On Thursday, Vermont got hit with its first major storm of the 2011-2012 winter season. The greatest effects were felt in the central and southern parts of the state, where areas like Killington picked up about a foot of snow. Then yesterday, an early season Nor’easter came through the Northeast, and it turned out be historic for the Mid Atlantic and Southern New England, where some areas picked up more than 30 inches of snow. That’s a good dump of snow for any time during the winter, but it’s incredible for October, and numerous October snowfall records were shattered. Through the combination of the two storms, some areas in the Berkshires of Massachusetts had already picked up over three feet of snow for October. Up in Vermont, the Nor’easter was focused on the central and southern parts of the state, just like the previous storm. We did actually pick up 1.2 inches of snow at our house in Waterbury last night, but with areas south of us getting another good dump of snow on top of the base they already had from the previous storm, our eyes were definitely drawn southward for some potentially great October skiing.
Since Killington had already opened for lift-served skiing, we decided that Pico would be a much mellower option for earned turns, with similarly great snow. Despite many days of skiing at Killington in the past, nobody in the family had actually ever skied Pico, but it’s hard not to admire the way 3,967’ Pico Peak towers well above Sherburne Pass on Route 4. Since the base area of Pico sits at an elevation of ~2,000’, it’s got plenty of elevation to help keep the snow dry if lower elevation temperatures are above freezing.
E hosted a Halloween pumpkin-carving party last night, but I still had plenty of time after clean up to prep some of the gear and put the skins on the skis so that we’d be able to save time this morning. After a hearty breakfast to ensure that the boys were charged up for the mountain ascent, they got dressed very quickly and headed out to play in the snow while we got everything together for the trip. I recorded the final couple of tenths of an inch of snow that had accumulated on our snowboard from the morning’s light snow, and we were on our way southward. To read the details about the skiing and see all the pictures, head to the full report from Pico on October 30th, 2011.