Up the Road to High Camp
October 23rd, 2014 in Yesterday
Our first ride up to High Camp was of course in a derelict suburban driven by Bill Stark. Peg laid down on the back seat since the ride up had such a negative impact on her back. As we went through the gate and started up the S road the forest was deep and full on both sides of the road. At the beaver ponds we crossed the old bridge heading up the P road. It was still forested although Sideburn soared up the hill, open and steep, a great ski down. At P 5 we turned left onto the MR road we drove through beautiful trees on either side for about 2 miles until we came out to more open slopes. It was in this portion of the road that we crossed and recrossed the old Julius Trail as it plunged through the trees climbing up to the lakes. There were more open slopes beginning at Midway and ending at the top of Sideburn. As we rounded the big hairpin at MR 4 we were back in trees again with some old clear cuts above the road. After Peg’s Promenade we were in the trees clear to High Camp. Well, the trip up is very different now!
As you start up the S road past the gate trees are limbed up along their lower trunk as a result of the Chiwaukum Fire this summer. That side of the road looks like a park! At S-5 you enter clear cut that really doesn’t quit until you get to the beaver ponds. These open areas contribute to new wind patterns creating drifts along the road that we never had to work about before. It was a supreme challenge last winter for our snow plow driver to regain access to High Camp after a 6 foot overnight snow dump resulting in massive drifting. It took a week on the road with a front loader to clear it up to our normal turn around at the beaver ponds.
They logged at P 1 this year opening up the challenging descent for Heartstopper and Sideburn runs. We will keep you posted as the winter progresses on that new exit route. As you turn onto the MR road if you have not been to Scottish Lakes in a while you won’t know where you are! The area is completely clear cut. This has opened up some wonderful descents at Last Chance, Bob’s Knob and also Big Rock Bowl. The last big hairpin at MR 4 is now called Windy Corner due to massive drifting during big storms. There are clear cuts within a mile of High Camp that have created big ski slopes at Cowabunga and Shagrila.
The trees are growing on our beloved Wild Bill Hill, although we are allowed to carefully thin to promote good forest growth so there are still nice runs down that slope. Due to clearing around High Camp during the fire there is a lovely drop from the start of Jirka’s trail to the lodge along the trees behind Huckleberry. The sledders might take that slope over! Who knows 🙂
And so it goes. The face of Scottish Lakes High Camp is never the same….