An interview with Chris Radvanyi, a brave ski dad who skis with his wife and son at Montage Mountain Resort.
Why Montage Mountain?
Montage Mountain is unique in its proximity to the communities around it, it’s so close. It’s just five minutes from downtown Scranton with easy access to a major interstate highway. From the top of the mountain the view of the entire Wyoming Valley is beautiful.
The resort is very family-friendly, and offers some of the highest elevations and most diverse terrain on the East Coast. Montage has great grooming, a terrific terrain park, and great snow. The terrain is excellent and unique with the green and blue slopes at the top of the mountain and the expert terrain at the bottom of the Northface complex.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Montage has tubing and airboarding.
(BSM: What’s air boarding, you ask? Me, too.)
What Makes Montage Mountain great for family skiing?
The Montage staff is always courteous and professional. The beginner and intermediate trails are wide open and very close to the lodge, which makes it very convenient to get on and off the snow and regroup if someone needs a break inside.
The resort also has this un-crowded feel, especially when you are out on the mountain. You never are really rushed or waiting in line. The ski school program is top-notch and makes learning or advancing your skills easy and rewarding. Several outdoor carnivals happen each year with lots of activities geared towards family fun.
Montage is really well set up for family skiing. The lodge, rental shop, and the ski school are all within close proximity of each other. I think this makes for a seamless and hassle free experience getting your family out on the snow.
Any “secrets” you’re willing to share?
Get there early, the busiest time of the day seems to be between 10:30 am and 1:00 pm. Early birds get the best snow, and no lines whatsoever.
Heading immediately over to the Iron Horse lift will get you access to all the upper mountain groomers.
On powder days, look for trails farthest from the lodge for the last of the “secret stashes”.
Any favorite spots to eat?
Inside the main lodge is Slocum Hollow, which is Montage’s bar and restaurant. It features tasty, well portioned, reasonably priced food and drinks. There are several great restaurants on the mountain located in the “Shoppes at Montage” shopping plaza.
Scranton is a city of 75,000 people with a wide range of dining, shopping, entertainment and lodging.
Please share your best family skiing tips.
Definitely strive to max out the fun meter, set yourself up for success and make the experience enjoyable for your children (and stress free for yourself).
Items like a granola bars in your pocket can help manage hungry kids. Other essentials are things like “hot hands” on cold days which can help those little fingers stay warm.
I like to be as organized as possible and suggest having your kids practice with their gear. Can they carry their own skis? Can they put their boots on by themselves? All these things can free up your time.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
My favorite thing about skiing with the family is the time away from the “devices”, a time to unplug.
No iPads, no video games, no Facebook: it’s an opportunity to enjoy time together outside and share the excitement and the beauty of skiing.
Days on the mountain make for memories that last a lifetime.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
Thank you so much Chris!
Montage Mountain has 26 trails on 140 acres. The vertical drop is 1000′ and double-black White Lightning takes honors as the “second steepest run in the East.”
The mountain is divided into 20% beginner terrain, 45% intermediate and 35% advanced. There is 100% snowmaking coverage at Montage and 100% of the mountain is open for night skiing. Montage Mountain has an extensive terrain park and a rail yard plaza.
It all sounds good to me!
Ski Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic:
- Snowshoe, West Virginia: A Southeast “Secret,” December 10, 2012.
- Why Our Family Loves to Ski Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania, December 26, 2012.
- Why We Love Cataloochee Ski Area in North Carolina, March 8, 2012.
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