• d baniak posted an update in the group Group logo of Birds Hill Provincial ParkBirds Hill Provincial Park 2 months, 1 week ago

    So, I set off to the park for the 11:00 trail breaking/packing happening. Hwy 59 to the park was icy but passable. I took the turn in to to West gate and marvelled to myself: wow, this road is cleared better than the main drags in Wpg., until immediately after the park gate booths. Thereafter, there had been no snow clearing with a single path snaking into the park packed down by earlier vehicles. Momentum as your friend, and luck that nobody was going in the other direction prevailed.
    Noting tire tracks into the Chickadee lot I went in and found to my surprise 4 other vehicles with skiers ready to rock.
    After a brief self gratulatory period relating to our superior winter driving skills, we split up to break trail. One skier started west Bluestem backwards, 2 skiers started backwards on Aspen to the east Bluestem, and I with 2 others started on the Aspen loop backwards. Snow was 14 to 20″ deep. We went up the trail over the area that had been snowplow cleared, almost the the “crossroads” where the Aspen and Bluestem converge about 1 km east of the stables parking lot.
    We skied back on the track we had created, which was better than breaking trail, but not much better. Noticed that the return Chickadee trail was broken.
    Sunny conditions, wind not a factor, and a postcard view around every corner. Skiing will improve once more ski traffic occurs.

    • Great idea d baniak, thanks! We arrived a bit late. Saw that to left (Bluestem W) and to the right (Aspen/Bluestem) were being skied, so we went straight and did Chickadee to the tower, and a loop on Esker. On Esker where the in and out trails pinch right together (where we looped backed) the in trail of Esker had been driven on by something, but the out track was undisturbed. Coming back on Chickadee was frustrating for the snowshoers and walkers – some did a great job of avoiding our tracks, others tried not to step in them (with mixed success), and some just don’t get it or don’t care. We did see more skiers than walkers and ‘shoers, but not by much. Hopefully that section of Chickadee is the most likely to get tromped and the other trails fair better, but I heard people had alreadt walked up Bluestem W too. Whoever drove the white van was out for a long ski. There were about 15 vehicles in the (unplowed) parking lot when we left.

    • I was thinking to myself as I was heading back to town , I wonder if people were able to make it through from the West Entrance. Sure enough they did. Ha ha. Glad that they did as now there are skiable trails to continue the ski season. Perhaps the roads will improve with traffic as the ski trails will.
      I will be leaving this area and will complete my ski season elsewhere but look forward to reading the accounts of fellow diehard skiers as they complete a record breaking season at BHP. Have fun skiers!