By Jacob Kersh
As temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, ski and snowboard enthusiasts throughout the country begin planning trips to the many resorts that the East Coast has to offer. Although pickings are slim for those who find themselves living in the more southern states, members of the Glenelg High School community are fortunate enough to have an arsenal of mountains to choose from—so long as they are willing to wake and make those early morning highway drives under the rising sun. And many consider the journey to be well worth it. In fact, Glenelg Junior Hassan Malik believes that “We’re lucky to have mountains such as Liberty and Whitetail in such close proximity because even though they may be a bit on the smaller side, they still offer a lot to beginners and people who just want to have fun skiing for a day.” Nevertheless, whether you drive an hour to ski the more miniscule, family-friendly mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia or seven hours to take on the larger, more advanced resorts in New York and Vermont, I encourage readers to go out and hit the slopes this winter. Compiled below is a list of my top three favorite places to shred some powder—use them to help make this season that much more memorable.
3) Whitetail, Pennsylvania (Elevation: 935 feet): By far the most accessible and—consequently—most popular mountain within the Glenelg community, Whitetail is truly a thing of beauty when its trails are groomed with fresh, natural snow. It is extremely family-friendly and offers various trails for beginners first getting into the sport of skiing. It has a classic terrain park, and although it is a bit small, it offers all the rails and boxes needed to impress passerbys. Additionally, according to freshman Anthony DeCamillo, “the view from the Whitetail Express Quad when flurries of snow are falling from the sky is something I can personally say is quite breathtaking.” Most importantly, it is only an hour away from the school, which means that enjoying a day on the slopes with your friends or family is just one step closer.
2) Mount Snow, Vermont (Elevation: 3,586 feet) Over winter break, I was fortunate enough to spend my entire week skiing Mount Snow. In addition to it being absolutely massive, I can honestly say that the trails, glade skiing, and breathtaking views from the mountain’s insulted Bluebird Express chairlift truly made it one of the most memorable ski experiences I have ever had. The mountain patrol was extremely friendly, the expert trails were difficult but still enjoyable and scenic, and Carinthia—its extremely renown terrain park—honestly lived up to its name. I definitely agree that it is one of the best, if not the greatest parks in all the east coast. For students at Glenelg, a trip to Mount Snow most definitely needs to be planned out in advance, as the drive is about six and a half hours. However, I definitely recommend it if you are free during a long weekend, or if you’re willing to make up some school work in exchange for the amazing all-around experience this mountain provides.
1) Blue Mountain, Pennsylvania (1,407 feet): With the highest vertical drop of any ski resort in Pennsylvania, Blue Mountain offers the Glenelg community the perfect mix of a feasible driving distance (three and a half hours) and family-friendly skiing conditions, while possessing a significant amount of intermediate and expert trails for the more avid skiers. The mountain also offers one of the best ski schools and private lessons in the region, and I know this from not only reviews but also my own personal experience! Three years ago, my family and I spent a long winter weekend at Blue Mountain. On the first day, my younger brothers attended their ski school and I took a private lesson where I learned how to properly carve, conquer moguls, ski the glades, and most importantly, ski as parallel as possible. I also remember the six-quad chairlift to be fast with breathtaking views of the Poconos, and the trails to be well maintained. For these reasons, I believe this mountain is overall the best choice for Glenelg students to have the most enjoyable ski experience possible this winter!