Liberty Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Liberty Mountain Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsOver the years, countless residents of the Washington-Baltimore metro area have strapped on their very first snowboard or pair of skis at Liberty Mountain Resort. Located slightly more than an hour from both major cities, Liberty Mountain Resort -- formerly Ski Liberty -- offers family-friendly prices and a number of novice ski programs for guests. In fact, this south central Pennsylvania resort won the 2010-2011 Conversion Cup award for having the best introductory ski program in the nation, and it prides itself on teaching beginners how to hit the slopes.
The MountainLike other slopes on the East Coast, Liberty Mountain tends to have hard packed snow, which can be icy. The average snowfall at Liberty Mountain Resort is only about 31 inches, which the resort supplements with fluffy powder of its own creation. The 1,190-foot mountain features a 620-foot vertical drop, and the majority of its runs are marked intermediate or novice. Depending on weather conditions, Liberty Mountain Resort's season typically starts in the middle of December and continues through mid-March.
Trails And LiftsLiberty Mountain Resort offers guests 16 trails of varying levels, with 35 percent rated as beginner, 40 percent as intermediate and 25 percent as expert. Novice skiers looking for a bit of a challenge can test their skills on Dipsy Doodle, which -- although rated easy -- is the mountain's longest run at 5,200 feet. Five quad lifts, one J-bar lift and three carpet lifts help transport skiers and snowboarders to different points of the mountain, which is also open for night skiing. In addition, Liberty Mountain Resort boasts three terrain parks spread over 10 acres.
In The NewsAlthough Liberty Mountain Resort is not a typical celebrity skiing destination, its close proximity to Washington, D.C., and nearby Camp David has attracted at least one famous family. The Washington Post reported that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, hit Liberty Mountain Resort's slopes twice in 2010. Liberty Mountain Resort is also known for its Liberty Mountain Race Team, which was founded in 1977. This team is coached by USSA-certified staff and has helped develop many top racers. In addition, the race team holds an annual event at the resort, the Liberty Mountain Giant Slalom.
CostLiberty Mountain Resort offers guests a number of rate options, including a four-hour flex ticket, which costs $46 during the week and $57 on the weekends. Juniors, age 6 to 12, pay $41 during the week for the four-hour flex ticket and $49 on the weekends. The resort also offers class and ski packages that cost about $74 to $87, depending on the day of the week. A half-day ski camp for children ages 4 to 10 runs between $82 and $98. The resort's season passes cost $639 and are good at Liberty, as well as its sister resorts, Whitetail Resort and Roundtop Mountain Resort. Liberty Mountain Resort's rental stable includes 3,000 Rossignol skis and Dalbello boots and 800 Burton snowboards and boots. Ski rentals are $42 a day, while snowboards cost $48. Helmets can be rented for $12 a day.
Apres-SkiAlthough Liberty Mountain is more of a commuter ski resort than a vacation destination, it does have a hotel and McKee's Tavern, which is a bar and grill. Hungry skiers and snowboarders looking for good eats can also enjoy a delicious meal and the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace at Tavern on the Green. For guests who don't ski or snowboard but still want to have fun on the snow, Liberty Mountain Resort also offers 15 tubing lanes.
WATCH: Liberty Mountain Resort
A skier tackles Liberty Mountain's Dipsy Doodle on New Year's Eve.