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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
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 5 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
7 surface lifts
Lift capacity 13,500 skiers/hr
Snowfall 33 in (0.84 m)
Snowmaking 100%
Night skiing 100%
Website https://www.skibluemt.com/

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

History

The resort was opened by Ray Tuthill in 1977 as Little Gap Ski Area; he re-established it as Blue Mountain in 1989. With a new logo needed for the new name, Tuthill asked people from across the nation to submit ideas. 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.

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.

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.

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. As of the 2016-17 ski season the bigairbag is no longer in use. 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

Blue Mountain has a summit elevation of 1,407 feet (429 m) and a vertical drop of 1,087 ft (331 m), the biggest vertical drop of any ski resort in Pennsylvania. The summit is accessed by a high-speed quad, a six-person lift, or three double chairs. A beginner trail and an intermediate trail run down the outer, eastern side of the north-facing slope. Four expert runs follow the chairlifts to the bottom, and an access trail connects the summit to the western half of the resort.

Blue Mountain Ski Area Feb 2014
Aerial View of Blue Mountain Ski Area

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 road. A dedicated beginner section adjacent to the lodge is served by a double chair and one surface lift. 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. Blue Mountain has glade trails, beginner through expert, various terrain park installations, and training slopes. Blue Mountain uses RFID ticket scanners at every lift. The mountain offers 39 snow tubing trails, each over 1,000 feet (300 m) long. They are the only mountain in PA that offers family-size tubes as well as single tubes, with both day and night snow tubing.

There are five terrain parks, which include Terrain Run, Lower Sidewinder, Come Around Park, and Central Park. The longest trail is 6,400 feet (2,000 m) in length; the mountain has 164 acres (0.3 sq mi; 0.7 km2) of skiable terrain. Although it receives an average of only 33 inches (840 mm) of natural snowfall per year, natural snow is supplemented with 100% snowmaking coverage.

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 reality series Ski Patrol. which aired on truTV in the 2008-2009 season.

In addition to a substantial ski race team, the mountain also boasts a large staff of ski and snowboard instructors. Ski and Snowboard lessons are broken into four different categories: Family and Friends Beginner Lessons, Private Lessons, Explorers Children's Lessons, and 4 Week Children's Winter Adventure Camp.

Trails and Lifts

Trails

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
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
Sidewinder 3175' 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
Terrain Run Park 1200' Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg
Yeti Park Ski trail rating symbol-terrain park.svg

Lifts

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 Carpet N/A
Explorer Conveyor N/A Carpet N/A

Climate

Blue Mountain Resort 2020
Valley Lodge at night with snow making machines on

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Blue Mountain Ski Resort has a Warm-summer Humid continental climate (Dfb). Dfb climates are characterized by at least one month having an average mean temperature ≤ 32.0 °F (0.0 °C), at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (10.0 °C), all months with an average mean temperature ≤ 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. Although most summer days are slightly humid at Blue Mountain Ski Resort, episodes of heat and high humidity can occur with heat index values > 98 °F (37 °C). Since 1981, the highest air temperature was 100.5 °F (38.1 °C) on 07/22/2011, and the highest daily average mean dew point was 73.8 °F (23.2 °C) on 08/01/2006. Since 1981, the wettest calendar day was 5.25 inches (133 mm) on 09/30/2010. During the winter months, the average annual extreme minimum air temperature is −7.0 °F (−21.7 °C). Since 1981, the coldest air temperature was −17.9 °F (−27.7 °C) on 01/21/1994. Episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < −19 °F (−28 °C). Ice storms and large snowstorms depositing ≥ 12 inches (30 cm) of snow occur once every couple of years.

Climate data for Blue Mountain Ski Resort Sky Top Trail, Elevation 1,365 ft (416 m), 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-2018
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67.4
(19.67)
75.9
(24.39)
84.8
(29.33)
90.6
(32.56)
92.8
(33.78)
93.7
(34.28)
100.5
(38.06)
96.8
(36)
94.8
(34.89)
87.5
(30.83)
78.3
(25.72)
70.6
(21.44)
100.5
(38.06)
Average high °F (°C) 33.9
(1.06)
37.5
(3.06)
45.2
(7.33)
57.9
(14.39)
68.7
(20.39)
76.4
(24.67)
80.9
(27.17)
79.2
(26.22)
72.5
(22.5)
60.9
(16.06)
49.8
(9.89)
38.4
(3.56)
58.5
(14.72)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.3
(-3.72)
28.4
(-2)
35.5
(1.94)
47.5
(8.61)
58.0
(14.44)
66.4
(19.11)
71.0
(21.67)
69.7
(20.94)
62.7
(17.06)
51.4
(10.78)
41.3
(5.17)
30.6
(-0.78)
49.1
(9.5)
Average low °F (°C) 16.7
(-8.5)
19.4
(-7)
25.7
(-3.5)
37.0
(2.78)
47.3
(8.5)
56.3
(13.5)
61.1
(16.17)
60.1
(15.61)
52.9
(11.61)
41.9
(5.5)
32.8
(0.44)
22.8
(-5.11)
39.6
(4.22)
Record low °F (°C) -17.9
(-27.72)
-8.2
(-22.33)
-0.6
(-18.11)
13.6
(-10.22)
29.3
(-1.5)
37.5
(3.06)
43.7
(6.5)
37.4
(3)
30.3
(-0.94)
19.4
(-7)
6.4
(-14.22)
-7.6
(-22)
-17.9
(-27.72)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.34
(84.8)
2.85
(72.4)
3.69
(93.7)
4.00
(101.6)
4.22
(107.2)
4.78
(121.4)
4.55
(115.6)
4.07
(103.4)
4.90
(124.5)
4.43
(112.5)
3.83
(97.3)
3.97
(100.8)
48.63
(1,235.2)
Snowfall inches (cm) 16.7
(42.4)
12.0
(30.5)
12.4
(31.5)
3.0
(7.6)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
3.2
(8.1)
10.0
(25.4)
57.3
(145.5)
Humidity 70.4 66.6 62.6 60.7 65.2 72.5 71.9 74.9 75.7 74.0 71.8 72.8 70.0
Source: PRISM

Ecology

According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Blue Mountain Ski Resort would have a dominant vegetation type of Appalachian Oak (104) with a dominant vegetation form of Eastern Hardwood Forest (23). The plant hardiness zone is 6a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of −7.0 °F (−21.7 °C). The spring bloom typically begins around April 22nd and fall color usually peaks before October 20th.

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