New water source at Pico approved, snowmaking upgrades underway

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KILLINGTON — Vermont’s Pico Mountain announced today the land use permit has been approved as part of major upgrades to its snowmaking system.

Starting in the 2019-20 season guests should experience a better, more consistent and more reliable snow surface, Pico Mountain executives say.

“This permit specifically authorizes the provision of supplemental water to the Pico snowmaking system from the Killington snowmaking system via an above-ground 8,000 foot, 8-inch pipeline, existing snowmaking pipeline upgrades/replacement at Pico, and the relocation of Killington’s existing Ottauquechee River Intake,” stated the District Environmental Commission.

Pico, part of the POWDR adventure lifestyle company, will increase the frequency at which it is able to make snow by tapping a new source of water.

Pico is host to the Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games.

“Thanks to the momentous effort put forth by our environmental consultant, VHB, and mountain operations team over the last three years, we will be able to provide a better guest experience at Pico,” says Jeff Temple, director of mountain operations. “Rather than relying exclusively on the streams as we do now, we will build a 16,850-foot pipeline to source water from Killington.”

Additional improvements to Pico’s snowmaking system, which are already in progress, include the installation of more than 4,000 feet of new snowmaking pipe and the replacement of 5,460 feet of existing snowmaking pipe.

This spring, the Pico primary pump house will undergo a complete overhaul with the addition of three new pumps and a new control system, completing this two-phase snowmaking improvement project.

Pico’s snowmaking upgrades will enable the resort to recover from inclement weather at a much faster rate.

“Pico’s known for big mountain skiing and riding amidst its small mountain charm,” said Rich McCoy, director of operations at Pico Mountain. “These snowmaking upgrades raise the bar. This season, guests can expect trail count to increase faster and recovery time after bad weather to shorten.”