Tales from the Lodge: Part 2

January 12, 2023

Written by Pearson Bonnett, Assistant Director of Lodge Operations

The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre sees a large variety of patrons including Liberty University students, avid skiers or snowboarders, and the many families of the Lynchburg area. While most of our guests are focused on our various winter activities, it’s always a pleasure to see conversations arise from the multitude of animals in the Barrick-Falwell Lodge.
A Small Recap
As mentioned in the previous Tales from the Lodge blog, Dr. Barrick was a supporter of Liberty’s mission from the beginning and was a good friend of Dr. Falwell. Dr. Barrick has three children who went on to become LU Alumni, which speaks to the Barrick family’s support of LU. He served in the Air Force as a dentist for 7 years, before running his own private practice for 26 years. Dr. Barrick has spent time on both sides of the United States, being stationed in Maine for 2 years before transferring over to Alaska. Dr. Barrick has a passion for hunting, and he generously donated a large portion of his collection to be displayed in the Lodge.
In the previous Tales from the Lodge post, I had the pleasure of recounting the story of the Standing …

Something Worth Investing In

September 2, 2022

Written by Hudson Rice, Lodge Operations Staff

For the last three years, I have worked at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre as a rental technician, and it has been among the most enriching and beneficial experiences of my life.
Professional Impact
At the most fundamental level, being a rental technician has allowed me to work with the instruments of a sport and culture I truly love. Skiing and snowboarding have been among the most important and beneficial parts of my life over the last few years, and the opportunity to familiarize myself with the literal nuts and bolts of the industry is something I am grateful for. I love teaching customers about the gear and how to use it, talking to more experienced customers about the sport, and seeing customers use my advice to improve as a rider.
The opportunity to develop a level of functional expertise with ski and snowboard equipment is especially valuable because it has applications beyond Snowflex. When riding at other mountains, I can diagnose and solve problems with my gear, which has proven quite valuable. I can talk with other riders and rental technicians with confidence, which leads to more enriching conversations and relationships.
Relational Impact
Snowflex has provided an opportunity to develop …

Tales from the Lodge

May 13, 2022

Written by Pearson Bonnett, Assistant Director of Lodge Operations

Overlooking Liberty University’s campus from the top of Liberty Mountain, the Barrick-Falwell Lodge hides an avid outdoorsman’s stories of courageous expeditions and frightful encounters. These awe-inspiring tales are concealed in the numerous taxidermies displayed on the walls of the Lodge. Recently, I had the privilege to hear some of the stories from a living legend, Dr. Alan Barrick.
Background of Dr. Alan Barrick
To begin, who is Dr. Alan Barrick? A close friend to Jerry Falwell Sr., Dr. Barrick is a longtime supporter of Liberty’s mission and has donated a large portion of his hunting collection to the university. Dr. Barrick served in the Air Force as a dentist for several years before transitioning his career to a clinic. During this time, he made trips all over the world to hunt some of the world’s most dangerous animals. “Fair chase,” the type of hunting Dr. Barrick preferred, describes hunting big game animals where the hunter does not have an unfair advantage over the animal.
Doctor vs Grizzly
When Dr. Barrick starts a story with “that was a life-or-death situation,” you know things are about to get thrilling. He was hunting in the Cassiar Mountains in Northern British Columbia. …

How to Wax Skiis and Snowboards at Home

December 16, 2021

Written by Casey Reed, Facilities Coordinator

Keeping your equipment waxed will not only make it last longer, but it will make for a more enjoyable time on the hill. With just a few items and a little practice, you can wax your board at home with ease! Here are the items you’ll need:

Waxing Iron
We recommend against using a clothing iron as there are a few disadvantages. Most have holes in them, which can retain wax. Also, clothing irons can have a higher variance in temperature, so it’s likely for the equipment to get damaged. After waxing with a clothing iron, due to it retaining wax, you cannot use it again on clothes.
Ski/Snowboard Wax
When purchasing wax, make sure it is ski/snowboard wax and not candle wax. Snowflex has some wax bars available to purchase if you’d like to go a safe route!
A plastic scraper is another thing you’ll need and is available online for a low cost.
Base cleaner
You can get some ski/snowboard base cleaner online, or you can use Simple Green. Simple Green is a universal cleaner/degreaser and should be available to you locally and works well.
Paper Towel or Rag

Getting Prepared
If you’re waxing skis, get a thick rubber band and place it around one …

The Importance of Ski/Snowboard Lessons

May 27, 2021

Written by Isaac Gibson, Programs Coordinator

If you were to ask someone if they have ever skied or snowboarded there are usually two main responses: “Yes, I love skiing. I go every year!” or “I went once and it was so hard. I spent more time on the ground than I did on my skiis.” Over the years, I have learned that people either fall in love and continue riding for nearly the rest of their life, or they have a terrible experience and never do it again. In the end, it all comes down to that first experience, and I highly recommend the first experience being a lesson with a trained instructor.
It’s Like Driving
I describe skiing/snowboarding for the first time like getting in a car to drive for the first time. If you get in with no experience, no one telling you how to properly operate the vehicle, and go straight out onto a busy highway… the result will most always end in an accident. There is a reason why Driver’s Education and behind the wheel instruction is required to get your driver’s license. It’s not because the act of driving is incredible difficult to learn, but rather because of the high …

What Even is Snowflex?

July 10, 2020

Written by Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

Snowflex… The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. You may have gone up for a fun event, or to go tubing, or to jump on the trampoline. But if you’ve ever skied or snowboarded or even sledded on the eponymous white carpet-y material, you may have wondered, what even is Snowflex?

Snowflex is…
According to the official website of the company that invented the artificial snow surface, Snowflex is made up of six layers from top to bottom:

Snowflex composite, sliding component—slick, springy, hard wearing monofilament
2 in.–5 cm. shock absorbing layer
Impervious membrane
Geotextile separating layer
Carefully selected gravel layer
Sculpted sub-soil layer

Let’s Break That Down

If you’re like me, you have no idea what a lot of these mean. Thankfully, the Internet is a helpful and easily accessible resource for deciphering some of the more technical terms.
Polymer Composite
The Snowflex composite is made of a material called a polymer composite, which is “a multi-phase material in which reinforcing fillers are integrated with a polymer matrix, resulting in synergistic mechanical properties that cannot be achieved from either component alone.”[1]
Basically, this material is a large number of similar units bonded together at the molecular level (that’s a polymer) that are then mixed with another material (making the composite). All this is made into a monofilament, which is simply a single strand of …

How to Up Your Ping-Pong Game

July 2, 2020

Written by Tanner Hoffarth, Marketing Employee

I’ve been wanting to take my ping pong game from 0-100 so I can ace my friends and family in some friendly competition. After doing a bit of research, I found some tips and tricks on how to up your ping pong game that you can take to the table.
First Things First: Spin
Spin in the game of ping-pong is essential. As a beginner, it can come off as very daunting but once understood can improve your play immensely. In ping-pong there are many different forms of spin, but right now we will cover the top three techniques.
The first spin and the most common out of them all is topspin. Topspin can make the ball seem as if it is attracted to the table and can be a great way to keep the ball low on the bounce.
The second spin that is great to learn to up your game is backspin. Backspin is a great way to begin to layer your strategy because when done well, it can completely change the speed of the game. When kept low, backspin can make the ball act as if the table is made of ice and slide. When the ball …

Facilities Series: Snowflex

May 15, 2020

Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

Most students think of Snowflex as “that place up the mountain super far away that only snowboarders, skiers, and CFAW go to”, but Snowflex is truly the hidden gem of campus! Take an On-Demand Ride or use the sidewalk up the mountain (it’s only a 10 minute walk!), and you’ll discover that there’s something for everyone.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Maybe you’re a seasoned snow-sports athlete, or maybe you’ve never strapped into a snowboard or a pair of skis. Snowflex is here to accommodate you and all your skiing and snowboarding dreams!
For beginners, there is a smaller slope below the lodge and instructors available during all operating hours to teach you everything you need to know for your first successful ride down the slope. Did we mention lessons are entirely free for students as well?
Above the lodge, there is a 550-foot main slope where you can cruise the thirty-second ride down or hit some of the built-in features to practice your tricks.
The Snowflex staff will be happy to assist you with any help you need on either slope or answer any questions you might have. Don’t be afraid to come on up and hit the slopes, whether you’re a …