Pico Mountain: A Gem

By AlpineZone News |
Mar 12 2006 - 08:27 PM

KILLINGTON, Vermont ??” Pico Mountain is as rich in history as it is in ski and snowboard terrain. One of Vermont’s first mountain resorts, Pico opened on Thanksgiving Day, 1937. At that point, the lift was a 1,200′ tow hooked up to the engine of a junked Hudson automobile. The slope was the 2.5-mile-long Sunset Schuss trail, New England’s widest ski trail at an average of 65 feet.

Pico’s first ski race was held in January 1938, and over the following decades the mountain has produced its share of downhill legends. Gold-medalist Andrea Mead Lawrence, Suzy Chaffee, Rebel Ryan and Megan and Kristy Brown were all based here.

Pico continues to serve as training ground for up-and-coming racers.
Lift improvements, wartime closures, new trail cuts, and several changes of ownership followed in the 69 seasons of this New England skiing legend. Today’s big mountain with high-speed lifts and a terrain park has lost none of its classic Vermont charm.

Pico is one of Vermont’s largest mountains. How big? It has more vertical drop than 80% of the downhill ski areas in New England. Those 1,967 feet are spread over 50 trails and 214 skiable acres, with lots of choices for all abilities.

“One of Pico’s most enjoyable attributes is that it is undeniably a big mountain with a small ski area’s personal touch,” said Pico General Manager, George Potter. “There are mogul trails, glades, and groomed steeps, but all the trails lead back to the same base area.”

The Pike, Pico’s longest trail, begins at the summit and terminates right outside the base lodge. From the summit, skiers and riders can also try the (intermediate) 49er or the winding and narrow black diamonds Summit Glades, Upper KA, and Sunset 71. If you`re up to it, take a shot at the mountain’s steepest, most difficult trail, Giant Killer — it`s called that for a reason. Pico also has two new tree skiing areas – Birch Woods and Doozie.

Racers often train on Bronco, at the Outpost area, and on B-Slope, which descends in a wide arc from the top of Little Pico. Bumps usually form on the black diamond A-Slope which is also on Little Pico mountain.

First-time skiers and snowboarders can board an easy-to-use chairlift and two gentle learning trails at the Bonanza area. Cruisers can enjoy run after run on the groomed green circle and blue square trails off the Golden Express Quad. Powder hounds will delight in fresh tracks days after a snowstorm if they can find their way into the Birch Glades or Summit Glades.

Please visit www. picomountain.com for more information.