Each month my challenge is to write an attention grabbing first page for our newsletter. This month however, it’s easier than usual because I did something I never had before which was to ski on New Year’s Eve. I’m on the mailing list of Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania and several weeks earlier learned of their New Year’s Eve party with fireworks. Since I had no plans and had never been there (or any other ski resort on New Year’s Eve) I decided to give BCMR a try. Late afternoon December 31st, a friend and I headed out of NJ on Route 78W into Pennsylvania. The slopes were open till 1am so we planned to boot up and get outside by 6pm, ski for several hours then hit the lodge for a meal around 9-10. Grabbing a bite earlier would allow us to view the sparkles ushering in the new year. I have to tell you I was really I-M-P-R-E-S-S-E-D with this surprisingly not-so- little ski resort!
Our evening began at Guest Services to get lift tickets, where we were greeted by Carol Sicher, Guest Services Manager. The staff at the front desk were genuinely helpful and we had a delightful conversation with Carol who gave us some insight to Bear Creek Mtn. Resort before heading out to the slopes. The base lodge is a very modern design, architecturally pleasing and the firm designing this complex knew what a base lodge should have or got input from the owners as to what they wanted for this resort. Amenities were obvious including lockers on each floor and restrooms everywhere you expect them. Someone finally figured out it’s not fun (or safe) to walk up/down flights of stairs in clunky boots for a rest room when you NEED one. The entire complex is first class: contemporary, good eye appeal, ski racks where they should be, rental shop when you first come in and a separate shop for tuning and repairs so the two don’t clash. The dining area adjacent to the cafeteria is pleasantly decorated has a beautiful stone fireplace, holds hundreds and was full on New Year’s Eve. The lodge is conveniently connected to the hotel making it easy for hotel guests to get breakfast before heading out to ski. If you want a drink one minor quirk is that the bar and Cafe are a rather long walk from the cafeteria but being attached to the hotel it’s very convenient for overnight guests. Opting for the ‘Cafe’ rather than the cafeteria, we ordered our meal and in five minutes it was hand delivered to us in the adjoining bar. Just outside the base lodge sits an inviting, steaming pool. I didn’t see anyone swimming probably due to the fact many were dressed for New Years’ Eve and the rest were skiing and it was night-time. More trails were closed than open due to uncooperative weather for weeks but those open were in good shape! A credit to their snowmakers is that on NYE so many snow guns were blowing that a virtual blizzard was in progress. I love resorts that cater to those who enjoy the snowsports and a nice amenity was the complimentary slopeside Ski Valet to check skis or boards releasing us from hunting for them in the racks. For any who’ve never been to BCMR here’s a run-down on the Mtn. stats which puts it on an even keel with the Pocono resorts.
Bear Creek: 1,100’ summit, 510’ vertical, 21 trails (30% green, 40% blue and 30% black).
If you’re looking for family-friendly skiing at an upscale modern resort with on-site lodging in the country this is the place. It’s not a huge mountain but the ski experience was surprisingly good and the drive is shorter than going to the Catskills. I recommend it for a day or two of skiing or for families with a longer stay in the hotel with young children learning to ski. I will return soon to ski the whole mountain; Bear Creek Mountain Resort gets my vote!
So far it has been a rough start and the weather has not been cooperating. The forecast does not look good for this week, at this time we will be open Monday 12/22 & Tuesday 12/23 our normal operating hours (9am-9pm). Wednesday 12/24 we will be closed due to the inclement weather. Guest Services, Group Sales and Retail will be open Wednesday from 10am-3pm. We are hoping that we will be able to re-open Thursday if not Friday but this will depend on how much rain we receive this week. There will be more updates to come. The past few nights our snowmaking team has been able to make snow and it looks like we have some good snowmaking temps in the 10-day forecast so we should be able to snap right back from this rain and start opening more terrain in the future.
Bear Creek will be closed tomorrow through Thursday in an effort to save the snow that we have made. The forecast does not look favorable and there is a chance of rain. We plan on reopening this Friday and it looks like we will be able to start making more snow Monday if not sooner. Sorry for any inconvenience and please be patient, we just need the weather back on our side.
The following departments will be open limited hours.
Trails End Cafe: 7am-4pm
Guest Services: 10am-6pm
Tune Shop: 10am-6pm
Slopeside Sports: 10am-6pm
Our team has put in an enormous effort and took advantage of all possible snowmaking opportunities for what we thought would be another early opening but unfortunately after the higher than predicted temperatures and rain there still is not enough snow for an opening.
The long term weather forecast does not have any favorable snowmaking temperatures and even more rain. We had initially wanted to start pushing snow last night and see if we could connect the dots on the trails but at this point the snow has a better chance of surviving the next week or so if we keep it in the piles. Each pile is crusted over and will melt slower than if we were to break the crust push it all out and expose it to the elements.
As soon as the weather is back in our favor we will begin snowmaking. Opening as soon as possible is our goal, but at this time we cannot put out a date. Stay tuned we will continue to have updates.
This is a question you hear very often this time of year. Just take a look at the facebook page, Twitter Feed or Instagram feed and all the posts from excited guests. Our reservations team has also been flooded with the question "When will you open?". We are just excited about opening and trying out all of the new snowguns we purchased over the summer, but there is a lot more involved in snowmaking then just turning a switch and seeing snow.
Since we rely completely on snowmaking, we cannot predict an opening day that far in advance. It all depends on Mother Nature. But, I can ensure you that we want Bear Creek open just as much as you.
Snowmaking has a lot of variables; it is not just the ambient air temperature, but also humidity, water temperatures and long term forecasts (you don't want to waste resources to just see it melt away)
We spoke to the snowmaking team and they enlightened us on what they need to get this winter started.
"There is a lot more involved in making snow that you probably think. The main thing we rely on is the wet bulb temperature. A wet bulb temperature is achieved by calculating relative humidity and ambient temperature. The dryer the air (low humidity) the colder your wet bulb temperature will be. When humidity is high, the wet bulb temperature will become closer to the actual ambient temperature. For example: 32 degrees at 25% humidity = 24 Degrees wet bulb. 32 Degrees at 80% humidity = 30 degrees wet bulb. Here at Bear Creek, our optimal wet bulb temperature to start our snow guns is 28 degrees. If it is more than this, it can be very unproductive and the quality of snow produced is similar to slush."
You can check out the ideal wet bulb temperatures on this Wet Bulb chart.
With ideal wet bulb temperatures, we could open the mountain 100% with a solid week of snowmaking. So let’s hope for colder temperatures and Think Snow!
Summer really flew by and we are now counting down the days until our Fall events. Our next event is Oktoberfest, even though this is the 4th year for this event we are still making changes so we can put on the best event possible for our guests.
This year we added more beers, more German food and more entertainment and games. But one of the biggest changes this year is a Oktoberfest Package. This is the very best way to experience the entire event and go home with some great memories. This package is only $25 and includes the following:
- 1 Adult admission
- 1 25oz. commemorative mug
- 1 Mug Fill
- 1 Oktoberfest T-shirt
This is over a $45 dollar value but can be yours for just $25. Packages must be purchased online.
There are only 12 more days until Bear Creek mountain Resort is filled with the sites and sounds of Germany. Don't miss out and purchase your Tickets and Packages today.
Riders will compete for medals and Stars-and-Stripes jerseys over four days in cross-country, short-track cross-country, singlespeed and super downhill competition. See the complete schedule of events here.
Learn more about the different mountain bike events, rules and qualifications here.
Among those returning to the 2014 USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain bike National Championships are many defending national champions, including Carson Beckett (Benton, Ky./Wood-n-Wave), Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./BMC Mountainbike Racing Team), Nic Jenkins (Colorado Springs, Colo./Front Rangers Junior Cycling), Shayna Powless (Roseville, Calif.) and Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./BMC Project Dirt), as well as 2012 Olympians Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing),
Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team) and Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing).
View all of the currently registered riders.
In addition to the Stars-and-Stripes jerseys that are on the line, automatic World Championship team nominations are also up for grabs for men’s and women’s 17-18 junior, U23 and elite winners. For more information, please see USA Cycling's world championships selection criteria.
The trails at Bear Creek Mountain Resort include 150-year-old mining switchback roads up the mountain. The trails also feature rocky, technical sections which demand as much power, skill and technique on the ascents as on the descents.
The amateur cross-country course spans just short of seven miles and includes many of the course features available on the mountain. The pro course includes the mountain's signature feature, a rock drop plus a triple log crossing and a rock jump just before the finish.
Full course maps are available online.
More information on the 2014 USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships including start lists, schedule, results, photos and daily event recaps will be available on the event webpage.
Follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #MTBnats.
Check out this great blog entry from a local contributor Susie Rankin.
A vacation to a popular mountain resort sounds like a dream. Relaxation, fantastic food, spectacular views and the odd bit of skiing thrown in – what more could you want from a vacation? Well, as more than one third of the adult American population is now classed as obese, the likelihood is you want to avoid gaining too much weight whilst relaxing on your well earned break from everyday life. Luckily, a mountain resort is the perfect place for the whole family to relax, have fun, eat well and stay fit. A vacation in a mountain resort could even kick start a new healthy eating and exercise regime if you wanted it to because of the range of physical indoor and outdoor activities available. This article will outline some of the key ways a mountain based vacation can improve fitness, whilst advising on the best ways to avoid the seemingly inevitable vacationers weight gain.
Think Food – and Make Healthy Choices
OK, so when you are on vacation it is easy to eat all the delicious foods you usually go to lengths to avoid – and why shouldn’t you? You are entitled to a treat, right? Whilst this is definitely true, eating the treat foods needs to be balanced with healthy foods, too for the benefit of your overall health. Gaining weight too quickly can be as damaging to the human body as losing it suddenly and care needs to be taken to avoid either extreme. Luckily, a good mountain resort will have a range of eating options available for you with a myriad of healthy foods to enjoy. A good menu will offer different choices of meat and restaurants should also accommodate alternative cooking methods – if you prefer to have your steak grilled simply ask the waiter. It can be a good idea to ask for salad dressings on the side of dishes and try to steer clear of fattening cream based sauces. Likewise, just because a menu offers several courses, it doesn’t follow that each course must be devoured with reckless abandon. The chances are you will feel full after a good starter so, at the very least, give yourself breathing space in between each course.
Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors
A mountain resort can be the perfect place for those who love nature, simply because of the sheer number of outdoor activities available. The season during which you visit will largely dictate the types of calorie burning activities you can enjoy but rest assured, if you have eaten a five course meal the night previously, you will probably be itching to try every activity available. At Bear Creek Mountain resort, summer, spring and fall visitors are able to go hiking among the spectacular scenery of the mountains, biking on local trails, try their hand at disc golf and play tennis everyday – all activities which can conceivably burn hundreds of calories a session. In the winter months, the resort offers skiing, snow-tubing and snowboarding – all activities which burn vast amounts of calories and prove a huge boost to fitness. Although the amount of calories burned varies according to individual weight and activity levels, as a general rule, ski-ing or snow boarding can burn up to 3000 calories per six hour session. Obviously, this means happy vacationers can enjoy the dessert cart in the restaurant without feeling guilty.
Take Time Out to Rest Those Muscles
Of course, your vacation should, above all, be as relaxing as possible. There is no better way to unwind than by treating yourself to a day spa and perhaps a massage. In fact, relaxation is as much an essential ingredient in boosting fitness levels as cardiovascular exercise is. Muscles need time to repair themselves and failure to rest adequately can lead to joint and muscle damage. It is therefore vital that after a day of hiking, skiing or any other physical activity, visitors take time to sit back and enjoy the scenery. In fact, most good workout programs will incorporate steady rest periods so as to give the body time to rejuvenate fully. Whatever your preferred activity whilst on a mountain based vacation, be sure to take full advantage of every facility offered – be it a calorie busting day on the slopes or a luscious massage. It’s your vacation and you deserve to have fun and stay fit.
Summer is finally here, and the sun will return soon. Lobster week is back, that's right those colorful crustaceans from the Cape will once again be taking over the Grille Menu from June 17-22. Our Chef has planned out an entire week of lobster specials from lobster bisque, whole steamed lobsters, lobster rolls even a delicious lobster flambe. Even if you are not a fan of lobster, the Grille will still have you covered. We will continue to serve our regular dinner menu.
Do you like live music, join us on the deck Thursday June 19 from 6-9PM with live music from Tim Harakal.
Be sure to call The Grille to make your reservation, 610-641-7149.
All of the Summer Fun is back at Bear Creek. Most of the snow has finally melted, with the exception of a few patches on Timberline and the slopes are turning green and the flowers are blooming.
Now is the time to take advantage of the other activities that Bear Creek has to offer. Our hiking and Mountain Bike trails are in excellent condition and cover over 7 miles of our resort. If you are not ready for that big of a commitment yet you can explore the grounds with a game a disc golf. Our 18 hole course starts on parking lot 4 and encompasses both large open holes, water hazards and tight wooden holes throughout the property.
Make it a vacation and take advantage of one of our fantastic Hotel Packages. Forget about winter and take in all of the fun activities with the Spring Rejuvenation Package. If you are not quite the outdoors person, make it a Spa Day with the Spring Spa Getaway and relax on one of our large decks with a glass of wine.
These are two excellent packages, so take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and book now.