Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Pico Mountain, VT: 01/20/2018

Pico Mountain, Satuday 01/20/2018.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Just when skiers thought they’d catch a break from the zero-degree cold, up popped the wind holds Saturday morning. We scuttled plans to ski Whiteface when we saw the forecast for 60 mph winds, took a chance on Pico, and lucked into a great day of skiing.

Others weren’t so lucky. Friends rolled the dice on Stratton and found all upper mountain lifts on hold. Killington had multiple lifts down including the Superstar Express and Skyeship gondi. Okemo had huge lift lines. Even Pico was as busy as we’ve seen it, with the parking lot full by 10.

Summit Glades

Forty Niner

We headed up top right away to catch the natural snow trails off the summit in their best condition. The Summit Glades were probably the run of the day, with soft packed powder and mellow bumps. There were occasional ice flows and thin spots from last weekend’s thaw that were easily avoidable but did a great job of keeping other skiers away. Their loss. 49er was another favorite off the summit, with wind-borne powder that sifted in and kept refreshing skier’s left. Low angle natural snow trails on the lower mountain were in great shape too, and stayed that way all day.

Always fun to spray dad with snow

After running laps on the summit quad, the kids and I hiked over to ski Outpost, the throwback ski area within a ski area on Pico’s west flank. The skied-up powder was just deep enough to score a nice run down the vintage double chair lift line. We really appreciate the fact that ski patrol keeps these runs open even when the Outpost chair isn’t running.

Daniel and Sylvie hiking to Outpost

Sylvie skiing Pipeline, the Outpost lift line

Outpost double

Sylvie skiing Pipeline

We felt pretty lucky the way our ski day turned out. The wind was never an issue, the snow was great, and other than a couple 5 to 10 minute waits for the Golden Express quad at the bottom of the mountain, lifts were ski-on. We’re also holding out for some luck with the second half of winter. We’ve got a mini January thaw going on right now, but medium and long-range forecasts are sounding like February could be a great month. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

1 comment:

  1. Sad we missed you there.. Ha.. And yes, that was us suckers that drove to Stratton..