Thursday, March 8, 2018

Pico Mountain, VT: 03/03/2018

Pico Mountain, Saturday 3/03/2018.

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

With the Catskills chalking up some huge snowfall totals from last Friday’s storm, we almost headed south for the weekend. After hearing about all the power outages and long lines just to get in the parking lots, I guess it’s a good thing that we didn’t. Instead, we headed over to Pico Saturday morning, where a modest 9 inches or so had fallen.

The late February thaw(s) that plagued the northeast hit Pico’s natural terrain particularly hard, but somehow just enough base survived to stage a comeback with the new snow.

Pico's the kind of mountain that makes it easy to connect with friends, and we met up with the Alba family - AKA the First Family of Pico - as we were booting up in the lodge. Our combined clan of eight - 4 kids and 4 adults - skied together for most of the day, first hitting some of the Outlook trails and then moving on to the summit runs. Birch Glades and Summit Glades, both natural snow trails, were our picks for the day. Yes, there were some rocks and ice and thin cover to negotiate, but that's just part of the fun and challenge in skiing natural terrain. At the end of the day we found ourselves catching last chair at 3:59 and having the mountain to ourselves. We finished with a run down Pike, across Birch Glade and down through the Poma Woods, one of our favorite combos of steep trail and mellow trees.

Things are really looking up for this weekend. Another nor'easter has brought a second round of significant snow to ski country, with Pico reporting 14 inches. We're reminded of last winter, when the best skiing of the season started in mid-March. We've got our fingers crossed for a repeat.