Opening Weekend at Liberty 1
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Snowmaking Sunday night at Liberty. Photo provided by Liberty Mountain Resort.
Skiing, boarding, the Winter Solstice carnival, and reunions with old friends on the staff -; that was all part of the opening weekend December 18-19, 2004 at Pennsylvania’s Liberty Mountain Resort. As the closest major area to Washington, DC, Liberty gets the majority of the “down home crowd.” But Whitetail also gets its share, since the two are about a 90 minute drive from Washington.

I am not picky, so I had a great time skiing at Liberty, and really had a chance to practice and get my legs and heart in shape. Purists might fuss, because only 5 of the 16 slopes were open. But, with reduced rates and small crowds, it was perfect for me. I took endless runs down Upper and Lower Heavenly down the back. Then, at the end of the day, it was smooth, gentle sailing down Dipsy Doodle in the front. The beginner areas looked to be in good shape, and were well-utilized.

All sorts of people were working out on Heavenly, which is considered an intermediate run. Ski patrollers were getting into shape, and going through their drills. My husband and I received excellent instruction from patroller Bruce Taylor, who is a smooth, slick skier in the older style of Jean Claude Kiley. When not skiing, he is a Washington lawyer, who is probably just as smooth in the courtroom as on the slopes!

Ski instructors were also going through their paces on Heavenly. There were groups of people taking advantage of the $19 “Learn to Ski or Snowboard” packages. Those discounted packages will be available until December 24th, and are in effect at Liberty, Whitetail, and Ski Roundtop. The areas offer free regular class lessons, or $19 complete First Class packages. Pretty good deal, when you consider the expenses of a day of skiing at high season.

Many skiers or boarders also buy an Advantage Card, which saves you 40% every time you ski or ride at the three resorts. By the way, there are reduced rates for children under 12, and for seniors over 65. So you older ones -; get moving -; take advantage of the respect you get with age!

Inside the large cafeteria in Liberty, there were contests and magic shows for children and a chance to win a ski trip to Colorado. There was also an opportunity to sign up for the upcoming luge challenge -; an event I really enjoyed last year at Liberty. It made me feel so Olympian!

As we left Liberty, the sun was going down over the farms and the battlefields near Gettysburg, which I believe I can see from the mountains. There had once been so much bloody fighting in that lovely, tranquil area. Black clouds were moving in, and a storm system approached. Even if it did not bring much natural snow, the cold is here to stay. The snowmaking will continue for a nice long time, and the ski season is our Christmas present!

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About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Resort

Reader Comments

Bruce Taylor
December 20, 2004
You were so nice to compliment me on my skiing. I grew up in Vermont and thought I could barely turn both ways, but it's nice to see someone who loves skiing so much that the meager efforts of us old timers is appreciated. Also, Connie is a wonerful ambassador for the sport and local areas that the kudos go to her for encouraging all of us to get out there and enjoy the DC area slopes. Thanks.

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