Today is opening day for Pico Mountain, and the start to their 75th season. In the shadows of Killington Mountain, the self proclaimed Beast of the East, Pico doesn't get the big accolades or the big crowds either.
But Pico is steeped in its own rich history of ski racing and family roots. Brad and Janet Mead started Pico in 1937. Their daughter Andrea Mead (Lawrence) grew up skiing Pico's slopes, and first competed at 15 in the 1948 Winter Olympics, taking eighth in slalom. In 1952, as the U.S. women’s team captain, Andrea won Gold in Slalom and GS - the first US ski racer to win two Gold's. That same year in Oslo, Austrian Othmar Schneider and Norwegian Stein Eriksen won gold and silver each .
To honor Andre Mead Lawrence at Pico, a dedication ceremony will take place at noon today at the 6,000 square foot Peak Lodge being constructed in her name. The Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge will be the center for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports and the Pico Ski Education Foundation, scheduled to open in 2013, next to Pico's Base Lodge and the current Pico Ski Club. Fundraising for the $1.3 million Lodge is ongoing.
To celebrate Pico's 75th, which opened Thanksgiving day 1937, lift tickets will be $19.37 now through December 21. Even better news, you don't have to grab on to the 1,200' rope tow powered by a Hudson motor car engine like skiers did 75 years ago, now you can enjoy the comforts of Pico's high speed quads and get 20 runs at a less than a buck a run.
Pico Mountain photo by Greg Burke
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.