Firsthand Report from Liberty Mountain: Skiing is Therapeutic!
By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist
January 8, 2012 — The sun shone, the weather was warm, many trails were snow covered, and I conquered my demons. Nine months after breaking my hip, and two years after I was diagnosed with Parkinson disease, I was delighted to learn I could still ski. More about that in a moment.
First of all, Pennsylvania’s Liberty Mountain has done an incredible job creating snow and grooming the mountains. Despite the late start to the season, experts worked their magic and made more than enough snow for skiing and snowboarding. That is quite a feat with weather in the 50’s and 60’s. It looked as though a thousand people or more took to the slopes on Saturday, January 7, 2012. It was a dramatic contrast to the golf course next to the slopes, and the brown fields and farmlands beyond. I don’t know what the future will bring, but this weekend was glorious. And this is a time when there is a general lack of snow in resorts all over this country and Europe.
Now, going back to my experience. My greatest fear was being able to walk and ski in my heavy boots and skis. I was completely dependent on my husband Charles Sneiderman to carry the equipment and help me get the heavy boots on and off (I make no secret of my disdain for today’s heavy, difficult boots – they are doing their part to ruin the sport and drive more people to snowboarding!). But once I was on the slopes, I felt like the young girl who danced down the mountains fifty years ago. My trembling and pain disappeared – it was magic.
I owe a special thanks to a New Zealand company that helped me keep my hip intact. A company called Impactwear.com sent me plastic pads that slip into the pockets of special under pants. It is billed as “protection against fall related hip fractures in the elderly.” It worked! I took one fall and hit exactly the spot I had broken last Mach. I honestly did not feel a thing. Of course, I could not get up without the help of Charles and my friends, but that is another story. I have real issues with getting up from the snow. Guess I am meant to just stay there and enjoy it.
This year will be a different ski experience in many ways. Charles and I signed up to volunteer with the excellent group that teaches disabled, or adaptive skiers. At Liberty it is called BRASS, or Blue Ridge Adaptive Snow Sports. It is organized and directed by two wonderful couples – Leslie and Dick White, and Trippie and Tom Penland. Leslie was the founder, and gave our group of volunteers a fascinating opening training session. Then my long-time friend Trippie took us up in the mountain and gave us training on the varied and intricate type of equipment used by the many disabled skiers and wounded warriors. We will have more detail on that as the season progresses. Charles and I will never be instructors – that takes years of training, dedication, and skill. But, it will be enough if we can assist the instructors and the students. In the process, they help us too.
By the way, many ski areas now have programs to help adaptive sports people and wounded warriors. They all need private donations to keep the costs of the programs low. In some cases, they are free to the participants. To contact BRASS and help out, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, get off the computer and get out and enjoy the slopes!
Related DCSki Stories:
Firsthand Report: Liberty Mountain Resort (March 25)
Connie Lawn provides a late-season Firsthand Report from Liberty Mountain Resort, which recently held a “bring your pets to the slope” event. Liberty plans to stay open through March 30, 2013, conditions permitting.
Mid-Atlantic Ski Season Gains Momentum (December 27, 2012)
A shot of cold air and some natural snow has helped launch the 2012-2013 winter season in a big way. Find out the status of Mid-Atlantic ski areas.
Firsthand Report: 2012 Fall Festival at Liberty Mountain Resort (October 27, 2012)
Connie Lawn was on hand at Liberty Mountain’s Fall Festival October 21, 2012. She provides this Firsthand Report.
Firsthand Report: Wounded Warfighter Weekend at Liberty Mountain (March 10, 2012)
Connie Lawn and Charles Sneiderman closed out their season (at least on the East Coast) with a visit to Liberty Mountain Resort on March 3, 2012, covering the Wounded Warfighter Weekend. Liberty and Whitetail ended their ski season on March 4, 2012.
Firsthand Report: Liberty Mountain (February 21, 2012)
Connie Lawn and Charles Sneiderman spent Saturday at Liberty Mountain Resort, where they volunteered to helping 23 disabled students enjoy skiing. They filed this Firsthand Report.
(1 reader comment)
Firsthand Report: Liberty and Whitetail (February 5, 2012)
In recent days, Connie Lawn and Charles Sneiderman visited Pennsylvania’s Liberty and Whitetail Mountain Resorts. On Saturday, they experienced a snow squall at Liberty, which added a layer of snow across the resort. They provide this Firsthand Report.
Firsthand Report from Liberty Mountain: Skiing is Therapeutic! (January 8, 2012)
Connie Lawn provides a Firsthand Report from the slopes of Pennsylvania’s Liberty Mountain.
(3 reader comments)
An Escape from Washington: Fall Festival at Liberty Mountain Resort (October 18, 2011)
Liberty Mountain Resort recently held its annual Fall Festival, and Connie Lawn was on hand to file this Firsthand Report.
What’s New for 2011: Liberty Mountain Resort (August 18, 2011)
A new loading carpet on the Alpine Quad and continued enhancements to snowmaking highlight some of the on-mountain improvements at Pennsylvania’s Liberty Mountain Resort this winter.
Firsthand Report: Liberty Wounded Warrior Weekend (March 11, 2011)
Connie Lawn visited Liberty Mountain Resort on March 5, 2011 to cover the Wounded Warrior Weekend. She filed this Firsthand Report.
Lodging Near Liberty Mountain (extracted from the DCSki Lodging Finder):
About the Author
Connie Lawn is an avid skier. In her spare time, she has covered the White House as a reporter since 1968. To read other articles by Connie, click here.
There are 3 reader comments about this article. To read them, or add your own, scroll below or click here.
The views and opinions expressed in DCSki Article Comments are strictly those of the comment authors and have not been reviewed or approved by DCSki. If you believe a comment is inaccurate or inappropriate, please contact DCSki's Editor.
Outstanding! - posted by Crush
January 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm
Hi Connie - I am so glad to hear you are out and about again. I hope you continue to enjoy and best wishes to you!
the comeback kid - posted by JimK
January 11, 2012 at 9:20 am
Outstanding to hear about your comeback Connie and Charles. We skied with Billy Kidd at Steamboat last week and he wore a pair of Apex? soft ski boots. They looked like snowboard boots, but apparently perform like regular boots. Maybe they would hold promise for you for a lighter boot?
We are skiing Beaver Creek yesterday and today. They fondly remember you here at the guest services office!
Thank you Crush and Jim K - posted by Connie Lawn
January 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Your comments really made me feel great! I look forward to your terrific articles! How is the snow out West? Yours, Connie