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Feb 9 (2013-02-09) by Garry Tarr from P8
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [17.7km], Glide Wax: CH6, Grip Wax:
A beautiful day marred by more Demsis Dismal grooming. I skated from P8 along the Doldrums, across the Connector, up Fortune, west on Ridge and 1B to the top of the Wolf Trail at Blanchet, then back via Burma. Skating was a serious mistake- classic would have been far more enjoyable. After a fall of over 20cm of dry powder, I wasn't expecting fast skate conditions. However, I was at least expecting that the main trails would be compacted. This wasn't the case. Despite the claims of the NCC website, when I arrived at the Doldrums only one side had been groomed (see photo). So far as I could tell the other side was buried more than 10cm deep in last night's powder. The groomed side was badly churned up. Half way along the Doldrums I met a groomer returning to P8. I thought I was in luck and jumped into the fresh tracks. I immediately sank up to my bindings. The groomer wasn't applying enough pressure to form a skate lane capable of supporting the weight of the lightest skier. Rather than continue churning through deep powder, I moved over to the snowmobile lane outside the classic tracks. Most other skaters were also using this lane. It was firm enough for quite reasonable skating. Conclusion: a simple pass with a snowmobile had done a better job than the groomer itself. The exhausting thick powder conditions persisted up the Fortune Parkway. However, when I reached Ridge Road I found a beautiful firm lane worth a 5 star rating! The excellent conditions continued all the way out to the Blanchet intersection. 1B was also excellent. Although the NCC website claimed grooming had been done to McKinstry, there was no grooming past Blanchet. However, the warning ribbon is down and backcountry skiers had made their own classic tracks heading west. Burma was a huge disappointment. The website claimed it had been groomed, and indeed some sort of machine had made markings on the surface, but there was neither a useful skate lane nor proper classic tracks.

I highly recommend skiing this afternoon, but I would either start at P5 or P7 and stay on Ridge, or go classic.

About Skiing in Gatineau Park..

General: Fees Resource General Info History NCC Grooming Report Groomers

Maps: Trail Distance Map NCC Winter Trails Interactive trail conditions 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.

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).

The NCC also maintains a grooming report on-line. If you encounter people walking on groomed trails, you are best advised to contact the NCC. They are responsible for the enforcement on this so report those trail wreckers whenever you see them by calling 819-827-2020 (Visitor Centre), or email


Skier Expert/Int/Novice
Time of Day Skied (MouseOver!)
Fresh Grooming!
Rating (5=Perfect)
Photos Included

Current Weather

Observed at: Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Int'l Airport
Date: 9:00 PM EST Wednesday 1 February 2017
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Temperature: -7.5°C
Wind Chill: -9
Wind: S 3 km/h
Humidity: 81%
Dew point: -10.2°C
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Visibility: 24 km
Sunrise: 7:23 EST
Sunset: 17:09 EST
Max -6°C. Min -15°C.

Temperature Trends



Ottawa (Kanata - Orléans), ON (Issued: 5:14 PM EST Wednesday 1 February 2017)

Wednesday night
Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries this evening and after midnight. Clearing before morning. Low minus 16.
A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries in the afternoon. Wind becoming west 20 km/h early in the afternoon. High minus 5.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early in the evening. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light late in the evening. Low minus 14.
Sunny. High minus 6.
Friday night
Clear. Low minus 15.
Sunny. High minus 6.
Saturday night
Cloudy. Low minus 12.
Flurries. High minus 2.
Sunday night
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 12.
A mix of sun and cloud. High minus 9.
Monday night
Cloudy periods with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 17.
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of snow. High minus 7.