December 16, 2008
Anyone have any info on a old trail at Liberty. I was waiting for my wife to finish in the shop last weekend at Liberty and was looking at an old Charnita brochure in the display case outside the shop. The brochure shows a trail on the front side from the top of the mountain down the skier's left side of the Alpine Quad ending in what is now the terrain park. You can see it on Google Earth and can really see it in the 1994 images on Terraserver of the area. But it was clearly closed prior to 1994 in the Terraserver picture based on tree growth. Using Google Earth it looks like it was a decent run--at least 1200 feet long to what is now the terrain park with about 370 feet of vertical drop. I read a rumor somewhere that there were three runs on the front side of Liberty with red, white and blue naming conventions. Perhaps this trail was the missing red trail.
I think you are correct about the "missing" trail. I have heard anecdotally that there was a trail there with a "red" name. During the summer, there was an alpine slide on that trail (i.e., concrete track where you could run "carts" down the track). When I first started skiing at Liberty over a decade ago, you could still see the remnants of the alpine slide. Even now, you can still see the shadow of the old trail which appears to be a fire trail. I would guess that it was closed as its too narrow to serve as a trail. Shoot, I'd like to see the path directly below the Alpine Quad opened up as a trail! Probably not going to happen though.
I've skied Liberty as far back as the late '60s, but not often. I can't remember any skiing being allowed over where you are talking about, but my memories are hazy before the late '70s. I always thought that was a service road of some sort? Maybe some other old timer will chime in?
PS: Welcome to DCSki.
my memories are hazy before the late '70s
Mine too! You don't suppose its something in the water do you?
Just to be clear, I am not talking about the switchback service road, The trail I saw in the brochure (and see faintly on Google Earth and clarly on Terraserver) is just to the south of the southern edge of the switchbacks, it comes off the south side of the Alpine Quad at the top of the mountain, goes straight down the west side of the mountain and curves in where the terrain park is.
Here is the Terraserver link:http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx
Charnita (aka Liberty) is where my friend first took me to ski at age 29...I was hooked for life, now been skiing over 48 years. Yep, I learned my first tracks going "bale to bale", skiing from one side of the trail until I hit a straw bale protecting me from a tripod mounted snow gun, then turing back and skiing to the next bale.
I remember a mid station on the front side and to the right (going up) was a fairly wide slope (now the terrain garden) and further to the right a twisting trail that was only open if enough natural snow. I don't recollect any trail from the top meeting up with this trail.
It was a fall line trail, not a twisty trail. The few times I skied at Charnita in the late sixties, the old trail was on the trail map, but never open. White Lightning was the only other trail from the top. When I returned to Ski Liberty in the seventies, the old trail was no longer in use, but a new trail had been cut, Blue Streak. I don't know if the old trail and Blue Streak were ever both on the same trail map.
I looked at that trail map today. The abandoned trail was called White Lightning. The run currently known as White Lightning was called Beginner's Folly. Blue Streak and Dipsy Doodle are on that map. I couldn't see what year it was from.
Just went to Google Earth. There certainly seems to be reason to think there was once a trail exactly where Keith T says. The red, white and blue story would certainly make sense (and help explain why there's be a trail called Blue Streak with no intermediate terrain). Very interesting...
Actually that old trail was called White Lightning. Discovering that fact jogged my memory. I now recall it being referred to as "old White Lightning". There was never a "red trail". OK, the ugly rumor, old White Lightning was closed after the ski area's owner's son died skiing it. Most likely folklore, I hope it's not true.
I always assumed Blue Streak referred the streaks of blue dye from people wearing denim pants who fell near the top and slid down the run on their hip.
Thanks to all for the info. I was up a Liberty last weekend and talked to the head of the ski school and he said it was an old Charnita trail that was hard to keep open becuase of the exposure. He said it was closed prior to the changeover to Liberty.