Sunday, February 25, 2024

Liberty offers a nice semi-local ski option

Yesterday, I enjoyed my first trip this season to Liberty Mountain Resort for a day of skiing with my son and two of his friends. Despite temperatures in the mid-40s, the snow was slushy in the morning but pretty nice and powdery (by East Coast standards) all afternoon. 

It feels like a small miracle to get any skiing in nowadays with such noticeably short winters, but at least I’ve been to Copper Mountain in Colorado for five days, Whitetail also in Pennsylvania for one, now Liberty, and have another Copper trip planned in the coming weeks.

Liberty is just past the northern Maryland border in Pennsylvania and is typically packed on the front side with little tots learning to ski and all kinds of other people seemingly risking life and limb. I stay away from there but the kids like to ride the rails in the terrain park. There used to be a half pipe but it was difficult to cover it with main-made snow and wasn't open much, so it was removed. 

On the back side, there are two fun double black diamonds and a good handful of moguls. It’s amazing to see the amount of people taking brutal falls on those. No wonder there was an army of ski patrol lining some of the runs. There seems to be far more crashes than out west, with people falling left and right. One girl took a total face plant into the snow next to me. That might be ok in Colorado, where the powder could even feel refreshing to the face, but not at Liberty with this harder snow.

The East Coast resorts are definitely don't offer the same workout as ones in the Rockies. By comparison, the longest run is about a mile downhill at Liberty, with the longest one at Copper being three miles.

Also, Liberty's history is interesting. Itb was developed in the 1960s with big hopes to become a pretty massive destination. But it was bankrupt in the 1970s, purchased by a new owner and renamed Ski Liberty, which it remained until taking its current name in the 1990s. It has a 100+-room lodge and is a popular golfing spot in the summer, and it's now owned by Vail Resorts. The way the weather looks - warming up over the next couple of weeks - people may be golfing soon and not skiing much more at all this season. 

It's a very close call, but I like Whitetail just a little more than Liberty. Either way, it's nice to have ski options within a couple hours from home.

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