Fans of professional and extreme skiing were witness to a rare treat on Thursday, Jan. 17 as one of the pioneers of the sport — traveling in a rather conspicuous vehicle — graced the Camden Snow Bowl for a day on the Midcoast’s signature mountain.

Glen Plake, with his signature mohawk, has skied mountains all over the world. He currently is a contributor in design and development with Elan, a well-known ski company. He has been in numerous films involving the sport and was named the pioneer of extreme skiing in America by ESPN.

He is a member of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and, at this induction in 2010, was called the best-known and recognizable skier in the world.

And Thursday, he and his wife, Kimberly, parked their converted FL Freightliner — with his name and likeness emblazoned on both sides — at the base of the mountain for a day on the slopes.

“I like sight-skiing,” he said with a laugh. “I came here to have an amazing day, and I got one.”

Plake’s “Down Home Tour” has been something of legend to hardcore skiers, where he and his wife visit small ski areas throughout the United States.

“The original one was our honeymoon [in 1991],” he said. “And it was basically just to go ski little ski areas that we’ve never skied before.”

Plake, 54, said it began when he had heard in passing that, unbeknownst to him, there were ski mountains in North Carolina.

“I was kind of intrigued by that,” he said. “And then I was doing a promotion one time in Wisconsin and some people came in with ski gear on. They said, ‘There’s a ski hill right down the road.’ And I said, ‘Why am I not skiing with you?’ ”

And, on a whim, the "Down Home Tour" was born.

“We thought it’d be really fun to go on a trip and just ski the places you’ve never heard of that are being skied everyday,” said Plake, who grew up in Lake Tahoe, skiing Heavenly Valley. “The ski hills that people call home. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling around the world several times, many times over, but I’ve always been intrigued by the little hills. Our first one we did 33 different states of skiing.”

This is the eighth tour he and his wife have done, which began just before New Year's.

“Every four or five years we just load up and leave,” he said. “We don’t tell anybody when we’re coming.”

Plake said he had only heard about the Camden Snow Bowl “about 10 days ago” while on the tour, when he was skiing in Vermont and met a skier who originally was from the Midcoast.

“I was making jokes about being 5,000 miles from home and I needed to take our bus to take a picture of it in front of the Atlantic [Ocean]. And he said, ‘Dude, there’s a little ski area in Maine, you’ll be able to see the Atlantic from the ski area. And I said ‘Really?’ So here I am.”

Plake said the Camden Snow Bowl is the 13th stop they have made on their tour thus far this year. Prior to their trip to Camden, they visited Sugarloaf and then went to Hermon Mountain Ski Area and Titcomb Mountain in Farmington before heading south.

Plake has residences in Nevada and California, but calls Chamonix, France home.

Though, his Freightliner stays stateside. He said he has had it for 13 years and “she’s built to go through the worst weather possible and she’ll be tested this week.”

“We’ve got plenty of heaters,” he said. “It’s a special piece that a friend of mine’s father built for our use. It’s got a ski room in it and everything. It’s really cool and it is truly our home when we’re in the U.S. and on the road.”

On Thursday, Plake spent time on the Camden Snow Bowl’s many trails — such as the Windjammer, Mussel Ridge and Northeaster — while also taking photos, signing autographs and skiing the trails and riding the chairlifts with fans young and old alike.

Plake said whether it is through fan mail, or through his more than 28,000 followers on Instagram, “I always have these people who are literally making my career possible.”

“Yeah I’m in a ski movie, I do this and these different things, but without them being interested in what I was doing, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s all about that support and having a bit of an influence on somebody’s life in one way or another. And having the opportunity to go out, ride their chairlift, see their mountain, hopefully hang out in their town or their lodge, it’s really important to me. This isn’t a goodwill tour. I’m out here enjoying myself, but there’s a little bit of that in it.”

Plake said his signature mohawk came about when he was selected to be on the U.S. ski team in 1986, but turned down the offer. The U.S. ski team did not like his counterculture appearance and Plake stayed true to himself “because this is who I am.”

“They wanted these quintessential Ken dolls, and we’re competitive mogul skiers,” he said. “Everything about this is hard, fast and aggressive. And I just got sick of playing that game honestly.”

But, with Thursday’s weather in the single digits, Plake’s trademark hair was covered by a more traditional knit hat.

“I still wear it up,” he said. “If it was a sunny day or I was here for the toboggan races, I’d probably have my ‘hawk up. But a cold weather day like this I’m wearing a hat.”

He added he thoroughly enjoyed his trip to the Midcoast and the Camden Snow Bowl.

“This is truly a community ski hill,” he said.