Gatineau Park

Trails Skied: North Loop, Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:

Just to settle my mind that winter was really ending, I headed to P8 in shorts and sneakers intending to walk on the bare pavement and photograph the snow in its death throws. But surprisingly it was (relatively) hopping with skiers!! One skier named Wayne, who had skied on both the Fortune Parkway and the North Loop, told me that the best stretch of ski-able snow was a 2 K stretch on the North Loop. So as the sun set I headed out. I WAS wearing skate skis and there was something resembling snow/ice/crust/slush/boot prints/dog prints beneath the skis, but any real resemblance to skiing was fleeting. It was anything but a waste of time, though. Any opportunity to be on the parkways without speeding cars is a gift.

This will be my last posting unless we have a late spring blizzard (fingers crossed), so I would like to add a few reflections about the ski season as a whole.

1. First and foremost, Demsis has shone this year. They repeatedly fixed rained-on and frozen trails and really kept the network humming along. It was a great job, thank you Demsis!

2. There are increasing numbers of skiers both on weekends and weekdays. Although I think this is a great thing, the parking is becoming as issue. Even weekdays now take some planning.

3. As more and more skiers use the trails, basic etiquette seems to be deteriorating.
Frequently the classic trails are ignored and skied-out by skaters.
A new classic trend is to ski uphills on the left side of the trail - this can make for some interesting games of “chicken” . Hopefully they don’t drive a car the same way!

And this one really riles me!! If I’m on a trail like Burma, I frequently pull over to let a faster skier pass. Generally the other skier nods, blinks, grunts, smiles or says hello, all good. But this year (and particularly on weekends), more and more skiers just push past without a glance as though I am just a tree in the ditch. Grrrr.

4. The Gatineau Park ski conditions page leaves something to be desired. Snow depth needs to be recorded daily and each snowfall needs to be indicated. Grooming information needs to be posted very early each day, and very accurately so that skiers can plan their routes before they leave home.

Have a great spring, everyone!.

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