Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Pico Mountain, VT: 04/02/2017
Stella may have saved the tail end of the 2016-17 ski season, but the April Fools Day storm really put the icing on the cake - literally - with ski areas across the Adirondacks and Vermont reporting between 8 and 16 inches of spring powder. After a great day at Pico just two weeks earlier, the Saratoga Skier team got to work scheming out a way to get a taste of the 14 inches Pico received. Thanks to Pico and our good friends the Albas, plans were made for an early Sunday morning departure for the quick drive over to Vermont.
Just as we arrived, the clouds and fog departed, revealing blue skies and a frosted mountain. Within minutes of our first run we were stripping layers as the April sun warmed the air. Somehow the snow resisted the sun's rays, staying packed powder all day despite temperatures that must have been pushing the 50 degree mark. After a couple quick warm-up runs on the lower mountain, the Albas joined us and the real fun began.
If there's a Pied Piper of Pico, it's Ray Alba. Skiing with Ray and his family is like skiing with the Mayor. I thought I had a lot of friends at Gore, Ray seemed to know just about everybody from skiers to lifties. If the overnight snowmaking crew was around I'm sure we would have been fist-bumping and high-fiving. Needless to say, with the bright sun, awesome snow and a great crew our energy level was high and the smiles were wide.
Highlights of the day included the beautiful Summit Glades, the bumps on Upper Pike, Pipeline off the Outpost chair, and the Sunset Woods. Snow conditions were fantastic everywhere, including natural snow trails and glades. Skiing after Stella was great, but it got even better after April 1.
Amazingly, the mountain was nearly deserted. We parked in the second row of the parking lot, and lifts were ski-on all day. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, by April most skiers are moving on to biking, golf and whatever else people do in the low season. That's fine by me, more snow for us diehards.
With wall-to-wall coverage and a deep base, it's hard to believe the end of the season is just around the corner. It's a bittersweet time of year: the skiing is great but the end is near. With a little luck we should get in another day or two between now and Easter. After that our chances get pretty slim. Maybe Gore or Whiteface will hold out for another weekend, maybe we'll get to Killington for our first-ever skiing in May. No matter what, with a day like this in the books we'll be closing out our season on a high note.