Hi, I just came back from Mt. Stirling: Two nights of snow camping at King Spur hut. I had a one hour private skiing lesson at the Hut . Yes the instructor skied up the hill from TBJ to King Spur hut in 58 min.s on boiler plate ice!!.He gave a me a one on one ski lesson at King Spur Hut. It was good but it was not cheap .The surface was ICY so that made it more difficult for me. Skiing the Blue run loop from the hut to the Cricket Pitch and back to the tent at No. 36 Hut set the world record for crashes and new ways to fall over without causing any major damage. I was wearing my cycling helmet just in case! The weather on Sunday was just horse poo. If I 'd have stopped too long to have a breather at Machinery Shed shelter I could have become hypo bleeding thermic. It was wet , cold and miserable. The tracks were not groomed so slogging it up the hill with a heavy pack with skis strapped to the pack in snow shoes was a slow slog , really solid work. It started snowing quite a bit above The Weather station and daylight was fading . I made myself go directly to the bleeding hut and stamped out a camp site, erected my snow tent and was thankful I had arrived safely. I dried out my gear near the cast iron wood burner , feathered my snow camping nest , put on dry clothing , cooked some food and vegged out in front of the wood heater. Eventually I could feel that my feet were still connected. My ski boots are not rain /slush proof in horse poo weather, so I need to spray them with water stopper. I have realized that I am a basket case on skis when I am skiing terrain that is not a Green Run. Mt. Stirling had very good weather both yesterday and today but trails such as the icy Race Loop were scary for this learner and I just either side stepped down them and herringboned up them or conceded defeat after a nasty spill and took the skis off and walked. I will get more lessons and aim to improve the very basics of skiing on less scary terrain such as Dinner plain's down hill slope . One hopes that this will make XC skiing a pastime that is more enjoyable for this slow and timid learner and will involve gaining more confidence and crashing less. However I am not a quitter. It may take 3 years or more to get the hang of this!!!. On the return walk with a ludicrously heavy winter snow camping pack going from the King Spur hut to GGS hut , over the Mt. Stirling summit and down the Bluff Spur hut and back to TBJ, one of my snow shoes broke. Right along the pole line near the Dug Out Bowl I had to strap the snow shoes to the pack along with the skis and go to back up plan "C" . Yes out came the Kahtoola micro spikes. It was beyond Boiler Plate up there today so they were perfect and it made getting back to TBJ easy. The Blue Runs at Mt. Stirling are way more challenging for this learner skier than the Blue Trails are at Lake Mtn. Since I have snow shoed Mt. Stirling so many times I have never really thought about all those twisty down hill bends that ice up in the shadows at Mt. Stirling, in terms of actual skiing. Mt.Stirling has a full staff of youthful Estonian Ski instructors who all look like Skater skiers. They look well fit and can whiz around in a way that is at a level that some of us mere plodding and crashing neophytes may never attain . My next Mt. Stirling trip will be a Green run based trip at the Razorback hut. I will leave the upper mountain's ski trails to the experts ;-P. Photos are coming soon.