Pico & Bromley reviews
A Short Circle through Vermont’s Central region: days 1 & 2 – 1st in a string of 5/5 in 14-15
Near the end of a great 2014-15 ski season we agreed on a compact plan: a classic five ‘n five: 5 areas in 5 days; all Vermont, centralized around the iconic Killington resort; all midweek visits thus assuring short lines; no waiting. We left very early Monday morning to arrive at Pico for the open; aa full day of exploration and adventure.
John and I were done with our instructional programs. John is a part the Mountain Rangers and I work with the Xtreme Team, both are all-day, Saturday commitments. And I had been helping out midweek working with school programs: Tuesday with a great home-school group and Wednesdays brought the local Waldorf school. Into the late afternoons we worked the local community ed. program. Basically all these programs are youth oriented, however we always encourage parental participation. Plus both John and I served private lessons as needed.
The plan in order was: Pico, Okemeo, Killington, Bromley and Magic Mountain. We had a fantastic mid-week rate at a hotel across the road just down a piece from Pico. It had the quite necessary Hot tub (inside and appreciated with the still sub-zero temperature) Daily breakfast and the all important WiFi high-speed connection. It was a small establishment, and I’d call it mildly charming. It had a common reading room overlooking the open reception area I can’t quit label as “lobby”. It did have a natural wood fireplace who’s real stone work reached up the wall stretching over the second exposed second story wall to the ceiling. There was no fire while we were there and I suspect even the busy weekend wouldn’t warrant the effort despite the charm a wood fire can provide. And when this frigid outside, a tradition masonry monster might suck out more heat than it provides; a real energy waster.
We made great time on the NYS expressway system to arrive directly at Pico shortly after the 9 AM opening. We pulled into the second row not too far from the central walkway entrance, No crowds, very easy. Pico was a very good day. Cold, but very enjoyable. On Monday lines were nonexistent and we skied our brains out with only a short lunch snack in the very comfortable “sun-shine room” where brown bags and coozer wrapped beverages were not only acceptable but more like expected.
Of all things that I recall is a rather long skate necessary to reach the main lift. But compare this ridiculously minor to the open runs, wonderful glades and delightful mogul fields we romped through the entire day. As you look up the main run, there is an area to the far left (north?). It was closed for the day, but still most of the runs it serviced were still accessible by descending from the top. I’m confident the smaller lift on the left, is operable when the weekends business warranted.
There was a collection of condos that suggested a loyal owner base and I’d guess rentals are possible, But It’s not a huge resort, It’s better described as a very good day area with some night activity likely, But the real social scene I suspect is at Killington or certainly the nearby city of Rutland. We both recommend the Pico experience especially mid-week.
We were merely minutes from our lodging. We checked in easily have reserved and prepaid on-line. Pico is just minutes from Rutland, to be recognized as a city as opposed to a quaint little New England town.
We passed through Rutland on out half hour jaunt to Bromley the following morning. The parking lot was across the road from the lodge. An open “stage coach” was pulled by a modern, muscular 250 pickup. A pleasant 2 man operations team, one to manage the horses and one to assist us in boarding was “johnnie-on-the spot” with no wait time and quick with any and all the information we needed.
Again no crowds, a nice mountain and very comfortable lodge, The skiing was equally pleasing although the terrain seemed a bit less challenging and the coverage a mite thinner. The slopes tilted with a bias toward the south. We had a panoramic skyline with over mountains clearly visible in the distance. The sun was out, but offer no threat of snow loss especially as the temperature was again near record lows.
I love the “down-home” areas with family-friendly, brown bag compatible lodges. Now “brown-bag” carries two connotations. Families and school-agers know it as a packed lunch, loving made at home and carried to a public, communal eating area, usually a cafeteria. To crusty curmudgeons a brown bag is wrapped around a beverage of choice to imply we’re too lazy to unpack our grocery item and facilitate the contentious deposal when done. Deluded as we think the outside world to be, we actually delude no one but ourselves. It is a social compromise: socially acceptable behavior for senior citizens, deployed only men but tolerable for only for a short period of time – immediately after a full day of hard skiing, And it’s only acceptable in “down-home” ski areas! So, I love Bromley!
Disembarking from the pickup pulled, parking lot wagon, we were privileged to rescue a fair maiden distressed by her disabled steed. A very attractive young lady had tried to create an additional parking slot to our immediate left. I though I had taken the last slot in the well-cleared almost manicured parking lot. What was she thinking? Well, she was chagrinned. With the aid a yet another strong knight, we pushed her out with some effort before the pick-up crew returned with yet another, unhitched pickup and a tow rope. This Bromley staff is good!
Her excuse for the nose plant, kamikaze like into the formidable snow bank was this: She drove through the night all the way from Maryland. to ski the day in her former ski home. Another ski nut like ourselves! She had a sense of sense of humor as well as dedication. I wish we had more time to swap stories, but she had to get going to stay on schedule. (Was she returning to MD tonight?). Again another loyal testimony to the worth of down-home areas. Bromley it is!
John and I had now completed our seventh consecutive full day of skiing starting at BSC, we were feeling good and stoked for more. We stopped for food and beverage in Rutland grocery bear retreating to the hot tub. It was a sketchy as the prior evening, but we as the only two users needed the therapeutic heat for our weary bones. A good long shower was warranted following, Both of us speculated on a female take and concluded both wives would be relocating had they accompanied us. From a male perspective, it was a great price.
Well into the dark evening and long past my usual”curfew” of 8PM, we set about what was to become our evening routine. I crashed while trying to catch up on the daily cable news, and John worked into the night on his computer.
Ready for day #3; Come, Ski With Me![next] this series: Extended Circle or … return [HOME]