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Vail’s southern hills liberty and roundtop 1/2

danimals

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Since peak bought snowtime, and vail bought peak I wanted to check out some resorts that I’ve never been to, and probably won’t have the chance to get to again since I’m over vail and super passes. The original plan was to drive to whitetail, then hit liberty, then Roundtop on the way home. Whitetail is by far the biggest of the three but only had one trail off the top open so I figured I would just check out liberty and Roundtop.


The weather didn’t help things, but these hills are so boring and lame great conditions wouldn’t help. Liberty is super weird. You can see if for a while driving up to it, and it’s just a small bump sticking out of semi rural farmland.







As you drive around to the front side, the roads change from moderately maintained backroads to perfectly paved two lane. The actual resort at liberty is insanely impressive, the lots are paved and marked. Multiple sit down restaurants and a hotel slope side. I just can’t fathom why all this was built on this tiny hill.







The park is serviced by a j bar. Super cool. Surface lifts on terrain parks are great.







Past the mid station It looks like this was a trail at one point. Shame it’s gone, one of only a few short steep pitches.






At the top you sitting on a ridge maybe 50 feet wide. And you have quite a few trails to try on both sides. The front side (lodge and park side) looked boring so I tried the back. Conditions were soft and fun but if it doesn’t get cold soon, they area gonna have to close







I hit each open trail twice and got bored so headed to Roundtop.





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danimals

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Roundtop

Took what seemed like 45 minutes to get from liberty to Roundtop. Roundtop reminds me of spring mountain, it’s lame and there’s houses nearby. You can see the strange looking bump quite a while before you get there. It’s located on a plateau so even though it’s small, it has some pretty expansive views from the top. You can even see three mile island nuclear plant. It was also below freezing here despite the warm temps at liberty.




I got a a spot right at the lift.



The snow was some of the iciest snow I’ve ridden in years. The layout it very boring and nothing steep was open. The crowds were crappy too. They would always stop right at the bottom of an icy headwall and Wonder why someone almost hit them.




So that was that. I’m glad I went but these hills are way smaller than advertised, ski tracks showed around 500 vert. Both resorts reminded me of skiing in the Midwest. Conditions aside, the terrain in the Poconos does seem light years better. If it gets cold soon I’ll definitely head out to whitetail as that place looks legitimately fun. For liberty and roundtop I don’t see these hills as something vail wants to hold onto. Maybe liberty for the actual resort they have but both hills are just not good, and DC area skiers have much better options.


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jimk

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Sep 1, 2012
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LOL. Enjoyed your fresh take on some old resorts. I've skied these mtns for over 50 years, except Whitetail. It's only about 30 years old. The reason these ski areas were built and remain viable is they are the closest skiing to the ten million people that live in the Balt-Wash metro area. They've also been quite well run for decades before they recently came under the Vail banner. They always did a lot with the uncooperative weather of the mid-Atlantic. This winter is starting even weaker than most here, so you're experiencing them at their worst. When 100% open a lot of folks find Whitetail a little more entertaining than the others, but I'm kind of partial to the backside of Liberty. These hills will always hold a place in my heart, but I'm fortunate to be able to ski extensively out west now. These three resorts are skied by probably just the type of person Vail is looking for, buy their season pass to ski 5 or 10 times locally and go one week out west.

Frequent conditions at Liberty, decent skiing surrounded by no natural snow, taken 1/28/2006:
 
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