Firsthand Account: Ski Liberty
By a DCSki Reader

With the snow from recent snow falls and round the clock snowmaking, Ski Liberty has been able to do something it hasn’t for a long long time - open nearly all the trails! As of Saturday the 22nd, the backside has Whitney’s Way (formerly Be Happy), Heavenly, Ultra and Eastwind open top to bottom. Upper Strata and Strata Sidewinder have healthy piles of machine made snow waiting to be groomed. Snow makers were setting up guns on the Lower Strata towards late afternoon. Once Strata and Sidewinder are open, the entire backside will be available - with the exception of Don’t Worry - the backside’s only green run. On the front side, the beginner area, Dipsy Doodle, Sneaky Pete, Blue Streak, Freedom Trail, the Alpine Park and the Snowboard Park are all open. White Lighting - the only other front side trail - should be opening up soon as there is a ton of machine made snow on it.

Conditions overall are excellent in the mornings with packed powder conditions (really!) that usually lasts until about 11 a.m. After that, the middle of the trails tend to get scraped down to the underlying Eastern hardpack (aka ice). The sides of the trails remain very nice as there is plenty of pushed off snow to the sides even late into the afternoon. The only exception to this general condition description is Eastwind. As usual, Ski Liberty is not grooming on this trail to allow bumps to form. Because of the pitch on the upper portion, large uneven bumps with big slick spots before them have already formed. These occur when skiers and boarders too fearful to ski the trail skid down scraping away the snow until they hit a bump. As one fellow skier put it - the trail has the consistency of ceramic tile.

As for the base depth, its hard to tell if the base is as deep as Liberty reports. Regardless, there were no barespots to speak of on Saturday. As for the front side, the groomed bumps on the Alpine Park are perfectly formed as advertised on Ski Liberty’s website. However, don’t get your hopes up too high. The machine formed bumps seem to be made out of the same stuff that’s on Eastwind - Eastern hardpack. All in all, Ski Liberty had some excellent skiing for the region - the trick seems to be to get there early to enjoy the good snow and then head home shortly after noon to avoid the crowds. Speaking of which, this past Saturday seemed to have record numbers. By 11 a.m., the parking lot was filled nearly to capacity and the cafeteria had a line nearly out the back doors! So get there early!

One last note, Ski Liberty has seemed to have gone off the deep end with snowmaking. There are HUGE mounds of snow on the top of the mountain just in front of each quad chair lift. This means skiing around them to get from the lifts to the trails. Hopefully, this “reserve” snow will be used to prolong our too short ski season.

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