tunkhannock
The trails were empty and covered with packed powder. There are nice views of farms and the Endless Mountains.
There are a lot of wide open trails, this one is where the trails end at the quad. They were blowing snow on 2 trails as temps remained around 20 degrees all afternoon.
The view from the top of Lackawanna was quite nice.
Looking down Susquehanna
The mountain faces NE so the shadows hit the steep trails first.
We really enjoyed skiing Elk. I don't know if we will be back as I can get to the Catskills in less time. The mountain was worth the trip this time.
Nice pix. I wrote a Mag article about Elk many moons ago and your report sounds very similar. Planting thousands of Norway Spruce trees was a smart move. I plan to stop there on my way to CNY sometime this season.
I was at Camelback with my son yesterday and it was an absolute zoo. I like your day better.
nice report, looks like a great day. i usually hit elk once or twice early and late season. spring bumps on tunk are the bomb. snow quality always seems nice there, otherwise i find the terrain a little boring and the absolutely no tree skiing policy is just wrong. the planted pines are awesome to look at and provide a great wind block but i can't help thinking how nice they would have been if they staggered them a little to form more natural edge condition vs straight rows
Skiing on a Friday was the reason for the empty trails. The flat light was a bit of a bummer, but the trails were in good shape and snow covered. There were no moguls anywhere. The GPS showed the vertical to be around of 900 ft. Maybe they measure from the parking lots as these are all below the lodge and require a ride on the shuttle. The lots were all paved, a nice touch. The ride in from I-81 was pretty easy except for the PA skier in front of me whose speedometer must have read 15 mph slow.
I really like Elk Mtn. Never find it at all dull. Elk puts down a good deep solid machine made base. They have a 100 ski day's guaranteed for their seasons pass holders. If they don't make 100 days they send passholders a pro-rated check for the missing days. However they usually find a way to stay open the 100 days. My only gripe is that come late March, the number of skiers drops way off and Elk has in the 100 days and they tend to close with plenty of base to usually go into April.
Glad you enjoyed Elk, my other home hill. I usually make a trip or two per season. Last year I skied it four times, they had a better year than Greek. It's a nice change of pace from Greek. Pretty similar vertical and trail count. Better grooming at Elk, see Okemo, better bumps, usually, zero tree skiing does suck. Oh yeah, pretty awesome views from the top, for PA.