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Nov 19 (15h, 39m) by Ian Naish from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #33, #40 [7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: v 40 blue
A very nice start to the season for us. Trail quality was very good on 2,apart from a couple of rocks on the last 50m to Western Trail. Conversely, conditions were poor on 33 (no grooming, no tracks and rocks and logs on trail). Trail 40 back to P12 was in nice shape apart from a few rocks lurking just below the surface. Wax was surprisingly effective considering the wet powdery snow for the majority of the trip. I had a couple of nice pics to share but couldn't upload them for some reason. Western Shelter was cosy as usual.

P8 was full when we went by in the morning and about 70% full at 14:15 when we drove by later. P12 had just our car in the morning, but 2 more on our return.
Nov 19 (16h, 44m) by Tom Conklin from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
ROUTE: P5 up to the Champlain T and then out the Champlain Parkway past Mulvihill and about half way up the big hill (sorry, that's all I've got in terms of locations).

SKATE: Great conditions - just enough snow to cover the leaves and make the glide pretty clean. There is good coverage everywhere and the weekend grooming and traffic made for a nicely packed surface. All surfaces that were bare last week (under the bridge etc.) are well covered now.

CLASSIC: Tracks looked good though a bit shallow, but were a bit snow-covered.

SKIER TRAFFIC: Lots of people out especially after 10.

CAR TRAFFIC: Driving from the south end of Ottawa (Bank and Albion) was slow at 8:30. Wait until 9 or 9:15 and you save about 20 to 25 minutes on your drive.
Nov 19 (17h, 13m) by David Brownrigg from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: universal, Grip Wax: blue extra
good classic conditions on the FLP to the CP and Lookout this morning. Fresh grooming for classic was underway from the lookout towards the FLP with a single track on the south bound side and dual tracks on the north side. Still no grooming on either ends of ridge presumably until we get more snow. Blue extra wax was not giving much grip at lower elevations but improved considerably higher up. P10 was packed to capacity upon my return at noon with cars parked up the middle. Lots of skiers taking advantage of these fabulous early season conditions!
Nov 18 (2d, 18h) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Violet Storage Wax, Grip Wax: VR 40
P10 to the lookout, then top of Black Lake and back. Mid-winter classic perfection! State of the art grooming, complete snow coverage, fewer oak leaves than yesterday, cool sunny easy-wax weather, zillions of happy skiers out. It's by far the BEST ski I've ever had this early in the season. The only negative was the colossal traffic jam when we left P10.
Nov 17 (2d, 10h) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: violet, Grip Wax:
Skied out of P19 today following 50 south to the extent of the yurts and then backtracking with a side detour up 55 as far as Renaud lake. After a beautiful ski Friday night in the southern part of the park, I was surprised at how much less snow there is at the north end. The groomers had made a "compaction" pass of the main trails to the tents/yurts but there certainly wasn't enough snow to try and set classic tracks. The groomers had continued south along trail 50 beyond the last tents (where I stopped) but not sure how far they continued - to Herridge? P16?). The NCC website doesn't recommend these trails yet but I managed alright. Poles tended to hit asphalt about half the time and there were a few exposed patches of road/ground here and there. In spite of all that I had a nice ski and was pretty much by myself passing only a couple of other skiers and one group walking in to the huts for the night. Sporadic patches of leaves covered the trail in spots but with care you could glide through them.

If you want the best snow currently available I would say stick to the lower parkways but if you want to avoid the early season crowds - head north.
Nov 17 (3d, 12h) by Peter Tregunno from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: who glide waxes rack skis?, Grip Wax:
Full coverage, should have used better skis. Classic track was holding up well on parkways. Temp was perfect. I'll take it!!!

14/10 for November skiing!!!
Nov 16 (4d, 16h) by David Brownrigg from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: universal, Grip Wax: blue extra
Very good classic conditions on the doldrums this morning. Snowmobile double tracking with fresh snow continuing to fall made things a bit slow at first but the hordes of skiers kept the tracks well packed. No grooming for skate. Demsis is problably waiting for the snow to stop. Looks like the season is here for good. Continuing cold and snowy into next week..
Nov 16 (4d, 17h) by Tom Conklin from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [12.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
ROUTE: Up the Fortune Lake Parkway from P10 to the Champlain Parkway T and then left down the CP about a km

TRAILS: For the most part the parkways were the only option unless you like off-road type skiing. I think Demsis is saving up major grooming until the end of the snow fall and to prepare for the weekend.

SKATE: No grooming at all on the FLP which made for a heavy climb with all the new snow. There was a fair bit of traffic so much of the snow had been tamped down. The CP was groomed from the Gatineau Parkway but not toward the Lookout. There was less traffic there so it was a tough ski because of the soft snow, despite the grooming. There were nowhere near as many leaves as yesterday, but there were still quite a few. For the most part the leaves did not get in the way of progress.

CLASSIC: Lots of classic skiers out but on skied-in tracks. Where the CP was groomed the tracks were clean but shallow. They were fine for downhills on skate skis.

TRAFFIC: Lots and lots of people out with P8 looking to be about three-quarters full and P10 about half full.
Nov 16 (4d, 19h) by Don Fugler from P11 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (black), #36 (blue) [7.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
It is lovely to be out. Trail 36 is fine to the bridge and then mostly good along the flats. As it descends the hill down to Meech Lake, the rocks become more of a problem. You would have to step down to be safe. We just turned around.
Nov 15 (5d, 15h) by Craig Storey from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [2.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skied from MacKenzie King Estate to Mica (Gatineau Parkway instersection) and then to the "T" (Fortune Parkway intersection). Generally very good coverage with only the occasional easily visible thin icy spot where you can see the yellow line below. Grooming is nice an flat. Snow is compacted but not hard, there's an easy edge. Glide was nice and free.

All of that made for an excellent ski. With 10-15cm tomorrow it will be superb, on the parkways atleast, for the weekend. Trails will still be marginal and probably not groomed, but groomed classic tracks on the parkways should be possible by Saturday. Get those skis out!
Nov 15 (5d, 17h) by David Brownrigg from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy [9.5km], Glide Wax: Universal , Grip Wax: Blue
First ski of the season and was anxious to get going after reading yesterday’s reports. If you’re skate skiing it’s not bad. Good solid base with very few thin hitting pavement sections. Still too early for classic, no tracking yet, although tonight’s storms should resolve that issue. Skier made tracks on the grassy shoulders were not stable enough and mostly leaf blown so stayed in the skate lanes. Skate grooming and snow compacting extended from P5 towards to the GP/CP junction and then up the CP. The GP towards Hull was not packed down.
Nov 15 (5d, 18h) by Tom Conklin from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [21km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
ROUTE: P8 along the Gatineau Parkway past P5 up to the T and then a short ways up the Champlain Parkway

SKATE: Very icy but very little road open to the air. A whole lot of leaves that made going uphill difficult. It was pretty easy to glide over the leaves on the downhill. Champlain was noticeably better in terms of snow cover, grooming and less ice, probably because of less traffic. There is a bald spot under the bridge near P5 and before the turnoff to P6. Overall it was a pretty pleasant ski despite the debria/ice and unbelievable for this early in the season.

I cannot believe our luck to have grooming this early in the season. Considering the conditions on Tuesday, today was wonderful because of the grooming.
Nov 15 (5d, 22h) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Storage, probably violet, Grip Wax:
Just a 40 minute ski to reacquaint my joints and muscles with the concept of skate skiing. The coverage was adequate (except under the bridge of course) and it felt good to be skating again. Unlike P10 yesterday, though, there were a few small bare spots, easily avoided, and it was generally a bit icier as well. The oak leaves had been busy here, too. Perhaps that is good news as there will be fewer eaves to fall later. Conditions weren't my very favorite, so I decided to keep the ski short and save energy for the new snow predicted for tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we have the 15 cm that is rumoured for Ottawa.
Nov 14 (5d, 12h) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Pretty good skiing for mid November! Parkways had been groomed in the AM and coverage was excellent (no pavement in sight and poles not hitting pavement): good skis could be used. Skating was best - as there was no classic track set (and a lot of leaves, especially near P10, more of a nuisance with grip wax . . .). Reports were that p6 and p5 were also good starting points, and there were plenty of cars in the p8 parking lot.
Nov 14 (6d, 18h) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Purple, Grip Wax: Blue minus 2 to minus 10
I was one of a handful of classic skiers in a sea of skaters. Conditions were pretty fantastic for the time of year! Packed powder snow groomed for skating, without enough snow yet for an official classic track. I was happy skiing most of the time in the skate lane as the skied-in classic tracks were often overflowing with oak leaves. There were also areas on the parkway where high winds had spread oak leaves, a minor obstacle. Temperatures were just as I prefer them - cold! - the scenery was beautiful, and the wax easy to nail. Skate conditions looked awesome, so that is on the agenda for tomorrow.
Nov 14 (6d, 18h) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
What a difference a day (and a couple more centimeters of snow) makes! This morning I skated from P10 up the FP and CP to the Champlain Lookout and back. There had been fresh grooming, giving a cold powder corduroy surface. Most of the way the snow was deep enough that my pole tips did not hit pavement. There were a few places (typically more exposed to sun and wind) where ice could be seen and felt under the snow cover, but these were rare. From Gossip Corner up to the T-junction and then on to the Huron Lookout conditions were excellent even by mid-winter standards, making for really enjoyable skating. Good skis could have been used on the entire trip. I would recommend a hard (probably blue) glider since the snow is really quite cold. With a windchill of -20C it's also necessary to dress more warmly than one would expect for mid-November. The service snowmobiles had flattened a lane from Gossip Corner to Shilly Shally (but not beyond- see photo) and this made a nice diversion from the Parkway. Even here coverage was complete.
Overall ski conditions are amazing for November. Quit work early and get out if you can!
Nov 13 (7d, 14h) by Tom Conklin from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
ROUTE: From P10 up to Gossip Corner. I am a whole lot less fit and patient than Craig! It sounds like there is more snow and less traffic than on the Doldrums out of P8. You could see the ice base over the road a few times but overall you might have been able to get away without rock skis.

SKATE: It was a good day for a classic ski. As Craig said, there was lots of snow but it was heavy. I did not notice any grooming but there was a lot of traffic. In the relatively deep snow this meant it was quite a slog. You had to lift your feet and it was really easy to get caught in a track.

Despite all of the whining, it was wonderful to be out this early.
Nov 13 (7d, 16h) by Craig Storey from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
First ski of the season. Skied from P10 to the T, out to Lac Bourgeouis then to Champlain Lookout. There was 5-10cm of new snow everywhere. Groomers had been out "packing". But the snow was still soft with a slushy layer (and ice) underneath and loose section on top.

Its early and coverage is thin like Gary mentioned. But there were not many places in the upper park of the park where skis would go through to pavement. In some places a hard crust underneath from last weeks snow was helping. Near Champlain it was noticeably a bit thinner and you had to ski lightly.

Amazing for early November. But if you are expecting mid-winter perfection, its still too early. Right now its fair. The skating surface is with uneven, soft and slow. Some skier made classic tracks looked decent, but they weren't everywhere. Once it cools off and its re-groomed conditions will be very good. Look for updates.
Nov 13 (7d, 16h) by Cindy Courtemanche from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaunti Orange did NOT work, VR62 was a charm
Similar to Gary, skied P9 to P8 this afternoon. I skied classic. Conditions were wet snow with plenty still falling at 3pm when I left. Skate lanes are thin with several bare patches.
Nov 13 (7d, 18h) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: CH8 , Grip Wax:
I did a lap of the Doldrums this morning on skate skis to check out conditions. About 6cm of fairly wet snow had fallen overnight in Chelsea- sticky "snowman" snow. A grooming pass of the skate lane had been done this morning, but the snow was not deep enough to machine groom classic tracks. I thought there would be plenty of snow for skating, but to my surprise the coverage on the groomed lane was quite thin in places (see photo). It was necessary to take some care to avoid grounding out over top of culverts (warm ground) and under the pine trees (thin coverage). It was still possible to get in a reasonable skate ski. Classic tracks have been skied in over the grass margin to the parkway and for now classic skiing (particularly with waxless skis) is probably a better bet than skating. Temperatures are forecast to plunge tonight and if there is proper grooming in the morning to loosen the snow surface skating could be quite good tomorrow. Use your rock skis for now, even on the parkways!
Nov 10 (1w, 3d) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: storage wax, Grip Wax: fish scales
A relaxing first ski! The temperature was above zero, but there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. It was snowman snow with a slight crustiness, and one of the nicest "first skis" I can remember. The grass had thorough coverage but it was also possible to ski on the parkway itself as it had a nice under-layer of slushy ice.

I couldn't face up to waxing at 1 degree so grabbed my fish scale rock skis. They worked surprisingly well!

While I was out I saw team skiers who might have been skiing the loop, mountain bikers, runners, classic and skate skiers, all in small numbers.

This was a lovely start to the season. Hopefully some more snow will fall this week.
Oct 28 (3w, 2d) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [12.1km], Glide Wax: last year's , Grip Wax: fishscales
The Gatineau Park got a lot more snow than the city, and conditions improved throughout the morning as it kept snowing! From p10 at 10 AM you could ski on the grass, but at higher elevations with continued snowfall it got better and better and you could ski on parkways - pretty good for the 1st ski of the year in October!

Pictures here
Oct 28 (3w, 2d) by Cedric Poon from P13 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (blue) [8.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
There were about 2cm of snow when I crossed Ridge road at both Wolf trail crossings. Didn\'t see any ski tracks. But if you have rock skis you want to sharpen, looks to me there were enough to glide and scratch on.

About Skiing in the Gatineau Park..

General: Fees Resource General Info History NCC Grooming Report info@ncc-ccn.ca 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 info@ncc-ccn.ca.


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Ottawa (Kanata - Orléans), ON (Forecast issued: 5:00 AM EST Tuesday 20 November 2018)