I finally had the chance to practice what I preached - we escaped from Washington in the afternoon, and spent a glorious few hours skiing and visiting Liberty on January 3, 2011. Thanks to the driving of my husband Charles, we made it there and back in about two hours each way. There were probably a few hundred others on the mountain, and some more groups of students came in during the evening. But, it was like having a private mountain with beautiful, well-groomed conditions. We were able to enjoy the beautiful sight of the sun fading over the Gettysburg farms and battlefields - always a chilling view. Then the bright lights went on, and the mountain was engulfed in a dramatic, sparkling glow.
The snow was groomed, packed powder, and there was no ice. It is 100% open. Liberty makes several inches of new snow each night. I am always impressed with their safety measures. Ski patrol or ski safety members stood at certain sharp turns and drops, warning skiers and boarders to take it easy. I told them I was so glad to see them.
Snow sports should be especially good this month, with special features. Liberty has $39 Thursday specials and deals for their first time ski and board package. January is National Learn to Ski Month, and most areas have some specials.
At the end of the runs, I had a good visit with Eric Flynn, the dynamic Chief Operating Officer of the three Snow Time Resorts (including Whitetail and Roundtop). He told me, “this is truly one of the best starts to a season we have ever had, and the outlook for the next few weeks is excellent.” He added, “Midweek skiing and snowboarding are the best time if you can come; you really have much of the mountain to yourself.”
I noticed some nice new things this trip, which I want to mention. As I was leaving, a white stretch limo pulled up and picked up a group of teenagers. The staff says that there is now a business buying used limos and large Hummers and transporting smaller groups to the resort with rates competitive to chartered buses for larger groups.
I also noticed a very nice touch at Guest Services, next to the ticket windows. They had three baskets of lost gloves. A nice lady helped young skiers find suitable mates, if they lost theirs. This helpful service saves a lot of frostbite. You may even retrieve your own glove in one of the baskets. It is nice to visit Guest Services when you are at Liberty Resort. Other interesting areas are the big cafeteria, the large roaring fireplace, and the instructors in their building. Not a bad idea to take a refresher lesson, even for us old timers.
But, most of all, don’t be a ski bunny - go out and savor the slopes!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.
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