Pride of the Poconos

Jack Frost Big Boulder offers some of the best park skiing in the East

Pride of the Poconos

Jack Frost Big Boulder offers some of the best park skiing in the East

Pride of the Poconos

Jack Frost Big Boulder offers some of the best park skiing in the East, just a two hour drive from New York City

WORDS • JACK FOERSTERLING | FEATURED IMAGE • JOC CADIEUX

The Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania are often overlooked in terms of world class skiing, but the dual-mountain offerings of Jack Frost and Big Boulder (JFBB) provide one of the most unique and down-to-earth resort experiences a skier can find in the Mid-Atlantic.

Comprised of the park-centric Big Boulder and the larger, steeper Jack Frost, JFBB keeps the passion of small resort skiing alive while still dishing out terrain diverse enough for skiers of any ability. “There’s two quite different identities between the two resorts,” says Pat Morgan, the director of freestyle terrain at JFBB. “Big Boulder has that attitude with the park, where Frost has the family and ski racing vibe.”

While JFBB’s respective vertical drops of 600 and 475 feet might not turn heads, JFBB proves that size doesn’t matter thanks to its commitment to being the first mountains open on the East Coast when the snow starts falling and the last to close when it all melts away, keeping a healthy blanket of white across the slopes through March, typically. “Big Boulder has been the first resort to open in Pennsylvania for the last 13 years,” says Morgan, noting the resort often opens weeks before bigger resorts in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. And with no set closing dates for the end of the season, JFBB simply waits until it runs out of snow.

It’s this unwavering dedication to providing quality skiing at the mountains that brings skiers back to JFBB year after year, even with bigger resorts just a few hours north. “I’ve been a season pass holder for 13 years,” says Steve Larick, who started skiing at Big Boulder when he was 10 years old, and now works as a member of the park crew. “It’s a place very near and dear to my heart. I can’t imagine growing up skiing anywhere else.”

Solidifying its dedication to the next great generation of skiers, 50 percent of Big Boulder’s terrain is fully dedicated to park features, and is consistently ranked as one of the best terrain parks in the entire Northeast. Pro skier Sean Jordan, known for his full throttle street and park segments with Level 1 and Teton Gravity Research, grew up skiing Big Boulder, which has been pushing out world-class park skiing talent for over a decade, and for good reason. “We take a lot of pride in our parks,” says Morgan. “We boast one of the highest feature counts on the East Coast, as well as rebuilds.” So, while other skiers might be stuck skiing the same lines weekend after weekend, Big Boulder likes to keep it fresh, offering new set ups consistently throughout the season.

SKIER: Émile Bergeron | PHOTO: Joc Cadieux | LOCATION: Big Boulder, PA

JFBB’s close proximity to many of the East Coast’s major metropolitan hubs also makes it the perfect destination for skiers stuck living the big city life. Sitting only a short, two-hour drive from both Philadelphia and New York City, JFBB makes it easy for city dwelling skiers to get out for a day on the hill and still spend the night back in their own bed.

With its unparalleled dedication to providing the most consistent skiing in the Mid-Atlantic, convenient location for metropolitan skiers and commitment to fresh and creative terrain park set ups, it’s easy to see why so many East Coasters skip out on mountains further north and continue to flock to Jack Frost and Big Boulder every winter. “It’s hard to say what sets this place apart other than that it’s home,” says Larick, now a 15-year veteran of the mountain. “I’ve had the opportunity to ski out west before and even had the chance to move out there, but I turned it down because I love Big Boulder. It’s got such an amazing culture and people that it’s truly become my home.”

STAT SHEET

Jack Frost Big Boulder by the numbers

Average Annual Snowfall: 50 inches
Total Skiable Acreage: JF = 100 acres | BB = 55 acres
Vertical Drop: JF = 600 feet | BB = 475 feet
Regional Airport: Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport (MPO)

TRAIL BREAKDOWN
Beginner: JF = 20% | BB = 27%
Intermediate: JF = 30% | BB = 20%
Expert: JF = 40% | BB = 20%
Terrain Park: JF = 10% | BB = 30%

More From Peak Resorts

Peak Resorts

The ski area operator’s Drifter Pass is way tastier than avocado toast

Peak Resorts Trail Maps

Take a closer look at the terrain offered via Peak Resorts