Got out yesterday, Friday the 13th, back to Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania, a week after having been in Vail. I was a little worried that going west would have ruined me for the mid-Atlantic........ but I still really enjoyed it. Phew, disaster averted.
I managed to get out early, and was one of the first folks on the chair. The conditions were really good, with relatively soft grooming in most places. (Only in a couple of spots did I get that "rumble strip" effect/sound on hard frozen groom.) Temps were cold - in the low teens when I arrived - warming to mid-20's by early afternoon. But the wind didn't arrive so it was an absolutely beautiful day.
Nearly untouched groom at the base of the terrain park :
A moment later, unfortunately, the ski patrol headed up the hill on a snow mobile. They appeared to be treating a couple of younger (maybe 10 years old?) kids in the terrain park and had a sled out. It looked like maybe the kids had a very short day though hopefully not :
Once to the top, I spent the first part of the day mostly lapping the back side - Upper Ultra then down either Lower Ultra, or Lower Heavenly (though I hit all the non-bump stuff on the back). Most of the back side is blue rated, but Upper Ultra is short, and fairly steep with just a little bumpiness (although I've seen it groomed completely smooth), so at Liberty, that qualifies for this sign/view :
I also hit the blue bump run (Lower Eastwind)... as I've skied more this winter, I'm itching to keep learning, so I figured I'd try a few bumps - just some traverses to get a feel for it. I did a few passes back and forth, fell a couple of times, and decided I wasn't quite ready yet. When I've been here before, only about half the run was bumps, which gave you room to run past the bumps and duck in and out more comfortably. But the run was nearly covered yesterday, making it a little tougher. Here's the top of it :
The other place I like lapping is the two front-side black runs, White Lightning and Blue Streak. White Lightning starts with a little chute to negotiate :
The drops to the left on a short steep section before flattening out :
These pics really flatten out the steepness - probably hitting something like 25 degrees. Not steep compared to other places, but certainly steeper than the other slopes on the mountain. White Lightning also has a pass through the trees at the bottom of the steep section back over to the terrain park. This pic is looking back at it :
I lapped White Lightning and the terrain park quite a few times as well... the park is huge and lots of variety of jumps and features. I don't use the features, but have worked myself up to the medium sized jumps.
And I only yard-saled once, but made good use of my helmet for the first time! (No, it wasn't very hard and the helmet wasn't deformed or anything - really no big deal.)
Overall it was a terrific day. 28 runs before I left in the early afternoon, as the runs were starting to get icier/scraped off, although the blacks were little used and still in bettter shape.
For folks looking for something tougher, they do also have two short black bump runs off the back that were getting pretty good usage and looked pretty soft. Here's one of them (with the other in the background) :
Maybe one day I'll be ripping that one!