Pico 3/26/2017

edited March 27 in Trip Reports Posts: 1,862
Even though it wasn't a powder day, yesterday was one of the best days this season! I had pre-purchased tickets to come up and try Pico for the first time today. After Saturday's ice event I expected the entire mountain to be an ice sheet and that anything ungroomed would be untouchable. My suspicions seemed to be confirmed when I arrived and multiple trails were closed because of ice. As I rode up the Summit Express the ice glinted in the sun. When I reached the summit and pointed my skis down Forty Niner I was in for a pleasant surprise! Perfect corduroy made for great skiing on a perfectly pitched blue cruiser with amazing views of the peaks of Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire. I soon decided to head up Little Pico and see how A Slope was. While hard, the moguls were edgable and it was a very enjoyable run. There was very good cover, so decided to give the glades a try. In Upper Pike Glades I discovered the best surprise of the day. After a few turns in rain crust I reached a section of soft, seemingly untouched powder! I found more in Mid Pike Glades and Upper KA Glades. Temperatures were in the upper twenties and thirties during the day and wind was not a factor. It was clear in the morning, but got cloudier as the day went on and there was a bit of drizzle at the very end of the day. All lifts were running except for Knomes Knoll and Outpost, but I did hike up and take a few runs on Outpost. Most trails were open. Trails that were closed were closed because of ice, not because of lack of cover. Crowds were never an issue and I never had to wait more than a chair or two.

After my first experience at Pico I know that I will be returning as soon as I can. It's a well designed mountain with something for everyone. There is classic New England terrain and lots of vertical, but also modern amenities (i.e. high speed lifts, extensive snowmaking, hotel, condos). One thing I noted when I first arrived was the design of the main lodge. The bottom level is for those who brought their own food, the middle level is for cafeteria food, and the upper level has a restaurant. There is additional seating in a nearby building which also has rentals and the retail shop. The lodge was spacious and there were always empty tables, even at noon. The Bonanza area is a novice area which is separated from the main area. There is a modern rope tow and a 75' vertical double chair. The chair moves at a very slow speed (200 fpm??) and is low to the ground and there are three slopes down. The triple (first triple in Vermont) to the top of Knomes Knoll wasn't open, so I was not able to ski the upper trails on Knomes Knoll, but they seemed to be good for the novice skier who has graduated from Bonanza. There is also good intermediate terrain on Knomes Knoll. The Outpost Double wasn't spinning due to icy trails, but I hiked up twice and skied Pipeline and Wrangler. Outpost seems like a great place for experts to ski steep, ungroomed trails and hardwood glades. The trails get steeper as you move west and all trails had well-sized natural moguls. On Little Pico there is a little bit of everything. Off the backside there is a long, narrow green circle (Bushwhacker) which leads back to the other lifts. There is good intermediate terrain which consists of a number of narrow, classic trails in the area of C Slope. There are also a number of hardwood glades in the same area. B Slope is a wide, steep black diamond where they hold races. A Slope is a fun double black which starts out very steep, then mellows out lower down. The main mountain is served by two high speed quads and there are all varieties of trails. Off the Golden Express there is great upper level novice and mid level intermediate terrain. From the summit Express there are great upper level intermediate cruisers and fun black diamonds. Upper Giant Killer and the poma line were closed, but they looked very, very steep and a lot of fun. There are many great glades, both hardwood and softwood and most wooded areas are skiable. It's a very fun mountain to ski and I will definitely be back.

Base AreaimageBase AreaimageGolden ExpressimageSummit ExpressimageForty NinerimageForty NinerimageB SlopeimagePico Peak from Little PicoimageLittle Pico TripleimageTop of A Slope with Warning SignimageAt the Top of B SlopeimageA SlopeimageA SlopeimageView from A SlopeimageA Slope and the Little Pico TripleimageAt the Junction of A Slope and Home RunimageSummit Express Above PikeimageView from the Summit ExpressimageKAimageOutpost DoubleimageOutpost DoubleimageOutpost DoubleimageOutpost DoubleimageOutpost Double Above PipelineimageOutpost DoubleimageOutpost DoubleimageGolden Express Above ExpresswayimageUpper Pike GladesimageSummit ExpressimageUpper KA GladesimageBonanza 1 and the Bonanza DoubleimageBonanza DoubleimageLooking Up the Mountain from the Bonanza AreaimageBonanza DoubleimageLittle PicoimageWranglerimageLooking Up OutpostimageKnomes Knoll Triple Above Lift LineimageGolden ExpressimageSummit ExpressimageLast Chair on the Summit ExpressimageLast Run On Forty NinerimageParking Chairs on the Summit Express at the End of the Dayimage
- Sam
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Comments

  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 253
    Nice report!  You just recharged my desire to return to Pico someday.  Poma Line is one of the most hairy trails I have ever skied.  It is tough to imagine a successfully operating a poma on that pitch.
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,247
    Oh my goodness we may have the report of the year what a battle we have between you and ask you I did did not have the time to read the whole thing yet and I glanced through the pictures on the way to a meeting but I am somewhat close looks like maybe 45 pictures and a written report that may surpass even Josh was average report

    I will have to reread this the whole thing and look at the pictures again but it was worth the wait for this one Sam thank you very much excellent report by far one of the best year ever
  • Posts: 1,862
    ciscokid said:

    Oh my goodness we may have the report of the year what a battle we have between you and ask you I did did not have the time to read the whole thing yet and I glanced through the pictures on the way to a meeting but I am somewhat close looks like maybe 45 pictures and a written report that may surpass even Josh was average report

    I will have to reread this the whole thing and look at the pictures again but it was worth the wait for this one Sam thank you very much excellent report by far one of the best year ever


    I felt as if Pico deserved a little extra because it really is one of the best mountains I have skied. And as always, I'm more then happy to share plenty of photos from the New England mountains to those who aren't close enough to visit regularly.
    - Sam
  • ChuckstahChuckstah advanced
    Posts: 323
    Thanks for the report. Pico has been in my rotation for 35 or so years. A Slope is the real deal. And Poma line-skied it once. That was enough. Its been a couple of years. I need to get back.
  • JMaulJMaul advanced
    Posts: 219
    Great write-up!!!   So glad you enjoyed this gem.

    I grew up skiing Pico in the last half of the 70's and just into the 80's. Fond memories of lapping the T-Bar that ran up the triple line and also the tree runs off the Glades Double. Oohh, and the Poma off Giant Killer.

    Haven't been back since 2003. Your report has inspired me to get back soon.
    You ski because even if you don't do it well, it's still a blast....
  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 119
    Great report as always the old Poma line is really one hell of a trail at the bottom the old drive for the lift is still there. It's crazy to look up from the drive and imigine riding a Poma up.
  • Posts: 881
    That lattice chair: is it a Carlevaro Savio or a Mueller?
  • Posts: 1,862

    That lattice chair: is it a Carlevaro Savio or a Mueller?


    Carlevaro Savio
    - Sam
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 1,018
    thanks for the report well done!
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 309
    At Pico with just the lower mt. Open because of winds on top. 10" of fluff and we are finding plenty of pow. No one here so it's easy to find lines of untracked.
  • bmwskierbmwskier advanced
    Posts: 303
    Thanks for the great report. First trip to VT was at Pico for the Junior Seminar in 1984. Stayed at the Bavarian Haus at the base, which, alas, burned down. Fell in love with VT that trip as it was so awesome to look from Rutland towards the mountain and see it wreathed in clouds and rime ice. 

    Brother then joined the Otter Patrol for a few years as a pro and as a volly. Skied there with him off an on for a couple of years and always stopped on the way to the Telemark Festival. 

    Absolutely have to get back next year! 
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,589
    Wow what a report. I was there last year in less than stellar conditions. Still it was fun. Love A B C slopes too but weren't open then
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
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