I noticed Camelback ( “CB” herein after) had such a low user rating here hence I read the reviews & I feel ALL of you, some possibly the same person, are all intentionally slanting their opinions. Ive skied CB since the early 90’s. I purchased an early bird season pass during 5 of those years. I’d like to offer my honest opinion – good and bad:
1) CB has a lot of trails (33) for our area and has a good mix from beginner to expert. A+
2) CB also has a good lift capacity, which includes 2 fast Quads. B
3) Over Crowding – CB should sell tickets on a per hour basis to avoid overcrowding on the trails and occassional closed parking lots on the weekends. Too many beginners coming in on bus trips aggravates me because they don’t have a clue what they are doing. Further, there are too many skiers and boarders on weekends, many of which don’t have etiquette and cause many frustrating problems on the trails. Long lift lines on weekends. F
4) Weekdays – when the mountain is fully open and the kids are in school. CB IS awesome. Enjoy the entire day without the weekend madness. I love it and maybe Im partial because I know CB best out of many local resorts. A++++
5) CB lift prices and season passes have become too pricey the last few years hence I no longer buy their season pass to support their finances during warm winters. F
6) As of yesterday 1/24/07, CB only had 18 of 33 trails open (55%) yet they still charge full fare – resorts are WRONG and unethical here. F
7) Conditions – naturally this is the east coast and warm temps will always cause icing conditions from time to time ( Kilington as well ) hence CB’s rating here is for grooming only. B-
8) Vertical Drop – 800 ft. Not the longest but its good for the area. B+++
9) Trail Length – I believe the Nile Mile is the longest trail at CB however it opens TOO late most years when Mother Nature isn’t kind to us skiers. C for lateness.
10) Instruction – Ive taken my share of ski lessons at CB to improve my carving from time to time – I was pleased. B+
11) Food including the outdoor grill is good – a bit pricey but no different than others. B+
12) Shuttle bus from parking lots are good for the weekend madness. A+
13) Hours of Operation and night trail lighting cant be beat. A++
14) Entertainment, Bar etc A
15) Rentals – get there early on the weekend. When I tried the parallel skis before purchasing them back in 1999, I rented them from CB. Plenty in stock but lines can get long so get there early on weekends. B
16) Snow Making – maybe Im being a bit hard here but here it goes …A big F. Every year I hear ALL the local resorts, including CB, boast about how many snow guns and groomers they bought, blah blah blah, and some have actually stated on the news they can cover their terrain in 48 hours of sub-freezing temps. Well, we have had about 10 days of very very cold weather – 70% of it 24 hours a day YET as of yesterday, CB only had 55% of their trails open. Today, 1/25, CB improved and has ( 21 of 33) 64% which is NOT A LOT YET customers have to pay for full price for a lift ticket. Id like to know WHY Camelback can not get 95% of their trails open within a week of frigid temps. Is it because there is not enough pumping capacity, snow cats/groomers or snow guns? Or are they reluctant to add more personnel around the clock to get fully opened ? There must be a reason other than temperatures because we have had a very prolonged period of arctic air upon us. It really rots when they charge us a high priced lift ticket for less than 95% of trails opened. CB gets A Big FAT F here. Why ? Because without us SKIERS (CUSTOMERS) the past few decades, CB wouldn’t have had the financial profits and resources to expand trails, terrain parks, expand other areas and build camel beach Water Park, and the now planned hotel and indoor water park. I give CB a BIG FAT F here because they haven’t improved the necessary resources FIRST ( before waterparks etc) to get the mountain 100% open in 10 days of frigid temps while they still soak their customers for the full lift ticket. NO EXCUSES are accepted here. Do what you have to in order to get that mountain open ASAP when long range forecasts are for ARCTIC AIR.
Summary – CB is a great skiing experience for all skiers and boarders DURING weekdays when the mountain is COMPLETELY open. Avoid the weekends if possible because it’s CHAOS. I will NEVER again give my money to CB when they are only 55% or 64% open as it is today 1/25/07.
My Overall rating on a scale of 1 to 5 taking EVERYTHING into account --> 3 or C+
If Camelback could reduce crowds during peak times, open the mountain in FULL and faster, then maybe I wouldn’t care about their high price.