- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 0
- All-Mtn. Terrain 0
- Terrain Park 0
- Nightlife 0
Pros: Breadth of terrain; Length of runs
Cons: lack of open lifts on weekday; Lack of ungroomed terrain
Recommended For: Family Friendly
First time at Camelback and was extremely impressed. Despite the 2 degree weather (F) during the winter storm (can't fault CBK with that), Camelback was worth the 4 hour drive from DC. We actually stayed overnight at the adjacent hotel (Chateau Resort) the night prior, which I recommend over trying to make a day trip from that distance. The Chateau Resort is unaffiliated with Camelback, I believe, but is 2 minutes away, parking lot to parking lot. A barebones resort lodge; clean but in serious need of renovation. Unless you're simply looking for bed and 2 minute drive to ticket counter, stay in Stroudsburg 20 minutes away.
Crowds: The weekday crowd was low in the morning so only one lift was running from the lodge area to the top. Two others were open at other areas. There were no lines until noon. I was surprised that they did not open another lift when as the crowd increased, but the staff was fairly efficient at controlling the lift lines and I never waited more than five~10 minutes. Of note, many frequenters did admit that I was lucky to come on a weekday because the weekends get crowded enough to make the trip a waste of time.
Terrain: Several reviews highlighted the lack of vertical (~800') at Camelback. However the layout of the runs make the mountain bigger than it appears on paper. For one, it's difficult at the base to see the entire resort within your peripheral vision; it's that wide. Second, yes you can take the straight diamond runs down and it can go fairly quick, but most of the runs wander or switch back and link to other runs. My favorite was the Nile Mile that I google earth measured at about 1.25 miles. It's a really fun blue. A couple times I got to the bottom on different runs not really sure how I had gotten there. Also the bunny slope is separate from the rest of the mountain so no problems dodging beginners.
Snow: Considering it snowed about 5-6 inches overnight augmented by snowmaking, I expected better conditions. Most of the mountain was groomed hard. I only found one short section that was purposely ungroomed. You could find fresh snow on the sides of most runs, but I felt they could have taken more advantage of the all night snowfall. Still, with the small crowd I only started to run into infrequent ice patches on the steeper areas in the afternoon. I could easily see how a crowded weekend could uncover a lot of ice on the popular runs.
Bottom line: I'll happily bypass the resorts closer to DC for a weekday overnighter at Camelback