2: Skiing and Painting Saskadena Six
Hi I'm Carrie Pill, a professional artist and passionate skier. I had the best day skiing and painting at Saskadena Six...here's a few words on the adventure!
Saskadena Six Basics:
Location: South Pomfret, VT
Year Established: 1936
Size: 3 lifts. 24 Trails. 60% snowmaking.
Let’s talk history:
- Formerly known as Suicide 6, see story about name change here: The Standing Mountain.
- Saskadena has notable association with nearby first rope tow in America.
- There is a rich history in ski racing with the annual Fisk Trophy Race.
- This is the site of 1982 first National Snow Surfing Championships.
- Saskadena is home of the Woodstock Ski Runners est 1932, oldest ski club in the Eastern United States.
Learn more about Saskadena here: website.
Wooo! Ready for a day of skiing and painting Saskadena. These early mornings are thrilling...a new place to paint and ski, a new adventure awaits...coffee, keys, paint, skis....LET'S GO!
Winter returned today. The snow immediately changed the mood of central VT as it landed. It snowed all along route 4, from Mendon to here. It continued into the afternoon. The forecast called for rain.
Enjoying the Lodge
A few laps in the fresh snow and it's time to recharge. An orange and coffee in hand, I find a spot by the fire in the lodge. I can’t help but feel that I’m in a museum. Large photos, signs, paintings, posters and maps from the past surround you. Images of people smoking pipes in the base lodge and horses pulling skiers…I love this stuff.
When you’re skiing the trails at Saskadena, the old trees echo this nostalgia…maples with big crowns, towering white pine…I find myself looking for their younger selves in these old pictures.
Here comes the energy!
The Killington Mountain Ski School is here and has been practicing on The Face all morning…I’m not gonna lie, it influenced my turns today. Fore, aft, hands foreword, focus, be fluid….I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing but it’s fun to pretend.
Ski lessons are gathering by the fire pit outside and the once quiet lodge is now filling with children and parents. Two parents are choosing to catch up this morning by hollering across the lodge to eachother. This is perhaps disproportionately amusing to me. Oh my…they’re still going.
...little ones and racers are now coming in and warming up…gloves are stacking up by the fire.
More Than Meets the Eye
Don’t let her size fool you. This place is in her own way, to so many, a small place but a big deal. Saskadena is filled with life and love for sliding on snow. The Standing Mountain gives yet another season and we witness her rich tradition, carrying on.
As I return again to the lodge to refuel and warm up I pause to discover my painting spot. Just entering the covered walkway towards tickets is just the right spot for plein air painting. You’re positioned at the bottom of The Face with the lift, maples, ski rack and skiers before you.
No need to wait for the precip to stop, lord knows I would never wish snow away, this spot is covered by a roof if needed. More busses arrive, more tiny skis...the Woodstock Ski Runners are arriving. If you’re between the age of 5 and 15, this is the place to be on Friday afternoons.
After a few runs with friends skiing around the Ski Runner groups I head in to change into dry warm clothes. It’s time to get painting!
By now the fog has subsided and The Face can be seen more clearly. I set up my easel and get right to work.
A gray day of mostly trees and snow calls for a thin, cool, earth-toned layer of paint. I chose Iron Violet by Gamblin. I spend most of my time laying out the sections of woods.
While I'm painting, lots of curious visitors stopped to take a peak at the painting in progress, especially the kiddos.
Painting you as you are
The day’s new snow did not accumulate much. By the end of the day, Saskadena still showed patches of grass and lines from summer mowing. A little color pop of green? I'll take it.
Of course I’d love to paint each ski area with big fresh blanket of snow….this is more aesthetically pleasing perhaps. After all, this is what we skiers and riders see as some of the best days.
Still if we’re being honest, this is how so many of our ski areas look for large bits of our season. A true testament to a community who will show up for it all…and will go out there and have the best time.
Finishing up skiing and painting at Saskadena
As the light begins to fade and the families start heading home, I add a few more paint touches….a race fence, lift towers and a touch of green for the conifer and grass.
I met some wonderful people and caught up with old friends. It was a full, wholesome kind of day at The Standing Mountain.
Watch skiing and painting Saskadena Six video recap here: What a day!
Just for fun:
Favorite trail of the day: Skyline, just enough pitch for playful turns.
Scenic cruiser: Easy Mile, this trail takes you back in time.
Favorite food: a big ol' basket base lodge fries!
What flavor of Ben & Jerry's is Saskadena?: Pistachio...nostalgic, classic, goodness
Thank you Saskadena! See you again soon.