Advice on visiting Liberty?
January 13, 2009
Shocking as it may be, I have never been to Liberty Mountain Resort. I've been to Ski Roundtop a couple times, and Whitetail more times than I can count.
I bought a season pass this year to Liberty/Roundtop/Whitetail, and would like to try out Liberty for some variety.
Can anyone offer tips for visiting Liberty for the first time? For example, what is parking like, how crowded is it on a weekday (either during the day or at night), etc.
Crowds are generally thin at Liberty on weekdays, esp. before 2:00 p.m. or so when the after-school groups arrive. You won't need to wait long for a lift ride.
With your L-RT-WT pass, you can park in the preferred parking lot on weekdays if you arrive by mid-morning. It's to the left of the lodge, slightly past the crest of the hill. From here, take the sidewalk to the lodge's lowest level, stash your skis, and go inside to boot up (and, if you're like me, to visit the restroom). Fireplace, cafeteria and great views of the ski runs are upstairs.
Be sure to check out the display cases of Liberty/Charnita ski memorabilia on the lowest level near the ski shop. Every ski area should celebrate its history with a display like this, or even more extensive.
The backside trails get less traffic than the front (lodge) side runs. Don't forget to ride the centerpole quad if it's running. If Liberty isn't making snow, you may want to do the bulk of your front side skiing in the morning before groups arrive. From the top, several combinations of backside runs (upper this, lower that) are possible. I eventually find my combo du jour and run it repeatedly.
At the top of the diamond and double-diamond runs on the backside, there's an unusual sign pertaining to rental skis.
Liberty does a great job with snowmaking, grooming and signs IMHO. Have a great time!
Thanks Woody -- that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. One more question: does Liberty have free ski check like Whitetail?
Scott - I would echo Woody's excellent comments, especially about parking! The main lot gets crowded early on weekends. As for your other question, there is a free ski check near the rental ski area or at a tent by near the base of the "snowbowl." There are also numerous racks heading down from the porch area down to the slopes.
If you show on a weekend, get out to the backside as quickly as possible. Best intermediate/expert terrain is there and all but one trail are open on the back. Crowds tend to be much lighter and even on the busiest days, with both quad lifts running, wait times are pretty short. There are restrooms back there as well as a small snack bar/outdoor seating area. The Strata Quad is the quicker of the two backside quad lifts. Eastwind (the trail) tends to get bumped up and left bumped up by groomers. Ultra is the highest point at the back (although only by feet - not really that noticeable!). From the backside, take a moment at the top to enjoy the views to the valley below - they are spectacular! I've enjoyed some incredible sunrises there!
If you come up weekend after this coming one (i.e., Jan 24-25), stop by the Patrol room after 2pm and come say "hello." I'll be there Friday night, then Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to close. Happy to show you around. Otto is usually there on weekends as well from 2pm to 7pm.
Just want to add a couple of more things. I have a night club card for the Snowtime resorts and went to Liberty Thursday Jan 8 for the night session.
While I was there I talked to a woman on the lift who has two kids in a ski racing league, the league practices at Liberty on Tuesday and Thursday nights so those nights Whitney's Way on the backside has a speed fence on the entrance and then the gates setup on the trail. I think you can still ski the trail but you have to be careful.
Another thing that surprised me for a weeknight were the crowds. I went night skiing fairly often last season and normally on a weeknight you can ski onto any lift on the front or the back of the mountain, but this night all lifts had a line. The front had 5-10 minute lines and the back had maybe a 2 minute line. I think this was due to not only the racing league, but also I found out from another person that several large groups showed up. The groups were high schools and colleges that had night club programs. As I was leaving the resort I saw many charter and school buses in the farthest parking lot. I think that once colleges get back into session, large outings like this should be less often. You might be able to call ahead and find out if any large groups will be going.
Also when I was there they were setting up the snow guns on lower strata and white lightning, so both trails should be open in the next couple of days with the cold weather that is expected.
If the picture below shows, the free ski check is on the right of the picture or on the left when you approach the racks. It's been a while for me since I have been to Ski Libery.
Yes I agree with others about being on the backside. Not sure if the snack/restroom shack is open on the backside at this time.
I've skied Liberty six times this season and have not seen a ski check. If they're doing it this season than its in a differnt location than previous seasons. I've only been skiing at Liberty on weeknights, maybe the ski check is a weekend only thing?
They moved the free ski check this year. It's now adjacent to the ski rental building entrance.
Last year it was under a tent on the opposite side of the racks.
My favorite trail at Whitetail is Farside. The one closest to it in character (IMHO) at Liberty is a backside combo of Sidewinder and Lower Strata.
Oops, I just joined the four digit poster club
to become a certified windbag.
I'm glad to hear it just moved and they didnt do away with it.
Sidewinder-Strata is a nice combo, but Upper Heavenly-Whitneys Way is also nice if it is crowded as most people keep right after finishing the Heavenly drop.