Hidden Gems of PA: Montage Mountain

Gregg Frantz | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Montage Mountain Photo: Gregg Frantz

Montage Mountain is a relatively “new” winter resort for the Poconos and is located off of Interstate 81 just outside of Scranton, PA.  It first opened in 1984 with seven trails and expanded in 1987 and added their North Face Complex for expert only ski/board area.  It now has 26 trails and also claims to have the second steepest vertical slope in the east with its signature trail, “White Lightning,” which has a 1,000-foot vertical drop.  It ranks only behind “Superstar” at Killington Ski Resort in Vermont for the steepest slope in the East.

Montage Mountain’s layout is unique because the lodge is actually located in the middle of the mountain. The top part of the mountain is comprised of beginner and intermediate trails while the bottom of the mountain is geared to expert skiers/boarders. The North Face area of the mountain is where “White Lightning” is located at.  Having the lodge in the middle of the mountain turned out to be quite convenient for meeting up with other people who were spread out across the mountain hitting other trails.

The day I visited Montage the Poconos had almost 20 inches of snow the previous two days. So, all the trails and glades were perfectly covered with fresh snow, the ground teams did a great job grooming all the trails and areas and I have to say that the conditions were absolutely amazing!

North Face Complex Entrance Photo: Gregg Frantz

Quick Facts and History

Terrain Diversity

  • 20% Beginner Terrain
  • 45% Intermediate Terrain
  • 35% Advanced Terrain
  • 1 Quad Chairlift
  • 3 Triple Chairlifts
  • 1 Double Chairlift
  • 2 Conveyor Lifts
  • 100% Night Skiing
  • 100% Snowmaking
  • 1 Snow Tubing Park
  • 1 Terrain Park
  • 1 Rail Plaza

Montage Mountain offers a variety of trails suited for every type of skier/boarder regardless of their skill level. There was one run that I really enjoyed and was a legit top to bottom run that combined three different trails for you to hit! The first trail was an intermediate trail, “Snake” which started at the top of the mountain. It was a moderately wide trail that was more flat than steep but gave you the opportunity to get your legs under you before you descended down the rest of the mountain. It then dropped down into “Upper Fast Track” which was also an intermediate trail and was a little steeper and offered great paths through the glades on the right side of the slope.

The glades were fresh and deep, and, unlike the skiing out West, the snow here was heavy and it was easy to get stuck in. It was better to follow paths already made through the glades than to try to blaze your own trail and get bogged down. At the end of “Upper Fast Track,” you had the option of hitting a chair back up the top part of the mountain or continue down the mountain to the North Face Complex and hit “Lower Fast Track” which was an expert trail. This trail quickly turned into a very fast and fun run and offered some bumps to hit along the way!

Montage Mountain Photo: Gregg Frantz

Montage’s “White Lightning” has a 1,000′ vertical drop and it claims it is the second steepest vertical in the East!  The afternoon I was there the conditions were great! The double black diamond slope had fresh snow on it and had small to medium-sized moguls on it as well. It was not icy at all which made the run great for anyone who wanted to attempt to ski it for the first time.

“White Lightning” Montage Mountain Photo: Gregg Frantz

One feature that Montage Mountain offered that I had not seen so far this season in PA was outdoor tents with your own personal fire pit. Guests could rent their own personal tent for the day and utilize it to take breaks, eat or cook food, change clothes or just warm up! It was a nice amenity in a season where most mountains are not allowing indoor dining, seating, no locker room accommodations, and very few places to warm up when the weather starts to drop.

Montage Mountain Photo: Gregg Frantz

I had a great time at Montage Mountain! The conditions were awesome and there was a wide variety of trails to hit regardless of your skill level. I highly recommend anyone going to the Poconos to visit this mountain resort for some great PA skiing/boarding!

For more info on Montage Mountain check out their website:

https://www.montagemountainresorts.com/

Montage Mountain Trail Map

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