Another Plattekill Surprise

Surprise was a constant theme this season at Plattekill. At this point, I can’t remember much before the beginning of March, but since that time I can recount several unexpected and pleasant events.

plattekill groomer
Matt at work

First of course was Riley. Sure snowfall was predicted — anywhere from zero to 40 inches — but I’ll rely on the little known 40-Inch Rule, to postulate that any such storm is automatically awarded surprise status.

On the last day of March — a beautiful sunny day — the Cats served up some great corn, a rarity this spring. Then, last weekend, in the complete surprise category, was the 15-inch Saturday night POW event, featuring first tracks on Sunday that some called the best of the season.

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Prospect Mountain: Return to Forever

The March snowstorms that pummeled New York also left their mark on Vermont. Over eight days, Prospect Mountain, east of Bennington, received 80 inches of snow.

prospect mountain

With family commitments in the second half of March and warmer temperatures on the way, I thought my ski season would end at the Lake Placid Loppet. But in another surprise storm, the gods smiled and dropped five more inches of snow at Prospect late last Friday night. I had to work Saturday, but Sunday was full on for skiing.

If you’ve browsed NELSAP, you might be scratching your head — as they list Prospect Mountain as a lost ski area. Prospect opened in 1939 with a rope tow. Over the decades, it grew, but still relied on natural snow.

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Return to Pico: Soul in Central VT

I hear skiers call Pico a “family hill” or “locals’ mountain” but to me it goes well beyond that. Pico has tons of soul. Despite detachable quads and comfortable amenities, Pico is a throwback with a history that dates back to 1937.

That’s when the mountain was opened by Bradford and Janet Mead, an adventurous couple that had skied in Europe and whose daughter, Andrea, would eventually win Olympic gold twice in 1952. In “Skiing in the East — Ski Trails and How to to Get There” by The Federal Writers’ Project, Pico is described as featuring two huts (one top, one bottom) an 1100 foot tow and “a pleasing combination of open slopes, practice runs and expert trails.”

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