Monday, 28 December 2009

Crystal Forest

P10. Shilly Shally 006

P10. Shilly Shally 014
The recent weather (freezing rain) did not bode well for the xc ski conditions. Nor did the NCC website that claimed all trails were not recommended. Well I had been away for a few days and seemed to be coming down with a cold so I thought a ski would be the tonic. I headed to P10 which was full of cars. While there was a guy in the parking lot checking for ski passes I did not see much signs of Demsis work anywhere else. I guess they are all off for xmas holidays? Well the parkway was crusty and slick but it was actually good conditions for my waxless skis. There was signs everywhere of debris from the rain and trees coated with a thin sheen of ice. It had the look of crystal trees everywhere. Some just coated with ice and others either broken or bent over with the weight. It is strange that a sight that is so beautiful is so destructive to the forest. Every once in a while you would hear some tinkling and the odd crash of some ice falling from a tree. I would guess that the back country trails might not be so great but the parkway was good for a days skiing. With some extra snow and some grooming we should be back in business soon.

P10. Shilly Shally 016

P10. Shilly Shally 040

P10. Shilly Shally 012

P10. Shilly Shally 009

P10. Shilly Shally 004

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Sunday, 20 December 2009

Pine Road

Pine road, Healey cabin 016

Pine road, Healey cabin 013
Today was another cold one. It felt colder than yesterday although the thermometer disagreed. I opted for another wooded trail to stay out of the wind. P16 to Healey/Herridge cabins fit the bill. The Pine road trail starts with a long climb out of the parking lot. It really warms you up and the extra bonus is that it makes the return journey take half as long. Healey cabin looks really cosy in a small grove of tree, looks more like someone's house than the other cabins in the park. Thankfully today someone had stoked up the fire beforehand so it was toasty warm sitting in front of the fire. Great to be getting out skiing before Christmas but we really need another good dump of snow.

Pine road, Healey cabin 026

Pine road, Healey cabin 023

Pine road, Healey cabin 020

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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Kennedy Road

Kennedy Road 017

Kennedy Road 013
With temperatures hovering around the -20 mark I was decided to ski a trail with plenty of tree cover, Kennedy road. Running from P17 to P19, this trail is almost completely in the woods. There is the occasional stretch along a pond but the rest is hemmed in by evergreens that are usually coated with the most recent snowfall. It has a festive air about it that seemed appropriate with Christmas approaching. There were a few bare spots and bumps on the hills that will be filled in if we get a needed extra dump of snow for Christmas.

Kennedy Road 025

Kennedy Road 020

Kennedy Road 014

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Sunday, 13 December 2009

All I want for Christmas

P10, Keogan 004

P10, Keogan 018
Forecast today called for 5cm more snow and that is what I encountered as I headed up the Fortune Parkway from P10. It was warmer today than yesterday and the new snow is welcome. It doesn't look like they have groomed yet but perhaps that is because the base is too thin? I encountered some asphalt near the top of the hill from P10 and the occasional pole hit the road but who's complaining. Not me for sure. Also, a good sign when people are snowshoeing into Keogan from Camp Fortune. More snow forecast for early in the week. Let's hope we get another big dump. That's all I want for Christmas!

More comparison photos...

P7, Keogan 014

P10, Keogan 011

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Saturday, 12 December 2009

Leg stretcher in the Doldrums

Doldrums, Gatineau Park 001

I went out this morning to check out the snowfall in Gatineau Park and get in some first tracks of the season. The goal was to stretch the legs and see if I could remember the technique without pushing thinngs too much. Often after the first ski of the season I end up walking like Frankenstein for a day or two. I can report that there is plenty of snow. Occasionally the poles hit some asphalt but there must have been a good 4 or 5 inches covering the Doldrums. More snow is forecast for next week so the season is on!

Here are some comparison photos of a recent roller blade outing and from today.

Doldrums, Gatineau Park 007  Doldrums, Gatineau Park 027

Doldrums, Gatineau Park 008  Doldrums, Gatineau Park 007

Doldrums, Gatineau Park 013  Doldrums, Gatineau Park 003

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