Winter is my favorite time of year, usually... Don’t get me wrong, I love this season no matter how the temps are but I live in Pennsylvania, not Louisiana, so hopefully the jet stream straightens out, the stars align and winter hits us hard. With January on the horizon and the weather pattern about to change and a baby on the way, I am very excited for the new year to start. As a lifelong snowboarder, and a PA native, I have always loved every part of the winter; snowball fights, shoveling, snowmen, building back yard jumps and rail set ups, base layers, fire places, hot chocolate, and chili. From sledding and snowshoeing and walking on ice, to lift rides and flat light and powder and ice. Winter, ahhh. I have been a Bear Creek employee since that first day, and even worked at Doe Mountain before that, so as far as wanting snow, well I think I want it more than anyone. Actually it is pretty cool that some of my good friends have also been at Bear Creek since the earliest days of existence. Anyway, now that winter is very past due, I hope the change will come in quickly. Our Snowmaking team is tired of waiting, the pumps are primed, the groomers are on standby, the sleds are still shiny, so please winter, come to Bear Creek tonight! Help us celebrate the new year, get cold, like you always do.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Every year beginning November 1st, I would start to feel the anticipation build. I would start getting my equipment ready, find all the lost winter items from the past season, and begin to watch the forecast on a daily basis. In those days, not too long ago, but before websites and social media, there was an 800 number that you could call to get all the updates regarding snowmaking. I would begin by checking that number once a week, and as the weather cooled, I would increase my efforts to 3 or 4 times a week, and eventually on a daily basis. The 800 number would tell all of us anxious winter enthusiasts how long we would have to wait for the upcoming season, as well as when our favorite trails would be opening. Needless to say, years like this had my patience tested, as I am sure you are feeling.
I have been lucky enough to work in this area that I love for the past 10 years. With this time in the industry, I have seen the operational efforts Bear Creek has made to get ready for the winter season. I wanted to share a few of these efforts and share some of the information I have learned regarding snowmaking.
Snowmaking is based upon the wet-bulb temperature at the resort. The wet-bulb temperature is a combination of ambient temperature (temperature you see on the weather forecast) and humidity. For example, if the ambient temperature is 32 degrees and humidity is 100%, the wet-bulb temperature is 32 degrees. If the ambient temperature is 32 degrees and the humidity level is 45%, then the wet-bulb is 26 degrees. We attempt to make snow at a wet-bulb temperature of 28 degrees or lower. Anything above a wet-bulb of 28 degrees creates a difficult environment for the water particles to freeze. Below is the wet-bulb temperature chart for reference.
Bear Creek has made numerous snowmaking upgrades over the past few years. The biggest change in snowmaking technology has been the automation of the snowmaking machines. Currently, 86 out of our 130 snow guns are automated. These 86 automated snow guns have on-board weather stations that communicate real-time data to the snow guns, and automatically adjust the water levels to the equipment to ensure the most efficient snowmaking possible. Other snow guns without this technology require the manual adjusting of the water levels, resulting in less than 100 percent efficiency.
Summer is finally here, and the weather is perfect for outdoor dining. Along with the great weather we are bringing back Lobster Week. That's right those colorful crustaceans from the Cape will once again be taking over the Grille Menu from June 16-21. 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 through out the event.
Do you need more reason's to join us for dinner? Join us on the deck Thursday June 18 from 6-9PM for live music from Sydnie Keddington.
Be sure to call The Grille to make your reservation, 610-641-7149.
Mother’s Day is coming up very shortly, have you thought about what your plans are yet? If you are still weighing your options, we’ve got a few suggestions that your mother is sure to love.
Let mom take the day off from cooking and have our staff take care of the food. The Grille is hosting a Mother's Day Brunch SOLD OUT on May 10 from 10:30am to 2pm. Space is filling up quick, please make your reservation by calling 610.682.7100.
Perhaps you are looking to treat your Mom to a getaway? If so, we are offering the perfect Mother's Day Getaway Package. Starting at just $159 Enjoy fresh flowers, chocolates, breakfast and discounted spa treatments during your stay. To treat your Mom to this special package call 1-866-754-2822 and mention promo code: MD15.
Now that we’ve given you a few suggestions, all you have to do is choose! We hope to see you and your mom soon! As always, for the most up to date resort information visit our website or our facebook, google + or twitter pages.
Here is a great write up about the past Snowmobile Drag Races from American Snowmobiler.
This past weekend we attended our second to last event for the winter season The 4th Annual Hill Drag at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie Pennsylvania.
Some have said this is the premier hill drag event of the east, I would have to agree. This event had more than 1000 spectators, with racers coming from as far away as Canada and Mich. Teams that made the trip included: Team Priceless from Michigan, Busted Knuckles Racing from Canada and several teams from Penn., including WakPak Racing, Sled Tek Racing and Patrick Hoopes Racing. With all the events we attend throughout the season, this is one I would recommend to everyone. It is held at a great resort offering everything from great dining to a spa with an indoor and outdoor pool and hot tubs. What better way to relax from a day of racing then sitting in a hot tub or enjoying a massage. They offer discounted room rates for the racers and spectators attending the event.
On to information from the event, they have just 9 classes ranging from Kitty Cat/120 all the way to Open Outlaw, including vintage. The event had the largest turn out I have seen, with a total of 223 snowmobiles, giving way to 373 entries. This made for some huge sled counts, with the largest being the 800 stock class with 101 entries. Including a surprising 25 Open Outlaw entries with some huge horsepower machines, making for some great racing and super close photo finishes. This is another event that runs a double elimination race, making sure that every racer gets at least two runs up the hill. They do limit each sled to enter only 2 classes, which helps with the organization of the event. The racing started at 11:00 am and was completed by 9:00 pm with no major issues or arguments. I would have to say that it was impressive to get thru that many entries in that amount of time.
Some of the winning results of the event are: 600 mod Nick Stillson from Michigan, 800 stock Bobby Hankins from Sled Tek Racing, 800 mod and Open Outlaw Josh Emmi from WakPak Racing.
Cash and trophies were awarded to the first and second place finishers. The trophies were supplied by Kurtz Performance and JJ’s Outlaw Photography, two of the sponsors for the event.
The crew from Bear Creek Mountain Resort in charge of set up and running of the event was headed up by Dustin Yeager. His crew did a great job with keeping the event running smoothly, with as little confusion as possible. Work is already beginning for next year’s event. There is talk of making this a two day event.
If there was ever an event on the east coast you wanted to attend, this would be one to put on the list for next year. Super fun and great entertainment at an exceptional venue. More info: BCMR.com.
By Jon Johnville of JJ’s Outlaw Photography
When I woke up this morning I thought it was going it was going to be another let down. But it wasn’t, as soon as I went outside to shovel the walks I realized I should be packing my gear today. The 4” of snow was so light and fluffy I was sweeping it off the walks with a broom. This kind of snow almost never falls from the ski in Macungie.
I quickly packed up my gear and a quick lunch and headed to work. Pulling in the employee lot the trails looked great. I went to my office checked emails and finished any pressing projects then quickly booted up.
Decided to get F-chair side as fast as we could so we took e chair up, came down Drifter and went through the Family Park, both trails were excellent and there was still plenty of fresh snow to be found. We then lapped Timberline, Broadway, Polar Bear and ended the day with a quick run down Sasquatch.
This was by far my best day out at Bear Creek this season, the snow was perfect, crowds were minimal and every run still had un-tracked lines. Now as I am sitting here typing this all I can think about it booting back up and taking a few more runs, but unfortunately I cannot play all day and have to do some work.
If you have the time I highly recommend getting out and enjoying the slopes today, or at least sometime this week.
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.