Saturday, February 16, 2008 was one of the near-perfect days at Liberty Mountain - the trails were well covered, the sun was shining, and the weather was warm. Some brave souls skied in short sleeve shirts. Don’t they know it is still February? We were pleased to take off our jackets and hang them on the racks (without tickets, of course). Next to the slopes, golfers were playing on the course. Love that contrast!
Over our heads, in the cloudless skies, we watched three gliders perform graceful circles. At times they seemed close enough to touch. Presumably, they landed safely at the nearby airport.
Liberty was crowded, as we knew it would be this Saturday of the President’s weekend. But, they handled the crowds well. Charles and I are always impressed with the safety measures at Liberty. At several intersections, Ski Patrol members stood next to signs urging skiers and riders to slow down. Sometimes, they blew whistles or held up their hands. The signs read, “Chill” and “Ski Fast, Lose Your Pass.” They meant business, and the skiers and boarders appeared to respect them in most cases. Thank you!
The snow was in quite good condition. In fact, snowmaking continued on some trails until the afternoon, which left nice bits of real powder on the sides of the trails. Of course, the trails got harder and slicker as the day progressed, but that is to be expected. 16 trails were open and 8 lifts. There were nice big moguls on Upper Ultra and Upper Eastwind (not that I felt inclined to take them, but they looked large from the chair).
The snow parks looked good, and were well-utilized. There are good safety features; lifts you can get off at mid station, to cut down traffic from the top. There is also a J-bar to one park and a magic carpet for beginners on the “green” side of the resort. I was pleased to see safety features at the Boulder Ridge Snow tubing area. I did not tube this time, but looked down at the tubes from the ski slopes. It appears as though the hills were high enough to stop you at the end, and no one came close to hitting the fence (at least while I was observing). In fact, they slid backwards gently as they came to the end of their run. These features are very important, and make the exciting sport of tubing safe as well as fun. I will check it out again next visit.
There were lots of instructors working on Saturday, and a large group of adaptive skiers enjoying the thrill of the snow. At the end of February, Liberty hosts its group of Wounded Warriors - most have been receiving therapy at Walter Reed Hospital. But they will find the snow covered mountains, the fresh air, the respect and friendship to be the best therapy they can possibly have.
There are lots more events coming up at Liberty. There is a Big Air Park event, and 80’s weekend, and the usual zaniness that comes with March and springtime. Liberty has some of the best events in the region, so look for a variety of special surprises. Let’s see if they can top last year, when they covered President Eric Flynn’s office in foil, and aliens took over the resort! Whatever comes up, there should be several more weeks of good sport ahead at Liberty, and the other resorts of the mid-Atlantic region.
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.