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Apr 16 (2011-04-16) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
This not really a ski report but I thought I would report on my observations having navigated the parkway loop on road bikes this morning.

1. For the most part, the riding is good on the parkways, with the exception of P10-Fortune Lake, and the area around the Fortune/Champlain parkway junction. Expect LONG sections of walking if you are on your road bike.

2. If you would really like to do some skiing, there are various reasonable stretches (400m?) of quite skiable conditions in the near the Fortune/Champlain junctions.

3. Finally, it might interest some to know that I saw somebody out rollerskiing near P5.
Apr 15 (2011-04-15) by Karl Saidla from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #40 [4.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I am, personally, calling it a season as of Wednesday, April 13th. I skied with Nevin French from P12 up to Ridge Road and around there a bit. The skiing that was available could only be described as terrible, and I would say we spent close to half our time walking. All in all, this makes for a fairly long year of sking. By my count, skiing started on the last weekend of November, and ended now. Here's to another one in the books, with many more to come....
Apr 13 (2011-04-13) by Craig Storey from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
David Paton tells me... We’re still not down (or is it up) to 10% walking, but the first 500 m. from P12 were best to be walked, and there was another 500 m. in the last km. to walk (a couple of sections). Plus a few ginger walk-overs, and a few ten m. portages. Hairies were a great way to go – decent grip, no mess, and they skate reasonably well when asked to.

The warm rain on Sunday night was the real snow-eater, and was really destructive on the sections of trail that become streams when the streams overflow. Nevertheless, with a blue sky, sun, and 14 degrees it was another great day for shorts and polo shirt. The rest of the week doesn't look as promising. Thursday and Friday may be pretty icy, and by Tuesday, the next double-digit prediction, I suspect more like 50% walking - there were lots of skiable but thin sections yesterday.

For those desperate to ski (precious little evidence of them yesterday!), I think that you'd better head out today from P12, and head west.
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Apr 12 (2011-04-12) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I think we can pretty much call the season over as of April 12th, 2011. What an end to the season it was! There was some great Spring skiing and cooperative weather the last few weeks but that changed Sunday afternoon. First light rain, and then torrential rains overnight followed by near record breaking 24C heat on Monday. Not to mention high winds to dry it all out. While I haven't surveyed the skiing myself, and I imagine are still stretches of 'skiable' snow if you are looking to do some hiking. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Apr 10 (2011-04-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [14.8km], Glide Wax: LF10, Grip Wax: Waxless
Trail 40-24-Ridge to Huron-Champlain PKwy-Fortune to P10.
The fresh air, exercise and scenery were great. It felt like skiing with a fever: the temperature itself was very warm, but there were cold currents wafting from the hills.
If I had been skating, I would have enjoyed the actual skiing more. The granular snow of yesterday was hard to find, and in its place was a lot more ice than expected. Grip was poor except when it was deadly slow. There were no classic tracks on any sort until near Western and all traces of a former classic track was crunched down by snowmobiles. It was icy enough on trail 40 that Garry offered to pick me up at P10 to save me having to ski back down to P12 (I would have walked a good Km of it to save my knee).

Ridge is getting dirty, bare, rocky and was generally not inspiring for classic. Water is starting to create tunnels through and beneath the trails. The creeks are all wonderfully noisy! There were about 5 carry-overs in total and a few more I should have removed my skis for. That said, there is still a lot of snow and ice left, it's just not high calibre snow. The lower parkways have lost a lot of snow since yesterday. At some points the snow is down to single ski width (great for balance drills!).

I'm ready for torrents of rain and high temperatures to arrive over the next couple of days, so we can move on, get the bikes out on the parkways and switch seasons. This was likely the last ski of the year for me. It's wonderful that it lasted this long!
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Apr 10 (2011-04-10) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [16.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice day out there started from P12: #40=> #24=> #1=> Wolf bench=> #1=> #24=> #1=> #2=>P12. I only had to take my skis off 3 times the last time being at the Wolf bench hill. Some parts are good others are like skiing on ice which is getting pretty thin in spots. With the rains coming and warm temperatures this could be it, unless you are prepared to do more and more walking each day.

But we cant complain its April 10th, better then last year. You can see the conditions on the pictures I posted. I didnt go pass the Wolf bench but its probably still good up to McKinstry. When you start seeing more hikers then skiers I guess its time to pack it in. I will wait for reports over the next few days before I officially call it quits.
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Apr 9 (2011-04-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: LF10, Grip Wax: Waxless
P10-Ridge-Huron-Champlain Parkway
Not much to add that hasn't been said already. It was a beautiful morning and a very enjoyable ski despite emerging pavement and dirt. I have my fingers crossed that there is another day or two ahead of us. There are three photos posted here, and two more on my site, www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
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Apr 9 (2011-04-09) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 to the Blanchet crossing via FP, CP, Huron, and #1 - using #24 on the way out and the bench on the way back. I agree with Ken’s and Garry’s reports - particularly with regard to that fast and easy corn - the run down from Huron to P10 was a delight using linked telemarks. Skiing is still quite doable particularly from the Champlain lookout - particularly if you go via #24. The base is getting thin and melting fast - some of those meltwater rivers are getting deep in places; however, the coverage is still complete (as of 2:30). The weather forecast has improved so tomorrow could be as good as today. I had made up my mind to check my wax box for a summer wax - if the weather holds I may declare one more last day.

It’s been an interesting season. In the snow-drought months of January and February pessimism reigned - snow was everywhere else but nothing in Gatineau Park and it looked like we would be facing a record short season. I remember well the depressing morning in February when I checked the Environment Canada radar map to see a perfect donut - a 50 km radius circular band of intense precipitation centred on Ottawa/Gatineau - over the park, in the hole of the donut - rien!. The very welcome dumps of March changed everything - the late winter/spring skiing this year has been extraordinary. Soon we’ll need to adapt to a world without snow and live on the memories of the past eight weeks (perhaps even of tomorrow).

The season to come will prove to be the most interesting one of our experience with Demsis. By my reckoning, next year will be the fifth year and, therefore, the last one of the contract - a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) should be issued for the next five years of park-maintenance giving other contractors a chance to replace Demsis. However, there is a provision in the contract that if the NCC is satisfied with Demsis performance they can extend the contract (by , I believe, two years) so we would face three more years of Demsis. The park has a survey which shows an astounding 97% level of satisfaction among park users; this survey didn’t ask anything about park maintenance but, rather, just asked how well people liked Gatineau Park - which most users consider to be a treasure. A significant number of skiers have been quite annoyed with Demsis performance over the past four seasons - the deficiencies of Demsis have replaced ski-wax as the focus of our conversations. It would quite unfortunate if this survey was used as an endorsement of Demsis performance in order to extend the contract. By the start of the season we should know if the RFP has been reissued or if, with an extension, it’s three more years of Demsis. If there is an RFP, there is nothing to say that Demsis could not win the contract again. We should know by early-winter if Demsis is successful in re-winning the contract and will be around for five more years or if it’s bye-bye Demsis on April15. There’s that old Chinese blessing (or curse) “may you live in interesting times”.

Regardless - un bon été à tous.

We can all get back together again at P10 next November.
Apr 9 (2011-04-09) by Ken Trischuk from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #24, #4, #14 [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful ski day. Started at Camp Fortune as P10 was full when I drove by. Good snow up Chicken run and along Ridge road. Pretty dirty but still very skiable. Skied out along Ridge to 24 and did the loop before coming back to Fortune lane. And down. Only faced 3 portages that were snow free and only felt obliged to take off my skis once. The section of Ridge between Huron and the Champlain lookout is getting spotty but you can still weave your way through the rockys and stay on the snow. Should be one more good day of skiing tomorrow before the warm rain opens up the trails in a number of spots.
Apr 9 (2011-04-09) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: CH10 and rilling, Grip Wax:
Skated out of P10. Got one of the last parking spots at 10AM, but there were still a few spaces available by noon. Surprisingly icy at first, becoming slushy everywhere towards noon. Great easy skating on the corn snow- level surface- despite the lack of grooming (thanks for nothing, Demsis). No portages yet on FP, but CP ends at Huron. To the east of the T coverage on the CP is very good up to at least Black Lake. Should be good this afternoon and tomorrow morning (don't go super early, you may be surprised at how icy the snow gets overnight). By next weekend the ski portages will probably be longer than the bike portages! Get out and enjoy the last day or two of skiing!
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Apr 8 (2011-04-08) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Great Ski Today the conditions were good for this time of year. I decided to stick to the parkway. There was a mixture of snow slush and a bit of a icy base. The pavement is peaking through a few places but nothing you can ski by and avoid. I also went and checked out the race course for the Sprint races happening tomorrow. There was a good base and the course looks like it will be a blast (see the article below)! My only wax suggestion is if you have a structure tool be sure to use it!
Apr 8 (2011-04-08) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
Another great day quite similar to yesterday. I skated from P10 via FP and CP to Huron and then to #24 back to #1 to my favourite spring-skiing pond. Went up on icy conditions and came back down on fast corn, slow snow, and running water.

There is surprisingly little deterioration in the conditions. The portage at the bench is now about 30'; the bare spots on Ridge are bigger but still not a problem. Skiing is still eminently doable all the way to the tower if you wish.

#24 has a good snow base although it’s slower than the corn on #1. According to a couple of classic skiers there’s still enough snow on #40 to last a good while.

Tomorrow should still be great. It might be a good idea to start early to get the faster conditions.

I’ve attacked a picture of the Golden Ragworts that are blooming on #1 just before #24 - spring-skiing, spring-flowers.
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Apr 7 (2011-04-07) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful evening for a ski. Even at 7pm the snow was really good. Warm evening of about +5C but the snow was just starting to refreeze from the snowpack beneath. Still a nice velvety layer of corn on the top and for the most part not refrozen solid even after the sun set. Skied out to 24 on Ridge before circling back to enjoy the sunset from Brule lookout. More trail will surely open up over the next few warm days but should be good skiing (with a couple of short walks)for one more weekend.

A thin ribbon of skiable snow on the flat piece of Ridge between Shilly Shally to the base of Khyber pass - still skiable but not for long. Parkway in front of the lookouts is mostly asphalt but by the time you get back to the trail up to Huron lodge the parkway is completely covered.
Apr 7 (2011-04-07) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Not really much to report different then yesterday, except softer snow and a few pics to show the coverage on a few trails, get out and enjoy.
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Apr 7 (2011-04-07) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
A truly great day: went up on ice and boilerplate came down on corn snow. Skated to the Wolf Ridge via FP, CP, Huron, and #1 - returned by the same route. Getting to Huron was a bit of a struggle with the frozen ruts and frozen meltwater. Spent some time at Huron watching thousands-and-thousands of Redpolls (maybe two or three hundred without exaggeration). After the Huron break, conditions had improved to a softened snow surface - these conditions continued all the way to the Wolf Ridge. Stopped briefly to admire the Golden Ragworts that were blooming at the entrance to #24, warmed by the rock cut. At the bench the portage had increased to about 20'. From the bench there was complete coverage up to the Wolf Ridge. I then turned around and skied back to just past Blanchet and went into the pond where I spent an hour of very pleasant spring skiing sitting on a warm bank. When I went back to #1 conditions were quite different: the icy sections had changed into very fast corn - the snowy sections were still good. From there it was a good, enjoyable two-skate back to Huron and finally to P10.

Ridge Road is now showing bare spots but nothing serious. The area around the bench is getting thin and most of that section will probably be bare by the end of tomorrow.

I bypassed #24 on the premise that there would be open creeks across it - a mistake, since two skaters I talked to said it was in great shape and was a delight. Tomorrow #24 is the recommended route and should be considered to be the bench bypass.

There is no reason why it would not be possible to ski to the tower tomorrow there’s lots of snow - I measured 30 cm of snow off-track at the bottom of the Wolf Ridge.

The classic skiers I met told me there is lots of snow on #40 and recommended highly going in from P12.

While gliding through the granular on the FP I mused whether those small spheres of ice are really “corn snow” or whether, possibly, they are the frozen tears of skiers who fear that all this could end soon.

An update on the red caution signs - they have mostly been removed - you’ll have to find the ice on your own.
Apr 6 (2011-04-06) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: NA
Got out for a ski after work. There is still plenty of snow in the P10 area on the parkways, Ridge, Burma etc. Of course, there are some thin spots in the usual places, but you can ski without thinking about taking your skis off for quite awhile.

As you might guess, it was rutted and frozen pretty sold at 7pm, but that didn't stop us from enjoying still being able to ski, or from enjoying the sunset. Of course, I'd recommend during the warmer periods of the day. It should be good for a few days yet.
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Apr 6 (2011-04-06) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Pretty good skiing today, not too slow, a little icy on shady areas. Started From P12: #40=> #24=> #1=> #2=> #40=>P12. Like Ron mentioned only one area for a short walk near the bench on Ridge past Western, other then that, #40, #24, #2 still good coverage, just a few thin spots in the usual areas.

I met a few skiers that had gone to the Fire Tower and said they had only walked up at the hill at the bench at wolf trail, besides that everything was good. The next couple of days should be still good lots of sun and no rain.
Apr 6 (2011-04-06) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
I went for the sun but stayed for the skiing. Things never got too warm with as many periods of snow flurries as there was of sun; however, in places the skiing was not too bad and the other places could be excused as April conditions. Skated from P10 to the intersection of #1 and Blanchet via FP, CP, Huron, & #1 - returned via the same route.

There is still complete coverage everywhere (have attached photographic evidence) - the only place I had to portage was for 6 ft. by the bench on #1. The climb up to Lac Fortune is the most difficult part with frozen ruts and long sections of frozen melt-water. The rest of the FP was reasonable: in the morning it was hard but on the return it was softening into enjoyable corn-snow. #1 was generally good with the surface being the frozen wet snow from Monday - there were patches of frozen melt-water but it was quite easy to ski around them.

There is no visible melting so there should be little snow lost today. Skiing should improve for the rest of the day. The climb up FP tomorrow morning will probably be unpleasant until you get to the top of the ridge. Once the temperature rises conditions should be great tomorrow. If your timing is right it might be a good day for one last visit to the tower.

Just a note of warning! Some of the Demsis red “Caution Icy” signs have fallen over. Perhaps someone should drive a groomer up there to put them right.
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Apr 4 (2011-04-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop, Gatineau Pkwy [16.3km], Glide Wax: LF 10, Grip Wax: waxless (and rilling)
I skied from P8 to Mica and also checked out about half of the Doldrums. It wasn\'t exactly raining, and temperatures were about 1 to 2 degrees.

If you like to go fast and far, this wouldn\'t have suited you. I thought it was wonderful, though. Here\'s why:
-There were lots of parking spots (entire parking lots in fact)
-My waxless skis were made for these conditions, slow as they are.
-In a short period of time I got great exercise and came home tired after double poling down all the hills! It felt like I had skied twice as far!
-No sun, ice, thaws or refreezes to worry about. The snow was consistent from start to finish.
-The fog was so mysterious and beautiful: trails I have skied countless times looked new and strange.
-The drizzle hitting my face was very refreshing compared to hot sun.
-There were animal tracks, dog tracks, boot tracks and ski tracks everywhere because the grooming is kaput. The grooming stopped although there is still a lot of snow, and very few skiers skied since this morning\'s snow, so it was easy to see the tracks. There weren\'t enough boot tracks to be a problem and the snow was surprisingly skiable.
-The only sounds were the skis, poles and the roaring brooks.

I was curious to see the Doldrums since it was marked with a red x weeks ago. I skied about half of it and although some bare spots are developing now, the real problems are caused by the long-term lack of grooming and the number of walkers which have used it.
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Apr 4 (2011-04-04) by Florence Lehmann from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: CH180, Grip Wax:
Did P10 to gossip corner, up Ridge to Huron and back via CP and FP.
It was winter out there, a wet kind of winter day. It started out as a nice ski. Fresh snow covering the trail. Rather pleasant. The way back was rather wet and slow as it was raining steadily (though not too hard).
It looked like a snowmobile had gone by (with skirt not to damage the trail). I wouldn't call it grooming. But it compacted the fresh snow on top of yesterday's corn snow. It helped make for a flatter surface and smooth gliding on the way up. The snowmobile turned on Ridge to Huron (just where I wanted to go:) and beyond. The CP was in ok condition thanks to the new snow, after yesterday's traffic. The snow was soft enough that skis don't get stuck in ruts. FP was extremely slow on the way back as it was raining more steadily.
I'm glad I was out when I did. Conditions should be fair tonight if it hasn't rained too much during the day. Who knows? Good luck out there.
Apr 3 (2011-04-03) by Karl Saidla from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Yellow, Grip Wax: NA
It was a pretty much perfect day for spring skiing. We started from P9 because P10 was full! We skied up the parkway, up Burma,past Champlain, back to Keogan following the Parkway, along Ridge to Chicken Run, around the racing trail, and then home. Obviously, conditions are variable and the snow is dirty, but there is generally very good coverage. We took off our skis in one or two places where you might expect to, but most of what we skied has quite a bit of snow left. A few more days are waiting for you if you are keen. Given that grooming isn't happening any more, keep in mind that you will want to go only when it is warm enough that things are soft!
Apr 3 (2011-04-03) by Florence Lehmann from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Ch180, Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P16 all the way to intersection with #73.
The trail is changing very fast. Given it's partly in the shade, it alternated between soft snow and icy conditions for the most part. A fair bit of dirty snow (which made gliding slower by the end as the dirt sticks to your skis). I had to take my skis off at the very start/end and on the return trip by the second bridge (not too long after the two cabins).
Overall a very enjoyable ski. I enjoyed basking in the sun at the Lac Philippe campground (very warm, no wind) and stopped at Herridge for a bit on the way back to do some easy birdwatching (what a treat).
Apr 3 (2011-04-03) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [11.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti yellow, Grip Wax:
Another beautiful day for a ski. Skied from P6 up to the lookouts and think I timed things pretty well. A little icy in the shade and a little slushy in the sun so a mix of both worlds. A few patches of parkway road surface are opening up. Mostly still small pockets but most notable at he Brule lookout where a short walk (or grass ski) is required. These pockets will open up quickly with the strong sun warming the asphalt but for now the coverage was good.

Trail from MacKenzie to the "T" was quite nice - fairly flat and smooth. Noticable difference after I passed the "T". With the increase in the volume of skiers things got well chewed up and soft so a little more effort was required for that bit. Many thanks to Megan's suggestion in her report yesterday on the yellow glide wax. I had forgotten I had such a thing at the bottom of my wax box. It worked much better on the softer, slushy snow than yesterdays choice of purple.

Perhaps endulged too long enjoying the sun at the Brule lookout and things had started to soften quite a bit on my return trip. A few spots were more akin to water skiing but they were short stretches so I didn't need a boat to pull me. How long will this skiing last? Looks warm all week so we'll see what's left by next weekend. Could be some walks (long? short?) to get to the snow.
Apr 2 (2011-04-02) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: LF10, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 to the green water tank on #24

The sun was excellent - the coverage was excellent - the skiing should have been excellent. However, as Gary has already amply described, because of the failure of Demsis to honour the contract and groom this morning the early morning skiing was difficult and, with the icy ruts, potentially dangerous. I have attached further photos to show just how much snow there is in the park - there is no legitimate reason for Demsis to not groom. If Demsis had groomed this morning the early conditions would have been exceptionally good.

As the snow softened conditions became more manageable and became more pleasant. Later in the day they became somewhat slow.

A caveat for tomorrow the melt-water is running into the snow; this water will freeze solid tonight. Because there will be no grooming, the ski up to the ridge will not be easy.

The announcement that there would be no further grooming was twinned with the results of a rather strange survey which showed that a 97% level of satisfaction among park users. The questions in the survey did not address the operation of the park but, rather, asked if users had warm feelings toward the park - no surprise that park users would have warm feelings toward the treasure of Gatineau Park. My concern is that the results of this meaningless survey will be extrapolated to indicate a support for Demsis operation. There is a high level of dissatisfaction with the Demsis operation over the past four seasons.
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Apr 2 (2011-04-02) by Megan McTavish from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: vauhti fluor yellow, Grip Wax: vauhti universal klister
Just came back from a really nice day of skiing from P16. It wasn't groomed over night but it was warm enough and firm enough that both skating and classic are both good. The snow is still abundant most places but getting thin in a few spots.
Tomorrow should also be a good day.
Apr 2 (2011-04-02) by Florence Lehmann from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #24 [14km], Glide Wax: CH180, Grip Wax:
Did P10 to gossip corner, West on Ridge, #24, back on #1, #1b, CP and FP.
I started a little later than Garry (10 am). I found it a bit icy still and "rutty" to gossip corner. But conditions got much better starting at Khyber Pass. The snow was a bit dirty on 1b but I still got good enough glide. By the time I hit CP and FP, the snow had softened enough that I got really good glide.
Still a good route to do.
I'm very happy to see Ken got good conditions at P16. I was planning on going there tomorrow. (Timing will indeed be tricky to get the best glide.)
Apr 2 (2011-04-02) by Ken Trischuk from P16 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti purple, Grip Wax:
"Groomers? We don't got no groomers?! We don't need no stinkin' groomers!!" (with apologies to John Huston)

After skiing most of the week out of P10 I went a little higher in the park to P16 and skied along the Pine road. Apart from the first climb out of the parking lot the skiing was excellent. A little slushy in the direct sun and a little icy in the shade but flat and smooth and generally fast skiing. AThe surface is starting to get a little dirty but overall not too bad. The bridge at the start has no snow and that first climb was a bit icy (nicely corned up/slushy on my return trip) but once you hit the treeline the snow is fine. Only one thin spot by the little bridge about 1 km from Herridge but I was still able to ski over it (although one short stretch was fading fast on my return trip). From there out to Lac Phillippe was good coverage with the classic tracks showing little gravel patches as you approach the lake. Overall an excellent day out to ski but just a little too windy to sit by the lake and enjoy the sunshine (oh the hardships).

Too bad there were so many people at P10. Other than the ski team (out for another epic ski?) I saw only a few people skiing and for the most part everyone had big smiles on their faces. Certainly agree that Demsis could have earned a little more good will by ending grooming after Sunday (Friday? Really? What's up with that?)... but good skiing can be had if you look in the right places and time your trip.
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Apr 2 (2011-04-02) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: CH10 + rilling, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 up the Fortune Pkwy, west on Ridge to just past the western intersection with 24. Conditions were rough (ungroomed) and icy at the start, quickly softening as the temperature rose. The Fortune Pkwy was badly churned by heavy traffic. Ridge Road was better (in part because under the trees there had been less radiational cooling and the snow was softer) and in part because there had been less traffic. West of the intersection with 2 conditions were very good, apart from one bare patch near the valley lookout. There was another bare patch at Shilly Shally and also a couple of exposed rocks (easily seen and avoided) on Ridge between Huron and 1B. Overall I highly recommend skiing this afternoon or tomorrow. There is still lots of snow. Skating this afternoon will need soft wax and rilling to fight the suction. Sometimes cleaning skis with a rag and a little solvent while on the trail can help retain glide. Tomorrow morning timing will be critical to catch the surface thaw. P10 was a zoo today by 9AM, so you'll have to take your chances finding a parking spot.

So far this year I've been extremely polite (I think) in my comments on Demsis' grooming. Today was past the limits of my patience. If the core parkway loop and Ridge Road had been groomed, skiing would have been fantastic all morning. Instead I had to pick my way over frozen ruts trying to catch the "thaw window". The contract calls for grooming until April 15 if there is snow. I'm attaching a picture showing the snow depth beside Ridge Road on a sunny stretch just west of Huron. Clearly there is still plenty of snow. Indeed sections that are usually bare (Fortune Pkwy at the upper lake, for example) still have good coverage. Rather than grooming Demsis put up a few idiotic signs warning of ice (see photo). By 10AM that ice was slush. I guess signs are cheaper than grooming. If Demsis treats their contract with the NCC with this level of contempt, I see no moral obligation to buy a pass next year.
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Apr 1 (2011-04-01) by Craig Storey from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Worst April Fools Day Joke Ever..

"The National Capital Commission (NCC) would like to inform users that it plans to stop track setting services on Gatineau Park’s cross-country ski trails as of April 1. Read the news release."
Apr 1 (2011-04-01) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #40, #1 (blue) [10.9km], Glide Wax: LF10, Grip Wax: Universal Klister
Trail 40 to the Fire Tower. It was the slowest trip ever!! Normally we would have skied it twice in that time. The most recently groomed trails (Ridge and 24) were the fastest and 40 the slowest. It was a beautiful day, though and the sun broke through while we were at the Fire Tower. Interestingly the stretch to the Fire Tower looked to have been groomed in the last day or two.

We were amazed at the quantity of snow still on Ridge. Check out the 2 snow-depth photos, the first taken where the snow is packed at the side of the trail, and the 2nd on trail 40 where snow is still as deep as the lower rail of the bridge.

There was one bare spot only, and Paul's report has a nice photo of it. Very little ice. The steep hill at the base of the Wolf Trail was still well covered although somewhat icy.
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Apr 1 (2011-04-01) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice day after all, bit of sun, warm temperatures. Skied up from P12: #40=> #24=> #1=> #2=> Western chalet=> #2=> #40=> P12. Still good coverage in this area, about a foot of snow on the bridges on #40 still. Only 2 bare spots on my run, see pictures.

Should be good for another week, before the rock skis and some walking starts. Looks like a nice weekend coming up, probably a good idea to head out early morning for faster conditions before it gets real slushy. Although P12 is not recommended there are no problems except for the hill from the parking lot is somewhat icy, but if you go down on either side its ok.
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Apr 1 (2011-04-01) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Karl is just back from an early morning ski. He says that Ridge Rd (#1) is freshly groomed for skate and classic and they are in the process of grooming the parkways. Basically, the skiing is good so get out and enjoy it!
Mar 31 (2011-03-31) by Andy Jonyas from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy [9.5km], Glide Wax: Unknown, Grip Wax:
The ice we cursed in December has reappeared, and now we like it. Demsis groomed the Champlain and Gatineau Parkways and as the ice is melting it makes for a relatively pleasant ski. The sun can stay away for a few days, to keep the melting down. You can now see the yellow dividing line underneath the surface, and that means its a matter of days before the map of the snow empire shrinks again.
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Mar 30 (2011-03-30) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [16km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Excellent conditions this morning from p10 (I was surprised how good it was - don't let the lack of snow in the city fool you!). Fresh grooming too! Conditions for skate skiing were good from the parking lot, but got even better as we climbed. Groomers seemed to be working a lot on Ridge Road. Ridge, 1 A&B and 24 were all in perfect shape. The strong sun started to slow things a bit on way back at about noon, but it was still great skiing. Classic tracks looked pretty good too. There is lots of snow (and hopefully skiing) left!
Mar 30 (2011-03-30) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Champlain Pkwy [21.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti purple, Grip Wax:
Quick morning ski before work. Got on track before the groomers had rolled out to P10 but things weren't too bad. Parkway was hard and icy but enough texture to hold an edge and nice and flat. Skated up to the "T" and things got even better as I skied out to Black Lake. Yesterdays grooming was still in great shape with only a dozen or so skiers having skied on that part of the track. On my way back I could hear the groomers rolling down Ridge road so a quick crust cruise across Bourgeois Lake (last days for that?) and I got some fresh corduroy. At Gossip corner one groomer went left to the lookouts while the other went right down to P10 and I passed him near Burma. If I go again tomorrow morning at that early hour I'd probably start at P8. If there is some fresh grooming to be had it will start there next to the grooming sheds. Things will likely be pretty choppy tomorrow morning without grooming as today's late day skiers will churn up the softer snow.

Classic tracks are still serviceable but a little rough. As others have mentioned the groomers are working hard to churn up the icy base but it doesn't leave much of a dent in the snow to make a good classic track. Still skiable but not too deep and icy at times.

Conditions will probably be changing by the hour over the next few days (from hard and icy first thing in the morning to soft and sloppy at days end) but there's still lots of snow so skiing should be good into the weekend.
Mar 29 (2011-03-29) by Vesta Mather from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3 [8.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti violet, Grip Wax:
Amazing spring skiing! Skated up from P10 to Burma, and through the woods and swamps. Some fresh snow had been groomed over the harder/icy in areas pack, which meant the warm wet snow wasn't actually too slow. Conditions for bushwacking were also amazing, as the snow is pretty compact, although getting soft on top from the sun and warm temps. Overall a great ski and it looks like it may even last for a while more!
Mar 29 (2011-03-29) by Roger Meager from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B [9.9km], Glide Wax: toko LF orange, Grip Wax: Toko universal ironed in + Vauhti silver plus
My suggestion for this afternoon would be either to come down with a nasty but indiscernible disease or a have a long lost relative twice removed die, drag yourself away with drama and head for the hills. Don't be put off by the state of the parkway at P5. Clatter your way to the base of Penguin where you will be greeted by some superb grooming and fast snow, all the way to Western and beyond I suspect. The skiers I saw out all seemed to have a smug grin. The skating looked wicked but with some great tracks and a wax combo working I was not jealous at all. With only one potential ER moment on the descent of penguin and the dicky patches well marked I chalked up another brilliant ski. Demsis have been saving the best to last something we are grateful for in the house at least.
Mar 28 (2011-03-28) by Roger Meager from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [14.8km], Glide Wax: toko LF orange, Grip Wax: Toko universal ironed in + Vauhti silver plus
Despite the park trail reports in the morning the grooming was fantastic all the way out to the intersection with the wolf trail; fresh corduroy and some well set tracks. The skating was fast and the wax combo worked well even in the snowier sections. It looked as if the groomer had been everywhere possible. With a cloudy day today and another cool night I think it could be another good day tomorrow. Will they groom, will they make a report, you won't know till you go!
Mar 28 (2011-03-28) by Florence Lehmann from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix Violet Extra
I classic skied from p12 today. Did #40, left on #24, #1 towards Western, #2 (blue and black) and back on #40.
Classic tracks were icy for the most part. I got much better grip on the corduroy and going down #2 had much better control as a result of the grooming.
Beautiful job by Demsis. Some debris here and there but nothing of great concern.
I tried #3 but had to turn around. No grooming done and it was basically icy all the way.
Besides that a beautiful day for skiing. Enjoy.
Mar 28 (2011-03-28) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: Ch8, Grip Wax:
I actually skate skied today (musical fanfare please!). Skied between base of Black Hill and Mica. The first hundred meters were terrible (why wouldn't they groom right to the parking lot?), the access road was good, despite a lot of ice, and the parkways were FABULOUS for skating. The groomer passed by as I reached the parkway.

But why is the NCC web site so confusing? One portion of parkway was listed as yellow, one as green, but both were in identical condition. They are also listed as being groomed on the 23rd, although I know they have been groomed a few times since then. Are they trying to scare skiers away?

Skating was really terrific and would have been a green check mark (good to very good, excellent actually), however much of the classic was truly unskiable unless you like skiing in the skate lane. Classic should have been marked with a red X. I don't blame Demsis for the classic conditions, the ice is probably beyond salvage. To be really helpful to skiers, though, both classic and skate need to be reflected in the ratings. Other major ski areas do this . Anyone showing up to ski classic here would be sorely disappointed.

And furthermore, why exactly are they not grooming below Mica? There is apparently lots of snow.
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Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Florence Lehmann from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
Skate skied to the fire tower today. Did P10 to gossip corner, Ridge to intersection with 1b, #1 to the tower, back to Champlain Lookout and to P10 via CP and FP.
Another day with excellent glide. As a friend put it, any wax would have worked today. Grooming had been done all the way to McKinstry -- beautiful. From McKinstry to the fire tower, it had been groomed by skiers -- I'd rate that part 4 stars. Only the odd patch of ice. Fortune Parkways was good on the way out, but a whole section by the lake had turned into ice by the time I got back (you could bypass it though).
A friend I bumped into said he (skate) skied on #3 and it wasn't too bad despite the fact it hadn't been groomed.
I'll try to venture somewhere else tomorrow.
Hopefully another good week of skiing awaits us.
Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Skied from P19 today down to Healey shelter and back. Stopped and spoke to Jo-Ann along the way and concur on beautiful coverage along the Pine road. I was skating so I rated it "excellent"! Fresh grooming this morning and the skating was fast and easy. I didn't see any bare spots anywhere although a couple of the south facing hills that bask in the sun would be somewhat icy first thing in the morning.

Unlike Garry I did venture out on trail 55 to Taylor lake. It hasn't been groomed in a week or two and the first few hundred meters look pretty ugly... but if you persist the trail improves greatly as you get up to the Lusk cutoff. Not perfect corduroy to be sure but flat and level and alternates between nice compacted snow and a few icy patches in direct relation to the exposure to the sun. I can report that the bench at Lac Renaud is in excellent working order as I tested it out for some time.

Quite impressed with how much snow there is. Another weekend of skiing is most definetly likely. Perhaps not as "excellent" as it was today but I certainly expect "good" skiing next weekend.
Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho Green plus wax of the day
Conditions were lovely for classic and fabulous for skating. (If I had been skating I would have rated the outing with 5 stars.) The classic tracks were generally very good, just occasionally turning to glare ice or dirt, thanks to our thaw the other week. It did mean you had to keep an eye out on all the descents.

What was most amazing today (beside the conditions and the weather) was to see the amount of snow that is still on the trails. There may be only 3 cm of snow at a particular spot near P8 (see Gatineau Park website) but there are feet of snow on much of trail 50.

The north shore of Lac Philippe was in mid Winter condition, only occasional icy patches.

Garry skied further and reported that the snow on trail 55 Green looked "pretty horrible" - barely covered, icy. (He chose not to ski on it).
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Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Colin Abbott from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #50, #51, #52, #53, #54 (green), Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #36 (blue), #1 (blue) [88.8km], Glide Wax: N/A, Grip Wax: Vauhti Blue Klister
There is amazing, flat out AMAZING SPRING SKIING in Gatineau Park right now. Skied the "loop around the park" starting at Asticou, skiing on the parkways and number 1 out to mckinstry, cutting through the bush on old trail 10 to Lac Lusk, then skiing from P19 to Wakefield, then back to Meech Lake, on Meech Lake to P11, up the Fortune Parkway and back to Asticou via Ridge Road and the parkways. We pretty much covered everything there is to offer in the park, and right now you can still ski from anywhere! the lower parts of the park are icier and it is difficult to find wax that works. Once you get to the main loop of the parkways and higher elevations the skiing and grooming are superb as of the 26th of March. The lake skiing is also good. If you find yourself near Meech Lake or Lac Philippe, take a turn on the crusty snow covering the ice, as it is fast, smooth and beautiful. As long as the temperature keeps falling below zero at nights, the skiing in the mornings this week and likely next continue to be pretty special.
Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [16.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Amazing day to be out there, fast conditions. Started from P12: #40=>#24=>#1=>Fire Tower back #1=>#2=>#40. Coverage all over, grooming up to McKinstry, then no grooming to the Tower but still good conditions, except for the odd icy patch in the shade.

Lots of ski tracks on various ponds along the way, should be good another day or so for that until it starts to warm up this week. I can easily see another week without using Rock skis at all. Get out and enjoy while it last.
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Mar 27 (2011-03-27) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax:
I'll keep it short. Bundle up and GO!
Demsis scraped again, and its better than yesterday. Did a short run from p6 to Fortune Parkway, and for the most part its nice.
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Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Florence Lehmann from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
Another great ski today. I started at P16 and went all the way to the intersection with #73.
#50 had been groomed and was in perfect condition for the most part. I skated and got very good glide (fast conditions today). Classic tracks looked good: deep, not icy. A couple of spots will be bare soon. First on the bridge right at the beginning. You could ski across with your two skis close together. Soon you'll have to gather momentum on the downhill and hope you can jump over the gap. ;) The other spot is shortly before the sharp turn before you head up to Healy or Herridge (there is an intersection there but I'm not sure what it is). I saw one lonely rock on the side at one point but nothing of concern.
Too bad I don't have a digital camera. There would have been some good pictures to be made around Lac Philippe.
I bumped into a few people who ventured onto #36 (off 50)for a bit. They said it was a bit icy and they saw a few rocks but it was ok according to them.
Get out there and enjoy #50 while you can (and let me have a parking spot at P10 tomorrow ;). You can still use your good skis there.
Happy skiing.
Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (blue) [21.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
Everything started fine: I was just going to skate to the tower on superb skating conditions. OK! André & l’équipe de traçage had delivered the superb skating conditions on FP, CP, #1, and #1 blue. However I was seduced by ponds everywhere I looked - regardless of the quality of the groomed tracks, the ponds were better. By the time that I crossed the wolf ridge - it was game over. At the bottom of the west-side of the wolf ridge, before the creek and the new bench, there is a long pond to the south that is prime crust-cruising terrain and to the north a fen/meadow. The pond needed skating - not once but at least three times - it was great but there had to be even better. I knew that if I crossed the road, skied across the meadow, and bushwacked a little bit I would arrive at the pond that leads to Osprey Lake.

Without question Osprey Lake was worth the minor pain of a little bit of bushwacking. Once in the lake it was circuits of the lake interspersed with soaking up the sun. The attached photos are of the lake.

The skate back to P10 was good, maybe even great, but nothing compared to what I left behind on the lake and pond.

My tracks are there if you want to follow. Tomorrow I plan to go classic up #40 and hopefully to the tower and will see what that brings
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Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 up Fortune, west on Ridge to the first intersection with the Wolf Trail, then back via the Champlain Parkway and Fortune. The NCC report noted grooming on Ridge Road, but there had also been grooming on the Fortune and Champlain Parkways. The grooming was generally good, and made a huge improvement over yesterday. In most places the grooming had left a layer of sugary granular snow over a hard base. There was definitely enough of the sugary stuff to hold an edge, giving fast but very controllable skating. The Fortune Parkway was pretty good, but Ridge was excellent. The Khyber pass was in the best shape I have seen this year. Despite the intense spring sun the surface was still cold dry powder in the late afternoon. Even without grooming skiing should be very good tomorrow on the core trails and parkways. Coverage in a few places (e.g. Champlain Lookout, Fortune Parkway near the upper lake) is getting a bit thin but I'd still anticipate more than a week of spring skiing once afternoon temperatures get above freezing, even if Demsis doesn't groom.
Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #3 [28.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Just reiterating Andy and Dev's comments - A beauty ski day and tomorrow should be much the same so get out there. Skied from P6 up to the lookouts - 1B and Ridge before jumping off to crust cruise some of the ponds on the now abandoned "Hidden Valley" trail. Probably the last weekend for any of that with the warm temperatures predicted this week. Lots of beaver activity in the back ponds and the ice will probably open up in the warmer temperatures next week.

From there I jumped onto Burma which hadn't been groomed but was still quite nice. A couple of icy patches to watch out for but for the most part an excellent cruise down to the parkway. The final descent was a little sketchy (icy) but enough texture on the surface to remain in control. One gravel patch at the top of that steep descent but there was enough snow on each side to ski around it.

I would also comment that the classic tracks on the parkways looked really nice for the most part but they did occasionally turn to glare ice in spots so stay alert.

I found that, even though the temperature didn't get above zero, the sun had enough strength to soften the top layer of the snow so even the icy patches were quite skiable later in the day. Again - Get out and ski tomorrow!!
Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Devashish Paul from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B, Champlain Pkwy, #40 [24.6km], Glide Wax: Swix CH6, Grip Wax:
GET OUT AND SKI. What an amazing morning for skiing. Demsis has done a fantastic job making all the ice and frozen granular stuff skiable.

I skied from P8 and went up to the base of Penguin. Penguin was wide and level and probably the best condition it has been all year. I had spectacular views of the city of Ottawa from the top of Penguin. The grooming was perfect to Gossip corner. It was great to be the second skier on this stretch today. From Gossip Corner to Huron, the grooming was nice, but the maintenance snowmobiles had taken away that "virgin corduroy feeling", but still very good. 1b also was perfect with no ice. I proceeded towards Wolf Trail and came back via 40/Watertank. The conditions were consistently good throughout, with not a rock in sight. Definitely a day to use good skis.

From Champlain lookout I took the Champlain parkway and then Gatineau Parkway to get back. I was skating, however the tracks in the parkway looked a bit icy for classic skating. The skate track was perfect, and the classic tracks at times were near perfect, at other times, they'd swerve where the groomer could not dig into the ice, so if you are going at high speed, just don't take a nap and fall asleep going down Black's lake. Stay alert, because it can go to sheer ice in a split second.

From the Mica Junction back to P8, several south exposed faces are almost down to bare ice, but Demsis did a good job making it possible to ski.

From Mica, there is still plenty of snow coverage back towards Pinks Lake and Asticou, however, there is no grooming on this stretch, thus cutting off easy access from the south end of the park to groomed terrain. It would likely take a single pass of the groomers to make it skiable down to Asticou.

All in all, a great day for skiing. The trail is firm and we likely will not lose any snow for several more days given the cool temps every night!
Mar 26 (2011-03-26) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [13.4km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax:
Upon arrival at P6 we found that Demsis had made a nice scrape of the iced up parkways. Lots of corduroy and a good grip. A couple of hours later a lot of this had been skied over, and it was returning to the same conditions as yesterday, gripless,in many areas. Overall, its still decent enough, but it will get down to the thin ice layer from December in a lot of places very shortly.
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Mar 25 (2011-03-25) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P12: #40=>#24=>#1=>#2=>Western chalet=> #2=>#40=>P12. I guess it depends were you are in the park, I was doing classic and found the conditions quite good in this area of the park. The classic tracks were at times icy , but in general passable for being last groomed on wednesday.

The only icy spot on Ridge between #24 and Western was at the usual place near the bench were the base is thin and exposed to the sun. Trail #40 & #24 arent exposed to the sun as much so I guess it explains the better surface there.

One problem spot too is the usual descent to Western lodge which is also icy. Trail # 2 the Black section is worth coming down, its in the best shape I have seen it all year, just like a pool table no bumps at all to speak of, you can really fly down there like a luge run and still are able to control your skis.

We will see what tonight's grooming brings, it could be a nice run up to the Fire tower this weekend.
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Mar 25 (2011-03-25) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: Unknown, Grip Wax:
Echo Gary's comments. We looked for the remnants of corduroy to get traction. It is getting harder to find. Coming down the hill off Black lake was difficult. Ice everywhere. Demsis will attempt another grooming tonite but will not guarantee results. Its bitter end time.
Mar 25 (2011-03-25) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Often there is grooming on Friday even if it is not reported. I took a chance on this happening this morning. It was a big mistake. There had been no grooming, and the Fortune Parkway was rock hard. I found it very difficult to get enough edge to skate. Better skiers than me were blasting along, but I think average skaters would not have enjoyed the conditions. I wouldn't recommend skipping work this afternoon to ski unless you are a racer who likes icy, hard, fast conditions. Given the low temperatures it is unlikely to soften much today. It won't be any better tomorrow morning unless there is grooming tonight. Classic might be better- the tracks were certainly firm. There are a few truly icy sections, but there is still plenty of snow (see the photo of the base of the Khyber pass, for example). Even if there is no more grooming, once the surface softens we should get at least a week of spring skiing.
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Mar 24 (2011-03-24) by Ron Lorenson from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #56 [30.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Yesterday, 5 gars d’un certain âge - Dave, Mike, Charles, George, and myself - decided to change their spots from dilettante trail skiers and liberate themselves from groomed trails and go bushwacking, on top of the park, on the lakes, meadows, and ponds between the old #10 and the lookout on #56. It was a special day.

The day started rather conventionally on a superbly groomed #50. From there it was up #54 and, after a km up #54 we took off onto a series of meadows and ponds to join up with the trail up the ridge across from Lusk cabin. On top we used a long thin lake to get over to Lac Charette, then looped back over to the chain of finger lakes; then to Lac Des Épinettes (Spruce Lake); then to McLean Lake; then to Les Lacs Jumeaux (Twin Lakes); then down the ponds out of Les Jumeaux joining up with the old road that leads to the #56 lookout. Finally it was back to trail skiing down #56 to #55 and then back to P19 on the groomed #50

Conditions were unbelievably good with 5 cm of pure powder on top of a hard base. When we were on the lakes and ponds skating was the order of the day. On the connecting trails it was mid-winter classic. When the bush got really thick it was possible to take the skis off and just walk on top of the crust without breaking through.

The scenery up there is exceptional. There wasn’t a pond or lake up there that wasn’t a charmer - ringed with almost sub-arctic pine and spruce and, in places, heron (or osprey) nests. It places in was rough going but in the main it was unrestrained euphoria.
Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Craig Storey from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #3, #4, #14 [18.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Minus klister + K12 + Aluminum
Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Craig Storey from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #3, #4, #14 [18.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Minus + K12 + Aluminum
Late afternoon ski, perhaps just before Ken and the dreaded evening refreeze. Started at P7 though not groomed, see Paul's report. No bare spots on Booth or Penguin and descents weren't tricky pre-refreeze but might have been nasty an hour later (5pm vs. 6pm). I am glad I didn't descend either #31 or #4 - I might have used scary rather than exciting to describe them.

Once up Booth, Ridge was in great shape! Wide enough to accommodate skate and classic traffic. Well set classic tracks that weren't pushed too far to the edge - so your right pole was not sinking every stride.

Skating would have been excellent, but I choose to classic and test my waxing skills. The snow was varied to say the least. Its a rare day when a 100m stretch has shaded areas with dry powder, exposed sections with slush, tracks that alternated powdery, glazed, slush and corn. Every waxer's nightmare.

Eric used Carrot this morning, Jo-Ann Teho Green later in the morning. Neither of these would have worked when I was out. I initially I got up Booth on silver minus klister with a thin violet cover. But that wasn't enough grip in the wettest sections and iced in the powder. So I tested Vauhti's new K12 on one ski and Vauhti Aluminum on the other. (covering the de-iced klister)

Both waxes are silver coloured and rated for +1..-1C, but more importantly purport to work well in mixed snow types. And so they did to my satisfaction! Only on the wettest tracks on the parkway were they really without grip (red klister needed), and they managed the driest sections of Burma (perfect carrot snow) with acceptable drag. It was abrasive and I did loose wax, mainly on the Burma bobsled run and avoiding the guy sprawling on the parkway at the bottom. Overall 8/10.

I doubt any single wax would be perfect everywhere today given the variability and blend of conditions, you just had to make do.. or skate. Classic the rest of the week will get easier. Gradually the powder will transform, the slush dry out. Probably klister covered with hard wax will work well, but which ones depends on when you ski.
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Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Beautiful ski after work and I managed to get it mostly in before the sun set. I skied mostly the same trails as Jo-Ann but some conditions had changed a bit since this morning. Still great skiing but some of the open areas exposed to the sun all day had melted down and now with the sun setting had refrozen into icy patches. For the most part they were in flat areas so not a real hazard but something to watch out for. Such is the nature of spring skiing. Not sure if/when Demsis will renovate the tracks next but if the daily highs remain 1 or 2 above the tracks shouldn't degrade too badly and good skiing should continue through the weekend.
Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Florence Lehmann from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30, #4, #14, #31 [16.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
Fabulous ski today. Perfect grooming on Ridge and the parkways.
I started from P7, up #30, Ridge to #4 and #14, back on Ridge to Huron cabin and Huron Lookout, CP to T-junction and gossip corner, and back via Ridge and #31 and #30.
As Paul's said, Ridge, #4, #14 and the parkways were very well groomed. #30 and #31 were so and so going uphill and exciting going down (to say the least). Classic tracks looked really good on Ridge and the parkways.
Demsis has done an excellent job of "fixing" CP around Huron Lookout (and I guess Champlain Lookout too).
It's shaping up to be a great weekend of skiing. Enjoy. :)
Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30 [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another Bravo for Demsis good job!!! Skied out from P7, Ridge from Wattsford lookout to Shilly Shally great classic tracks almost like mid winter. Also groomed were #4, #14. also there is some backcountry tracks from yesterday on trail #8 & #11, I guess a few skiers tried those out.

The only problem from P7 is trail #30 has not been groomed, I figure because part of it got water on it last week and they put a barricade part way so the groomer would not be able to pass on that part. It is skiable but a little bumpy to say the least.

The next week looks like great skiing sunny skies and the temperatures around the freezing mark. I can easily see 10 + days of good skiing, then we take out the rock skies which could bring us to mid April, that would be fantastic.
Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #24 [12.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho Green
The web site was quite late in updating this morning (9:30) , and indicated that all the trails were either yellow (fair) or not recommended. However I had already removed yesterday’s glop from my classic skis and rewaxed, so I decided to try P10 again (marked fair). If I found they had turned it to ice, I was going to take the dog for a very long walk.

I nearly cried when I saw the trails! Beautiful grooming! The groomers had groomed at the right time, with the right equipment and evidently with a great deal of care. It was one of the best skis of the year, one of those you remember when telling people, in July, what a fantastic sport cross country skiing can be. I skied Fortune to Ridge to the Wolf Trail, took 24 and Ridge back. The Teho green worked like a charm, just enough grip to really go, and no rewaxing needed. Every trail I saw should have had a large bright green check mark.

Here is what was well groomed, from what I skied on, passed by, or heard about:
Fortune
Ridge, both directions from Gossip, to the Fire Tower (or was it McKinstry?)
Burma
#2
1B
#24 - it was beautiful
Trail 40 - wish I had more time to ski this.

To be clear, there was no ice whatsoever except an incredibly obvious small patch on Ridge near Burma. The classic tracks were sometimes icy, but certainly not a hazard. Just kind of fun and fast. I saw no ice in the skate lanes, not even on downhills.

This was certainly an excellent day! Bravo to Demsis for not giving up on us yet! If you have an unused sick day........this is an opportunity to improve your health!

I’ll be posting photos late tonight on my site.
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Mar 23 (2011-03-23) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #33 [10.3km], Glide Wax: lf 6, Grip Wax: carrot whit good binder
Très belle condition!!! Très rapide car la neige est mélangé avec de la glace. Les traces de classique sont fermes et un glacé un peu. Il faut un excellent binder peut-être même un klister très mince car le fart dur arrache facilement. Bravo à DEMSIS d'avoir fait le réseau au complet!!! Les conditions seront très bonnes pour le restant de la semaine! Bon ski!!!
Mar 22 (2011-03-22) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30 [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The website reports this afternoon:For your safety, it is preferable to ski on trails that have been groomed in the last 24 hours. Well sorry NOTHING has been groomed since sunday. What could of been a great day for skiing, nice temperature,sun, guess what DEMSIS dropped the ball yet again.

The conditions varied from slushy, icy, powder and crusty, with many bumps along the way. I often wonder what do these guys do all day sit in a cosy office. The only sign was a few skidoo tracks going to Keogan and Shilly Shally .They have no excuse for not grooming overnight with the cold temperatures on the way.
Mar 22 (2011-03-22) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax:
Skied #10 to Champlain and Gatineau Parkways, to look for groomed
surfaces. Found none, just lumpy mashed potatoes to ski on. After a hard slow 12km, left early to beat traffic. Too bad, it was a really nice day. Hope for a snowmobile pass in the days to come.
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Mar 22 (2011-03-22) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: irrelevant, Grip Wax: irrelevant (you name it I tried it)
I hoped for a nice long ski with all this nice fresh snow. The park was beautiful and quite a few skiers were out. The skaters made their own skate lane, and by noon it looked almost as good as Demsis could have done. The classic, though, was a nightmare for me, and evidently for many others as well. The conditions were truly capricious. From no grip to 4 inche, snowy stilts changing from one moment to the next. Some skiers were actually carrying their skis up the Fortune parkway! And one man emerged from trail 9, carrying his skis.

Anyway, I went intending to enjoy the scenery, and so I did. In fact the highlight was sitting under the bird feeder at Shily Shally (my final, not very heroic destination), listening to the birds go at it. I have a lovely video of the bird song , and when I figure it out, I'll post it (but not here).

As far as grooming goes, since Demsis has already left the skiers to their own devices today, I truly hope they will hold off now until the temperatures reach the low point tonight, and that they don't do a late aftenoon pass ("groomed before 8:00 a.m."). It is suppoed to go down to minus 17 tonight and there is a relatively cold week coming up. If they do wait until the wee hours, and do a thorough job of tilling, conditions could be great for the next few days. I'm not holding my breath.
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Mar 22 (2011-03-22) by Ron Lorenson from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Summer Wax - Start Red ?, Grip Wax: Klister ? bas3 with Vauhti tar and Swix V30 blue
Did a family ski on the North Loop. Used the opportunity to test out a pair of old soft classics that I plan to use for a back-country ski. The wax was largely a function of their most recent function with a bit of tar and Swix blue added on top of a thin klister base Surprisingly the combination worked quite well.

As Éric reported this AM there is no grooming anywhere. The 11 cm of snowfall has compacted down to 5-7 cm. The best news is that the new snow is sticking to the ice below. With the low temperatures predicted for tonight the new snow should crystallize into something great - powder or sugar. Already at noon there were places where the snow was beginning to change into something faster. The classic tracks were skier-tracked on top of the previous tracks and were not great but not that bad. Skating appeared to be a real slog and is not recommended unless you’re looking for exercise.
Mar 22 (2011-03-22) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [11.4km], Glide Wax: swix HF 8, Grip Wax:
Where is DEMSIS!!!! Ou est DEMSIS!!! À 8h00 les machines sont encore dans le garage.... Il est tombé au moins 10 cm au sommet!!! La neige est beaucoup moins humide qu'en ville. J'ESPÈRE GRANDEMENT qu'il veule préserver la neige d'aujourd'hui pour ensuite sortir cette nuit car la température sera froide la nuit prochaine. Présentement, les conditions sont bonnes et molles. Bon ski!!!
Mar 21 (2011-03-21) by Florence Lehmann from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [20.4km], Glide Wax: CH180, Grip Wax:
Skate skied in fresh snow from P6 to CP to GP until intersection with #15 and back. Then a little bit on CP towards Black Lake and back. No sign grooming. Sinking in the deep fresh snow... slowly.
An attempt to classic ski turned into... snowshoeing on skis. :)
Mar 21 (2011-03-21) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [26.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Plus
First day of Spring? I skied the Southern part of the park yesterday late afternoon. According to the NCC nothing had been groomed there in a week. Since grooming had been abandoned early I expected a rutted surface, bare spots and ice - I got the best ski of the year!

Spring snow goes through a huge transformation - daily. Overnight it freezes, mid-morning it starts to thaw in the Sun, it might even get wet and slow. But when once the snow goes through enough freeze-thaw cycles and the water drains away or evaporates you are sometimes left with nice dry corn snow. These little icy ball bearing can make for some of the best spring skiing as was the case yesterday. The skating was effortless, but downhills and edging controllable.

I skied #5 end-end, #26, #29 around Skinouk, and checked a bit of #15 (without leaving big skating ruts on a classic only trail). Everything was full coverage except at the #26 intersections with the parkway where there was an easily avoidable bare spot.

So lots of skiing in the Southern end, means lots more skiing in the North. Best news is that 5-10cm of fresh clean snow will delay the melt a few more days. Unfortunately, it will be few days until that perfect corn comes back.
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Mar 20 (2011-03-20) by Florence Lehmann from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #32, #3 [12.2km], Glide Wax: Swix CH180, Grip Wax:
My very first report. Today, I did P9-P10, FP to junction with #3, #3, #1 to junction with 1b, CP to FP and back to P9.
#32 is a lost cause. Half of it is straight ice. I walked that part. (If only the parking lot at P10 was bigger.)
Though the snow was soft around midday, I got fairly good glide on the parkways, #1 and #3.
#3 was beautiful today. Apparently it was groomed yesterday and it showed. The trail was in much better shape than a week ago. It was even throughout. A bit of ice showing up Burma and one largish ice patch somewhere (between bogs after a downhill stretch). The classic tracks on #3 were anywhere from non existant to beaten up to shallow, for the most part. I met up with a classic skier who said it wasn't bad though (she had waxless skis).
#1 (between 3 and 1b) was good. Only one medium size rock showing.
The stretch between Champlain Lookout and Huron Lookout was still quite icy early afternoon. Double polling was my best friend then.
Overall a very enjoyable ski. Lots of people started out in the afternoon to avoid the icy trails.
I recommend doing #3 while it's good.
Mar 20 (2011-03-20) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #30, #4, #14 [17.1km], Glide Wax: Purple, Grip Wax:
As Eric suggested - everything that was groomed was very nice this morning. A few icy spots but for the most part fast and easy skiing. I started from P7 and trail 30 hadn't been groomed up to Wattsfords. For the most part it was manageable on the way up - a little awkward/icy but not too bad. By the time I got back later in the day the surface had softened nicely for an easy descent. Couple of icy spots to watch out for but not in surprising areas and they are well flagged. The groomers had rolled ridge and then dropped down Penguin so from then on I had beautiful grooming throughout with the exception of the Champlain parkway past the lookouts. Looks like they've abandoned grooming it as its pretty icy now. It had sofened in the sun to managable level when I skied through but probably not much the groomers can do with it unless we get more snow tomorrow.

Managed to time my ski really well as per Ron's suggestion yesterday. Got good skiing early and then stayed for a little sunshine late. Most of the benches were in full use but I got Brule lookout and its sun warmed rocks to myself to enjoy the sunshine and salute old man winters departure. What will spring bring us tomorrow?
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Mar 20 (2011-03-20) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #1 (blue) [26.7km], Glide Wax: lf4 at themorning!, Grip Wax:
Les conditions étaient bonnes sur les sentiers qui ont été groomés. Ce matin très rapide avec une neige mélangée de glace. Pm, les conditions commencaient à être plus lente surtour au soleil. Si, il tombe 5-10 cm demain, on risque d'avoir quelques jours de plus naturellement si notre DEMSIS national sort les machines sans évoquer de raisons..... Bon ski!!!!
Mar 19 (2011-03-19) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: don't think it mattered too much..., Grip Wax:
Skied out of P19 today on a lovely spring skiing day. Skied 50 - 55 - 54 up to Lusk cabin and then back to 55 and out to Taylor lake before returning along 50 to ski a ways south before finally returning to the car. Started a little late but conditions were pretty good regardless. Trail 50 had been groomed this morning and was a little soft when I got to it but pretty nice skiing regardless. 55 and 54 had not been groomed but in the warm sun the top layer had softened nicely and the skating was excellent. The climb up to Lusk cabin had a number of icy patches which were well marked with flagging. For the most part they were softening in the sun but the particularly steep pitch half way up is well shaded with trees and remained icy. Worst case you could walk up/down but I skied on the snowbank with good success. The deck at Lusk cabin is in excellent shape and I partook of it for some time feeding the local "landlords" and enjoying the warm sunshine.

Finally dragged myself back to the skiing and went out to Taylor lake. The main trail to the lake is fine but the trail along Taylor to the yurt is starting to show signs of gravel. No surprise I guess as it faces due south and the sun is working hard along there. I was still able to ski out to the yurt but it won't be long before you'll have to walk that stretch. By the time I got back to trail 50 it was late in the day. The shady spots were still quite nice but sunny stretches the base had been churned into a mashed potatoe consistency. Slow going back to the car but then again I wasn't in a rush...

As others have noted, lots of snow. I would wager next weekend there might be some short portages opening up in predictably sunny spots but still some good skiing to be had. Two weeks? Only the weather gods know for sure.
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Mar 19 (2011-03-19) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
The intent was to skate from P16 to Taylor Lake and sit in the sun at the lake. Almost made it but opted for the sun at Lac Renaud instead. Conditions on #50 were as good as could be expected after the recent warm spell and rain. The classic tracks looked quite firm and well-formed. The skating track had no ridges but did have many waves - I expect early this morning there was still warm snow under the frozen crust above causing a wavy track in many places - once I got used to the rhythm of the waves it proved to be quite restful. The connector trail to Healey’s had not been groomed and was quite uneven - with the frozen crust it looked like a quite nasty descent to the shelter. #55 shared has not been groomed and is icy and uneven - also it has been quite walked on - it’s not a pleasant trail to ski on for any distance and this is why I gave up on Taylor Lake and settled for Renaud. There’s less snow in the Lac Philippe area and on #50 than on the ridge - many of the usual thin places are showing gray and brown while elsewhere there is adequate snow.

The classic skiers were having variable success: some were doing fine; others were spinning. Many people were skiing on waxless which made a nice musical accompaniment to the wavy skating.

I expect the grooming tomorrow morning will be able to flatten out the waves and skiing on #50 should be great - hopefully the tracksetter will make a pass on the Healey entrance to make the shelter more accessible. Éric Rouleau told me Ridge Road is great and that’s probably where I’ll be heading tomorrow. Tomorrow, wherever you go, go early for the skiing - stay late for the sun.
Mar 19 (2011-03-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice sunny day to be out there with fast conditions. Started from P12 : #40=>#2=>#1B=>#1=>#24=>Bench on #40=>P12. More people out today then last weekend, they had the difficult conditions banner hanging from the parking lot sign.

Although it had trail #2 marked with a RED X on the website, I decided to inspect it myself going up, I found nothing wrong with it as you can see on the pictures, but I suspect they found it too hard or icy to mark it as safe. There is still a real good base on most trails, the only thin and icy spot I saw was on Ridge at the Bench past Western. Should be another nice day tomorrow for skiing.
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Mar 18 (2011-03-18) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [7.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Silver Minus + Universal Klister
Great report by Jo-Ann. Lots of snow left. Looks like a great weekend for skiing, maybe the last of the good spring skiing. I suspect they will groom this weekend...lets hope!
Mar 18 (2011-03-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: LF 10, Grip Wax: waxless
There were relatively few skiers today. It was a hard choice between skiing, walking (but not on the ski trails!) or going for coffee.

Last night's considerable rain had pummeled the trails, but there was no lack of snow. It felt colder than plus 8, and there was a raw wind.

The big black groomer and the little yellow one came by about 11:00, and it made a huge difference. They groomed the Fortune Pkwy, Champlain up to Huron and towards Blacks, but not Ridge. It was great - much faster, and our classic group was able to get grip with both waxless and klister. The skating looked so, so appealing!! The downhills were fast enough to be fun.

My only question is whether they will groom again tonight after the temperatures drop. If not, everything will be very icy. If they do groom at the right time, it will be fantastic.
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Mar 17 (2011-03-17) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [28.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8 and LF10, Grip Wax:
A good day but not as great as Monday and Tuesday - but they were exceptional. I made it another lazy spring day made for slow easy skating.

My route was: P10 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 => #24 => bench on #40 => #24 => #1 => Blanchet => #1 => FP => P10

The snow was reasonably fast in the morning (particularly in the shade) but got softer and slower in the PM - the snow never got to the sucking slow stage but rather was just slow enough to make the uphills steeper and the downhills flatter. On the flat a lazy two-skate was almost euphoric. One advantage of the soft snow was that I was able to indulge myself with telemarks going down #24 and Khyber. The snow posed something of a challenge for classic waxing - some people were doing reasonably well while others were spinning - probably waxless or hairys would have been a good option.

All the trails skied on were in good shape and appeared to have been groomed recently. The skating track everywhere was flat; the classic tracks were diminishing in the warm weather

The benches are in excellent shape: the bench on #40 was good but a bit on the windy side; the bench, at the lookout on #1, was better and was a great spot to observe the ravens doing formation flying.
Mar 16 (2011-03-16) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Ski #1:Fortune - Champlain - Ridge to Western cutoff.
Ski #2: Doldrums

A late report from yesterday's two outings. I was skiing with a friend, so the morning ski (9:45) was earlier than I would have chosen on my own as overnight temperatures had been quite cold (minus 10). Demsis had done a half hearted job of renovating the skate lane on the parkways, and the experienced skaters who went by seemed to be enjoying it. The classic was left in its overnight icy state. Noisy, fast. Ridge looked too skied-out and icy for me to want to try it. After reading the fabulous reports from yesterday, I was disappointed. Considering how little grooming was done up until mid season in the park, and how full the parking lots are these weekdays, I was hoping Demsis would pull out all the stops this spring.

However, the weather was gorgeous and as the day warmed up things softened somewhat. And what a beautiful day for sitting at the lookout and chatting with friends! The snow was improving so much by about 12:30, that I went back for a second ski on the Doldrums at 2:30. Just a short little trial skate ski but conditions were just perfect (fast, controllable, just starting to soften) until about 3:00 when the sunny spots started to become slow.
Mar 14 (2011-03-14) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [17.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
I totally agree with Eric and Sheila - the conditions are fantastic for skating. This was by far the best day of the year for skating.

I made it an easy, lazy spring-time ski:
P10 => FP => CP => #1 => #24 => #1 => { Fen/pond between #1 & #24 } => #1 => Huron => CP => FP =>P10

André Fleury and the rest of the tracksetting team definitely showed the quality of grooming they are capable of. Every trail skied was in great shape - #24 was especially well done. I didn’t check out #40 but it looked good in passing. #1 blue has been done all the way.

Let me be the first to proclaim that the crust-cruising season has begun. I was able cruise all around the fen/pond. So long as you don’t edge too much you can float on top of the crust.

The best skiing, however, was on the warm rock beside the pond in full sun - I spent 3/4 hour there without any twig of conscience - bye-bye Calvinism and VO2max.

On the way back the FP was softening up and was becoming quite chopped up; however, all the trails on the ridge were holding up fine. Hopefully the FP will be groomed tomorrow.

There does not seem to be any snow lost to the thaw and rain. I measured 80 cm of snow off-track in a number of places. The only difference, from the last time I measured 80 cm of fluff. is that the snow is now firmer. Let’s think of a long season.
Mar 14 (2011-03-14) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 (black - Chelsea), #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [7.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
It doesn't get much better than this - spectacular ski conditions today - and nice warm sun. The skate track was very good, fast - but not icy, and not slowing down with the hot sun (even at 1:00). Classic tracks looked good too. There is still a lot of snow in the park. If the grooming is timed right, this should be a great week of skiing.
Mar 14 (2011-03-14) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #1 (blue) [17.1km], Glide Wax: swix lf4, Grip Wax:
Les conditions sont excellentes!!!! Bravo pour DEMSIS, ils ont fait un excellent travail cette nuit sur l'ensemble des sentiers. La ridge vers la tour à feu est de toute beauté!!!
Mar 13 (2011-03-13) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #5 (green), #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [31.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Plus klister
Skied from Asticou up #5, to #15, around MacKenzie King Estate on #7 and back on 7, Gat. pkwy, 29, 26. Conditions were good everywhere I skied and there had been fresh grooming in the morning. By 3pm it was cooling off and freezing up. Parkways looked firm and better for skating. There had only been one pass made on the narrower trails and they were a bit soft out of the track, with a crispy shell forming on top, which made some downhills trickier than they should have been.

Classic tracks in the bush were great, mixed dry and ice but not wet which made for easy grip. The parkways were glazed and harder to get grip, but the faster glide mad up for having to double pole. There's some water on both #29 and #26, but its avoidable and these sections are still skiable. Lots of skiing left, enjoy!
Mar 13 (2011-03-13) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #33, #40 [9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started from P12: #40=>#24=>#1=>#1B=>#1 to Huron chalet back #1=>#2=>#33=>#40. Everything was pretty much groomed by 8 a.m as reported on the website. Like Gary mentioned conditions are quite good and fast, the classic tracks were decent, the middle or skating lane was also good a bit bumpy in spots with a few ridges but overall pretty good considering .

I guess only the diehards are coming to ski now, the parking lots have lots of room, P8 was just a little over half full, P9 had about a dozen or so cars likewise with P12. As you can see in the picture I posted of the first bridge on trail #40 there is a good 18" to 20 " inches of snow there and some places on the outside of the trails your poles disappear almost half way.

We should be good for at least 2 weeks before the rock skis come out. It will be nice to get that extra hour of ski in the evening too.
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Mar 13 (2011-03-13) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop, Champlain Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Did a couple of skate passes of the Doldrums, then headed up the Gatineau Pkwy to Mica. There was good, fresh machine grooming everywhere. The Doldrums were a bit crunchy and had seen a fair bit of skier traffic, but were still enjoyable. Between P8 and P5 the corduroy had hardly seen any skaters. It was hard and very fast. Between P5 and Kingsmere the snow changed, with maybe 2cm of fresh dry powder over a very level hard base. I'd say the best skiing was in the vicinity of Kingsmere. I turned around at Kingsmere, but conditions were likely even better higher up. Generally the snow was drier on the crests of the big hills, and "crunchier" at the base were water had pooled yesterday. I hardly saw any skiers once I left the Doldrums.

I highly recommend getting out for a ski this afternoon (remember there will be light far into the evening with Daylight Savings Time). Conditions are really quite good.
Mar 12 (2011-03-12) by Craig Storey from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1B [14.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet Fluor, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Plus Klister
Mar 12 (2011-03-12) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Did a couple of skate passes of the Doldrums. Skating was surprisingly fast, despite the wet conditions (massive rilling of the bases probably helped). The main problem was the bumpy surface- there was no sign of recent grooming. With some machine smoothing of the surface, conditions would probably have been very good. I suspect tomorrow afternoon will bring similar conditions. It is definitely worthwhile to get out and ski (beats running in the slush and dirt on the side of the road).
Mar 12 (2011-03-12) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: waxless
It was nice to be out again. However the snow was very soft and slow, and even some of the better skaters had to stop to rest.

The waxless classic worked somewhat, but it was still a slow, arduous process. At times the poles would disappear into never-never land - a good 15 inches below the track before they hit ice! (How many cm is that?)

Is Demsis be waiting for cold temperatures before they groom, or will they decide it's now spring skiing and resume regular grooming?

I'll be posting some photos late this evening on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Mar 12 (2011-03-12) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short run from P19 via #50=> #55=>to Taylor lake and back same way. Felt more like a weekday today very few skiers in that area only 10 cars at P19 and about a handful at P17. Unlike what the website reported, conditions were slow a bit slushy but NOT icy. There were still decent classic tracks, but the skating lane was very sluggish not packed down.

As you can see in the first pic there is still lots of snow, as it is up to the guard rail. So plenty more good skiing to be had. Conditions should harden up after tomorrow night's low of -10 C, and make for a good ski day on monday.
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Mar 11 (2011-03-11) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , MacKenzie-King Rd [2.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: waxless
Short ski to check out the snow after starring gloomily out the window for the last couple of days. Didn't expect much but was surprised to find some grooming on the parkway. Appears the groomer left the barn at P8 and drove up the parkway through Mica to P6 and then back again and also did the Doldrums. They only groomed a 10ft wide track with classic tracks diwn the sides and a skating lane up the middle. I would guess it was done midday when it was clear we weren't going to get as much rain as expected. Probably an exploratory run for the groomer just as it was for me. The classic track had melted down a bit when I got there at 9pm and the corduroy was none too crisp... But the base was firm to slightly soft. The temperature was 1C as I skied so the snowpack was solidifying as I skied. Skied down to P5 and then back and drove around to P8 to see if it was groomed. Will conditions be good for skating in the morning? Or be a frozen block of ice that is unskiable? We'll have to see but I would think it would be worth a gamble to check out. As Craig suggested there is still LOTS of snow so lots of good skiing as it cools down in a few days.
Mar 11 (2011-03-11) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Looks like a soggy weekend for skiing. The NCC says "Because of the heavy rain precipitations, the surface of the trails is icy and skiing is not recommended". Don't expect grooming until the rain stops and it starts to freeze again - probably Sunday night. If you happen to ski and want to pass on a report, email info@xcottawa.ca. It could be good next week, there's still lots of snow!
Mar 9 (2011-03-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #22, #34 [8.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P7, up #30=>#1=>#6=>#34=>#22=>#34=>#6=>#1=>#30. Windy day out there some debris on the trails.Be WARNED if going on trail #6 skyline, the last two grooming passes are unusual with a classic track down the middle of the trail ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STEEP HILLS, which makes it skiable but awkward going down for snowplowing.

I called Demsis twice last week and again this week but nothing has been done.As per example you do not see a classic track down the steep hill on trail # 2 so why is there one on #6?. As you can see on the first pic, that is the first descent going counterclockwise and you see the tracks all the way down, the second pic also has them the second downhill with a curve on it.

I would prefer that trail be left in its natural state NO GROOMING if they are going do groom it like that.
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Mar 8 (2011-03-08) by Craig Storey from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #3 [13.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Spektra Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
Get out and ski the next few days! We were lucky with those last two possible season ending storms, ending up with more snow than we had before. Thrice lucky? Weather forecasters can't really predict this storm. I noticed skiers aren't taking chances or waiting for the weekend - not often P10 is full mid-afternoon mid-week!

Right now the snow is great, medium firm and fast. Grooming was variable from excellent to acceptable. Ridge was excellent, the parkways decent (awkward crown for skating), Burma was a bit soft with some hard scraped off patches and could use some attention.
Mar 8 (2011-03-08) by Logan Potter from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Also the XC Ottawa team will be in Canmore for the National Championships for the rest of this week and the following week. To check ski reports from Non-XC Ottawa members go to skitrails.ca. Enjoy the beautiful skiing!
Mar 8 (2011-03-08) by Logan Potter from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [18.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Went for a skate ski from P5 out to the junction then up towards blacks hill on Champlain parkway. Once over blacks hill went to the T junction and down Fortune parkway too Keogan. Then down ridge road and penguin back to P5.
Conditions were perfect with pretty recent grooming of all the new snow from the weekend. The sun was out and the tracks were firm but not icy. Doesn't get too much better than today.
Mar 8 (2011-03-08) by Charles Hodgson from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: #9 [5.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue
As good as it gets. This is about as close as I'll come to being able to fly.
Mar 7 (2011-03-07) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar -6 to -15
Beautiful afternoon ski for me out to the fire tower. Skied up from P12 along 40 and 24 and then out and back on Ridge road. I understand from somewhere on the web (not here) that Ridge road beyond 24 was only groomed today after the weekends storm. Things were a little rough in terms of grooming but perhaps not a surprise as a first pass. Little piles of snow chunks off the back of the groomer crowded the classic track and there were some short stretches with shallow or obliterated tracks. The skating lane looked pretty good but there were occasional ridges and bumps that would force you to work a bit harder to find a smoother line. All were mildly annoying but not enough so to spoil a great ski, rather just enough to keep you on your toes! There was one nasty icy patch halfway up the hill to the Wolf trail. Enough room to get around it on the side though. You'd see it as you climbed past on the way out and there is some yellow flagging on the tree branches to remind you of it (in case you forgot)on the way back.

Most interesting to note on Ridge was, from trail 24 out, there was only one classic track (outbound) while the other side was groomed flat. Just as I assumed that would be the case all the way I got to the "2km to McKinstry" sign... and there was the other set of classic tracks on the opposite side! And so it continued the rest of the way out to the tower. Thought about this on my ski back and deduced a theory. In the long, lonely drive out and back to the tower the groomer got confused and lifted rather than lowered the classic grooming sled at the top of that hill (at the 2km to go sign) and then drove at least until trail 24(perhaps some distance beyond?) grooming the side flat. Perhaps an easy mistake and not a terribly detrimental one. Monday traffic to the tower was light. I met only 4 other skiers (all classic) and we were all very polite yeilding the lane as required. From the looks of it probably only 4 or 5 skaters made it out that way - shame, as they had 20% more skate lane to use! So not exactly a high traffic area. Another pass later in the week should fix things up nicely. Again a few minor glitches but still a beautiful ski on a beautiful day.
Mar 7 (2011-03-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue extra
Trail 36 from O'Brien: One of the most fabulous skis of the season. Stunning weather, beautiful fresh grooming done to perfection, nary a rock or patch of ice, perfect firm, classic tracks, much nicer than yesterday because the grooming was done a day later, after the snow had a chance to dry out. The late Winter light was beautiful - I had to stop more times than I should ever admit. I got back to the car just as the light failed. Photos will be posted sometime tonight on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Mar 6 (2011-03-06) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [16.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40, Swix Blue Extra
We skied late, after the Saturday crowds. It was such a relief to have such a quantity of snow down, after yesterday's rains. The weather was surprisingly raw, damp and windy despite the minus 6 temperature, and the wax was tricky. I never quite warmed up despite climbing Penguin.
It was a good ski, nontheless.

AS we started out we met two grooming machines in tandem, rolling and setting tracks.

Most of the Penguin hill was in excellent shape (and evidently well used, too) until two thirds of the way up, where there was a huge section of ice (see photo)from yesterday's thaw. It should have been much more clearly marked at both the top of bottom of the hill. As it was, there were a number of festive ribbons here and there in the trees.

Ridge was generally very good, although it did appear to have been groomed when still fairly wet - those regular telltale ski-width lines were in quite a few sections of fairly shallow track. There were some icy patches on some of the hills as well a section of unskiable ice from yesterdays thaw a bit east of Keogan.

Fortune was very good also, although the tracks were quite shallow and the skate lane rather chewed up from the day's traffic. The one thing that really slowed me down, though, was the beautiful sunset!

The classic tracks on the Doldrums appeared to have been groomed somewhat earlier. On the final stretch to P8, there were numerous chunks of hard snow alongside the classic track. It was a nice fast finish!
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Mar 6 (2011-03-06) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #3, #4, #17, #31, #32, #11, #12 [28.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot
We're certainly being blessed with great, late season snow. After yesterdays rain - which must have turned to snow early last night - the condition were near perfect again today in the park. Skied a loop out of P7 sampling bit of everything. Up Ridge and then out 17 and 11 before cutting over to Shilly Shally and taking 12 up to Burma. Then back to Fortune valley on 32 and home on trail 4 and Ridge road. About 10 or 15cm of snow was down on top of a crusty base that had probably seen alot of rain and then started to freeze up. Saw a couple of spots in low areas were water had likely pooled during yesterdays rain that had then frozen solid (like where 30 and 8 meet halfway up from P7). They were easy to ski around as long as you knew they were there on your way down. My grip seemed a little warm for the -6C weather but not too bad and the glide was excellent.

On the backcountry trails I found poling a bit of a chore. Poles would sink through the fluff and then periodically break through the crust below and sink 10 or 12 inches without much warning. Made it difficult to use the poles for propulsion but the steeper climbs seemed to be better compacted below the powder so only a bit of a problem poling on the flats and slight inclines. A little slush hidden below the powder on Bourgeois Lake but was able to follow someone elses tracks and dodge around it.

Ridge and Burma were in great shape. Fresh gooming had been done today. While maybe Burma was a little soft for skating the classic was great. Parkways were also in excellent shape for both skate and classic. The classic tracks seemed to have periodic bits of icy corduroy in the bottom of the track. Might be aggressive on the grip wax in the long term but I wasn't on them too long to have a problem and it didn't seem to affect my grip.

Met a family of snowshoers on the Lake trail as I headed into the Fortune valley. They had "broken trail" out from Camp Fortune. While I'd perfer if they didn't walk on the ski trails I imagine its hard to stop people and where I met them it didn't seem to make much difference - at least not on this day and these conditions. Skied past the race trails at Fortune and they looked to all have been groomed though I didn't ski on them for any distance. Should be good week of skiing ahead.
Mar 5 (2011-03-05) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver/Vauhti Red
It is -2 and still snowing at 11 AM, which of course, is good. The groomers were out this morning on Fortune Parkway, Ridge Road and Burma. While waxing for classic is a bit tricky, skating looks very good, but certainly, expect soft conditions! We used "hairies" with modest success.

Interestingly, the snow seemed more wet at by the Fortune/Ridge Junction than it did on our way up, so keep that in mind. Finally, the best tracks I saw were on Ridge Road (VERY NICE, actually), just because they had been done a bit earlier and were the most solid.
Mar 4 (2011-03-04) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, Champlain Pkwy, #3, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [31.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Probably a moot point to report now as conditions are changing and "weather" is moving in as I type this. That said, another beautiful day on the trails. Did a loop down Ridge road and wanted to take one more run down Burma while the snow was at its best with a nice corduroy track. Parkways and Ridge were also in great shape and should survive quite the predicted weather wuite well. Met a few friends on the trail all of whom had dodged work to get in another ski on the excellent tracks while they last.

Did a short loop down to Chalet des Erables and found the race trails had been freshly groomed again. Looks like maybe more Biathalon competitions(?) going on this weekend as a beautiful starting grid has been groomed out. Also met someone from the Ottawa Orienteering Club out setting control stations. They're having a competition out of Keogan on Saturday morning (if interested drop by and they'll take "walk ups"). Fingers crossed tomorrow's "weather" once again proves to be more snow than rain.
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Mar 4 (2011-03-04) by Megan McTavish from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Carrot
Perfect skiing today. The grooming on the parkways was fresh and firm. Hopefully it doesn't rain too much tomorrow, but even if it does I think we have enough snow to pull through it.
Get out and enjoy tonight if you have a chance!
Mar 4 (2011-03-04) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti -1 to -6 tar as base: Swix blue V30; Vauhti carrot; Swix VF30
This was going to be day to visit an old friend - Lusk Lake via #54 black with a nice easy run down #54 green - starting from P16 and commuting via #50. When I got to the end of Lac Philippe there was a single ski track on #54. Being a Chardonnay-sipping dilettante skier on Madhus Tetrasonic skis I decided that it would be much too much effort climbing up to Lusk Lake on narrow skis waxed for tracks through the deep fluff - so I continued for about 1 km beside Lac Philippe and then returned to P16. If only a brigade of real skiers on real skis had gone up laying down a good track everything would have been fine.

Notwithstanding the situation with #54, conditions were fine throughout: #36, #50, & #52 were trackset this AM and are in great shape. For the skaters, the Demsis ridge has largely disappeared with a good, wide, flat skating track in most places. In some places there was a bit of a ridge where the tracksetting was difficult such a tight curves and the Meech Valley wind-tunnel; however, it’s not a major problem and I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t been looking for it.

For reasons unknown I had problems with my kick wax. I started off with Swix blue V30; then changed to Vauhti carrot which didn’t work much better; finally I switched to Swix VF30 (fluor predecessor to VR30) which seemed to work better. Perhaps the problem was that the snow is just getting a touch old.
Mar 3 (2011-03-03) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF + graphite, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar (-10 to -30) + Swix Blue (V30)
A perfect day for a run out to the fire tower with 1 cm of new cold snow, great temperatures, and lots of sun.

P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 => fire tower => #1 => short cut across the pond => #24 => #40 => P12.

#24 & #1 up to #24 were track-set this AM and were in perfect shape. #1 blue & #40 were done Tuesday AM. #1 blue hasn’t had that much traffic so the grooming is still intact and in good shape. #40 has been loved to death over the past three days and is getting somewhat worn - each downhill has parallel furrows (luge-runs) made by snowplowing skiers; however, the snow is soft and there is lots of snow at the side so control is not a problem. The 1 cm dusting of snow has improved #40 and #1 blue - with the cold snow I was able to go up #40 like the proverbial human-fly. The glide was slow in the shade and great in the sun.
Mar 2 (2011-03-02) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #22, #34 [8.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
These are the days after monday's snowfall where the backcountry trails are a must as the end is near for these trails. Did a short loop around #6 , then on # 22, and back around #34, even better conditions as far as the snow then yesterday, as these trails are now more packed down, making it easier for the uphills and less bumpy on the downhills.

Nice and sunny, and in the bush not as windy which made it pleasant. I suspect those rocks on Highland trail which Ken mentioned in his report yesterday will not get covered this year as the strong sun's rays are beaming right on the top of that hill, I witnessed that yesterday when I came closer to the star of the hill, and they are nasty rocks right in the middle of the trail.

Tomorrow should be a great day for skiing sunny and no wind, lets hope the weekend forecast changes from rain to snow!!!
Mar 2 (2011-03-02) by Kyle Power from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #15 (blue) [10.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Purple, Grip Wax: Something warm cover with Vauhti Carrot
Myself and Colin got out for a taste of fresh air and a short ski about mid morning. We started out at P1, Asticou and headed up the Parkway, then down on to Trail 5 and 15 and then making a pretty fun loop coming back down on #25 (a fun backcountry trail with no ski busters). The inner trails and backcountry trails are the place to be today, ie sheltered. On the Parkway the classic tracks are all blown in but if you didn't mind the wind gusts, skating would be okay. Off the Parkway was beautiful, fresh snow with okay grooming and lots of sun beaming through the tree's. Happy Skiing!
Mar 1 (2011-03-01) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #6, #30, #9, #8, #17, #22, #34 [27.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: carrot
Indeed, one of the nicer ski days of the year. Did a tour of some of the backcountry trails starting from P7. Skyline(6), Pleasant Valley(34), Upper Sparks(22), Western(9) - then a slight deviation on the Camp Fortune race trails before continuing along Merry go Round(11), Franks(17) and finally Highland(8). Only got to break out one small section of 34 owing to my late start but the rest of the trails had only seen a half dozen or so skiers so still some fresh powder to be had. The groomed runs were pretty sweet as well. A little soft owing to the amount of fresh snow but still nice! Likely they had been groomed this morning so will set up firmer over night. The race course had been regroomed and the rugged classic track I saw last time through was now perfect thanks to having some snow to work with.

Thought I'd missed my chance this season but the snow gods are gracious and allowed this Ukrainian boy a chance today to do the Highland Fling... and for that I am grateful. Found one rock at the top of the first big drop (it was hiding in the fresh snow but I found it ;) but with that hills name perhaps it should be "on the rocks" after all...
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Mar 1 (2011-03-01) by Ron Lorenson from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Swix blue (V30) over Vauhti -1 to -6 tar
I agree with everything that Jo-Ann reported regarding the conditions. Today did just a short classic ski on the North Loop back-and-forth. With a good soft snow technique skating would have been great; however, conditions are definitely meant for classic. I had such good kick and glide I felt that the skis were in control ! Get out there conditions this good don't happen often.
Mar 1 (2011-03-01) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #18, #21 [18.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue
Everything was magic today. The parkways were in top shape, Ridge was beautiful in both directions from Fortune, Burma was good also, if a bit soft compared to the other trails. Ridge and Burma are both still a bit soft at the edges, so that a pole occasionally vanishes under 18 inches of snow. Perhaps it is becasue of the poor packing done earlier in the season, however it is a trivial detail at this point.

The back trails were also so beautiful today that I ventured out on 18, 21 and on the flatter bit of 11. They were wonderful - only one skier had been there ahead of me.

One comment about the parking. P10 was filling up by noon. There was a sign stating it was full while it still had room for at least 10 cars.

I thought today was the micest ski of the year. Get out and enjoy it if you possibly can.
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Feb 28 (2011-02-28) by Eric Rouleau from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #35, Camp Fortune Race Course [13.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Il neige beaucoup en haut!!!!! Les conditions sont molles!!! Les conditions seront les meilleurs de l'hiver dans les prochains jours... mais tout dépendera de DEMSIS.... Bon ski!!!!
Feb 27 (2011-02-27) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 to the Fire Tower, outbound on Ridge Road (1A), returning via the Champlain Pkwy. About 5cm of fresh, cold, dry powder over a surprisingly hard base made for slow but pleasantly controllable skiing. In exposed sections (e.g. near lakes) the fresh snow had been blown right off the base. By the time I returned skier traffic had pretty much flattened the skate lane on the Fortune Pkwy, although further west there was still lots of fresh snow. There are large patches of pavement showing at the Champlain lookout. There were also icy sections on the hill leading to the Wolf Trail lookout (not only at the 90 degree corner just below the lookout, but also on the s-curve just below this. There are also a few large ice patches on the hills just below the Fire Tower. The icy patches were well marked with yellow warning tape in nearby trees. As of 11AM no classic skiers had been to the Fire Tower. The first classic skier through will have a bit of a slog dealing with the fresh powder in the tracks.

All in all it's a great afternoon for a Fire Tower run!
Feb 26 (2011-02-26) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [17.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Out for a skate this evening. Sun didn't set until almost 6! Skied out Ridge road, made a short detour down to Camp Fortune and skied the race trails before climbing back up to Ridge and sking out to the lookouts with the short 1 - 1B loop beyond. Trails were in great shape tonight. Hard packed and fast easy skating. A couple of rocks are exposed between Huron and the lookouts but they aren't too tough to avoid. Steep descents are a little icy but manageable. Ran into a groomer(not literally) at 7pm working his way along Ridge road at Fortune Lane so the track was a little soft for me beyond that point but should be nice tomorrow morning.

The race trails have been renovated since the big thaw and are good fun. Looks like there are some Biathalon events going on there this weekend(starting grid and lots of trail markers) but no one was about when I was there. They only seem to be using loops close to Chalet des Erables but the rest of the loop is in good shape. There's even a classic track cut on one side. Its a little rough but serviceable. Probably a challenge to cut it into the icy base

Mondays predicted thaw is now looking less and less severe as it approaches so fingers crossed it brings snow instead of rain once it arrives.
Feb 25 (2011-02-25) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [9.7km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 up the Fortune Pkwy, which had been freshly groomed (probably this afternoon). The snow was like granular sugar, giving good glide and excellent control. I had been planning to turn west on Ridge Road, but this had not been groomed in days and was very hard. I therefore continued up the parkways to the Champlain lookout. To my considerable surprise the grooming continued west along 1B (watch for the exposed rock on the first downhill) and then along 1. I turned around at the intersection with the Blanchet hiking trail, but the grooming continued, probably to the Fire Tower. This far out there were perhaps half a dozen sets of tracks in the newly groomed skate lane. 24 had not been groomed. 1A and 2 from Ridge to Western were freshly groomed. The Champlain Pkwy east of Fortune had also been groomed. Conditions were very good to excellent on all the groomed sections. Tomorrow should provide great skiing in this sector on the groomed trails, even if no more work is done tonight (and frankly I don't expect more to be done).

It's worth noting that when I set out the NCC site had no mention of recent grooming on any of these trails. Fortunately I took a chance and went anyway. It seems Demsis often grooms on Friday even if the work is not reported.

Yesterday evening I did a couple of skate passes of the Doldrums, which at that time had not been groomed for (I would guess) several days and were very hard and somewhat icy. A racer might have liked the hard surface, but I would have appreciated something a bit softer for more control.
Feb 25 (2011-02-25) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30, #4, #14, #31 [12.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short outing out to Huron chalet from P7 via #30=> #1=>#4=>#14=>#1=>back on CP=>FP=>#1=>#31=>#30. Like Ron mentioned the parkways had been groomed by the time I skied on them, but the rest of the trails were not, but still in good shape.

Today I decided instead of posting trail pictures, I opted taking pictures of the wandering BEAVER, seen of Fortune parkway on the right side going up not far from the intersection of trail # 11 and before you get to Champlain parkway. The Beaver seemed to be having a great time coming in and out of his water hole.
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Feb 25 (2011-02-25) by Ron Lorenson from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7 [23.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti: Carrot over -1 to -6 tar over blue klister
A short classic ski from Asticou to Kingsmere and back.
P1 => GP => CP => #10 => #7 => CP => GP => P1. In addition I did short detours on #15 & #5.
The big groomer passed me at about 11:30 AM grinding and tracksetting the parkways. The parkways are in excellent shape with the new grooming - great flat skating track - firm, fast classic tracks. The trails in the woods (#5, #7, & #15) are still suffering from the thaw with a thin ice base and quite a bit of debris; regardless, they have been ground and reset and are as good as they could be given the problems - they are, nevertheless, quite skiable. I would assess them as fair to good.
I had good kick and fast glide throughout.
Feb 23 (2011-02-23) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhtie blue, Grip Wax: Super binder and teho green binder, covered with carrot
Excellent ski conditions this morning from P10. The classic tracks were nice and hard - a good binder under carrot grip wax (we used superbinder +teho green) made for excellent grip and glide. Skate tracks were freshly groomed and looked to be in excellent shape as well.
Feb 23 (2011-02-23) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #24, #40, #1 (blue) [26.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
Oh to be in the Outaouais now that February is here! This was an ideal February day - great temperatures, great sun, vivid colours, and great conditions.

My skating tour was: P10 => FP => CP => #1 => #24 (flat section) => #40 => #24 => shortcut across the beaver pond { timeout to sit in the sun for 30 min. } => #1 => Wolf Ridge => #1 => CP => FP => P10.

This morning the FP and CP were ground and the skating & clsssic tracks were redone. I totally agree that grooming is an art - whoever did the parkways this AM is on the level of Rembrandt. The surface was almost powder - the tracks were as good as they could be.

Off the parkways the trails were good but hard-packed and fast. On these trails the classic tracks appeared to be the best option. With a hard wax over klister they would have been great. I was told by a reliable source, however, that without a good binder or klister they ate kick wax.

Crust cruising isn’t there yet - I was breaking through the crust on the pond. Beside ridge road there is still 40 cm of snow. Bushwacking would OK but a bit of a slog with the crust on top of the snow.
Feb 22 (2011-02-22) by Charles Hodgson from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Quick skate up to Pinks Lake. Surface was hard and fast and would have been excellent except for two factors. The last grooming had been followed by a skate skier or two too soon and had some deep grooves which had set into hardened ruts. Less damaging (because the track was not deep) but more frustrating, someone had driven a motorcycle up the skate lane to about half way up Pink Lake hill.
Feb 21 (2011-02-21) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Cold green swix ( withg residual Teho Green!)
This will be such a dull report compared to Charles' "skiing with otters", but I'm glad to be out at all as my knee recovers. The wax was a big question- go with yesterday's Teho green, which worked well on yesterday's icy snow mix, or something more traditional for the fresh dusting of snow we received overnight? Not knowing for sure if there was recent grooming (none indicated by 2:00), I sort of scraped off the Teho, and added several layers of cold green. Surprisingly this sloppy, low tech approach worked brilliantly.

P10 was chaos with cars lining up to get both in and out, so we shifted to P5. One side of the parkway was recently groomed, and one wasn't, so we got to play chicken a few times with skiers coming up on the "wrong" side as we were going down the hills. Near Pink Lake we met two Bombardiers, one doing the skate lane and the other track setting. The skiing back was quite nice, except that it was into the wind. Very cold!

At the parking lot we met Hermann who told us that Ridge and 24 had just been groomed and were in fantastic shape.
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Feb 21 (2011-02-21) by Charles Hodgson from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #32, Camp Fortune Race Course, #32 [7km], Glide Wax: no-wax fishscale, Grip Wax:
I climbed up from the "wrong" end of P10 and the trail was lightly covered in powder over a hard base that I suspect was compacted by snowshoes. It was actually pretty good.

Where trail 32 comes to Fortune lake the trail conditions changed as seen in photo. There was evidence of boot prints, skis from the warm weather Friday and snowshoes here and there. Thus the Lake Trail was a tricky run. Not so bad that I didn't take it back though. I recommend keeping to the side where the crust is hard enough to keep you on top but where you don't have to deal with the clatter of all those ruts and holes (at least until we get more snow).

I then looped the outside of the Camp Fortune Race trail. I was actually trying to visualize the old trails that descended thru here. This trail was in good shape having hardened after a grooming and then gotten almost an inch of powder. I was the first over it. I apologize to skaters since I was in my waxless back country skis but at least I pulled a bunch of small logs off the trail that had blown down in the windy weather over the weekend.

I think this racing loop is an underutilized resource, the trail is so great.

Actually I wasn't the first on the trail as you can see from the second picture. A fun-loving otter had come sliding down from the little lake on the other side of Ridge Road, via Merry-Go-Round (#11), partly the race trail, then cross non-trail country toward Fortune lake.
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Feb 21 (2011-02-21) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #2 (blue) [13.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti green, Grip Wax:
Short skate ski today from P10 to Western Lodge. The Park must have got more snow last night than we got in town as conditions were really nice on the groomed runs. Most of the trails I was on had been worked hard for the Loppet on the weekend. Skiing yesterday the conditions were groomed hard, granular and icy after last weeks thaw - fast and easy glide. Today it was groomed with fresh, cold, dry snow that was a little soft. Even the trails that hadn't yet seen the groomer appeared like they might be skiable with this fresh layer of snow on top. Ridge road was nice. Even the Khyber pass had sufficient snow to make the descent fun. There was a rock or two visible on the descent beyond Huron but they were easy to avoid.

Trail 2 from Ridge down to Western hadn't seen the groomer when we went down and, while somewhat choppy, was still skiable. Last steep pitch has been flagged across the trail to advise taking the skis off and walking down to the hut. It's a sheet of ice so even walking down was a challenge. After our break we walked back up the first pitch and were met by the groomer who was out working the trails so fresh tracks for the climb back to Ridge. Burma hadn't seen a groomer yet but I suspect that was where the groomer we saw was heading next so perhaps it will be in good shape tomorrow. Didn't venture onto any backcountry trails but the conditions almost looked like crust cruising would be possible... almost. I tried at one spot and quickly broke through the crust so not quite the right conditions for that.

All in all the primary trails are looking quite good after Fridays foray into spring. Hopefully more snow is on its way so we can get the rest of the trail network tuned up for one more stretch before spring comes to stay.
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Feb 20 (2011-02-20) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #55 (green - shared) [22.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short outing to Lac Philippe #50=>#55 to Taylor lake back same way via short run on #51 that runs of #55. Like Ken mentioned yesterday not too bad considering temperature change from friday. THere was a fresh grooming this morning, decent most of the trails, except a few icy and bumpy sections along the way and some shallow classic tracks part of the route. Made for some tricky descents and fast.

Many snowshoers out today and people heading back from camping last night. We sure could use some new snow to smooth things out again like the superb conditions we had last weekend.
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Feb 19 (2011-02-19) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - alternative) [21.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti green with Vauhti speed blue top coat, Grip Wax:
Skated today out of Lac Phillipe. Conditions were pretty good considering the temperature swing we had. Groomers had rolled on 50 and 55 with decent results. A few icy patches and a few stretches of "corduroy" perpendicular to the skiing line. I envision the groomers sled chattering through the icy snow leaving a bit of washerboard behind. Not so bad though to be unskiable just a little bumpy. Classic tracks looked good with a dusting of fresh snow in the grooves.

Skied up to Lusk cabin which had not been groomed today other than a visit from a skidoo. Midway up the second steep pitch I realized it would be tricky descending... But figured it was too late at that point and skied on to the cabin anyway. First pitches up to Lusk had a lot of debris - twigs and such - but beyond the second climb the track was quite nice with a dusting of snow over the base. The ride down was indeed a little dicey but made it down in one piece. If conditions are like this in the south end of the park expect fast times in the loppet tomorrow.
Feb 19 (2011-02-19) by Sheila Kealey from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
We tested skis this morning at P5. Conditions for skate skiing were pretty good - fast, but not too icy as the groomers managed to crush most of recently formed ice. They focused on the classic tracks for the loppet, so the surface wasn't entirely smooth, but should be in great shape by tomorrow after they work on it a bit more. Classic tracks looked good but were extremely slow since they had a layer of dry, windblown snow in them - so most classic racers opted for skiing outside the tracks on the faster section of parkway.
Feb 18 (2011-02-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a short run today, to Western from P12. Like Jo-Ann mentioned slow going and poles would think down even in the center of the trail. Because of the strong winds some debris on the trails, small branches. If you are heading down to Western chalet beware its not just rocks showing but big patches of dirt showing too, right after the intersection of #9 trail, so I just took my skis off and walked down.

As I left shortly after 5, conditions were already starting to change much faster conditions. I expect the groomers to be out late tonight or early morning to get the trails ready for the Loppet.
Feb 18 (2011-02-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Waxless
Just a short ski from P10 to Huron. Of course any conditions today will be irrelevant when the freeze up happens tonight. It was about 13 degrees this afternoon, and just gorgeous, if wrong. The snow was slow, of course, but in no way disappearing beneath our skis. The only really soft snow was on the outside of the classic tracks, where the poles would sink down at least a foot. By 3:30 it already felt as though things were starting to harden up again. Thank goodness this thaw was short. I hope conditions ( and wax!!) will be good for the weekend's racing.
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Feb 17 (2011-02-17) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Skied last night and conditions were so nice I went back again this morning. Parkways were nicly groomed both wide and flat. There was even some fresh (ish) corduroy to be had on the parkway out towards Black Lake. Ridge road was in near perfect shape and again flat and fast for skating with solid classic tracks on the sides. Skied the Fortune Race trails last night and they were fun and fast - no classic tracks though. Come to think of it I can't remember when there were classic tracks on this loop but either way its a fun loop with some hard climbs and screaming descents. Checks out a few meters of some BC trails and they have changed from the weekends soft powder to slightly more chunky stuff. Still very skiable but perhaps more of a challenge. I didn't have my wider skis so didn't explore too far.

Hoping the predicted rain and hot weather isn't as bad as predicted so it doesn't mess things up too badly. Mondays drizzle in town was snow in the park so more of that would be fine.
Feb 16 (2011-02-16) by Craig Storey from N/A grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, Camp Fortune Race Course [21.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Spektra Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Teho Green + Carrot
No shortage of snow right now. The conditions and grooming are excellent - full marks today. I skied the Fortune Practice/Race Course this morning, then Ridge to Huron and back down Burma to Chalet des Erables.
- I'll echo Karl about the race course, its easily as much fun as Burma for skating. Enjoy it!
- Ridge is looking great. Its been widened and leveled nicely. The classic tracks are full depth and firm while the centre skate lane is firm and level. (See rain can be good - in small doses!)
- The Parkways are wider than I've seen them in the past 3 years. They are nicely level across the entire skate lane. The classic tracks are beautiful and deep.
- Burma is quite nice. Its set for classic and skate with room enough for each. Its more level and firm than the past few weeks, making for great skiing.

Enjoy it today and tomorrow...who knows what we'll have after that.
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Feb 16 (2011-02-16) by Karl Saidla from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Camp Fortune Race Course [5.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder, Vauhti Teho ironed in, covered with some Vauhti Fluor Orange
Skied with the team this morning at the Fortune Race trails. For skating, things are in great shape. The complete 5.5k loop is firm, fast, and freshly groomed, as are the short loops around the biathlon range. There are no classic tracks right now, but as mentioned, the skating is very good.
Feb 15 (2011-02-15) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax:
I certainly agree with Karl about the day and the conditions. Have you ever heard that moan of the winter hater “Oh February is the longest month”? It’s my fervent wish that they were right - today was a perfect February day!

Skated from P10 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 => green water tank on #24 => #1 => CP => FP => P10. The warm weather and rain has been good for the conditions everywhere in that it just added to the base and hardened it. The snow depth off-trail above the base is about 40 cm with a slight crust. All trails skied were renovated and groomed. Burma looked great from both ends with a good flat base that should qualify it for the loppet. The part of ridge from Huron to the intersection that has been so bumpy and rocky is now completely covered with a good hard, even base. Conditions were exactly as reported on the NCC web-site.
Feb 15 (2011-02-15) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, #1 (black - Chelsea) [4.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder covered with Vauhti Teho Green and Vauhti Fluor Orange
TODAY, is a great day for skiing. Ridge Road and the Parkways were more or less perfect for either classic or skate, having been groomed overnight or early this morning. Everything is both firm and fast. Blue sky, nice temperatures and bright sun don't hurt either!
Feb 14 (2011-02-14) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Yikes! How do you know when the Gatineau Loppet and Winterlude are? That's right, when the really wacky weather arrives. With the mix of rain/sleet/snow today its probably not great skiing. We'll see how the thin base survives and how much of the course they can recover. Reports on the Gloppet trails would be much appreciated this week.
Feb 13 (2011-02-13) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #2 (blue), #30, #3, #9, #4, #17, #18, #31, #12 [25.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started from P7, my route was #30=>#1=>#4=>#9=>#2=>#18=>#21=>#3=>#12=>#1=>#8=>#17=>#31=>#30=>P7.
All backcountry trails are in good shape, except #12 had one rock showing but well indicated with yellow marker.

Ron I had that experience on #36 last weekend with the rocks but I wiped out. The snow had started to fall as I was making my way back to P7. Who knows what this week brings with the warmer temperatures hopefully not too much rain.
Feb 13 (2011-02-13) by Ron Lorenson from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti -1 to -6 tar and Vaugti carrot
Had an easy classic day from P11 to Herridge and back via #36 & #50. Conditions were reasonably good with 2 cm of new snow on top of recent tracksetting. The skating track on #50 was flat (without ridges) and would have given good skating conditions. The only difficult spot was the steep downhill on #36 from the cutoff to Carbide Wilson down to the bay - it was a rock garden with many rocks showing - managed to hit three of them. The patrol has marked the spot at the top with hanging bannerguard.

The real objective today, however, was to test the advice of the armchair waxer regarding grip wax. The -1 to -6 Vauhti tar with the Vauhti carrot worked quite well with the -10 C snow in spite of the fact that armchair guy was recommending for warmer conditions. His reputation is still intact.
Feb 12 (2011-02-12) by Ken Trischuk from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #9, #40, #32, #36 (black), #36 (blue), #38 [28.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot
Beautiful powder ski day. Like Paul, I cycled between brilliant blue sunshine and dark, angry snowstorms... and back again in the space of 10 minute intervals. As such grip wax choice was often not quite right - too sticky then no grip... but wait 10 minutes and it was fine again. Never was it really bad so I stuck with the carrot wax for the duration.

Did a loop of Meech lake today skiing out trail 36 then across Meech lake and up trail 40 to Ridge before looping down back along Ridge, Western and down the Fortune parkway. The groomed trails hadn't been groomed at least since yesterday but with fresh snow falling the skier grooming was great with a solid base underneath. Crossing Meech lake I lucked out and had a group breaking trail 20 or 30 minutes in front of me. They had exposed a few slushy spots but it was too warm for the slush to freeze to the skis so the crossing was fine.

Explored trail 38 (a BC trail) and it was so nice I looped onto Western and rode it all the way down to the parkway - beautiful powder made for easy/fast descents that were very forgiving. One last loop onto trail 32 where it parallels the Fortune parkway descent and I found it broken out by snowshoers. Interestingly in the lower half they had walked beside the ski track but up top I guess they got tired breaking trail and just walked straight up the ski trail instead. Not a big deal for me descending... except they'd used up the fresh powder :( Guess I have to get up there earlier to get first tracks.

As I got down to the Fortune Parkway at Western (about 3pm) I met two big groomers coming up the parkway grooming the skating lane. Seemed to be doing a good job as the skaters I met behind them had a little easier time of it. I can only assume they weren't grooming the classic tracks because there were so many people skiing in them at the time! More snow tonight so could be a similar day tomorrow.
Feb 12 (2011-02-12) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #54 (black) [29.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started at P19, first skiing in a blizzard, then sunshine, then back to snow,then sun again, funny day. This was my route #50=> #54 Black=> #54 Green=> #55=> #50=> #55=> #51=>P19. Like Ron mentioned in his report no sign of any grooming today at all. Trail # 54 green had one single classic track, I dont know if its been like this all year?

Going up trail #54 black was a good workout, there had not been anyone coming down it when i went through it. I only met some skiers when I arrived about 1/2 km from the end of the trail. Surprisingly the trail was quite good , only spotting a couple of rocks showing, but nothing major. Even the last climb which I call the valley of doom was filled in quite nicely by the snow we got lately.

I spotted tracks going to old trail # 10, and some skier I talked to skied it last week said it was rough, bumpy not enough traffic to pack it down, so if anyone is to try it would suggest rock skis. All things considered even with the lack of grooming was a nice pleasant day to be out.
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Feb 12 (2011-02-12) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared) [38.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Swix VF30 (fluor)
A ramble on snowy trails on a snowy day - romantic visions of a bygone era of skiing. My intent was to use trackset trails from P17 for commuting to #56 and then enjoy bygone era skiing to get to the lookout on top of #56 and, possibly telemark back down. Well - Demsis delivered the bygone era right to the threshold of P17 so that for most of the day I was skiing skier-trackset trails. I gave up on #56 due to time - my route was: P17 => #53 => #51 => #50 => #55 => Lac Renaud => #55 => #50 => #52 => P17. No tracksetting was apparent on #51, #53 , & #52 ; but, rather, the tracks were skier packed from the previous tracksetting with 5 - 10 cm of new snow. #55 was listed as having been done before 8:00 AM today - it appeared to be in the same state as #51. #50 was also listed as “before 8:00 AM today”: one side had been recently trackset with one classic track and 3/4 of a skating track ; the other side was “bygone era” - I left #50 at 1:00 PM and had not yet seen any tracksetter doing the other side. I met two skaters on #50 who weren’t having any trouble; however, they were young, fit, and quite proficient in their technique. Another skater who was less proficient was having trouble and had to stop for oxygen breaks.

I had a pleasant day but it was different and slower experience than I had anticipated. Rather than being a snarly vieux bonhomme I should be flexible and adapt and enjoy what comes my way. #51, #52, & #53 are always beautiful trails to do regardless of the snow conditions. It is possible, however, that I have lost my faith in Demsis.

#51, #52, & #53 are primary trails - the requirements Section 5.3 Annex 1 stipulate that without new snow primary trails are to be renovated, groomed, and trackset twice during the week and on Saturday& Sunday mornings. With an accumulation of 5 cm the primary trails are to be done within 12 elapsed hours.
Feb 12 (2011-02-12) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #3 [19.3km], Glide Wax: CH6, Grip Wax:
Skated from P8 across the Doldrums then up the Fortune Parkway to Ridge Road. Skied Ridge Road from the top of Penguin to the valley lookout between the #24 intersections, then returned via Burma. I found quite deep fresh powder, which made for slow (although very controllable) skiing. The powder was quite deep on Fortune, making the hill climb a slog, but not so deep on the Doldrums and Ridge Road, where skating was much faster. Ridge is now reasonably level- the "crown" isn't noticeable in most places. 1B has complete coverage. Burma did not appear to have been groomed recently, and was like a backcountry trail with an ill-defined, skier-set classic track. Burma had some pretty good bumps and dips, but was very enjoyable. The final luge run to the Fortune Parkway still had lots of fresh powder, and so was controllable. Overall a great (although) tiring day to be out. What tomorrow morning will bring depends very much on whether there is grooming tonight.
Feb 11 (2011-02-11) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [14.7km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF + graphite, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar + Swix Blue (V30)
Took a somewhat convoluted classic tour around the Mc’s (MacDonald #40 & McCloskey #2 ): P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 blue => Wolf Ridge => back on #1 to water tank => #24 => #40 => #33 => #2 => P12. A very pleasant tour with generally good conditions. #40 & #2 had good classic grooming. The good news is that #1 blue skating track is much improved - it’s flat with only a slight ridge which shouldn’t be sufficient to cause problems - if you want to get in a skate-to-the-tower with the improved grooming and the warm snow predicted for tomorrow you should be able to fill your boots. The classic tracks on #1 were ideal. The only less-than-ideal trail was #33 - it’s uneven with bare spots and rocks showing. All told a pleasant day.
Feb 11 (2011-02-11) by Jo-Ann Holden from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Wow! First time back on skis in a while, and what wonderful conditions!! It seems Demsis has turned over a new leaf. I've got my skis crossed that it will be a continuing trend. Trail 50 was in great shape for both skating and classic, better than I have seen it in three years. Trail 55 (green) to Taylor Lake was as good. The only small area that was less than perfect was the actual intersection of the two trails, where the snow was quite hard and rutted. Way to go, Demsis!
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Feb 11 (2011-02-11) by Garry Tarr from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Just returned from a very pleasant overnight stay at a cabin in the Lac Philip sector. This morning I skated up 54 to the Lusk Lake cabin. Grooming was fresh, and conditions were excellent. There were a few patches of dirt under the pine trees in the steepest sections, but nothing to worry about. Classic tracks were deep and well-set.

Yesterday afternoon I skated from P19 through to Herridge. Again grooming was fresh (I put down the first set of skate tracks) and greatly improved from the weekend. It looks like heavy equipment has finally been used to level Trail 50. The bumps/ridges have pretty much gone. I would say the skate lane was as good as we had five or six years ago. Classic tracks were also firm.

It seems the NCC is finally responding to the reports/complaints regarding sub-standard grooming. I strongly suspect they are monitoring this site. It's too bad it took so long, but the Lac Philip sector is now in very good to excellent shape. Enjoy it before the thaw hits!
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Feb 10 (2011-02-10) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #9, #24, #33, #40, #17, #11 [34.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Swix extra green
Took the afternoon off to go for a ski today. Parked at P7 and skied out along Ridge road taking a sampling of loops on various trails off the sides like 17, 11, 3, 9 ,2 33 and 24. Conditions most everywhere were as close to perfect as one could hope for. My glide was a little slow but perhaps the snow was still a little cold for blue wax. The grip wax choice was good though it looks to warm up over the next few days.

Ridge road had been freshly groomed today as had the parkways and were solid with good classic tracks and the skating lanes looked very good. Even the descents like Wattsfords and the Khyber pass were holding snow though the icy layer isn't too deep below. Most likely the snow was still in place thanks to the lighter weekday skier traffic but maybe the warm days last weekend and the big groomers have worked together to bond the snow to the ice?... just a theroy. Burma had likely been groomed yesterday but a thin layer of fresh fluff on top wouldn't hold much resistance. It was significantly better than what I saw in my last report - right after the last snowstorm. Still a few lumps and bumps but none that would be much of a challenge.

The backcountry trails were - as Charles reported - in very nice shape. Didn't see any troublesome granite and the fast descents offered lots of fresh snow. Warmer days again this weekend and a little more snow off and on. For those that aren't already "CSM'ing" or "Eastern" racing... get thee skiing!
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Feb 10 (2011-02-10) by Charles Hodgson from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #30, #8, #17, #31 [8.5km], Glide Wax: waxless fishscale, Grip Wax:
Dreamy ski day on Wednesday for Highland and Frank's. Full snow cover over all rocks, only 2 slightly icy spots. Easy climbing, forgiving descents.
Feb 9 (2011-02-09) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, Camp Fortune Race Course [21.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange
I skied last night on Ridge Road, Fortune Parkway, the Fortune Racing Loop, and a bit on Burma. I echo Anna's comments. The parkway, Ridge, and even Burma were firm, freshly groomed, and nicely trackset. Nice to see that Burma is coming along well given the upcoming Gatineau Loppet weekend. Cross your fingers!

The Camp Fortune racing trail was in the best shape for skating that it has been this year. It is firm and about as smooth as you could hope for given base we have. The whole loop is in good shape. No classic tracks yet, but it is a good time on skate skis. Go hard and it will test you!
Feb 7 (2011-02-07) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #21 [15.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Super Pink covered in Violet
Great ski Today! Parked at P10 and skied Burma where I met the groomers and had freshly groomed tracks for the rest of the trail. Then went onto trail 21 which had pretty good coverage just a few big rocks that were easy to miss. Then took Trail 2 and went towards Champlain lookout and back to P10 via the parkway. Great skiing and fresh grooming on all the trails I skied (except 21 which is a backcountry trail, I think). The tracks were glazed and reasonably fast expect. The skating looks good too.
Feb 6 (2011-02-06) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #53, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [34.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax: Swix VF40 (0 to -1 fluor) over yesterdays Vauhti carrot
It was a soft day for an easy tour from P17 to Lusk Lake: P17 -> #53 -> #51 -> P19 -> #50 -> #55 -> #54 green -> Lusk cabin and back. My wax combination worked beautifully throughout the day with good glide and good kick - the fluor kick held even on the steeper hills - I never had to use the much-to-be-avoided herringbone. The route from P17 to P19 (#53 & #51) had been trackset this AM and was in great shape. The remainder of #53 (from the intersection with #51 to P19) has not been trackset this weekend; however, since it has not been heavily used looked to be in good shape. #50 and #55 were trackset this AM and for classic were great. #54 has not been trackset this weekend and is suffering from a lot of usage - the classic tracks were becoming flat - the skating track looked difficult (it’s seldom easy) with a lot of ruts and is quite narrow - the skating track is unpleasant at the bottom with a lot of gravel and bare spots - things improve as you move up the hill with more snow depth toward the lake. For the real skiers, #54 black has a solid well used track on it.

Garry has a good review of the state of #50 for skating - my only comment is that it looked better today than yesterday with fewer ridges. It would be great to be able, once again, to have a skate from P16 to Taylor Lake on a flat track.
Feb 6 (2011-02-06) by Karl Saidla from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (black), #36 (blue) [22.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Silver with a few layers of Vauhti Fluor Violet underneath.
We skied from O'Brien on 36 to the 50, and then along that to the junction with 52. 36 is passable but rough. There are some rocks poking through on a couple of the big downhills and it is quite bumpy.

Trail 50 was in great shape for classic skiing. Obviously groomed overnight and the tracks were deep, straight and firm. While I wasn't skating, I did note that the skate lane had a ridge along the side of it that would have likely made things a bit awkward.

More snow is on the way, which should continue to help improve the conditions.
Feb 6 (2011-02-06) by Garry Tarr from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Since 50 is one of my favorite trails, I decided to ignore Ron's good advice, and this morning I skated from P16 along the Pine Road to the intersection with 55. Although there was very fresh grooming, just as Ron described the skate lane was every uneven. There were plateaus of snow extending out about 60cm into the skate lane from the classic tracks. These plateaus ended with a drop of about 5cm into the skate lane (see photo). The resulting ridge was too high for the skis to ride over, so each skate stride would end with a bounce back into the center lane. This might have been tolerable if the center lane were smooth, but most of the way it was gouged with deep snowmobile tracks. The best bet was to ski up on the plateau with a very restricted stride. I still had a very enjoyable trip, but it could have been superb with a bit of flattening of the center lane. Snow coverage was quite good on the final descent into P16. There is quite a lot of dirt and debris in the snow from the pine trees (they don't call it Pine Road for nothing). Blame the squirrels!

Despite temperatures hovering at the freezing point I found the snow still fairly dry and fast. 50 is still worth it if you are tired of the Ridge/Parkways crowds, just don't expect to work on your skate technique! Classic looked very good.
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Feb 6 (2011-02-06) by Craig Storey from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #31 [8.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Spektra Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
Yee-haw! Beautiful day, great fresh snow and good grooming! Get out and enjoy the mild temperatures and fast greasy snow. Booth Hill was a great alternative to the crowds coming down Penguin. Careful descending however, if you get too close to the edges your ski will sink a 2ft and you will add your outline to the collection of full body divets beside the trail. Ridge was in good shape as Garry described, with the usual snow plow troughs. Burma was a real treat for skating! With a full sized groomer having made a few passes its firm, only moderately bumpy and wide enough for skate and classic. It had seen a lot of traffic, but was holding up well. Should be great on Sunday. Get out and enjoy!
Feb 5 (2011-02-05) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1 [17km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P8 across the Doldrums, across the Connector, up the Fortune Pkwy, along Ridge to Huron, and then back down the Fortune Pkwy. The skate lane was packed down from the day's traffic, but conditions were still delightfully fast and controllable. Ridge Road has improved greatly compared to last week. The bumps have been largely smoothed out, and the skate lane is wider and more level. There is still a significant drop from the skate lane to the tracks- quite noticeable if you move into the tracks to let another skier pass. The Khyber pass still has quite a lot of ice exposed at the sharp corner. The ditch is gradually filling in with snow, but there still isn't a lot of room for ascending and descending skiers to pass. The Connector between P10 and P9 has a couple of ugly rocks exposed in the bottom corner. Overall conditions were superb, and by 4PM the crowds had gone home even through there is now daylight until almost 6PM.

Tomorrow is likely to bring another superb skate day on the parkways and Ridge Road.
Feb 5 (2011-02-05) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #53, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [36.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot
Skied classic from P17 -> #53 -> #51 -> P19 -> #50 -> #55 green classic -> #55 blue -> #55shared -> 50 -> P19 -> #51 -> #53 -> P17. Classic was quite good throughout most of the loop with firm tracks and soft but not mushy snow. The Vauhti carrot worked quite well throughout the day - but why not - it is the Year-of-the-Rabbit eh!. The only difficult part was on #55 blue - it’s uneven, bumpy, with bare spots and soft sides - I don’t recommend it, particularly in the downhill direction.

I’m glad that I went classic - skating would have been painful. Both #50 and #55 had the Demsis ridge and in places a gully was added - in places the gully and ridge would disappear and there would be a good flat track but it would only last for about 100 m. I met some friends about 2 km from P19 - they were already discouraged from fighting the ridge.
Feb 5 (2011-02-05) by Paul Jaenicke from P11 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice warm day, started from O'Brien today just went to the intersection of trail #50 and back. Nice grooming but as suspected when the temperature warmed up and the sun came out we had all kinds of conditions in the track, from nice and firm to icy to slushy.

The first big hill going down #36 was nice right down to the bridge. I encountered one problem spot on the next hill there was a yellow ribbon to warn you, there were a few surface rocks showing. Other then that the rest of the trail was great.

As I came back to the parking lot, a snowmobile was taking of to redo the surface of the trail with one of those carpets behind.
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Feb 4 (2011-02-04) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 + graphite, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar as base + Swix Blue
It seems to have been a long winter with no fire tower; however, today I got there - from P12 -> #40 -> #24 -> #1 and back. I went classic and was glad that I did - to skate would have been unpleasant. The classic tracks were soft but firm and, although not fast, were enjoyable and comfortable. The tracksetting on #24 has been done as if it was a classic trail (the same as #40) which meant poor skating and cut classic tracks. In terms of classic, #1 blue was in great shape; in terms of skating it was extremely poor. On #1 blue, from #24 to McKinstry, the skating track had deep gouges from the runners of a maintenance snowmobile. Throughout the track was soft particularly from McKinstry to the tower. Perhaps I should now proclaim that at long last Ridge Road has its very own ridge - for the entire distance there was a ridge that meandered from the side to almost the centre. Up to McKinstry it was pushed down somewhat by the snowmobile; from McKinstry to the tower it was quite evident. My judgment is that the tracksetter was too small for the job.
Feb 4 (2011-02-04) by Megan McTavish from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [18.2km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti fluor carrot
Amazing skiing today. The fresh snow has made a huge difference. Parts of Ridge Road (#1) were groomed this morning and parts were groomed yesterday. The parkway was freshly groomed for both skate and classic. The Camp Fortune racing trails were groomed for skating (see pictures) but not classic. It is a bit soft on those trails, but beautiful skating and nice and smooth now.
Should be a great weekend!
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Feb 3 (2011-02-03) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (black) [14.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: vaughti green/Vr30 (weird but it worked)
What a beautiful day! Had intended to ski from P10 and check out Ridge to Western, but the parking lot was bursting by mid afternoon - there were several cars WAITING for spots! On a weekday! I guess more than 2 skiers booked off work! My knee needed something predictable, so I headed to P5, which was almost deserted.

The grooming was the real thing! Machine set classic tracks (and straight ones!), full width skate lane which extended right over to the tracks, everything starting to harden up nicely by that time. Surprise! #15 was also in beautiful condition, so who could resist checking it out! Wish I could have skied it all..... Also checked out the base of Penguin, looked great.

There are two more photos on my blog www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
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Feb 3 (2011-02-03) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #30, #8, #17 [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Too nice an afternoon to be working!!!! Started out from P7, up #30 and that snow did a lot of good for Penguin hill, how long it stays like that who knows probably a few days till the hill gets icy again.

Decided to try out # 17 Frank's towards Keogan lodge. Very good condition did not see any rocks and all ditches were covered. One problem though, like Ken mentioned in his report once I got to the part of the trail that crosses lac Bourgeois I encountered a slushy section on the lake, so had to take one ski off the scrap it off my ski before heading up the final big hill on # 17.

On my way back it was time to try # 8 Highland"'s trail. Watch out the first big hill Wee Drop they call it had a few big rocks towards the top, so I didnt take any chances and side step down the hill a few feet, the rest of the hill and the turn at the bottom was good. I only spotted a few more rocks on the way back up the hill the section that you go up by the parkway but the rocks there were small but right in the middle, trickier if you went down that way.

Everything after that was great, the highland fling part was a blast no rocks and no ditches there. Then as you go by the house near the bottom of the downhill and you start to climb the last part of the trail there is a pretty big icy patch right near the top of the hill, just have to be careful that your skis don't slide off to the side as you finish your climb.

I never seen P7 still full of cars at 3 o'clock, but considering the nice sunny day and snow not surprised!!!!!!
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Feb 3 (2011-02-03) by Sheila Kealey from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #5 (green) [32.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Great skiing today - and lots of skiers out to enjoy the new snow. Fresh grooming everywhere I skied. Skate tracks were a little soft, and the cold snow a bit slow in the morning, but still quite enjoyable. As things set up, the ski conditions in the next few days should be amazing - don't miss it!
Feb 3 (2011-02-03) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #24, #40, #20, #21, #28 [19.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Swix Extra green
Ditched work this morning to ski some of the fresh snow. Opted for P12 and found a freshly groomed trail 40 to greet me as I arrived. Climbed 40 and 2 to the ridge before turning off onto the BC trails. The fresh groomed tracks were a little soft with the skis periodically sinking in an inch or so as you weighted them but to be expected after a big whack of snow dropped. It will probably take another pass of the groomers and a cold night for the tracks to solidify and leave a nice firm base.

Backcountry tracks had been skied yesterday in the storm so were mostly easy to follow but I was still breaking trail through a few inches of fluff with the occasional knee deep drift. Skis get beautifully quiet in fresh, soft snow so was a real treat. No rocks were seen which was also a pleasure. Did run into one snag when skiing trail 20 across the pond. Seems under the warm blanket of snow is a nice layer of slush. Not more than a few meters out onto the pond my skis were caked with ice. Trudged part way across, scrapped and chiseled off the ice... and then hit another pocket of slush and had to stop again on the far bank to scrap and chisel the ice off again. The slush should start to freeze up now that I've exposed it (you're welcome) but I would wager the next few suckers...err, skiers that follow my tracks will meet the same fate. By the weekend the track should be fine.

Burma was rather perplexing and perhaps I was there too early in the process of grooming the fresh snow. Seems they had groomed it once with a big machine that set both the skate and classic lane. Then a skidoo (or two?) had gone over it again working just the skate lane. For the most part the skidoo had left a pretty ugly mess of bumps and rolls that would be most unpleasant to skate... but the classic track was fine. As I said before though - probably an effort to pack the base with all the fresh snow before putting the finishing grooming over the top (maybe tomorrow?). I would avoid it if I were skating today and hope that by the weekend it will be perfect. When I got to Ridge road the grooming looked quite good out towards Mckinstry but can't report how far they got.

Temperatures were warming throughout the morning and look to remain nice on the weekend. Should be some great skiing in the next few days.
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Feb 1 (2011-02-01) by Karl Saidla from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange. Vauhti Super Binder underneath is a good idea
I skied a bit around the Fortune racing trails, Ridge Road, as well as Fortune and Champlain Parkways.

The racing trail is starting to get firm underneath, which is nice. As of this afternoon, there were no classic tracks yet and there were a few cms of fresh snow.

Chicken Run and Ridge Road were very hard packed and getting a bit rutted.

The Parkways were in very good shape with fresh hard tracks and smooth skate lanes.
Jan 30 (2011-01-30) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #26 [12.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Spektra Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot + Vauhti Tar -1..-6C
Skied in the Southern part of the park this afternoon. What a great ski day! Easy grip and great glide. Conditions on #5 were great - good solid classic tracks, very level. Great for skate or classic. Busy place with skiers, hikers and snowshoers all over since it is so accessible.

#15 was nice, but a bit abused. The downhills were bobsled runs with lots of exposed rocks. Not little ones either, fist sized or larger stones scattered liberally in the snowplow lanes. Be warned, stick to the deeper snow on the sides if you value smooth p-tex. The classic tracks were in decent shape and firm but only existed on the flats.

Parkways from Pink to Asticou were wide and level; looking great for skating. By contrast the classic tracks on the parkways headed from Pink towards Asticou were annoyingly shallow. Only 1-1.5 inches deep, about half depth, which meant your skis were constantly trying to escape parallel. The tracks going down Pink Lake were crazy! Part way down as the curve started there were at least 3 or 4 sets of tracks, very closely spaced, that intersected, crossed and disappeared. Maybe a couple of grooming passes that left extra tracks? Very shallow tracks lead skiers to create their own? Whatever the cause it was dangerous for skiers descending at speed.

Trail conditions should continue to improve this week as the groomers can finally start using bigger machines on the secondary trails.
Jan 30 (2011-01-30) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
For a change today went to Wakefield P17 . Did the small loop trail # 53 then a left at the junction onto # 51 and back around # 53 to the parking lot. I met a snowmobile twice on both trails, compacting the middle of the trail. The classic tracks were still good on both trails, I didnt see one skater on these trails. Both trails did not have any rocks showing.

First pic is just before the bench on # 53, the second is on trail # 51 just before P19 parking lot, the next pic is the first big hill coming back on trail # 53, and the last one is the start of the large open area ( field) that brings you around the loop on # 53. Another great ski day!!!!!
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Jan 29 (2011-01-29) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [28km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Started from P8 and skated along the Doldrums and up the Fortune Pkwy and then west on Ridge with the intent of skiing to the Fire Tower. Found fresh grooming along the parkways and even on Ridge Road. At the intersection of 1 and 2 the groomer had turned north on 2. I continued west on Ridge Road to 24. It was skiable, but with 5cm or more of fresh powder skating was slow and I decided the Fire Tower run would be exhausting, so I turned back. When I reached 2 (roughly at 10AM) I found the groomer coming up from Western, so I headed down to the lodge. Although coverage looked complete, I added a couple of grooves to my skis on the gravel near the bottom of the hill. Watch out on this section! Returning up 2, I noticed that the groomer had headed west on Ridge. I followed, soon caught a whiff of diesel exhaust, and then caught up with the beast. Miraculously it continued west past the western intersection of 1 and 24. Along with several other skiers, I followed it to Mckinstry. The fresh grooming was soft and slow, but it was better than churning through unpacked powder. Amazingly, the groomer continued past McKinstry to the Fire Tower (see the photographic evidence!) On this section the snow was extremely soft, making skating very difficult. I met several skiers carrying heavy packs training for the CSM, and of course they were burrowing deep into the powder. I suspect the stretch from McKinstry to the tower had not been groomed in quite some time. On the return trip conditions were quite good east of McKinstry. I didn't see any rocks, but the snow is a bit thin on some downhills and in places the classic tracks break through to grass.

The bottom line is that heavy equipment has been used to groom Ridge out to the Fire Tower, and conditions in this sector should be quite good for the next few days as the snow settles. Although the grooming was done very late in the morning, in defense of Demsis the snowfall had only recently ended, so perhaps it was best not to have groomed overnight.
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Jan 29 (2011-01-29) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #6, #30, #9, #17, #11, #12, #22, #28, #34 [31.7km], Glide Wax: Vhauti blue, Grip Wax: Vhauti orange
Decided to head to the backcountry trails today after last night's fresh snowfall. Proved to be a good choice as those trails are finally coming into their own. Probably only 4 or 5cms had fallen but every little bit helps. Missed my early alarm so I didn't get first tracks on anything and maybe that was a good thing. There are still a few rocks, and logs, and open creeks here and there but they are mostly managable and in places you would guess they would be. You might peer down a steep hill and say - "I bet there's a rock on that steep bit just over that last bump"... and sure enough you'd be right! For the most part the early risers have uncovered the offending granite and the ski tracks tend to work a little left or right of the obstacle so avoiding the rocks is pretty easy. Open creeks (or at least the steep ditches where they flow) have been well flagged with yellow caution tape by the ski patrollers so you have some warning to slow down. Other than that it was clear sailing and quite a lot of fun.

Skied quite a loop of trails today circling back and forth to grab a little more of this one or that one. Didn't see too many people on the trails but everyone I met had a smile on their face and a happy greeting.

Did step out onto the groomed runs a couple of times. Fortune parkway looked really nice and Ridge road was in good shape. As expected the steep drop at Wattsford Lookout was swept clean to an icy (somewhat gravelly) chute by the days snowplowers. I did find a little snow off to the side to ski down but it had a little gravel mixed in so not ideal. Not sure that pitch will ever get enough snow to stay in place this season what with the icy layer that lies beneath. All in all probably one of the nicer days to be out skiing. A little more fresh snow falling tonight so tomorrow should be nice as well.
Jan 29 (2011-01-29) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 + graphite, Grip Wax: n/a
Today I decided to test the Fates that control #50 and skated from P16 to Renaud Cabin - I wished that I had gone classic instead. The classic tracks looked to be in great shape - with the exception of the occasional place where debris had been pulled up into the track. The skating track was better than it was last weekend; however, it still had a lot of ridges and valleys that worked against a flat ski glide. The new snow was also slow - I found that it was a challenge getting up the hills. It was my intent to go through to Taylor Lake but by the time that I got to Renaud I had enough.

About 12:30 I passed a mid-size tracksetter beside Lac Philippe- it was putting down a great classic track but made the skating track more difficult by breaking it up into two levels. It seemed to be doing the Wakefield triangle. I checked out #52 and the classic tracks looked great.

The little amount of #55 that I did was good and covered but the base is thin.

The day was fatiguing but even more it was humiliating. A group of the Chelsea Ski Club were out. A boy of 9 kept passing me with flawless technique - he was with a girl of about 12 who was equally impressive. I don’t know what Chelsea is trying to achieve - to produce a farm team of future racers for XC Ottawa or to humiliate vieux bonhommes. Either way they seem to be succeeding in spades.

Tomorrow will be a classic day.
Jan 29 (2011-01-29) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #9, #33, #40, #20, #21, #28 [21km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice pleasant day after last nights snow, started from P12 on #40 which had been groomed, next up #33 no rocks at all, then on #21 right to the end junction with Burma. Decided on a trail which I had not done in a few years # 28 Remparts, what a blast, I was the first one on it today, went right up to the lookout and back down was fun with all that new snow made it enjoyable (lots of deep snow there).

After that run down #28 took a right on Burma #3 no grooming but lots of traffic already, then another right on Western #9, and right again on #20. They had cleared the fallen branch on #20 since the last time I was out there.

The lake or pond had a few slushy sections on it. Then back on #21 for a short while to connect to trail #2 black which I went down and it had been groomed too. After going down #2 , it was kind of bumpy and uneven with a few ruts on it, I got the impression that it is sometimes better going down it not being groomed. All in all one of the best ski days so far!
Jan 28 (2011-01-28) by Kyle Power from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #32, Camp Fortune Race Course [22.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Purple, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Pink, covered with something colder.
A little late on the reporting, but here it is. Most of the remaining XC Ottawa guys, who are not racing this weekend in Orford, got out for a Sweet afternoon ski! The conditions were rather mild, the grooming looked recent and the skiing was fast. Some of us did classic, other's skated and both looked equally enjoyable. Although, the classic tracks on Ridge Road were iffy and non existent on The Camp Fortune race trails. Camp Fortune Race trails were also, quite bumpy but made for one great ride and worth checking out if seeking something a little more on the technical side. Coming down Penguin is bullet fast and little icy in sections. The grooming should harden a little over night and the touch of fresh snow should make for some pretty nice skiing conditions this weekend. Get out and enjoy!
Jan 27 (2011-01-27) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: Swix HC purple, Grip Wax:
Go west, young man (or young lady) if you want good skiing!

Skied from P10 up Fortune Pkwy to Ridge, then west. Fortune Pkwy was in good condition despite being packed down by heavy traffic. Ridge between Fortune and Huron was fair, with the usual annoying raised center and quite a few significant bumps in the narrow skate lane. Ridge between Huron and 1B was more of a mogul run than a cross country ski trail, with some amazing bumps and hollows. 1B was quite good, with a single classic lane. Snow coverage on 1B was nearly complete- I saw one slightly exposed rock on the steepest hill. West of #2, Ridge was in excellent condition, with a very wide, level skate lane and two good classic tracks. There was a couple of cm of fresh powder and no sign of recent grooming, but skate conditions were still superb. I turned around where the snowshoe trail comes up from Meech Lake, but the good conditions extended further, probably all the way to McKinstry. Tomorrow could be a good day for a run to McKinstry or perhaps even the Fire Tower for those who can escape work. Skiing is definitely best on the far west section of Ridge Road.
Jan 27 (2011-01-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaughti orange
Trail 36, from O'Brien. The website indicated week old grooming (January 20), however it had been done since yesterday's 4 cm. The "return" classic track was firm and well formed formed, while the outgoing one was skier-made. There were both good and bad spots - at times there were ridges, bumps and moguls, at others it was quite uniform. There were rocks poking through the predictable spots - notably the twisty downhill before the first swamp. The scenery was a treat, but I unfortunately had to bail out after a few Km becasue of a knee problem acerbated by the uneven terrain.
Jan 27 (2011-01-27) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #4, #22, #34 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice warm day, decided on a few backcountry trails. Although Skyline #6 is not recommended I only did the short part (flatter section) clockwise up to intersection of trail # 34. Then I skied #22 from one end to the other, quite nice , only a few surface rocks, one fallen tree covered just before the intersection of trail #4 ,otherwise in excellent shape and all the small ditches are covered too.

After a short run on #4, then back up on #34 (watch out if you come down on #34 right before you hit #4 there is a uncovered ditch), the rest of the trail is in good shape.
Jan 27 (2011-01-27) by Ron Lorenson from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: n/a
A couple of weeks back, I was told by a park purist that skating was not “real-skiing” - it was just “urban skiing”. Today I only had time for a short ski - in the urban sector of the park - so I wallowed in impurity and skated - from Asticou to the #15 crossing. Conditions were quite good with easy skating. The tracksetting on the GP was quite good - flat skating track and firm classic tracks with a nice 2 cm dusting of snow on top. The urban trails #5, #26, #15, #35 & #29 also appeared to be quite good as well - flat trail, firm classic tracks, with no sign of rocks or gravel. Surprisingly, the parking lot had quite a bit of space. A good choice for urbanites - pure, impure, or whatever.
Jan 27 (2011-01-27) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy [9.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar -1 to -3, covered by Vauhti Fluor Orange
Just had time to squeeze in short ski this morning before heading to Mt. Orford for races this weekend. Gatineau and Champlain parkways are in very good condition. Classic and skate lanes are firm and smooth. There is a little bit of fluffy snow on top. Nice and mild.
Jan 26 (2011-01-26) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 + graphite, Grip Wax: n/a
Skated to the intersection of Blanchet & Ridge #1. The conditions on the parkways were good. The condition of #1 is good - it’s not as good as I’ve seen - but it’s much improved from what it has been in the past few weeks - in the skating track it’s much flatter and there’s fewer bumps - the classic tracks looked good. #1 was groomed this morning, via tracksetter, toward McKinstry #24 was trackset this AM via snowmobile . The skating was a bit on slow side due to the snow still being cold ; however, the LF6 and graphite seemed to work quite well - the parkways are harder and, hence, were faster - the skating track on #1 was softened by the snowmobiles returning from #24 and was slower. If you’ve been anxious for a run to McKinstry or the tower, conditions are in your favour.

Regrettably XC skiing seems to be taking off - at 11:00 AM people were already parking in the middle at P10 so if you’re heading toward McKinstry get to P10 early - those who snooze lose.
Jan 26 (2011-01-26) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a quick note after a hasty ski on the doldrums. If you want to see state of the art grooming, it's there. I would assume and hope that the other primary trails got the same wonderful treatment. Wish I couldn have skied longer! Get out and enjoy it if you possibly can.
Jan 25 (2011-01-25) by Charles Hodgson from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #8 [3.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue
Skiing HIGHLAND on Robbie Burns Day seemed appropriate. Almost enough snow to be fearless but a few rocks still lurking, especially on the hill south of where #8 touches the parkway.

To be appropriately Scots for today I'll recall for you the names of the notable trail features. This trail was originally used mainly for going home after a weekend at Camp Fortune and so it is the downhills as you move toward Kingsmere that have names.

Doch-n-Doris is the big hill running south from where Highland (#8) crosses Frank's (#17). Doch-n-Doris is from Gaelic and means "a drink at the door" and is roughly equivalent to "one for the road."

Continuing south after passing close to by the parkway we climb up and over what was once a lookout at the corner turning east high above the parkway. This was known as Old Man Joe's Lookout, named in honour of that old Scot Joe Morin who built the trail.

The trail then descends a little and is appropriately named "A Wee Drop."

The rock overlooking King Mountain and Black Lake was King Lookout (not too Scottish) but marks the start of the long steep descent known as "The Highland Fling."

At the bottom the trail passes close by a house at a place once known as "Glen McTavish."

Despite all temptations, drinking whiskey on this trail is not recommended!
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Jan 24 (2011-01-24) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #24, #40 [18km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR30
A very mixed bag today. I skied during the balmy part of the afternoon (minus 21) and dressed warmly. It was a bit unusual, route-wise, because I started at P12 was picked up at P10. It was wonderfully warm until the final ice-cream headache/cold hands on the Fortune Parkway descent.

Trail 40: ungroomed, may have seen some sort of work several days ago, but this is ancient history now, with the weekend behind us. Some classic tracks remained on the less hilly spots (photo), but long stretches of track were obliterated and packed into concrete. Downhills were starting to resemble bodsled runs. A few cm of fresh snow still persisted in some areas.

Ridge, from Wolf Trail to Champlain: Beautiful condition! Firm, regulation classic tracks and a nice skate lane, too. All fairly fresh and, except for the skidoo ruts were as perfect as you could imagine (photo).

Ridge from Fortune to Champlain: An absolute nightmare. Almost impossible to get an edge in. Ruts, moguls, pathetic classic remnants which disappear into ditches, impossible to believe this is a primary trail!! I have seen many years with less snow than we have now, but never such terrible, unabashed neglect of a major trail. Shameful! (3 photos)

Champlain Parkway and Fortune Parkways: Quite good, but classic tracks are a bit worn and thin from the weekend traffic.

So the bottom line is this... if you don't mind skiing through all the neglected areas, you can arrive at some very beautiful skiing out on Ridge Road.
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Jan 23 (2011-01-23) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #4, #8, #22, #34 [9.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange, covered by Vauhti Fluor Green
Despite the cold, the last couple of days have been nice skiing in the park. Here is a synopsis of conditions:

Parkways--by and large the skate lanes are perfect. The classic tracks don't appear to have been re-set since before the weekend and therefore have some windblown snow in them in places.

Ridge Road: Not groomed overnight, but coverage is basically good.

Burma: Very bumpy, but good coverage.

Fortune Race course: Packed, good coverage, quite bumpy here and there, no classic tracks yet.

Small trails like 22, 8, 24. These are a riot right now if you don't mind scraping the odd rock here and there. Some snowshoers have done a little damage here and there (like on Skyline) for example, but nothing to get in the way of your fun.
Jan 22 (2011-01-22) by Ken Trischuk from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #52, #53, #57 [31.2km], Glide Wax: Vhauti blue, Grip Wax: Extra blue
Skied the Wakefield triangle loop today after waiting as long as I could to let it warm up a bit. Actually it wasn't too bad in terms of cold as there was no wind to speak of so quite comfortable skiing today. Also got some nice views of sundogs as the sun was sinking in the west. Wax choice was too warm for the day so I had fantastic grip and sub par glide. My fault for not taking the time to rewax at home but it didn't detract from the skiing though.

Trail 53 had recieved some grooming today from 51 to the parking lot but it hadn't continued around the loop to Ste Cecile. Trail 52 hadn't been groomed since the last dusting of snow. In both cases that was fine as todays skiers had worked in the snow nicely so it was quite nice to ski. The base underneath the dusting of snow was quite solid and I didn't see any rocks along these stretches at all. Trail 50 - as Ron reported - had been freshly groomed likely this morning. Apart from the few short stretches (mainly along Lac Phillippe) where the groomer had pulled up some leaves and gravel in the classic track(and these were easily avoidable) the skiing was quite nice.

Tomorrow is going to be a cold one but the snow is finally providing good coverage.
Jan 22 (2011-01-22) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF + graphite, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Went classic along #50 from P16 to the T-junction with #55. #50 had been trackset this morning with some variant of tracksetter. It was definitely a classic day in terms of the snow texture and the fact that there were reasonably good tracks all the way - the only problem with the tracks was that there were occasional places where leaves and twigs had been pulled up into the track - had good kick and glide all the way.

The skaters did not get as much of a break: from P16 to Herridge the skating track was uneven and cut up with snowmobile tracks - it would have been quite difficult to maintain a flat ski; between Herridge and the end of Lac Philippe the track improved and was more skatable; between the end of the lake and P19 the track was wide and reasonably flat - there was a ridge but it wasn’t high to be much of a problem.
The best choice, by far, for an enjoyable skate on #50 is to start from P19

#52 has not between trackset recently; however, there are still a good tracks from previous tracksetting and with the recent snow it would probably be quite enjoyable. #55 is much the same with a good base and new snow.
Jan 22 (2011-01-22) by Charles Hodgson from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #19, #34 [7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue
Skied Friday afternoon. Skyline and trails around Ryan radio tower were as good as can be for this level of snow. Only saw one rock, hit none. Some icy spots above Wattsford Lookout with a few flecks of gravel. Those human groomed backtrails were unsullied by snowshoes (except some older, somewhat snowcovered prints) and had been skied just enough to be quick and firm but not so much as to be pounded in, hard or icy. I suspect the cold temps this weekend might keep them that way.
Jan 21 (2011-01-21) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [11.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar -1 to -6, covered with Vauhti Fluor Orange
There is a dusting of 2 cms or so of dry powder on top of a firm base. Champlain parkway, though not groomed since the snowfall, is in good shape for either classic or skate. The skate lane on Ridge Road between Penguin and Keogan has been groomed since the snowfall. The classic tracks have not been, but remain o.k. in most places.

I didn't see rocks anywhere other than near the top of Penguin.

If you dress warmly enough, there should be some great skiing this weekend in the Park!
Jan 19 (2011-01-19) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
As beautiful a day as it could be, only wish I had been able to ski longer! Skied Fortune to Ridge, to Etienne Brule and back on parkway.
From the photos you'll see that the grooming of the parkways was pristine, and also that Khyber Pass seems to be widening as the snow increases.
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Jan 19 (2011-01-19) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #3, #9, #18, #20, #21 [27.8km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF = graphite, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar as base + Swix Blue
It was much too nice a day to do a calvinist ski so, instead I took my favourite classic tour for days like this:
P10 -> FP -> CP -> #1 -> #18 -> #21 -> #20 -> Western #9 -> Burma #3 -> FP -> P10
This loop incorporates a bit of everything from parkway skiing to bushwacking - the small lake on #20 is the best part - surrounded by white pines and great sun!!

With about 7 cm of new snow everything was in great shape. The parkways had been trackset - the classic tracks were a delight; the skating track was good but soft and with the cold snow was on the slow side. The back-country trails had a good base and good tracks - #18 was the only trail where I had to break trail - it would appear that bushwackers are earlier risers than the more dilettante skiers. #1 had been trackset as far as the intersection with #2. #2 was trackset and looked good but was still bumpy. Burma had not been trackset; regardless, it was a nice change to take it in the old-style skiing - it had reasonably good skier-set tracks all the way - two people had skated it but it looked like it was a rough go. The ditches are still showing on Burma so that the trail becomes quite narrow in places. A bit of caution is advised on the downhills on Burma: there are two open springs at interesting transition points where the downhill rapidly changes to uphill; the last run down to the parkway is a narrow furrow that would make a good luge run were it not for the bumps - there are high ridges of loose snow on both sides that shoehorn you into the furrow so at the top you need to decide if you’re going for deep-snow or a luge-run - the good news is that there are no rocks or ice showing in the luge-run ... yet.
Jan 18 (2011-01-18) by Sheila Kealey from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [28.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Excellent ski conditions this morning. No new grooming, but a few cm of fresh snow made for great skate conditions, and classic skiers reported the same for the classic tracks. Good coverage everywhere I skied. Penguin climb scraped out like a bowl from all the snowplowing, and some icy patches, but coverage was still good, and no visible rocks there or on Ridge Road to Keogan.
Jan 17 (2011-01-17) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: MacKenzie-King Rd , #15 (blue), #15 (black), Pink Lake Access [8.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaughti Green
Short trip from Kingsmere to Pink Lake via trails 15, 35 and then back on the parkway. Although the temperatures were low, it didn\'t feel cold in the woods.

Based on the park website, which indicated no work done on trails 15 and 35, I was looking foward to skiing in ungroomed snow, and especially to being off the parkways. Some grooming had been done, however. There were basic classic tracks, and a very uneven, rough outside lane. The downhills were thoroughly skied in and featured moguls and bumps (one photo shows this, but it was too cold to take many photos) I know lots of skiers who would love the thrill of it but I would have preferred it left ungroomed. In fact I had a very spectacular crash - too bad there was no one around to appreciate it! After crossing Notch Road it improved (see second photo). However on trail 35, watch out for large patches of rock that have been scraped bare on the one big downhill(I side stepped!!)

The access road from Pink Lake was not groomed.

No complaints about the parkways. They were very good with real, standard classic tracks and a very hard-packed full-width skate lane.
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Jan 16 (2011-01-16) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40, #38 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P12, wow the parking lot was almost full. Lots of traffic on the trails already up #40 had to watch for on coming skiers not even 10 minutes of skiing and must of met a dozen skiers coming back, decided to try out trail # 38 (beaver trail) it was nice except the ending junction with #16 or #62 snowshoe trail lacked snow but was passable. The short section of #16 to ridge which is now shared with snowshoers was a blast.

After a brief ski on ridge went down the hill on # 24 nice no rocks, then back on # 40 for a bit, until the junction of # 33 which was not recommended. I found it good except for one tree root showing a few odd rocks barely showing, but you could avoid them. Then the final descent was on # 2 which was a real treat with lots of loose snow still. But like the other skiers mentioned in the reports some of the steep hills are already a bit icy as is the case with the hill arriving at the parking lot.

Its amazing the website shows 94% of trails recommended, we haven't hit that number in a long time!!!!! I see all the backcountry trails are listed as variable conditions, who knows another dumping of snow and we could see all green check marks on the trails.
Jan 16 (2011-01-16) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar as base + Swix Blue
Skied classic from P16 via #50 to Jo-Ann’s ski-shredding rocks beside Lac Philippe (1-2 km from the end of the lake). As Megan and Gary reported the day was the best part with good temperatures, sun, and snow-covered pines and hemlocks. #50 has been lightly trackset - probably by snowmobile or something slightly bigger. The trail still suffers from a thin base in that it is uneven: the unevenness is not so much of a problem for the classic tracks; however, the skating track was soft and, with the bumps, would have been a challenge for anyone who was interested in maintaining a consistent technique - think roller-coaster offset rather two-skate. The best conditions are to be found between Herridge and Lac Philippe - between P16 and Healey & Herridge things are already getting a tad worn-out. On the steep hills the snowplowers have scraped the snow down to ice and gravel in the middle; however, there’s lots of loose snow at the side.

On days like this #50 develops its own attractive personality with many family groups and day-ticketers all of whom seemed to be having a ball on the great trek to Healey’s. Heritage equipment, gaiters, and fur hats with ear-flaps were considerably in evidence.
Jan 16 (2011-01-16) by Garry Tarr from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [19.3km], Glide Wax: CH6, Grip Wax:
Climbed Penguin from P5, went west on Ridge to the Champlain lookout, then returned via the Champlain parkway past Black Lake. The Parkways have all been properly groomed, with two classic tracks each side and a skate lane extending right out to the classic tracks. Of course the skate lane was still a bit soft, with all the fresh new snow. As I climbed Penguin I met two snowmobiles descending, apparently returning from grooming Ridge. One was setting classic tracks with a drag, the other smoothing the skate lane. Without heavy equipment grooming Ridge, the skate lane is very uneven and bumpy, particularly between Huron and the Champlain lookout. There are a few exposed rocks in this section. The snowmobile-set classic tracks don't appear to be able to sustain the high skier traffic on Ridge; the tracks were pretty badly washed out much of the way (see photo). No work of any kind had been done on Burma (photo). The snowmobile track setting appeared to extend along 1B. Snowplowing skiers have already exposed large patches of ice at the sharp corner in the Khyber pass. The ditch at the edge of the trail in the pass still hasn't filled in with snow, so there isn't a lot of room for ascending and descending skiers to pass each other. As one would expect the area around the Ridge/Fortune intersection was crowded with skiers by 10AM, but there weren't many skiers on the Champlain parkway in the Black Lake zone. All in all it's a great day for skiing. Despite the -15C air temperature it didn't feel really cold. Get out and enjoy the afternoon sun if you can!
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Jan 16 (2011-01-16) by Megan McTavish from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #3 [19.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
Beautiful skiing today! The parkways were all groomed for classic and skate by 9am. Ridge road (#1) was packed and had skied in tracks. Burma (#3) was not packed but people were skiing there too. All in all, a great day for a ski!
Jan 15 (2011-01-15) by Jo-Ann Holden from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared) [38.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
This is just for the record, since there is now a huge amount of new snow down in the Lac Philippe Sector. It reports on the conditions on January January 13, 14 and today.

Trail 50: Much less snow than in the Chelsea sector! Not bad shape, hard, previously groomed, quite a few boot marks from P19 to to the intersection with Taylor Lake Road. It improved quite a bit between 50 and Herridge , although there were a few ski-shredding rocks here and there.

55 Shared: Very thin! Amazingly it had been groomed, but there was gravel and dirt poking through in many spots.

51/53 Trackset, more snow than on 55, and quite nice to ski. There were some flooded areas, and a ditch or two.

Trail 52. It seemed a snowmobile had packed it at some point. No classic track. There was more snow than expected, some rocks on the steeper hills, and countless little ditches to ski over. It was much better than expected though, and more exciting, too!!

Trail 56. Ungroomed, and a delight to ski. With this morning's new snow, it was absolute heaven.
Jan 15 (2011-01-15) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27 [5km], Glide Wax: Vaunti Spectra Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
Late afternoon ski just before the lights went out. Trail #5 was decent, level and good for skating. #27 and the field around Skinouk was thin and lumpy, but skiable. A decent amount of snow has fallen since this morning, as you know if you did any driving today. This wasn't last weekends fluff it was small hard flakes that pack well. This sort of snow covers rocks and ice well and the trails will benefit greatly once groomed.

With good grooming by Sunday morning the skiing should be splendid! Have you held off skiing Ridge Road thus far? Tomorrow should be a perfect day for it. The Parkways can now be full width and level with solid deep classic tracks. The secondary trails should be in much better shape than over the past weeks. Don't expect perfect yet, there's still not enough snow for that but at least we have a decent base. Took long enough, we're nearly halfway through the ski season!
Jan 15 (2011-01-15) by Paul Jaenicke from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [10.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P6, onto trail #7 right to the end then back up to Gatineau parkway past pink lake down a piece , then connected via trail # 25 which strangely is not on the map but connects to trail #15 which by the way was not recommended according to the website.

Trail # 15 was quite nice, with just the odd rock barely showing on a few of the bigger hills, but nothing to worry about. Same thing for the black portion of the trail good coverage all the way up and right back down to MacKenzie -King area. Windy on he parkways with the snow made it harder to see, but sheltered once on the trails in the woods.
Jan 15 (2011-01-15) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #24 [16.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange
We are finally getting some of what we rightfully deserve, I think.

While I didn't see evidence of grooming overnight or this morning as I skied, the fresh snow coming down is making things better from many perspectives. Most of Ridge Road has good coverage, but watch out for the odd icy patch and rock in obvious places (like most steep hills). While I didn't get that far out, Ridge Road beyond the 1A-1B split was probably the nicest non-parkway skiing to be had this morning, for either classic or skate.
Jan 14 (2011-01-14) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Nice sunny day, trail # 40 had been groomed 2 days ago decent classic tracks, but the middle was uneven and had foot marks. Ridge from #24 to #2 had one good classic track on one side the other side was fair, uneven or had none at all.

Trail # 2 had very good classic tracks from Western all the way to the big hill (#2 black). Be CAREFUL on the way to Western chalet unless you have rock skis , best to take them off before the hill as there are many small stones on the surface. Also the hill up from the parking lot at P12 is icy, but skiable just have to be careful going down .
Jan 13 (2011-01-13) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #1 (blue) [25.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar as base + Swix Blue
Did a classic loop around #24: from P10 via FP -> CP -> #1 -> #24 -> #1 -> CP -> FP -> P10. The parkways are good - the classic tracks are the best choice with drifted snow slowing down the skating track in places. After the Champlain lookout one develops a closer relationship with the underlaying shape of the park due to the thin base. There is complete coverage on #24 with no rocks showing; however, things are quite uneven and there is quite a bit of debris so that the downhill is not as enjoyable as normal. There are good tracks on both #24 and #40 - the tracksetting is as good as it can be given the lack of snow. Didn’t check out #40 but it looked good but it also had a lot of debris.

The was my first run around #24 this year - so it was a good day visiting an old friend. However, until we get more snow you will probably have a better ski sticking to #1 - it’s less uneven and doesn’t have the debris.

Much as we’re all getting sick of the parkways they’re probably the best option until the joker honours us with the great dump of January 2011.
Jan 13 (2011-01-13) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [22km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: extra blue
Just a quick addition to Karl's report from my ski last night. In addition to the parkways I also skied trails 15 and 7. Trail 15 had been groomed and track set while trail 7 had just been compacted. In both cases the coverage is pretty good but there are a few exposed rocks and a few rocks lurking just slightly under the surface lying in wait for the unsuspecting skier. As expected the rocks are on the steeper sections of the trails so ski with some caution. For the most part it is easy to ski around the rocky bits but at speed you might miss one or two. It won't take much more snow (maybe an inch or two)to cover these up for the season so here's hoping for some snowy weather.
Jan 12 (2011-01-12) by Karl Saidla from Old Chelsea grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Violet
Gatineau Parkway between P8 and Pink Lake was being groomed while I was skiing this morning. There were new classic tracks on both sides, but as of about 11:30, the skate lane had not yet been regroomed. The now is primarily fresh, fast, and of medium firmness, making for quite nice skiing overall.

The section of Ridge Road from the old Visitor Centre to the Gatineau Parkway is thin but skiable. It has been packed, but not trackset. There have also been alot of people walking and snowshoeing on this section.
Jan 11 (2011-01-11) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #14 [9.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skied from P7 up to Keogan lodge and back, what a difference a day makes on Ridge which had REAL classic tracks for a change and the tracks were more to the outside of the trail and were nice and firm.

Went down trail # 4 which also had been groomed but was a bit bumpy, likewise trail # 14, also noticed work had been done on the practice course.

A few of the steeper hills on Ridge were icy as previously reported, I managed to make it down Penguin by avoiding the small rocks in the middle and going down the right hand side very slowly.As Ron mentioned in his report I saw fair amount of traffic had gone on trails # 6, 17, 8, 11, although I cant see myself go on those trails until we get another good snowfall.
Jan 11 (2011-01-11) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: n/a
Skied from P10 to intersection of Blanchet & #1. A pleasant day with a good dusting of new snow and settled ice fog - in the AM all the trees were frosted from the fog.

Pretty well everything has been groomed. The parkways have been done via tracksetter with good classic and skating tracks. The secondary trails - #2, #24, ridge, #1 blue to the tower - have been done with a snowmobile dragging tracks - they all have good classic tracks..

Found that the parkways made for effortless skating - the LF6 worked well on the settled ice-fog. #1 was uneven due to the thin base. The bumps sharpened my reflexes - they also improved my bumpy-land-skating technique (not to be confused a “two-skate”). I found that properly applied those bumps and ridges can actually help you on the up hill. The bumpy terrain lead to an interesting effect - instead of the classic tracks weaving from side-to-side they weaved up-and-down.

A reliable source told me that the hill down from Wolf will destroy skis - thin with lots of rocks of showing. Probably the bottom of the Wolf ridge would be the best objective.

All the back-country trails that I passed had good tracks with a good base - particularly Western #9; long Merry-Go-Round #11 was good too.
Jan 10 (2011-01-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
An early evening ski on the Doldrums. Hardly worth a report really. It was a really beautiful ski, but not because of the grooming: tired worn out, inconsistent, classic tracks that absolutely should have been redone after the weekend crowds.

Interestingly my son skied today, a rare event for him now, but all through high school he was on the Nakkertok team and skied constantly in the park. When he finished skiing today his first comment was "What have they done to the classic trails? They never used to look like this. I couldn\'t even stay in the track on the downhill".
Jan 10 (2011-01-10) by Craig Storey from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B [12.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Went up the back of Penguin from P7. There's fresh snow machine grooming from the parking lot, an attempt to widen the trail and push the classic tracks further towards the edge. The work must have been done this morning as it was still very soft. The top of Penguin has lots of gravel mixed into the snow, avoid it if you value your bases. If coming down avoid the grey sections they are ice or rocks. Likewise for Kyber pass.

Ridge itself was decent. It's been snow machine "packed", but they made the intelligent decision not to touch the skier made classic tracks even though they encroach the center skating lane. The tracks as a result are firm and well set, though wide and meandering. On the plus side they are far enough from the edge that your poles don't sink into the ditch. The fact that the tracks are much closer together is likely the result of Ridge Road's new "super crown" in some areas. We might not get enough snow to level that off this season.

The parkways are in good shape. They appear to have been groomed with a larger machine, and are double track set on either side. Coverage is thin near Huron and Champlain, but generally thick enough for good skis. All in all we're back to pre-meltdown, La-nina, low snow skiing conditions.
Jan 10 (2011-01-10) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27 [5km], Glide Wax: Vauti Blue, Grip Wax:
Good skiing today. I skated from the Relais Plein Air. It looks like they groomed Yesterday. It was a bit wind swept in sections as it often is. It was a gorgeous day for skiing cool and sunny! The classic tracks did not look stellar perhaps they would be better higher up in the park.
Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Great reports from Ron, Charles, Paul, Dev and Ken today! They cover a very large spectrum of the trails (parkways to backcountry) user perspectives (skate/classic/training/adventure/fitness). Much appreciated!

Dave McMahon took some good videos of the conditions today - Parkways and Ridge
Road
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Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #54 (black) [24.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: Extra Blue
Skied out at Lac Phillippe today. Main trails (50 and 55) had been groomed and were in good shape. 50 was presumably groomed all the way to P16 although I only went as far as trail 52. The side trails were still "self serve" but for the most part looked good as many skiers had worked in a good track.

Decided to ski UP 54 black which I figured would be a little thin but doable in the uphill direction. Quite a few rocks and exposed water hazards on the climb up but for the most part was able to ski/step around the tricky spots. Would not recommend a descent of 54 black until we get a LOT more snow. Once up to Lusk lake I thought I was home free with the flatter trail around the lake. Sadly, this only meant I got more speed up before I hit the hidden rocks. I didn't have my best skis with me but neither were they my rock skis....umm, till now. More than a few coarse words were uttered as I skied along and I might have had a little weep (for my bases) once I got out... but rationalized on the drive home that I now have a very nice pair of "hairies" so perhaps all's well that ends well.

Couldn't tell if the green trail up to Lusk lake had been groomed recently. It was very nice but certainly had seen a lot of skier traffic and the classic tracks were a little washed out in spots. That's probably predictable though as Lusk lake on a sunny Sunday is a particularly nice place to visit and probably saw its fair share of skiers today.
Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [28.3km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Blue
We skied on Sunday afternoon.

I read the various reports about lack of grooming on Saturday. To some extent I understand not grooming the trails with uneven surfaces, but was surprised they did not groom the parkways on Saturday. Anyway, was hoping they groomed on Sunday which they did.

We headed out from Gamelin up the Parkway to Asticou and then took Trail 5 to Trail 29 to the bottom of Pinks. This trail was in great condition. the only place where it was close to the pavement was the corners on the steeper downhills. The conditions on the parkways on the way out were windblown, loose and dry snow, but 100% coverage for classic and skating.

Penguin was "just passable". I certainly don't blame the grooming, it looked more like all the guys coming downhill who had snow ploughed had scraped the snow down to the rocks....lots of rocks and gravel. Turning right onto the main part of ridge road, the final 20 of the climb had a lot of rocks and gravel. I chose to take of my skis and walk up rather than wreck them. Those heading downhill on this section, I'd strongly recommend to remove the skis and walk down to the lookout and then put skis back on for the rest of the descent. Stay to the outside where there is fluff white stuff rather than inside line where there are rocks.

The rest of Ridge road to gossip corner was in good shape. Champlain parkway had full coverage throughout. The Gatineau Parkway from the T junction to Gamelin had become "skier groomed" harder packed by the time we returned and was quite fast (or perhaps it was the 50 kph wind gusts blowing us back home).

Dev
Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #18, #20 [11.8km], Glide Wax: waxless, Grip Wax: waxless
Started off from P12 again today, although this parking lot wasn't recommended. there was still no grooming on trail # 40 was much better then yesterday with all the skiers that went through. Then branched off on # 24 no grooming either but nice, then a left on ridge road towards western which was ok.

Then on trail 1B which had been groomed (sort of) as you can see on one of the pics, no tracks. After i got back on ridge decided to check out the narrower trail like #9 which had a tricky first descent, then once I reached # 3 turned right, Burma had a single track right down the middle, but was pleasant.

Then took a right on # 20 which had a few obstacles on it (fallen branches). Then on # 21 for a short while, were I ended up doing the splits avoiding a big rock on a descent. After getting up I arrived at trail # 18 right back to the bench at ridge and western intersection.

The final run was back down on # 2, which had many footprints on it, but luckily there was still lots of loose snow going down, so it was manageable . This trail seems to have a lot of hikers who use it, which is too bad considering we already lost trail # 16 to snowshoers. I have noticed over the years that P12 seems to attract all kinds ( skiers, snowshoeing, hikers) probably because of the remote location of the park and lack of parking lot attendant there.

Thanks Charles for your report on #8 , # 17 we dont get much information from those trails. I guess rock skis are best advised there until we get more snow. All in all a good ski day.
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Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Charles Hodgson from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #8, #17 [7.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue
Started at Kingsmere and went out Trail #8 (Highland). I wore my rock skis and if I hadn’t I would have been weeping, there was plenty of granite under the fluffy new snow and it regularly grabbed my skis and threw me off balance, once to the point of a tumble with my skis entangled in the nearby trees. There were a notably large number of snowshoe tracks on the ski trail, though with the current snow they didn’t feel terribly damaging to ski control or grip. Several places where open water was evident and these were sometimes approached at speed in the midst of a slope so that bracing yourself, flying through and hoping for the best was the only thing to do short of sitting down (hopefully not on a hidden rock). I didn’t sit and lucky for me i always seemed to fly through and my hope for the best was justified. I continued toward Keogan along trail #17 (Frank’s) which had seen more traffic and appeared less rock strewn. I returned along Ridge Road (trail #1) then back over the tail end of #8 to #17 and returned to Kingsmere that way. There were more rocks on this portion of #17
I was struck by the number of trees that partially obstructed the trails and looked as if they had been that way for some time. I wondered that the NCC had put these trails on such a low priority for maintenance. (a thin one easily ducked under just after joining #8 near Kingsmere; a broken stump and log across the trail, easily stepped over on trail #17 just west of where it crosses #11; and a large pine easily ducked under at the peak of #17 east of where if crosses #8.
In a few spots along Ridge Road I noted how the crowning of the trail, with side trenches, had made grooming with low snow levels difficult and resulted in soft sides where skiers tracks showed that they’d sunk through the uncompacted fluff even though on the surface the snow appeared to have been groomed. On some of the steep descents from Ridge down to Kingsmere the shallow snow had been almost completely swept away and the underlying ice was clearly evident.
Jan 9 (2011-01-09) by Ron Lorenson from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [18.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar + Swix Blue - Swix VF40 as fluor kick
Today was the day I had hoped for yesterday. It proved possible to trackset so the parkways were groomed for both skating and classic this morning. I went from P6 via CP to Huron then via Ridge to intersection with 1B via #1 to the intersection with #2 (the bench at Gossip Corner2) then returned by #1 & CP to P6.

Conditions on the parkways were excellent for classic with good firm and fast tracks; a number of skaters I talked to said they found the track to be too soft and slow. Ridge from Huron to #1B was compacted - it was not in good shape - bumpy with springs and rocks showing through. #1 to the bench had been compacted and with a skier track was on the good side. Machine compaction stopped at Gossip Corner 2. #1B and #2 towards Western had been compacted and looked good. Nothing had been done to #2 towards Meech Lake however there was a good back-country track. The base on the CP was quite thin between the lookout and Huron with asphalt showing through. A friend told me he had done #24 and found it to be a delight in the downhill direction (deep powder descents) A CSM regular told me that Burma was great for the “real skiers” (i.e., no skaters need apply); he was putting in his klicks by doing circuits of Burma - Calvinism on the uphill direction and euphoria on the .downhill. Most of the backcountry trails, I passed, had tracks and looked quite usable - Western (#9), particularly, had seen a lot of use.

I found it was best to follow the counsel “take the road less travelled by”. There were hordes of skiers out today and the FP & CP route to Huron was showing the effects of the usage. Between the T-junction and P6 the tracks on CP were standing up much better and appealed to the solitary skier who doesn’t like to share.
Jan 8 (2011-01-08) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #24, #5 (green), #27 [18.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot + Vauhti Tar -1..-6C
A beautiful snowy day! Too bad the condition of the trails didn't match. I started at Asticou, skied #5 to Pink's and the parkway back doing classic. No grooming had been done. There were lots and lots of skiers out there and the snow was getting well packed down. The classic tracks were suffering from overuse, making it frustrating to get grip at times but perfect at others. Skating looked more consistent on the parkway but was likely pretty tough going through the deep snow.

I have to agree with Ron, Paul and Garry, the lack of grooming was extremely disappointing. I understand not grooming Ridge, Burma, etc.. The uneven surface of those trails and the fluffy snow would be challenging, and likely just result in a mess. But the parkways should have been groomed, no excuse for not doing those. The snow was fairly dry and fluffy, there was ice underneath, but the 10-20cm of fresh snow in the past few days was more than enough to groom such level surfaces. With that much snow covering the ice and the air humidity at >85% the snow would have compacted nicely and firmed up if groomed Friday evening. The NCC has rubber tracks for the big machines to use for low snow grooming and they should have been put to use last night.

Expect better skiing tomorrow, otherwise demand it.
Jan 8 (2011-01-08) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Dusk exercise ski on the Doldrums. By the end of the day skier traffic alone had done a fair job of compacting the skate lane, so conditions were quite enjoyable. Of course the lane was still quite bumpy, due to the total lack of grooming, and there was lots of fresh, loose powder snow to slow things down. It is worth noting that despite the day's accumulated skier traffic there was no sign of exposed ice (the reason given on the NCC web site for not grooming). I concur with others filing reports today that it should have been possible to compact and groom. We've certainly seen successful grooming under much more adverse conditions in previous years.
Jan 8 (2011-01-08) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skied from P12, started up #40 then up #2 which was quite a workout given the amount of snow and few skiers who had ventured up. Got to ridge then a right on ridge past the bench up to the intersection of trail # 24, then short distance on #24 to the intersection of # 40. The descent on #40 was quite nice, really soft snow so there was no need for snowplowing.
But like Ron's comments I wasnt impressed by the Demsis report . There is now plenty of snow so no excuses fro the lack or no grooming at all. I suspect all that will be done by tomorrow will be the parkways!!!
Jan 8 (2011-01-08) by Ron Lorenson from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [11.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti tar + Swix Blue - Swix VF40 as fluor kick
Skied classic from P6 to Huron & back. This should have been a great day with new snow - it wasn’t.

It was old fashioned skiing all the way - slogging through new snow - the problem was that I don’t have my good-old wooden skis and gaiters anymore. Demsis decided that they couldn’t trackset this morning because the snow was too dry and the base was too icy. The classic tracks, where they existed, were skier set and quite wobbly; the skaters were having a real slog. The excuse doesn’t hold water: the snow depth varied between 10 - 20 cm and could have been easily trackset - at least compacted. The ice base was there but was well covered.

The previous contractor looked on difficult conditions as a challenge; I have memories of him turning ice into magic conditions. Demsis looks for excuses.

There were no machines of any sort in evidence today. Yesterday, when compacting should have been done, Demsis approach was too use what Jo-Ann called the “magic carpet”. This device beggars description - it consists a large metal frame to which two monster drags (carpets) are attached - it is then towed by a maintenance snowmobile. It smoothed out the snow but didn’t compact it.

Today was another example of Demsis shafting both the skier community and the NCC.
Jan 8 (2011-01-08) by Craig Storey from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [8.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti shop blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Orange
There's snow in them there hills! Get out and enjoy. Thanks Jo-Ann and Ken for reports yesterday, hopefully lots more happy reports today.
Jan 7 (2011-01-07) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #30, #4, #32 [15km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: carrot
Beautiful evening to be out enjoying the fresh powder. Took a few drops down Penguin before heading out to do a loop of Fortune Lake. No signs of grooming but I wouldn't expect the groomers to be out in force until early Saturday morning. Even then, if the snow continues to fall through the day as predicted, they may have a hard job keeping on top of the ever building snowpack. Still, Saturday could be a great day to get out and do a classic powder ski. Tried one of the BC trails (32) and was reminded that we've only had a few inches of snow since the big melt. Lots of thinly disguised rocks and several open water hazards along that trail so expect a bumpy ride off the main trails. Might be better to stick to the arterial trails for now until we build a little more base.
Jan 7 (2011-01-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: violet, Grip Wax: blue
We skied back and forth between Black Lake and Pink Lake. There were some very happy faces out there this afternoon!! Lots of fresh snow was down and it was still falling. We made our own slow classic tracks. The skaters appeared to be working even harder!! Some sort of magic carpet groomer came by a couple of times, but it really didn't seem to firm up the snow at all.

With a thorough grooming tonight, and a chance to firm up, I expect the trails could be absolute magic tomorrow!
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Jan 6 (2011-01-06) by Ron Lorenson from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [20.4km], Glide Wax: Summer Wax ?, Grip Wax: Kister & Vauhti tar base with Swix blue
Did a classic T-tour from P6 via CP & GP to Pink Lake to Penguin via GP to Mulvihill Lake via GP & CP and back to P6 . Conditions varied from barely fair to almost good depending on the base and amount of new snow. Demsis has rolled the skating track which, by packing the snow down into the ice, improves things to the point that skating is possible but not yet good. The classic tracks are quite firm - frozen into the shape that they had before the thaw - and are probably the best option. Along the GP the icy base showed through the snow in both the classic and skating tracks and was not that enjoyable. The best conditions were on the “Swamp Road Bypass” (MacKenzie King Rd) and CP up to Mulvihill Lake where very little ice was showing with good snow coverage.

In places some skaters seemed to have success by crust-cruising the untracked snow between the classic tracks and the parkway edge.

I used my rock skis but could have used my good skis without damage. My klister, tar, and blue combination kick wax worked quite in these conditions.

Overall it was still a worthwhile ski. I agree with Jo-Ann: - better these conditions than Australia - 3 cm of snow vs. 9 m of water - ravens and owls vs. snakes and crocodiles
Jan 5 (2011-01-05) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [12.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A report sent by Daniel:

Overall 2-3 cm of fresh powder on top of hard/ice. Skied from P5 to Champlain lookout, and this was nice. The only section that was difficult was right after Black hill and in front of Etienne Brûlée lookout where they were bare spots (concrete) under the powder. Hey the conditions are not the best, but at least we are not in Australia!
Jan 5 (2011-01-05) by Craig Storey from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [10.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Richard Turgeon reports..

Skiing got better overnight. Look at the pictures. Taken between P6 and
Pink. Definitively better above Pink.
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Jan 5 (2011-01-05) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: old, Grip Wax: blue
Skied briefly on the Gatineau Parkway between P5 and Mica. Nice to ski again and a gorgeous day. I'm wondering how Demsis measures snow. I carefully measured 3 centimters (came to over the top of my thumb joint stuck into the snow) of new snow since the meltdown. They claimed there was one. In any case, a grooming would not have helped.

The classic is quite okay, with lots of snow filling the icy beneath. I used ordinary grip, no heroic binders and it worked well. The not so wonderful part is the skate lane. It would be perfect for hockey! I did meet a skier named Daniel who had skated to the Lookout and back, so it is possible. He claimed that it wasn't great, though. The ice in the middle, aside from being just ice, is also very bumpy.

You couldn't have paid me to skate!
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Jan 4 (2011-01-04) by Craig Storey from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Richard Turgeon reports..

I skied between P5 and P9 and it was surprisingly good. There is a thin layer of fresh snow at the bottom of the classic tracks..... Enough to get good grip. It' better as you go up (near Penguin). I stopped at P10 (on my way to pick up my kids at Fortune) and it looked a bit better there. Skiers on their way back from Keogan said it was OK higher up.
Jan 4 (2011-01-04) by Craig Storey from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
With no real skiing to be had, the team has left town for Thunder Bay. By coincidence there are huge races, trials for World Championships, taking place there this week. Look for trail reports at skitrails.xcottawa.ca once the snow starts falling again. If you have found a good patch of skiable snow, please share your report!
Jan 1 (2011-01-01) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: waxless, Grip Wax:
More of an interesting outdoor outing than a great ski. There were several skiers out though, both skaters and classic. I poked along taking photos for quite a while, until the rain began. By that point the ice was turning slushy, yellow lines were showing, and bits of dirt and grass were starting to poke through. Let\'s hope the temperatures don\'t go wildly warm today, and that we have a bit of snow this evening to stick to this glop when the temperatures dip back down.

Be careful if you are driving. The visibility is poor.
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Dec 30 (2010-12-30) by Garry Tarr from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [12km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Fresh grooming on the Gatineau Parkway, extending at least down to Pink Lake (where I turned around) and almost certainly all the way to P3. This fresh grooming below the Gatineau/Champlain junction (Mica intersection) was probably the first in over a week (see Dev Paul's report of Dec. 23). The grooming was NOT reported on the Park website this morning, although it does now appear in the afternoon report. With the fresh grooming, skating conditions near Pink Lake were excellent. It's sad to think how many more km's of available trail we would have had if the stretch from P3-Mica had been groomed occasionally over the past two weeks. There was certainly enough snow to groom between at least Mica and Pink Lake. It looked like the Champlain Parkway had not been groomed since yesterday, but it was still in excellent shape. Overall skate conditions on the parkways are excellent, and will probably hold until tomorrow morning. Despite temperatures near the freezing point, the snow is not yet wet. Classic looked pretty good too.
Dec 30 (2010-12-30) by Sheila Kealey from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Excellent ski conditions today. Freshly groomed too. Skate conditions were very good, and classic tracks looked to be in good shape as well. Reports from skiers who went out towards Champlain Lookout said Parkways along the entire loop were in good condition. Get out and enjoy!
Dec 29 (2010-12-29) by Garry Tarr from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [10.6km], Glide Wax: purple, Grip Wax:
Skied P5 to the Champlain lookout return via the Gatineau and Champlain parkways (same as last trip but there aren't many places to ski right now!) No fresh grooming but skate conditions were fantastic. Snow was fast but still soft and controllable. Tracks looked a bit icy and classic skiers reported they weren't very fast. I expect conditions will be very good until tomorrow afternoon, when the January Thaw arrives early. Get out tonight or tomorrow morning if you can!
Dec 28 (2010-12-28) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #26, #29 (alternative) [14.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
We skied three out of the last 4 days from P3 up trail 5, over to the parkway on trail 26 and up to Pinks and back via the parkway (some days 2-3 loops of that). The conditions have gone from hard packed to super hard packed with no sign of grooming. Definitely understandable that there would be no grooming on Dec 25th and Dec 26th, but there is very good snow cover, so suprising that there is no grooming the past few days. Trail 5 from Asticou to 26 is in good shape. From trail 26 to Trail 29, Trail 5 is bumpy and rutted. Trail 26 from Trail 5 to the parkway is also very rutted and bumpy with tons of pits from walkers. The parkway is hard packed but very level. Great if you have good balance or for a double pole workout.

The tracks for classic look somewhat hard (we skated all days), but the classic skiers I asked seemed to be getting along fine with \"blue\" wax. High speed descents in the track on the parkway are pretty good, just keep eyes open for places where they swerve a bit and become less steep.

Over all these trails, you can use good skis.
Dec 28 (2010-12-28) by Karl Saidla from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder, Vauhti Teho Green, several layers of Vauhti Fluor Orange.
We went to Lac Philippe today for a change of scenery. Of course, it was very nice. Coverage is similar to the Fortune area, with the occasional rock showing, but generally fine for good equipment.

It has been about 5 days since the groomers have been out, making the surface somewhat hard and bumpy for skating. In some areas, the trails have been obviously traveled by groups of walkers. Still reasonable skiing, however. The classic tracks look to also be in reasonable shape for the most part.
Dec 28 (2010-12-28) by Eric Rouleau from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [26.9km], Glide Wax: LF4 with graphit, Grip Wax:
Le ski est bien en patin. DEMSIS a sorti le BR du garage finalement!!! Ils ont seulement fait le centre des promenades (boucle de 21 km) sans même aller au belvédère... Une chance qu'ils ont passé car les conditions auraient été ordinaire... Pour le classique, les track sont solides mais il y a beaucoup de débris. Bon ski et espèrons que la neige sera au rendez-vous ce weekend au lieu de la pluie.
Dec 27 (2010-12-27) by Megan McTavish from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [18.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti super binder and teho covered with vauhti carrot
Fairly nice skiing today on a bit of blustery day. The parkways are still in reasonably good shape after grooming a couple of days ago. There is some windblown snow and twigs etc in the classic tracks in places, but nothing to cause alarm. The skate lanes are range between hard and VERY hard depending on where you are.

Ridge Road is slowly getting more and more rough with the last grooming being done on Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 in different sections. The classic tracks are starting to be washed out in places, and the skate lanes are a bit bumpy and a bit icy. That being said, it's still good skiing overall.
Dec 27 (2010-12-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR30
Just a hasty ski on the doldrums before sunset. I would have indicated \\\"poor\\\" if the option had been possible. Certainly, in my mind, not worth paying the full price ($13.)of a day pass.

The skate lane was the kind that makes me feel old and decrepit and inspires me to stay home and clean sinks. Since the last grooming, too many skiers have passed that way and worn the track to a hard, shiny and un-edgable ( at least for me) state. The classic track was quite good, thin in a few places, icy in spots and the wind had blown in some debris in places.

Today\\\'s wind and cold temperatures, as well as the lack of fresh snow have certainly played roles in today\\\'s conditions. Let\\\'s hope for better tomorrow.
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Dec 26 (2010-12-26) by Garry Tarr from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [10.6km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax:
Skied P5 to Champlain lookout via Gatineau and Champlain Pkwys, same route out and back. Both skate and classic appear to have been groomed last night. The skate lane is getting quite hardpacked due to lack of fresh snow, which made for fast skiing despite temperatures around -12C. Not many people out, even between Fortune Pkwy and the lookout. Beware of bare patch under bridge where Kingsmere Rd. crosses Pkwy near P5- the patch now extends almost the entire width of the road. Overall conditions are quite good on the parkways. Get out and enjoy the sunshine if you can!
Dec 25 (2010-12-25) by Karl Saidla from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder, Vauhti Teho Green, covered by Vauhti Fluor Orange
Very good skiing again today for the annual Saidla-McTavish family Christmas ski. Fortune parkway was in good shape from grooming a day or so ago, and Champlain Parkway appeared to have been groomed more recently. No changes on Ridge and Burma, I don't think.

Boxing Day Burnoff tomorrow....so fuel up!
Dec 25 (2010-12-25) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax:
Conditions are good and quite a few skiers were out this morning trying out new skis. The skate lane was nicely renovated on one side and the classic tracks looked to be holding up pretty well. There is quite a nasty wind if you are heading toward P9. Bundle up if you go!

Happy Holidays!
Dec 24 (2010-12-24) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3 [8.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder. A little bit of Vauhti Teho Green, then some Vauhti Fluor Orange
Fortune Parkway was in excellent shape and recently groomed. Both the skate lane and the classic tracks are very hard packed. Binder is certainly recommended. Ridge Road did not appear to have been groomed, so while it will stay bumpy,I would expect the coverage is basically ok for either technique. We skied a portion of Burma: Nice...but bring your rock skis for that.

The weather was spectacular with sun, blue sky,little wind, and pleasant temperatures.

Happy holidays from everyone at XC Ottawa!
Dec 23 (2010-12-23) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [20.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Binder, Vauhti Fluor Orange
Ridge Road has good coverage but is bumpy and a bit icy in places. I would say fine for either classic or skate with good skis. The Parkways were in reasonably good shape for either classic or skate as well. The next few days look like they are going to be nice.
Dec 23 (2010-12-23) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #32, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [29.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Toko Super Blue
A patchwork of conditions, from freshly groomed, beautiful track to old hard-packed skating and stale "squirrely" (to quote Ken) classic track. The skate lanes didn't appear to have had much attention at all, and would have been too stale and hard packed for ME to enjoy.
Gatineau Parkway: very good classic for the most part, but an old tired skate lane. Watch out if you are skiing in the dark: there is one patch of pavement in the classic track under the bridge at P5.
Champlain Parkway: beautiful from Mica to Kingsmere, then the fresh grooming suddenly stopped.
Fortune Parkway: Mostly good classic, except for a couple of thin parts on the final descent.
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Dec 23 (2010-12-23) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26, #29 (alternative) [19km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
We skied today out of P3 (Gamelin Gate). Conditions were pretty hard packed for both skating and classic (we were doing skating). The parkway has not been groomed but in good condition for skating (but hard). The classic track looked like it could use some new snow. Double poling was very fast. Trail 5 and 26 were both ungroomed but in good shape. Trail 29 coming up to the parkway from Skinouk has a lot of grass protruding through and uneven. I\'d recommend coming up Trail 26 to the parkway instead. The tracks coming down pinks lakes are shallow and a bit \"wavy\" (left to right) and can dissappear at times, so keep your eyes open for that on the high speed descents. Definitely a good day for a double pole workout if your balance is not that great. If you have good balance, you\'ll fly.

Dev
Dec 23 (2010-12-23) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (blue) [21.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: N/A
Skated from P10 via FP. CP, & ridge to 1km past Blanchet.

The best news is that new classic tracks were laid down between noon & 1PM - they looked great - the guy on the tracksetter was really doing a great job. The classic tracks after the lookout were two-days-old but were still in good shape.

Skating - hard-packed but fast - mad for lazy skating. The track was even as far as the Champlain Lookout. Ridge suffered from the lack of snow and tended to be uneven and "wavy"

Past the lookout there had been about 1-2 cm of new snow which improved both skating and the classic.

I had a look at #24 and #2 but was not tempted - they haven't trackset for a number of days and really need a lot more snow - particularly in the skating track.
Dec 22 (2010-12-22) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (black) [13.3km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti violet - but bring silver along in case it warms up
Today we mostly skied on the ungroomed, narrow trails which were actually pretty good. There is a hard base because of the freezing rain last week with some nice powder on top, so your poles don't go through and there are no rocks showing, but it is also not at all icy. Lots of fun, if you like that kind of skiing. We did check out the parkway and it looked nice. There is a tiny bit of fresh snow on top of slightly old grooming which made it great skiing.
Dec 22 (2010-12-22) by Ken Trischuk from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: Purple, Grip Wax:
Light dusting of snow over a solidly groomed base made for fast, easy skating conditions. The nicely groomed base has set up and the fresh snow gives easy edging which made skating quite effortless.

Classic tracks on the other hand were still pretty inconsistent. Sometimes good, sometimes shallow or washed out completely and always a little squirrely. Still not enough snow to sink good classic tracks in I guess. That said they aren't so bad to stay home. The snow is good and the weather has been very pleasant the last few days. More than worth the trip to classic ski... and the skating is great.
Dec 20 (2010-12-20) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: Swix Violet, Grip Wax:
Perfect conditions!! A wonderful surprise! More than worth the cost of a day pass, if you don't have a season's pass. The conditions were comparable to Silver Star or Mont Ste-Anne.

I delayed skiing while waiting for the park website to show some grooming activity and finally opted to skate, expecting a big mess from the weekend. I even phoned the office - they knew nothing about any grooming - and went there in person to ask again just before skiing - still nothing. Now, at 3:00, the web site still looks much the same as it did all weekend. All this to say, JUST GO AND SKI - there is obviously some great grooming going on, but it is not showing up on the site. It was so good, I'm thinking of going out for a second ski!
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Dec 19 (2010-12-19) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26 [17.8km], Glide Wax: Swix CH7, Grip Wax:
We skied from P3 up the Parkway to Trail 5. The snow coverage is excellent. A few people were asking if they could use their good skis and the answer is yes. The trail between 5 and the Gatineau Parkway (trail 26) is also in good shape with no need for rock skis. Trail 5 is usually good early season because the underlying surface is smooth pavement, so no rocks and roots that protrude through the snow. The big hill on 5 (Gat-zilla) had a few places where the snow is washed out, but nothing that is not manageable. Going up that thing several times for the first time this season was a nice shock...no amount of cycling, running and roller skiing quite simulates going up the steeper hills! Enjoy the great conditions in Decemeber in the warmth before the first cold snap turns all the snow to styrofoam. The parkway from the top of Pinks Lake to P3 was also in great shape.
Dec 19 (2010-12-19) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1 [17km], Glide Wax: purple, Grip Wax:
The NCC website reports no grooming since Friday morning, which appears accurate! The 2cm or so of fresh snow which fell last night has been packed down by heavy skate traffic on the parkways. Classic tracks are shallow. The connector between the Doldrums and Fortune Parkway has thin coverage and one partially open ditch, but is passable with good skis if you are careful. I didn't find any exposed rocks on Ridge between Huron and the top of Penguin, but some of the sharp corners (e.g. top of the Khyber Pass) are a bit icy. Ridge Road was like a bright white tunnel this morning with fresh snow sticking to the trees- very scenic. Despite the lack of grooming it's well worth getting out for a ski, and good skis can now be used on most popular trails with a bit of care. Parking could be a challenge- P8 was almost full at 9AM!
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Dec 19 (2010-12-19) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: swix LF4, Grip Wax: Toko jaune 0 -2 avec toko rouge -1-2
Les conditions de neige sont bonnes ainsi que la beauté des arbres!!! Cependant, les conditions des pistes de classiques sont plus ou moins bonnes. Instable, croche ... DEMSIS ont décidé de prendre congé ce weekend avec 2-3 cm hier et 2-3 cm ce matin cela fait plus de 5 cm alors ou sont les machines? Bref, pour le patin les conditions sont superbes sur les promenades mais dans les sentiers numérotés il manque un peu de neige pour mettre cela de niveau. Bon ski et soyez prudent!!!!
Dec 19 (2010-12-19) by Craig Storey from P9 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti shop blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot + tar
Pretty good skiing given the minimal amount of snow we have at the moment. Snow was fast and glazing on top of day old grooming. The skate lane on the parkways is the best skiing. It's not bad along Ridge, but there are thin spots and rocks to watchout for, and more on the way with the traffic this weekend. Still great skating conditions in general.

The classic skiing is another story. The tracks are shallow and looks like M.C. Escher did the grooming. Lots of traffic has eroded the tracks in many places. More snow will be required to allow the groomers to sink good quality tracks in. Carrot was my guess for grip. If it was too slippery, then try alternating layers of carrot and tar.

Enjoy the mid-winter scenery and the early season skiing, but don't expect perfection.
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Dec 18 (2010-12-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P16 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Fabulous skate weather today (minus 4) and wonderful snow on Pine Road. We had a wonderful ski on our good skis, no worry about rocks. Not to confuse snow and weather with grooming, though: there were some good spots where the skate lane was level and the classic tracks sometimes looked as though a machine might have made them. There were many stretches that had a central ridge - quite irritating for skating - and some of those currently popular shallow classic tracks. The most uniform conditions were between Herridge and Lac Philippe. The two attached photos were taken around 10:30 in the morning, before very many people had begun their Saturday ski.

Trail 36 has been compacted to the lake, but no classic tracks yet.

It's early season yet, so I'm looking forward to soon seeing Pine Road at its best.
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Dec 17 (2010-12-17) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The North Loop was very busy this afternoon, lots of skaters and classic skiers.

The thin, crooked classic tracks were well past their "best before" date, but will probably be looking pretty amazing by tomorrow morning.
Dec 16 (2010-12-16) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green) [17.5km], Glide Wax: purple storage(poor choice), Grip Wax: carrot
Fresh snow falling and pretty nice grooming at Lac Phillippe. Classic tracks were good and the skating lane was wide and pretty smooth. Several trails that are normally classic only(like trail 55) have just been rolled thus far but appeared to have plenty of snow so would be nice for skating at this time. Trail 54 was also just rolled but I saw no signs of rocks as I skied part way up to Lusk lake.

First time for me on the good skis this year and I may not have gotten the waxes just right but they ran better than my rock skis ever will so glad to relegate the rock skis to the basement until the end of March (or hopefully beyond).
Dec 16 (2010-12-16) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [21km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
We did some classic skiing tonight. We stuck to the parkways and they were good. I'm sure Ridge Road is also good. No new snow today and no real change in the conditions in the past few days.

XC Ottawa is off to the races this weekend (Mont Ste. Anne, Duntroon and Whitehorse) so check skiTrails.xcottawa.ca to find trail reports by other Ottawa area skiers.
Dec 16 (2010-12-16) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [13.1km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: VR 40
Beautiful snow! Ridge west of Fortune had (more or less) classic tracks to Huron, a nicely compacted skate lane to Western and after that an older, compacted lane with soft new snow on top. No rocks or obstacles, great coverage. We enjoyed classic today, but the skating looked very tempting. The area between Fortune and Huron was especially beautiful, with heavily snow-laden trees and bushes.

The other side of Ridge was good, at least as far as I went. More uniform grooming, complete coverage.

Note: The Fortune Parkway classic tracks are very thin and crooked, not the standard issue. It makes you feel a bit like a pinball as you descend the last hill!
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Dec 15 (2010-12-15) by Kyle Power from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [23.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
The afternoon report: Yes, the Skiing is still good! And by far the best day yet in my opinion! We covered quite a bit of ground hitting most of Parkways at some point and all of Ridge Road from Champlain down to the bottom of Penguin. Ridge is a little rough, but good coverage - I saw no rocks. Parkways are freshly groomed and smooth, the skating was awesome and I would predict the classic skiing being an alright choice too. Everything is looking and feeling a lot more wintery today! If you are considering a night ski, be sure to bundle up and get out there!
Dec 15 (2010-12-15) by Sheila Kealey from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot (fluor)
Nice skiing today - and lots of people out to enjoy the new snow and grooming. I didn't venture far from P8-P5, but conditions on the parkway were pretty good (and Ridge/Penguin were tracked and looked good from Penguin Picnic ground area). Classic tracks aren't quite smooth yet (a mix of powder, a bit of ice) but pretty good, and skating looked good (though maybe a tad slow with the cold, dry snow).
Dec 15 (2010-12-15) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: swix vert avec graphite, Grip Wax: swix bleu couvert de vert
Très froid ce matin avec des conditions lentes. Le grooming a été fait au court de la nuit et les conditions de patin sont excellentes. Pour le classique, les conditions sont très bonnes mais le fond des track est glacé alors un bon binder sera utile. DEMSIS a passé un rouleau dans la RIDGE afin de préparer la base. Bon ski!
Dec 14 (2010-12-14) by Megan McTavish from VC grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carro
We got out for a quick ski starting at the visitor center. It was the first ski that we didn't have to drive to P10 which was nice for some variety. The P8-P9 stretch was nicely groomed and the sugar bush was well covered. If you have been worried about icy conditions, you don't have to worry now.
See more reports by other Ottawa area skiers from today who checked out different areas of the park here.
Dec 14 (2010-12-14) by Charles Hodgson from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #6 [3.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue
The picture of the Skyline sign tells the story of the trail condition; light powdery snow on top with the icy remnants of freezing rain beneath.

I broke trail from the top of Booth Hill (that’s just above where trail #30 meets #6) as #30 and Ridge Road had been groomed to some extent. The snow was still falling and formed several inches of powder on top of an icy crust. The crust was annoying in that often it would grip my ski poles forcing me to yank them out. Just as frustrating but somewhat less frequent was the annoyance of the pole tips skittering on the ice crust layer instead of gripping, thus requiring extra attention to firmly and deliberately plant the pole on each stride.

The snow was deep enough on top of the crust to take all the chatter out of the icy surface and give pretty good control. Only once upon trying to side-step up a particularly steep little pitch did I find the snow slip away leaving me rattling on the icy crust beneath.

At the time I skied the light was flat and in addition to that the snow in the air and my personal humidity were causing glasses fog-up so all in all the trail, without any ski tracks to show light and shadow, was precious difficult to read. Luckily my skis were none too fast. I had chosen rock skis which have plenty of gouges out of the base, though I didn’t need to, the snow was plenty deep.

My return descent of Booth Hill was by way of trail #31 which seemed to never have been used by other skiers so was particularly sweet and allowed for a few Telemark turns.
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Dec 14 (2010-12-14) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: Blue minus 4 to minus 12
Winter has arrived. It seems safe to put away those rock skis. The skiing is still a bit soft and slow, but initial grooming has begun. No excuses left to ski!

The first photo (forgot to label them) is near P9, the second near Penguin.
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Dec 14 (2010-12-14) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Merci pour ce 5-8 cm de neige!!!! Cela améliore grandement les conditions de glace que l'on avait hier!!!! Sans cette neige pratiquement impossible de skier... DEMSIS sont sur les promenades depuis 7h00 et les conditions sont molles mais excellentes en patin. Pour le classique, le fond des tracks est glacés mais la neige qui tombe aidera grandement dans quelques heures. Bon ski!!!
Dec 14 (2010-12-14) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
We haven't gone skiing yet, but with the new snow last night it is sure to be good. Looks like they have done some grooming too: NCC report.

Eric has an early report. Check back for a report later in the day once people have checked it out for those of us at the office or at school.
Dec 13 (2010-12-13) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue, Grip Wax:
There is a lot snow more coverage than before the weekend, in fact no pavement at all that I could see up to the Lookout. It was very hard and icy, having been groomed yesterday and refrozen today. There was a thin layer of new snow on top. The skating was fast and the downhills were very noisy!!
Dec 12 (2010-12-12) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Guess: Universal Klister
Everything that mother nature has in her rucksack she decided to take out and do some sprinkling with. Between 9 AM and lunch time we saw snow, ice pellets, and freezing rain. We also witnessed some stong and gusty wind. If you head out, dress for it all!

You will find that some grooming has been done between P10 and Champlain, including new classic tracks. Nothing towards Mica or Black Lake yet, but the skiing is still o.k. in that direction. It is probably reasonable to use good skis on the parkways in that area now, but for sure keep you eyes open for the odd thin spot. This mess of precipitation has actually helped the conditions considerably.
Dec 11 (2010-12-11) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Red
A light dusting of snow and ice pellets came overnight. There was no new grooming but conditions remain quite good relative to what you might expect (given the relatively small amount of snow we have in general) in the Fortune/Champlain Parkway area. Watch out for the odd bare/thin spot. People have been skiing Ridge Road but bring your Grade A rock skiing equipment for that.
Dec 10 (2010-12-10) by Kyle Power from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Purple, Grip Wax: Vauhti Blue and Carrot combo
Another chilly morning out in the Park! We were feeling the Parkway blues so after skiing from P10 we turned on to Ridge Road and started heading towards Champlain en-route Fire Tower direction on trail #1. Surprisingly it was good classic skiing but rocks skis were essential due to the rock patches here and there. The grooming looked rather fresh and we might of been one of the first ones venturing out that way. At the end of the morning we ended up with the odd damaged base but the skiing was a lot of fun out there and well worth it if you have rock skis!
Dec 10 (2010-12-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Swix blue, Grip Wax: VR30
Fortune Parkway really needs some fresh snow. It's thin and tired, particularly for classic. Some avid skate skiers evidently skied out much of the ascending classic track yesterday evening. BUT between the T and the top of Black Lake Hill, the classic is quite nice (only one or two bare spots) and towards Huron it isn't bad. There were lots of skiers out today. Nice to see!

Think Snow!!
Dec 9 (2010-12-09) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
Today we skated and it was quite good. (See Andy's video!) No real changes in the last few days. No new snow and no new grooming, but the skiing remains fairly good. Lets hope we get that snow they have forecasted for the weekend!
Dec 8 (2010-12-08) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
As Eric said this morning, the skiing is quite good given the amount of snow we have. There are tracks for classic which are pretty good and the skating looks great. We even skied a little bit on Ridge Road (#1) which was surprisingly good between gossip corner and Huron.
Dec 8 (2010-12-08) by Eric Rouleau from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: blue
Les conditions sont très bonnes pour le peu de neige. Plus haut, il y a tombé 2-4 cm. Les traces de classique sont plus ou moins belles mais il n'y a plus de gazon et d'asphalte comparativement à hier matin. Le style patin est un meilleur choix pour aujourd'hui surtout pour la section du Koegan au lac Bourgeois. Soyons patient car selon les prévisions météorologiques une grosse tempête est en vue pour le weekend!!!!!
Dec 7 (2010-12-07) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vauti Violet
Went out for my first ski today. It was lovely. There is a hard icy base with a bit of new snow on top. They had even been by with the groomer. The tracks they set had pavement and grass spots in them closer to P10 but got better coverage as I headed towards Champlain. Rock ski\'s are still the better choice. Skating looked pretty good as well.
Dec 6 (2010-12-06) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Purple, Grip Wax:
Today's skate skiing on Fortune was WONDERFUL! There is quite a bit more snow than on Friday, and both the pavement and the grass are covered. There are only a few thin spots left and they are on the last Km down to the parking lot - and they are easy to see. Most of the Fortune Parkway felt like mid Winter and was "as good as it gets".
I checked out Ridge to Shilly Shally, but there were still lots of rocks and it's too thin to ski consistently at the moment.
The Champlain parkway also still needs a bit more snow for carefree skating to the Lookout, although some skaters have evidently managed it. I skied on the edges where there is good cover. Heading towards Lac Bourgeois has full coverage, but I didn't get past the first hill as it was getting dark. Let's hope for more snow tonight!
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Dec 5 (2010-12-05) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
Skiing is similar to yesterday. Still fairly good coverage, but of course some more snow would be nice! Skating and classic both work.
Dec 4 (2010-12-04) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Skating was the preferred technique today. In some places, it almost looked like it had been groomed, but your poles would be hitting the pavement to bring you back to reality. A few bare patches on the road in the south facing sections but overall a good ski. Hopefully there will be more snow tomorrow to add to this base!
Dec 3 (2010-12-03) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Waxless
There is still snow, despite how it looks on the webcam. I found it pretty sticky on the grass but good on the road. The roads are covered on the North facing slopes and bare on the South facing ones. The higher you go, the better. I would probably try P10 or P6 rather than P5. No guarantees though.
Dec 2 (2010-12-02) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: NA, Grip Wax: harries or waxless
Well, the snow came back! Too bad there was all that rain in between. This time around classic seems to be the better technique. The higher up you go, the more snow. I used waxless skis, it is a bit tricky with both wax and waxless icing up a bit. Still worth getting out there though. It was a beautiful morning with white snowy trees.
Nov 29 (2010-11-29) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: NA
As Megan put it, in terms of the quality of the skiing relative to the amount of snow on the ground, that was about as good as it could ever get.

We skied from P10 to Champlain and back. It was really pretty good for skating, with a fairly packed and uniform surface. If you are thinking about skiing on Tuesday morning, stop thinking and get doing!
Nov 28 (2010-11-28) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [15.4km], Glide Wax: storage wax!, Grip Wax:
Skate ski from P6 to the Champlain Lookout, plus top half of Fortune Parkway. The skating was a treat, even after the great number of skiers this weekend. It was possible to more or less ignore how little snow is actually on the ground. (At one point, though, I regretted not paying attention!) Surprisingly it seemed best where thoroughly skied in by the most skiers - the Fortune parkway and up to the Lookout. It should be okay for another day, but it certainly is "going downhill" with each day that passes.
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Nov 27 (2010-11-27) by Sheila Kealey from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The ice crust over pavement made for surprisingly good conditions for skate skiing on the parkways. Classic looked good too!