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.

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

I’m Done Skiing Alone

When I was a little kid living on a farm, I’d play by myself in a big tractor tire that served as a sandbox. I developed a reputation for playing alone. “Harvey doesn’t need playmates, he’s happy all by himself!” It wasn’t true, down inside I didn’t like it, but I didn’t know myself well enough to push back.

“Trust me, this opens up down below.”

As I got older, I got more proactive. In high school, I joined the cross country team and made best friends for life. Twenty five years after that, I discovered skiing, and it took me another two decades to learn the lesson all over again, in a new setting. A single life-changing event twenty years ago — a solo backcountry ski tour — delayed my embrace of this lesson.

Continue reading