The colors are exploding! What incredible beauty all around. The leaves have turned into red and gold, and the grass is lush and green. The ski slopes looked so smooth, it was tempting to think of whooshing down the velvet green slopes. But, I have tried grass skiing once before in my life, and falling is not pleasant. It is a good thing Liberty and other areas wait for the white snow.
Next to the ski slopes, the golf course was in beautiful shape, and lucky golfers enjoyed a perfect day. But there are signs of changing seasons, and it won’t be long before we snow lovers have our chance.
The Fall Festivals at Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail are some of the special joys of the season. Liberty treats its Season and Advantage pass holders to a wonderful outdoor feast. There are also a few terrific games for the kids - pumpkin painting and scarecrow stuffing. Young children from Encore Sports Productions danced for us. At other times, the mountain was filled with Beatles music, a rock band, and a mix of other music. There are wonderful pets to adopt from the local animal shelter, and there are ski lift rides on the chair. It is great to see the mountain this way, but several people were fit and excited - they climbed up and down the slopes on their own. Harder than skiing, but easier to do without heavy boots and equipment.
We had a lovely visit with General Manger Eric Flynn, Publicity and Marketing Director Anne Weimer, and their spouses. They have become wonderful friends over the years. They worked hard over the summer to produce new brochures, plan fun activities for the visitors, and continually upgrade Liberty. Eric hopes to open for the season on December 7th, or even earlier, if there is a dramatic change in the climate before then.
One of the major topics of the day - besides the heat - was the drought and dryness in many areas. Eric pointed out that Liberty can recycle its water, and use it to remake snow. Snow making machines are truly works of genius. As the snow softens and slides, much of it returns to the reservoir in the form of water. Then, it is made into snow again. He also said, as the trees lose their leaves, they don’t drink as much water, and that reduces the evaporation.
Of course, everyone hopes for real snow, but cold weather and rain will also help. There are restrictions on the use of water in the Liberty region, as there are throughout the East. But Liberty is among the largest employers in Adams County during the season, and is truly the heart and soul of the area. It would not help anyone to impose water use restrictions on the ski areas during winter.
We discussed safety issues, and I told Eric I have always been impressed with the way Liberty works hard to increase safety, as much as possible. He said there are about 20 ski patrol members on a shift. They make a special effort to keep skiing and boarding slow in the green areas, and constantly remind people to check their speed and act responsibly. There are a lot of us sharing the slopes at the same time.
Guide fences or nets are set up on several areas, including Dipsy Doodle, Blue Streak, and White Lightning. They have the effect of making people slow down and ask themselves, “what is going on here?”
Liberty continues to build up its Adaptive and Disabled Ski center, and has by far the biggest facility close to metropolitan Baltimore and Washington. The staff of professional and volunteer instructors are truly dedicated, and go to great lengths to help the athletes who have suffered so much. Many of the instructors are heading to Breckenridge for an intense week of training in early December, and Charles and I will join them. We hope to send several reports on the rigorous courses for the instructors, and for the adaptive athletes. When we return, we hope to see Liberty and our other local areas in full swing. Think snow, and cold - now!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.
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