Blue Mountain Ski Area

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Blue Mountain
Blue Slopes.JPG
Location Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County, Pennsylvania
Nearest city Palmerton, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°49′20″N 75°30′48″W / 40.82222°N 75.51333°W / 40.82222; -75.51333 (Blue Mountain)
Vertical 1,082 ft (330 m)
Top elevation 1,540 ft (470 m)
Base elevation 458 ft (140 m)
Skiable area 164 acres (0.66 km2)
Runs 39 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 15 easier
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 4 more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 11 most difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg 4 extremely difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg 5 terrain park
Longest run 6,400 ft (2,000 m)
Lift system 13 lifts:
3 double chairlifts
1 triple chairlift
1 high-speed quad
1 high-speed six-pack
4 surface lifts
3 rope tows
Lift capacity 13,500 skiers/hr
Snowfall 33 in (0.84 m)
Snowmaking 100%
Night skiing 100%
Website http://www.skibluemt.com/

Blue Mountain resort is located near Palmerton, Pennsylvania, on Blue Mountain in the northern part of the Lehigh Valley, in Pennsylvania. Blue Mountain services the Allentown, Philadelphia, New York City, and Wilmington urban areas, as well as Carbon County, Schuylkill County, and the Hazleton area.

History[edit]

The resort was opened by Ray Tuthill[1] in the mid 1970s as Little Gap Ski Area;[2] he re-established it as Blue Mountain in 1987. A new logo was needed for the new name. Ideas were submitted from across the nation but the final selection of the characteristic skier in the word "mountain", was created by local designer, Carol Stickles. The resort celebrated its 30th anniversary during the 2007-08 season.[3]

In 2002 and 2003 Blue Mountain added two advanced runs and a teaching hill with two beginner slopes, fed by a triple chairlift and a conveyor lift. In 2006 the resort added eastern Pennsylvania's first high-speed six-pack chairlift.[4]

In summer 2008 the resort implemented a $3.1 million upgrade for the 2008-2009 ski season. It included improvements to the resort's snowmaking equipment, a newly built dining facility, and the addition of a new intermediate trail between Razor's Edge and Paradise named Dreamweaver.[5]

In 2009 Blue Mountain became the first PA ski resort and second resort in the country to have a BigAirBag which can be used to practice aerial maneuvers. Blue Mountain added another PA ski resort first in 2011. They have partnered up with the United States Luge Association and will now be a US Luge Training and Recruitment site. Blue will have the only east coast Natural US luge track open to the public.

The Mountain[edit]

Blue Mountain has a summit elevation of 1,407 feet (429 m) and vertical elevation change of 1,087 ft (331 m), the biggest vertical drop in of any ski resort in Pennsylvania.[2] The Summit is accessed by a High Speed Quad and a Six Person lift along with 3 double chairs. A beginner trail and an intermediate trail run down the outer, eastern side of the north-facing slope; 4 expert runs follow the chairlifts to the bottom, and an access trail connects the summit to the western half of the resort.

Three double chairlifts rise up the western side of the resort, accessing mixed Novice Intermediate and Expert terrain. The main resort lodge, located at the top of the mountain is accessible by car. A dedicated beginner section adjacent to the lodge is served by a double chair and two surface lifts. A beginner trail, Burma Road, connects to the beginner section at the bottom of the hill. A second lodge and the resort's snow tubing facility are also located at the bottom of the mountain near the Valley Lodge.

The resort has a total of 39 slopes. The trails offer a decent variety for all abilities of skiers and snowboarders. Blue Mountain has Glade Trails, Beginner-Expert, various Terrain park difficulties, and training slopes. The mountain has many high efficiency snow guns and annually add to the snow making capacity. Blue Mountain also uses Lift Line Ticket Scanners Via RFID Scanners at every lift for less wait.

There are 5 Terrain Parks which include Sidewinder Park, Terrain Run, Lower Sidewinder, Come Around Park & Central Park. Blue Mountain purchased a BigAirBag in 2009, it's the Second Air Bag in the United States. The longest trail is 6,400 feet (2,000 m) in length; the mountain has 164 acres (0.66 km2) of skiing terrain. Although it receives an average of only 33 inches (840 mm) of natural snowfall per year, resort staff supplement it with 100% snow making coverage.

As of the 2013-14 ski season, the resort hosts an alpine ski race team consisting of more than 125 USSA competitors and 75 developmental competitors. Its ski patrol is featured in the truTV reality series Ski Patrol.[6] which aired in 2008/2009 Season.

To enhance the use of the ski hills facilities during non-winter months, the current CEO and daughter of founder Ray Tuthill has expanded the mountains operations to include mountain biking, a suspended rope expedition course, Slopeslide Pub and Grill, a world class disc golf course, a wedding venue, adventure camp, and Laser Tag. Blue Mountain also plays host to various other festivals throughout the course of the summer including Blue's Brew Fest and Oktoberfest, as well as an endurance Spartan Race. Blue Mountain has become a year round resort as opposed to a seasonal business.

Trails and Lifts[edit]

Trails[edit]

Trail Name Length Difficulty
Burma Road 4500' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Connector 670' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Easy Out 800' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Explorer Hill 255' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Finish Line 2224' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Homestretch 1700' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Little Gap 430' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Paradise 4176' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Pioneer Pass 400' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
School Hill 500' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Shuttle 900' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Sky Top 400' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Valley School East 1200' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Valley School West 1200' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Vista 1300' Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg
Dreamweaver 2500' Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Lazy Mile 5000' Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Switchback 3900' Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Tut's Lane 1400' Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg
Barney's Bumps 1140' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Blue Baumer Glade 520' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
The Chute 700' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Crossover 400' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Lower Main St 1650' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Midway 900' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Razorback 550' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Sleepy Hollow Glade 400' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Upper Main St 1650' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Widow Maker 1300' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
X-ing 690' Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg
Challenge 3000' Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Falls 350' Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Nightmare 900' Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Razor's Edge 3300' Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg
Central Park 400' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg
Come Around Park 1700' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg
Lower Sidewinder Park 1740' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg
Sidewinder Park 3175' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg
Terrain Run Park 1200' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg

Lifts[edit]

Lift Name Manufacturer Type Year
Challenge Express Leitner-Poma Detachable 6-Pack 2006
Comet Quad Leitner-Poma Detachable Quad 1994
Valley School Triple Partek Triple 2002
Main St. Chair VonRoll Double 1981
Burma Chair Hall Double 1981
Vista Chair Hall Double 1976
Valley Conveyor N/A Carpet N/A
School Hill Lift N/A Rope Tow N/A
Explorer Conveyor N/A Carpet N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Honoring our sport's heroes". PennLive. 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b Phillips, John (2001). Ski and Snowboard America - Mid-Atlantic: The Complete Guide to Downhill Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Tubing, and More Throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 0-7627-0845-X. 
  3. ^ "What’s New for 2007: Blue Mountain Ski Area". www.dcski.com. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  4. ^ "DCSki Resort Profile: Blue Mountain Ski Area". www.dcski.com. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  5. ^ Smith, M. Scott (2008-11-15). "What’s New for 2008: Blue Mountain Ski Area". www.dcski.com. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Turner Newsroom: truTV Hits the Slopes with All-Access, High-Adrenaline Rescue Series SKI PATROL". news.turner.com. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 

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