- Overall Rating 2
- Family Friendly 3
- All-Mtn. Terrain 2
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 0
Pros: Park skiing & riding
Cons: Small. Expert non-jibbers will yawn.
Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly
Date Visited: Dec 1, 2010
Many eons ago this used to be my home hill. I learned how to ski here and occasionally raced high-school NASTAR here back in the late 80's early 90's. I practically lived here. Heck, my senior prom was a mile or so away at the neighboring Split Rock Lodge. When I got my diploma I said so-long to Big Boulder and really hadn't been back here much since the 90's and certainly not in over 10 years.
Trail names had changed, some new ones have shown up, and the place is mostly a giant terrain park. While not exactly my cup of tea, I can't fault the resort for taking this route. The short vertical drop (like 600ft.) certainly doesn't lend itself for speed or technical terrain, but it certainly does make for a good place to throw up a bunch of features and let the freestyle folks just go at it.
What hadn't changed in 20 some years were the slow lifts and the lodge seems like it has seen better days. The shop had a wide range of helmets and accesories and the clothing selections reflected what is in style for freestylers. I didn't notice boards or skis for sale in the shop, so my guess is demo gear is not available. I also did not notice a pipe, but it was very early in the season when I visitied so perhaps it hadn't been constructed.
Props to Big Boulder for getting the snowguns blasting early and making some good quality snow. This has always been a hallmark for the JFBB company. It had rained significantly earlier in the week and I was really expecting it to be crusty. Nope. The snow farmers took full advantage of the quick plunge in temps and got right out to work blowing snow and grooming the trails. Even by mid-afternoon I could only find a few patches of ice, and since Boulder was the only resort open in Eastern PA that day, it had been skied on pretty hard all weekend.
I didn't stick around for the nightlife. Given the fact that the vast majority of the patrons are underage freestylers, I doubt the after-dark crowd here is the same as it was back-in-the-day.
They say you can't go home again. Well, maybe you can, but sometimes you shouldn't. In the four years I had been back living in the Poconos I had also avoided Big Boulder. A comp pass and the fact that it was the only place open to ski this early in the season were the only reasons I visited. Had I actually had to dish out the cash that day it would have cost me $44. That apparently is not the regular weekend rate but a special weekend rate at mid-week prices. I don't know what the regular weekend rate it, but it's got to be overpriced. I outgrew this hill years ago and not even a free ticket helped me recapture some of the fun of my youth.