After nine years of coming up with titles for blog updates, I was surprised that I’ve never used this one.
Healy Creek and Brewster Creek are in bad shape. If you’re determined to ski these trails, use wide metal-edged waxless skis and be prepared for a rock-fest, but I think it would be best to leave them to the fat bikers and snowshoers.
I hadn’t been to Healy/Brewster yet this winter, and I didn’t feel like driving very far, so I thought I’d give it a try. It turned out to be very trying. I usually take around 100 – 150 photos every time I ski. Today I took 22.
I used my metal-edged skis in anticipation of the sometimes-challenging descent on Brewster Creek.
It was -8°C at the Healy Creek trailhead at 1:30 pm. You have to walk about 150 metres before you can put your skis on. The tracks are surprisingly well-defined, they’re not icy, but they are covered with tree debris. At 1.2K I had to stop(actually, I couldn’t move forward any more) and remove debris from my wax.
I contemplated turning around and going somewhere else, but it was already late in the day, so I soldiered on, thinking that it would get better at higher elevation on Brewster Creek.
At 2.6K I arrived at the junction with Brewster Creek. It is not trackset, just snowmobile packed. The first 1.5K had 35 exposed rocks. That doesn’t count the loose ones which I was able to throw off the trail.
The snowmobiles have created ridges and ruts, especially on the turns where the snow is very uneven.
After gaining considerable elevation to 1.5K, I finally gave up the ghost when, on a steep switchback, I encountered loose rocks and dirt over the entire width of the trail, obviously created by the snowmobiles as they spun, trying to get up the slope.
I remember how I enjoyed descending this trail last winter on my metal-edged skis when there was good snow cover. Today it was simply trying to dodge rocks and make the turns without crashing.
On the bright side, there is a 100-metre stretch of trail beside the creek where conditions were great!
I also expect conditions would get better eventually as you gain elevation, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone to try descending the lower portion on regular track skis. It could be dangerous.
If I was in charge of grooming Brewster Creek, I’d spend a day with a pick and shovel on the lower portion of the trail, removing rocks and filling in the low spots and ruts.