Liberty provides more than a day of joyous skiing. It is an amazing mountain for anyone interested in the history of our nation. The latest spate of Civil War movies once again reminds one of some tortuous aspects of our history; many of which are manifest during a visit to Liberty. Looking down at the beautiful fields and forests from the top of the mountain, you can almost hear, see, and smell the Civil War battles which raged below. Take the spirit of the soldiers with you when you ski down the slopes!
Now, onto the skiing. Thank God for snowmaking machines! My husband Charles and I actually had a wonderful afternoon of skiing Saturday, December 27, and many of the people we spoke to were also having fun. The conditions were definitely spring. Were it not for snowmaking, there would be no skiing at all. The fields and farms were bone dry. Next to the slopes, people played golf in their short sleeves. Quite a contrast to last year, when the sign at the Emittsburg Vet read, “free snow to a good home.”
The conditions Saturday were listed as groomed packed powder, with an average base of 10 to 17 inches. Liberty expects to keep making snow. Some trails actually had a bit of powder on the sides; most were packed but not glare ice. There were some bare spots, and some trails were not open. On Saturday, 11 trails were open with 5 chairlifts listed as running. But, it was not too crowded, and lines moved quickly. The sun shone, the weather was warm, and it was a terrific day for skiing!
We found the best runs were Heavenly and Ultra, both upper and lower. I did not brave Upper Eastwind, which had a sign saying, “thin cover.” Still, some super expert skiers were on it, and did a fine job. For the easier trail, Whitney’s Way was a delight, and was perfectly groomed for cruising or, as I call it, dance-skiing.
The snowboard terrain was limited, with the Half Pipe closed, and the Terrain park only partially open. But, the Adventure Alley Terrain park was open. It contains 4 rails and 2 jumps, and the snowboarders were doing a fantastic job. Do you think one of them could teach this old skier to fly into the air the way they do?
My only real complaint was the crowds on Upper Dipsy Doodle. It was more jammed than usual because White Lightning was closed. Perhaps a ski volunteer or patrol member could act as a traffic cop, and regulate the flow of the skiers. I was especially worried about the mixture of little kids and hot dogging adults. More regulation at such crowded bottlenecks could make the situation a lot safer.
The Boulder Ridge snow tubing area was open, and could be seen as you skied passed it. The tubers appeared to be having a blast, and you could hear their shrieks of joy!
In short, a great day of skiing at Liberty. The lifts will run until 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve and skiing can be combined with festivities at McKee’s Tavern. Skiing at Liberty, or anyplace else, is a great way to usher in the New Year! Happy New Year!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.