Elk Mountain opens for season

Elk Mountain in Union Dale opened last week for a new season of skiing and snowboarding action. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK REUTHER

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Union Dale opened Wednesday (Dec. 14) for another season of skiing and snowboarding fun.

Even though the temperatures outside seem mild, Elk has been making snow non-stop for the last few weeks in order to get five trails in good shape for the opening day.

ElkMountainspokesperson Bob DeLuca said on Thursday that the Beginner, East, West, Tioga and Susquehanna slopes are open for use.

“We have a range of terrain open currently,” DeLuca said. “At all skill levels.”

However, all depending on weather, more slopes may open as days go by. There are an additional 22 slopes yet to open on the mountain.

All slopes have between a 12 and 24 inch snow base on them currently.

For right now, skiing is offered daily from8:30 a.m.to4:30 p.m.and will extend into the night hours the day after Christmas.

Elk Mountain offers a total of 27 slopes for skiers and snowboarders to ride on. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK REUTHER

DeLuca said that when weather allows Elk makes snow around the clock to make sure slopes get open as quickly as possible.

In preparation for the new season, Elk purchased more snowmaking and grooming equipment in order to improve patrons’ experience at the mountain.

“Our efforts were mainly focused on snowmaking and grooming equipment,” DeLuca said.

Elk bought three additional airless snow guns, installed 23 new pedestals for the snowmakers on the Wissahickon, Lenape and Snowbowl slopes.

They also purchased a new grooming tractor, remodeled their picnic lodge and planted 1,200 new spruce trees on the 180 acre facility in accordance with a yearly tree planting program.

DeLuca also noted that Elk replaced and upgrade rental equipment for patrons, and installed a web cam that gives website viewers a real-time look at the mountain.

He noted that the camera tilts, pans and zooms in order for people to be able to view a wide variety of angles from the mountain.

“It replaced our photo of the day on our website,” DeLuca said. “It’s different way to keep people updated.”

When asked why skiers and snowboarders should come to Elk, DeLuca said it’s because their grooming and snowmaking can’t be beat.

“I always say that ski resorts don’t compete with one another, they all have something different to offer,” DeLuca said. “And for us, its our 180 acres of terrain, grooming and snowmaking and the friendly feeling you get when you come to Elk.”

For more information onElkMountain, visit www.elkskier.com or call 679-4400.