The Fireline Trail
February 1st, 2015 in Trips, Trails, & Tours
The Fireline Trail is High Camp’s newest trail put in by the hard working fire crews to protect High Camp during the Chiwaukum Creek Fire last summer. The trail runs parallel to the McCue Ridge trail but on the North side of the ridge. The fire crews cleared brush and small trees to make a fire break and limbed the lower branches off all the remaining trees in a thirty foot swath. This makes for a perfect park like ski trail. Hosts Rich and Zeke were the first to explore the the possibilities of this route while out trying to squeeze in some turns before dark. Their raving reviews motivated me to check it out that very night by headlamp. I loved it!
In portions of the trail the forest is burned which makes for a starkly beautiful landscape with the blackened trees contrasted against the white snow. The views are expansive with Big Jim Mt standing tall in the background and the deep Chiwaukum Creek valley dropping off below. The conditions on Fire-Line will be superb when it is very windy and blowing snow off the open glades of McCue ridge, only to redeposit them on Fireline. The conditions will also be better than McCue ridge when the ridge is sun-affected. The trail has a similar pitch to McCue ridge but is tighter because of the trees. There are some flats on the trail in-between steeper pitches but overall fewer shenanigans are required than on McCue, making it more snowboarder friendly. I would highly recommend the trail for people with teli skis, AT skis, or snowshoes.
To access the trail take Cliff Hanger to the col just before Stegosaurus Rock. Here Cliff Hanger hangs right and Fireline descends to the left. Follow High Camp’s ubiquitous blue diamonds along the fire break whooping and hollering as you go. The trail joins the McCue Ridge trail 200 yards from the summit of Wild Bill.