Pico has always felt like a pristine Vermont resort to me. You bring your family here for far fewer crowds than big brother next door, aka the "Beast of the East," Killington. Now, I am psyched to see that Pico is imposing its own clean air act.
On Jan. 1, Pico becomes smoke-free, the first ski area in Vermont to ban smoking completely. And if you race at Pico on New Year's Day, your $5 donation goes to the American Cancer Society - part of the "Hope on the Slopes" campaign. Anyone who quits smoking and completes a Vermont hospital-endorsed cessation program gets a free Pico lift ticket or learn-to-ski program.
I love Pico for its almost 2,000 feet of vertical, gorgeous Vermont views and a good variety of terrain on 50 runs, including the humbling steeps on Giant Killer and 49'er. So if you are looking for a fresh air, affordable, fall-line experience, ski Pico. It's perfect for families that want a break from lift corrals and multiple interconnected peaks. Pico is one peak with one base area, and no butts about it.
Photo by Greg Burke For more of Heather's family ski tips go to www.familyskitrips.com
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.