Dec 28, 2020: My ski trip to Hummingbird Plume checked all the boxes. Recently, I’ve been hitting the trails when they are in prime condition, and the lucky streak continued today.
For me, prime condition is recent tracksetting with no fresh snow in the tracks, fast but not icy. The wax is grippy and I don’t have to herringbone, yet the skis fly on the downhills. Blue skies, calm air, and pleasant temperatures just add to the enjoyment.
The highlight of today’s trip was the descent on High Level. The sunlight on the snow and trees was magical and dreamlike. The second highlight, of course, was the descent on the Screamer in these excellent conditions.
A few short months ago, I was riding my bike on these trails and it’s amazing to see the contrast between summer and winter. What a wonderful country we live in, to be able to experience the remarkable differences in seasons.
The only blemish on a fantastic day were the four hikers who postholed Skogan Pass and Sunburst. Thankfully they stayed out of the tracks, but I encountered all of them and politely explained the consequences of their actions. I didn’t have to look at their mess when I was on High Level, and that probably made it more enjoyable.
I was lucky to find a parking spot at the Stoney trailhead around 12 noon. The vehicles were lined up down the road. Most people were hiking to Troll Falls. Stoney Trail looked like a superhighway.
I enjoy the scenery on Hay Meadow and that’s where I started out, but I’m going to save the Hay Meadow report for another day. The trail report this morning remarked “Expect lots of foot traffic on Hay Meadow trail.” LOL I’ll start my report with the slog up Ruthie’s, when I was able to leave the hordes behind.
The air temperature was -5ºC and blue wax did the trick. Ruthie’s and Sunburst are both incredibly steep but I don’t think I had to herringbone more than once.
I met lots of skiers on the way up who knew me but I didn’t know them. At the Skogan/Ruthie’s junction, I met Jessie, Carla and their friendly dog Raimei who were on these trails for the first time and I was able to give them some helpful advice.
No one has ever seen a hummingbird at Hummingbird Plume in the summer, let alone winter. I wonder how it got that name. The old gazebo is slowly falling apart. I have photos from 20 years ago when it was still remarkably intact.
Jeff, when he wasn’t gazing at the moon, trackset the village trails tonight. In PLPP, I’m hoping that Tyrwhitt and Lookout will finally get the grooming which has been coming to them since the big snowfall.