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TR 2/10/18 - flat light/ crowds


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Good... Stitches are out. Dr said the people in Jackson did an amazing job with the stitches making sure that there would be no scarring. Props to St. John's! Going to see the Ortho this week. Best ne

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mountain creek....an entire mtn of jerries....

Crowds? What crowds? Compared to BM on a weekend, those were empty slopes. Seriously though after seeing the parking lot at 8:30am I was fearing that the two slow lifts would be a bottleneck, but to my great surprise I haven't really noticed this.

We've never been to Montage before. Bought some vouchers from the Sally's thread and initially wanted to spend them on the blackout weekend but after seeing weather forecast decided to go there today. And didn't miss! Not a single raindrop all day until 3pm.

The mountain is funny, DD slopes are indeed DD, especially that White Lightning, but blue slopes deserve at most green rating. Initially we didn't like it, especially since the long haul lift didn't work, and we got stuck on DD slopes. Then it turned out that the long haul lift is also slow as hell, and it was taking 13 minutes to ride it... And people are complaining about connecting lift on MC ;) Really, if it was an express, things would've been much, much better. Finally discovered not very trafficked and interesting trails and looped them. I think they were Fastrack and Canonball. The first one is remote, so not too many people, and Canonball is just an interesting sequence of drops with flatter parts in between.

Snow was wet and spring, holding well. By 1pm some bumps formed and ice spots appeared. I got the feeling that snow conditions can really vary at Montage. The coverage on the top part looks thin, plenty of dirt spots here and there, and there were also talks on the lifts about some trails closed during the week.

I'd love to spend more time there, the lower part of the mountain in the forest is quite beautiful, and the crowds are thin, but the commute is too long for us, driving 2:30 one way is only borderline worth it.

 

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24 minutes ago, eaf said:

The mountain is funny, DD slopes are indeed DD, especially that White Lightning, but blue slopes deserve at most green rating. Initially we didn't like it, especially since the long haul lift didn't work, and we got stuck on DD slopes. Then it turned out that the long haul lift is also slow as hell, and it was taking 13 minutes to ride it... And people are complaining about connecting lift on MC ;) Really, if it was an express, things would've been much, much better. Finally discovered not very trafficked and interesting trails and looped them. I think they were Fastrack and Canonball. The first one is remote, so not too many people, and Canonball is just an interesting sequence of drops with flatter parts in between.

At Montage, you pretty much have to ski either the top half or the bottom half of the mountain. Top-to-bottom runs are fun but it takes so damn long to get back up to the top. Long Haul doesn't always run, so then you need to take Phoebe Lift and ski down the narrow cat track to Iron Horse to get back up to the top. Takes forever.

Most people ski the bottom half because, as you found out, that's where all the best terrain is. Their blue trails are, IMO, the least trafficked blue trails in the Poconos. Last year they never even opened Upper Fasttrack and Runaway. All the green and blue trails basically feel the same with little variation - just a straight shot down to the lift with 1 or 2 short steeper sections. The blacks, on the other hand, have a lot more variety and many consider them the best expert terrain in PA.

Glad you got to check out Montage, but yeah, 2 hrs 30 minutes is a long drive considering how many other options you have.

Edited by saltyant
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The blues would be ideal to teach someone how to ski. Everybody says that Shawnee is the best mountain for a newbie, but Upper Montage is better. So wide and easy... Shawnee's Lower Pennsylvania is just too narrow for a newbie to ski comfortably.

With that said, Shawnee's express is hard to beat. People can talk all they want about slow lifts building up anticipation for a good run, but when you ride up for 14 mins and ski down only 1-2 mins, it's a disaster. You die of boredom on the way up, and if on the way down you run into a crowd and have to stop, the whole run is wasted, and now you have to wait until you crawl back up again. Shawnee, as small as it is, and as simple as it is, is unbeatable due to its fast lift. You zip up and down, and every time when you ski down, you still remember very well how the previous run was, so that you can adjust your skiing, pick better path in a given spot, etc.

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so about crowds at montage....there usually aren't any. so what you saw today is a busy day for montage. and i'm ok with that. i'd prefer to not have to deal with tru blue on the weekend.  it's been nice having upper and lower fast track open and the long haul lift running. i did a few laps on the long haul today and it was good. the north face lift is my fav in PA. doesn't feel like PA at all down there. ROTD was boomer, but WL was shaping up nicely towards the end of the day. a few dudes had the right idea and had set up a small grill at the top of the north face lift and were tailgating there. you could smell it halfway up the lift.  good times.

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26 minutes ago, saltyant said:

Here is a great thread about Montage that I remember reading back before I started posting on here.

 

One unbelievable and yet typical thing from that thread is the never ending comparison to the True Blue. Everybody who has common sense is saying that BM is a murder scene on a weekend, and yet "but if you leave before 10... but if you squeeze yourself to the far left after the gates... but if you're a VIP... but it's an express..."

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4 minutes ago, eaf said:

One unbelievable and yet typical thing from that thread is the never ending comparison to the True Blue. Everybody who has common sense is saying that BM is a murder scene on a weekend, and yet "but if you leave before 10... but if you squeeze yourself to the far left after the gates... but if you're a VIP... but it's an express..."

You were talking about Shawnee in a montage thread..ding ding for you and from 8-10'at blue this morning I skied as much vert as 5 hours at jackson frost or montage. In 2.5 hours Eaf you could be at Hunter mountain 

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Just now, GrilledSteezeSandwich said:

You were talking about Shawnee in a montage thread..ding ding for you and from 8-10'at blue this morning I skied as much vert as 5 hours at jackson frost or montage. In 2.5 hours Eaf you could be at Hunter mountain 

More like in 3. Spoke to a girl from PHL on the lift. She was wondering the same: why in the world am I not skiing Catskills?? Because I don't compare Catskills to Montage, I compare them to BM or CB, which are only 1:40-1:50 away.

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2 minutes ago, guitar73 said:

the skillz don't compare to anything in PA.....especially not CB. it has great horizontal.

It has a great what? Ziplines are to die for. But horizontal is something I haven't thought of.

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Just now, SallyCat said:

Hunter is just as crowded as Blue on weekends. 

Even worse. One convenient thing for me was that there is a bus departing early-early morning not too far from where I live. Kinda nice to sleep instead of driving, and the price is not very different.

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b/c that's all CB has going for it. it spreads out laterally long the ridge...but it is not a steep mtn, it doesn't have a lot of vertical drop, it gets a lot of jerrys for northern new jersey/nyc who ski in their blue jeans......and you think that is comparable to anything in the catskills??

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1 minute ago, guitar73 said:

b/c that's all CB has going for it. it spreads out laterally long the ridge...but it is not a steep mtn, it doesn't have a lot of vertical drop, it gets a lot of jerrys for northern new jersey/nyc who ski in their blue jeans......and you think that is comparable to anything in the catskills??

Ah, you meant CB has great horizontal. I thought Hunter. Got it now.

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