Glen Plake, the 54-year-old skier best known across the world for his style and skills on many different mountains, swung his motorhome into the parking lot at the Camden Snow Bowl late in the morning Jan. 17. It was a semi-surprise — locals had been abuzz on Facebook since the weekend anticipating his possible arrival after he noted on his Down Home Tour Instagram page that he would be visiting Maine ski mountains.
He did, stopping by Sunday River over the weekend and then pointing the nose of the RV (really, a 38-foot custom Freightliner), colorful, large and comfortable, down Route 105 in Hope and then to the base of Ragged Mountain in Camden.
Plake is on another Down Home Tour (see his Instagram posts), visiting small ski areas around the country, skiing and chatting. Originally from the east side of the Sierras, he is a California resident, but he is at home anywhere there is a vertical drop and snow. (He also water skis, and is a national champion of that, according to his biography at Elan skis, the company he represents.)
Sometimes referred to as the pioneer of action sports, courtesy of ESPN, Plake is also know for his former mohawk haircut and ballet moves on the skis.
On Jan. 17, he accompanied a group of young Camden Snow Bowl skiers to the top of the mountain for a lesson — Plake is getting certified as a ski teacher — and spent time with Snow Bowl staff on a cold January day on the Midcoast of Maine.
About the Snow Bowl, he said: “Greeted by patroller Duncan, GM Beth and Mtn Manager Tom!!! With stickers, ski lift tickets and told to park front and center -Slopeside!!!! What a welcome to Camden Snow Bowl from West to East 5k miles - Atlantic Ocean WOW what a view - what a ski area!!!!!! DHT Stop 13.”
“He was great with the kids,” said one skier.
Later Thursday evening, Plake was at the lodge, again visiting with skiers.