Gatineau Park

Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #56, Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: carrot

March 1st and 2nd: Report for a two night stay in a cabin in the Lac Philippe sector. Although this is all "snow under the bridge" at this point, I am going to file this just for the record. It is for two ski trips made from the home base of "des Pins" cabin.

Trip #1: An after-dinner ski, starting at 8:00 p.m. and intended to be very short and easy. We skied up 55 green, on perfect snow and grooming, just to check out Taylor Lake. Wax was magic and it was still snowing (which made it hard to see and all the more magical). When we reached the Taylor Lake yurt and saw that the inspiring fresh grooming continued on , we just HAD to continue on 55, through the woods. The first downhill felt almost trivial, the conditions were so perfect. All the downhills felt unreal, partly because of the blindness caused by the dazzling snow in our eyes, partly of the immensely controllable conditions. It was impossible to tell how quickly we were going, but the downhills were so much fun, and no one was even tempted to snowplow. The highlight of the ski year!

Trip #2: Trail 56 to Lac Richard. This was a back country trip, something I feel less confident in unless the snow is perfect - powdery and fresh. WHICH IT WAS!! We didn't have the rain which Ron mentioned, our wax was again charmed, and the trails were a delight. I was even able to ski down the horrendous trail coming down from the Lac Richard yurt, which testifies to the exceptional conditions. Those tunnels of fir trees, and the numerous animal tracks, the lakes, the downhills in soft tracks, the hard work of herring-boning in the deep snow, and the wild turkey floundering through the snow, the flocks of juncos singing in the woods - it was the trip of the year. It was such a wonderful ski that we had to tack on another clockwise loop of 55 on at the end, which incidentally had been groomed again since our previous evening's ski. Conditions like yesterday really have to be grabbed. If back country snow conditions were always like this I would give up track skiing forever. Back country and track skiing really are two different sports.

Today all is changed. The snow in the Lac Philippe sector was wet as we skied out with our pulks. We all slathered gooey kilster-wax on our skis and shed extra layers of clothing. The wind was ominous and the temperatures were balmy.

Gatineau park map

Gatineau Park is ski paradise! The network of ski trails offer machine groomed skate skiing and classic skiing as well as little groomed backcountry trails. Multiple access points allow skiers to access a variety of terrain and scenery. The NCC offers season or daily pay rates.

Gatineau park map

For suggestions on where to ski, excellent trail descriptions, photos and maps checkout Michael McGoldrick`s website about recreational xc-skiing in Canada`s National Capital Region (with an emphasis on the Gatineau Park).

Gatineau park map