Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pico: Killington's Friendly Older Brother

I headed out this morning with my usual expectation of another great ski day.  The ski was blue and the wind calm.  Shortly after my first few runs, the clouds started to roll in, and there was a slight wind. The thin cover of groomed snow was quickly skied off leaving many patches of ice.  It cooled just enough to give me a chill.  No longer feeling the mountain love at 11 AM, I decided I had enough and skied home.

It was too early to call it a day, so after lunch I headed over to Pico Mountain to snowshoe.  Pico is a small family friendly ski resort that has been owned by Killington since 1997 (vermonter.com).  It maintains its clasic Vermont charm, with all trails leading to an old fashion ski lodge complete with a huge natural fireplace to warm cold skiers.  The prices are reasonable, making it an affordable place to ski.

Brad and Janet Mead, Henry Field  (Lorentz p.20) opened Pico on Thanksgiving Day 1937.  A 1200' tow powered my an old Hudson Automobile, brought skiers up the 2.5-mile-long Sunset Schuss trail.  It was New England's widest ski trail at the time with an average width of 65 feet (picomountain.com). 

Pico held its first ski race in January 1938.  Olympic gold medal winners Andrea Mead Lawrence, Suzy Chaffee, Rebel Ryan and Megan and Kristy Brown were all based here (picomountain.com).

Pico alpine operations are closed on Tuesday's and Wednesday's, except during holiday weeks, making it a great place to snowshoe or Nordic ski.  I wandered around the mountain all alone on my snowshoes.  There was an inch of fresh snow under my feet, and more was falling from the sky.


In my wanderings, I wandered over to the grave site of Brad and Janet Mead.  They are buried in the woods with a view of the ski trails below.  I paid my respects and ventured on my way.

1 comment:

  1. Correction. I quoted from the Pico webpage which is incorrect. Andrea Mead Lawrence was the only Olympic gold medal athlete, Suzy Chaffee didn't win any Olympic medals when she competed in 1968 (Wikipedia). She did win 3 World Freesyle Championships. Rebel Ryan made the 1968 Olympic team, but did not compete due to an injury (Stowe Today 10/21/10). Megan and Krisy Brown are better known for X-Game and other competitions not the Olympics. I am sorry for the misinformation.