Terrain Park, East-Face trails, McKee's Tavern, Night Skiing
Big Crowds, Slow Lifts, Lift lines
Ski Liberty used to be my go-to mountain because it’s real close to DC and has some challenging terrain (for the size of the mountain) and a nice Tavern with lots of drinks and beers on tap – which is handy for warming up during night skiing sessions.
I typically go skiing at night at Liberty because on the weekends it can be very crowded during the day. And in not-so-snowy seasons, they run the snowmakers at night so it doesn’t get icy. Giving night skiers a little layer of snow to ski on.
Lately though, it’s been hit or miss.
Liberty has been getting huge crowds on the weekends that don’t thin out until well after 8:30 p.m. Maybe it’s the Olympics or all the snow we got this season but, there’s just too many people who don’t know what they are doing on narrow, steep trails. It takes a lot of fun out of it. They day we went Ski Patrol had to take at least 3 people off the mountain and called an ambulance for one skier – lots of beginners pushing themselves way past their ability, probably apart of some travel group. Ski Patrol did do a good job of protecting the downed skiers.
That said, I did go to Liberty in December of 2010 and it was nearly empty by nightfall and we had a great time. I say it all depends on the snow conditions and the crowds because there’s three things I do like about Liberty:
1. The east face has 2 lifts that service about 4-5 blue and black trails. There’s hardly a lift line and you can get in a lot of short leg-burning runs. And when you’re ready for a break, Blue Streak a diamond trail on the north side is a straight shot down to the bar.
2. They have some nice, long flat runs for beginners to learn on. The lifts run smooth and have good ramps and areas for getting off. And it’s separate from the real bunny hill where people are putting on skis for the first time.
3. The terrain park is loaded with jumps and rails. It’s a lot of fun, the snow is usually in great condition and nice and hard for getting up speed. I havent’ seen a comparable park this far south.
Liberty can be fun… but it’s pretty expensive and you never know what you’re going to get. My bet is January and December are the best times to go. February brings in insane crowds.
They do have a snow guarantee that lasts for a year, so if it's not working out, take your ticket back and get a refund and come back later... the rainchecks also work at Whitetail and Roundtop and they honor them at the ticket windows... they are easy to redeem.