So here is the deal with Elk Mtn.. I have skied there five times in 2010. This was my first year there. Full disclosure, I have been skiing for about 35 years. However due to an injury and middle age I no longer am searching for challenges that might wreck my body. But I can enjoy most any novice and intermediate run. It's fine by me to just be out there. I have no aspirations to be the next Bodee Miller. However I do have certain things I am looking for when I hit a resort. 1-I hate crowds. 2-I hate snow boarders (get off my snow, jerk). They don't have enough control for my liking ,so stay away from me. 3-I like slow lifts. I need a couple of minutes for my legs to recouperate before my next run. I don't need to be beamed up to the top of the mountain at warp speed. 4-I want an area that can take care of the snow and groom it properly. I want courderoy snow, not Mad River Glen raw, uneven, "natural" conditions.If I want natural I will go out west. I wan't man made, phony eastern snow, groomed to perfection. Also I don't need night life for a day trip to PA (I would not go to any part of PA for night life anyway, thank you very much). So yes, I am a snotty arrogant old @#$% skier who is set in his way, and is not going to compromise. I have skied at the following hills in the east: Okemo,Stratton, Whiteface, Pico, Butternut, Windham and Platekill (yucch to Platekill, by the way, what an over rated dump). Of all those places Elk gives me more of what I want.
Elk Mtn is not the biggest area in the east, but they make the most of their 1000 foot vertical, and it is big enough and varied enough so you won't be bored.
The crowds are non-existent on week days which is the best time to go. Saturday is another story, forget about it, particularly in the afternoon. But Sunday isn't too bad. The lift lines were only bad on Saturday PM. Also while there are boarders here, this is not a snow boarders mountain so there weren't too many.
The grooming is very good (maybe second behind Okemo in my book). And I found the conditions were consistently very good. Much better than you might expect from an old timey area.
The lodge is attractive but outdated. The stairs going down to the locker rooms and bathroom are ridiculously narrow and you feel like you are going to kill yourself with your ski boots on. Come on guys, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. The seating in the cafeteria is very elementary school. Fixed stools attached to tables with no back. Very uncomfortable unless you go to the childrens ski school area in the lodge where you will be asked to leave. They at least have benches there. There is a bar and restaraunt that is nicer, but you can't hang out there unless you are drinking or being served a meal. They could also use some outside chairs for sunny days. But fix the stairs please.
And lets talk about the lifts. Everyone hates em, not me. I LOVE EM. They are all fixed grips slow yes, but they don't get stuck and they suit me fine. Some of the lift operaters were a little dopey.For instance the uloading area on the main double (Lift B ) had insufficient snow at the top one day. So the operator was shoveling in between people unloading. I fell getting off. Hey dummy, stop the lift for two minutes, shovel and pat down the snow and then turn the lift back on, it ain't rocket science. Also I loaded by myself on the quad and the operator never told me to get over to the middle and the lift rocked and hit the first tower. Dumb stuff that an attentive operator should be watching out for.
But all in all, even with my complaints, I think I found my new ski home. A relaible and nice experience.