Expand all Collapse all

Mar 20 (2012-03-20) 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:
I decided to go for a walk and brought my skis along. My route was from P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>#2=>#40=>P12. Its hard to imagine going back there after 3 days when it was still skiable, and WOW so bare as the pics show, every trail that I went to was practically a bust.

Even going down #2 black I expected some snow as its mostly shaded but surprise hardly anything there too. This is one of the shortest season's that I can remember not even 3 months worth, but like some of the other skiers mentioned the time we had was sure some GREAT skiing to be had.

The grooming started of slow perhaps lack of snow but picked up soon after even with the sometimes difficult conditions we had (freezing rain) the trails became in excellent shape, and the last week of February was one of the Best powder snow week we had for some outstanding back country skiing.

We also had some informative ski reports from all kinds of skiers this year offering a variety of trail reports and starting areas which helped plan your next ski outing.

Everyone enjoy the summer seems like we skipped spring, and hopefully we get an early 2012-2013 ski season !!!!!
Mar20a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar20b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar20c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar20d.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar20e.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 20 (2012-03-20) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop [11.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Happy First day of Spring. No, you cannot cycle the loop yet! Photo evidence: A, B. Relax it won't be long.
Thanks to all those that submitted trail reports all season, much appreciated!
Mar 19 (2012-03-19) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just to settle my mind that winter was really ending, I headed to P8 in shorts and sneakers intending to walk on the bare pavement and photograph the snow in its death throws. But surprisingly it was (relatively) hopping with skiers!! One skier named Wayne, who had skied on both the Fortune Parkway and the North Loop, told me that the best stretch of ski-able snow was a 2 K stretch on the North Loop. So as the sun set I headed out. I WAS wearing skate skis and there was something resembling snow/ice/crust/slush/boot prints/dog prints beneath the skis, but any real resemblance to skiing was fleeting. It was anything but a waste of time, though. Any opportunity to be on the parkways without speeding cars is a gift.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great spring, everyone!.
120319_Pavement-and-Snow.jpgEnlargeImage
120319_North-Loop2.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 19 (2012-03-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Going ....going..... almost gone.......... Started out from P10=>FP=>Ridge to Shilly Shally=>back same way. With all that said not too often you get to ski in shorts and t-shirt, even if the skiing is not good its fun to do.

The GOOD my first pic, the BAD the rest. We are getting to a point unless you want to walk or stick to the first part of Fortune parkway up to Fortune lake, the rest is disappearing by the minute. Probably parts of Ridge are still good for the time being the problem is getting there. I did meet about 8 skiers or so, the Doldrums look unskiable.

Its hard to imagine just 3 weeks ago we had that fantastic week of powder snow, didnt think it would go this fast!!!!!
Mar19e.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar19b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar19c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar19d.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar19a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by David Brownrigg from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: none, Grip Wax: universal klister
Opted for the doldrums this weekend on the presumption that P10 Fortune Parkway would be packed. Pleasantly surprised to see Demsis had groomed the Doldrums both Saturday and Sunday. In the past they seemed to give up whenever spring weather started threatening. Tracks were good and only thin in a few spots. Pavement is starting to show a bit through the ice and expect that it will probably break through this week. First time I have X-C skied in 'summer' like weather. People out in T-shirts and shorts! As a classic skier this was my last ski of the season. This coming week of 20+ weather will likely finish off the tracks....
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by Ken Trischuk from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: SPF30, Grip Wax: waxless
Skied out of P16 today. Good conditions in general. The first climb is a little dicey but skiable(excpet the bridge was dry). That may have changed in the time it took me to drive home as things were melting fast. Regardless, if you take the time to hike the first hill to the tree line there is good skiing to be had. The snow was pretty dirty but continuous for my whole ski with just one "water trench" across the trail which I could ski over so skis stayed on for the whole day.

The groomers had come from P19 as far as the short steep hill before I got to Herridge where they had turned around. Looks like they had trouble getting back up the hill with lots of backslips, wiggles and trenches evident on the steep part of the climb. Groomed or not conditions were good with a solid classic track and reasonably firm skate lane (considering it was 20C!). I had intended to go to Lac Phillippe but the bench at the junction of 52 called me like a siren song so I stopped there and enjoyed the sun for a long spell before heading back. I expect things will open up fast with these hot days but for now there was still around 20cm or so of base left along the Pine road.
15.JPGEnlargeImage
16.JPGEnlargeImage
17.JPGEnlargeImage
18.JPGEnlargeImage
19.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [16.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax: Fish scales with silicon spray
The end is in sight - at least from P12.

With the memory of the conditions yesterday I thought that today would be good to take my waxless Fischer Crowns to the tower for their first time. Going up #40 I began to realize that today was a very different day from yesterday. There was significant deterioration: there are a lot more bare spots and just before the bridge after #38 the creek will, by now, have washed out the trail requiring an inconvenient bushwacking detour. #24 and #1 blue to the Wolf Ridge have coverage at the minute; however, the meltwater is starting to run under the snow and there are tunnels under the snow waiting to trap the unwary. The tracks have largely melted away and the glide is not spectacular. I gave up at the Wolf Ridge and headed back along #1 to the bench at #2. I then headed down #2 to P12 - this was an interesting experience as legions of walkers had trashed the trail. It has always been a source of mystery to me why the first whiff of warm weather brings walkers out on the ski trails - there are so many other options for walking locales and it can’t be pleasant breaking through wet snow on every other step. Skaters on #1 seemed to be having moderate success.

The forecast in Chelsea for tonight is 5 C and with Matt and Karl’s reports I might use the parkways and Ridge for one last skate.

I’m not big into keeping records but I can’t ever remember finishing skiing as early as the 18th March. Regardless, even with the short season I've had many days of great skiing.

Bon été à tous et un espoir que l’hiver prochain soit meilleur.
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Good news and bad news although still skiable from P6, P8, P10, P12, the bad news is scratch P19 from the list. My route was P19=>#50=>#55=>Taylor lake and back same way.

Trail #50 was so so till you got to the first downhill at the gate pic #1. The junction with #55 was in rough shape pic #2, slushy lots of water, past that point on #50 looked not too bad.

Trail #55 started to get lots of bare spots around Renaud lake, then it was ok until the start of Taylor lake then it deteriorated quite a bit , I only went about 100 meters from the start of the lake before I turned back lots of gravel.
The best option seemed to be trail #56.

I didnt venture onto #54 to Lusk cabin, but can only imagine lots of ice were the detour is and debris from the trees. For those who have reserved a cabin or yurt you will probably be walking there in the next day or so. I did make a small detour to check out the new cabin Des Pins, for those who had been at the old one this is quite an improvement, very nice and bright, my last pic.

Interesting to read the reports about Ridge between Keogan and Penguin seems to be another option to ski on, besides P10 and P12.
Mar18a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar18b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar18c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar18e.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar18d.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by Karl Saidla from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, Champlain Pkwy [19.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF or HF Yellow., Grip Wax: Vauhti Red mixed with Vauhti Silver Plus
Just got back from GREAT day of spring skiing. Rarely do you get to ski in sun and 14C. The Parkways, at least above Mackenzie King, were obviously groomed overnight, but the classic tracks were left as is. You will find variable conditions again for classic, but generally soft and wet of course. Ridge Road between Keogan and P7 was actually really nice skiing for either classic or skate. Be warned that bare patches and water are certainly beginning to make an appearance. This afternoon should be good for some reasonable skiing without taking your skis off much.

One weird thing I've been noticing...obviously some people don't think they have to avoid skating on the classic tracks...this seems more pronounced over the last little while. Believe me, if you're a classic skier, you really would prefer if people wouldn't do that!
Mar 18 (2012-03-18) by Matt McInnes from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [39.1km], Glide Wax: swix yellow LF, Grip Wax:
Surprisingly good skiing. Groomers were out last night. P3 to the split at McKenzie was excellent. It was very good to the top of Black's lake hill. After that it was very rough with some bare patches until the T with fortune parkway. Ridge towards Huron was very rough. Ridge to Penguin was very nice.

The parkway had degenerated to complete bare patches in the sun exposed areas past Black's lake hill in only one day which is not a good sign given the projected highs today!

Race trails were in great shape. Best bet might be skiing from Camp Fortune up through the race trails. Enjoy!
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #3, #31, #28 [18.6km], Glide Wax: SPF20, Grip Wax: waxless
Beautiful day for a ski and the snow is holding up better than I expected. I'd wager another weekend if it weren't going to be 20C all week (so in that case I won't wager). I skied out Ridge from P7 using the "back" trail 31 to climb up rather than the Wattsford side which i assume is gravel now. Good coverage all the way along Ridge with a couple of thin spots to ski around. The base of the Khyber has started to open up as Garry mentioned but you can still ski around it and the climb itself is no problem. Spent an hour on the wall at Brule lookout enjoying the sun and chatting with a few skiers/walkers on the portage below me.

Skied down Burma which was quite nice. Again a few spots starting to open up and one short portage which I pictured on Wednesday but all in all quite nice. The last descent to the parkway has a gravel "streak" down the middle at the top. Those requiring full snowplow might struggle but there is enough snow on the sides to ski around the open bits(for now). Then it was back Fortune to 1 and home to P7

I also skied up to Ramparts which I might not recommend unless you enjoy balancing on the monorail of compacted snow, occasional (and sudden) full ski postholes and a couple of wobbly stream crossings. I thought it was fun but I did have to walk down the hill from the lookout on my way out as it was more rock than snow (but I skied up it!). (Mostly) full snow coverage everywhere else though. Another good day tomorrow then....
1404.JPGEnlargeImage
1405.JPGEnlargeImage
1406.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [20.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10 both waxless and skating, Grip Wax: Fish scales with silicon spray
As a defence against a shortening season I decided to get double value from my ski days. Today I had a skate day and a classic day.

My skate day was two iterations of the north loop from P8 starting around 9AM. There was recent tracksetting. Initially conditions were fast and hard granular corduroy ; at the end of my second iteration the surface was beginning to soften which increased control without robbing speed. Quite enjoyable! When I passed P8 at about 3PM the north loop still looked good with complete coverage.

My classic day involved using my waxless Fischer Crowns on the following route:
P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 => Wolf Ridge bench => #1 => #2 => P12
There was no new tracksetting anywhere on this route; however, it didn’t matter - conditions were firm and good. The skating lane was flat and looked like it was reasonably fast; the classic tracks stayed firm all day. There’s still an awful-lot of snow on the ridge - there’s the occasional small bare spot but I never had to take my skis off and portage. #2 has a lot of snow depth and is definitely a delight to come down. This was the first time that I really found enjoyment from using waxless skis - they almost performed like my wax skis. Tomorrow I expect to go up there again and maybe I’ll head out to the tower.

It’s not finished yet!
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Garry Tarr from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [22.5km], Glide Wax: CH10 plus rilling, Grip Wax:
Today you could hear the fat lady singing in the Gatineau Hills. P9 and P5 have both been closed, so parking is at a bit of a premium. At 9:30AM P10 was gridlocked, so we started at P6 instead and skated up the Champlain parkway to Huron, then back down the Fortune Parkway to the Ridge Road intersection with a brief side excursion along Ridge Road to Shilly Shally. There was still lots of snow in most places, but a significant portage has now opened between the Huron and Champlain Lookouts and there were large bare spots in the base of the Khyber Pass. The yellow line was visible all along the hill just to the west of Black Lake, and by this afternoon I expect most of this section will be bare. It appeared there had been some grooming, but the skate lane was generally soft, chewed up, slushy and slow. Conditions were better on the north-facing Fortune Parkway than on the Champlain Parkway. The short section of Ridge between Fortune and Shilly Shally was icy and dirty, but offered faster skiing than the sun-drenched parkway. It's still worth getting out to ski (there will be time enough for riding bikes in the coming months), but it's best to stick to areas with the least sun exposure.
fatlady1.jpgEnlargeImage
fatlady2.jpgEnlargeImage
bench.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40, #1 (blue) [16.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Still skiable today my route was from P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>Wolf bench=>#1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#2=>P12. Many skiers out today enjoying a trip out to the Fire tower, many familiar faces, I opted to stop at the Wolf trail bench. The hill there is still skiable probably for a day or so, see pic #1.

Trail #40 still has good coverage except for the start and end, #24 only a few bare spots, #2 nothing showing yet, #33 is opening up at the hill above trail #40 see the second and third pic. The downhill part of #2 was still quite fast lots of fun. It did not get as warm as predicted today and there was a cloud cover, it was around !2 C when got back to the car at 3 pm.
Mar17a.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar17b.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar17c.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Orange., Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Universal mixed with Vauhti Fluor Red.
Conditions on the parkway are quite good overall, with the parkways having been groomed overnight. During the 10-12 time frame conditions were extremely variable...some places icy, some places wet and firm, and other places very soft and slow. If you ski this afternoon, expect it to be wet everywhere. There are starting to be bare patches at place like Huron lookout, but you won't regret having made the trip if you decide to ski. Should be fine tomorrow as well.
Mar 17 (2012-03-17) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Violet, covered with mix of Vauhti Universal and Vauhti Red.
This is from Friday night. I skied from P10 and there was certainly no problem for snow coverage anywhere on the Fortune parkway or on Ridge Road in that area. Everything looked fine at P8 as I drove by. I'm confident we can ski all weekend! Conditions will be soft unless you get out early, the snow is old enough that it is reasonably fast.
Mar 16 (2012-03-16) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: LF yellow, Grip Wax: Waxless
Trail 40, 24, Ridge to Fire Tower, Ridge to water tank, 24, 40

Take 3! Finally made it to the Fire Tower before the season ended!

I laughed when I saw that Ken and Paul had also started at P12. I know that Craig's positive report yesterday inspired me to try again after Monday's slog. I have little to add, except that my waxless skis worked really well today (not fast, but an acceptable balance of grip and glide). I stayed out until almost 6:00, lingering with the camera. It's fantastic to not have to worry about freezing to death! The sun never did appear, the temperatures remained fairly low, and the snow changed very little over the course of the day. There were a few bare spots, one place where tracks were swallowed up, and one creek crossing. No need to remove skis at any time, though.

There are 8 photos at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Mar 16 (2012-03-16) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40 [9.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Ken and Ron pretty well summed up todays conditions. My leisurely route was from P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#2=>#40=>P12. The usual bare spots that Ken mentioned on #40, more or less the start and the end of #40, a couple of small spots on #24, one big rock showing on #33, but nothing that you cant ski around for now. I had a blast coming down #2 it was fairly fast but easy to control no bare spots or rocks on it.

I talked to a skier that had been to the Fire tower and he didn't have to take his skis off at all. Although the big hill going up to Wolf bench has a bare spot in the middle, otherwise its all good.

Parking lot P9 is closed up , i suspect as well is P5. Now the question is will we make it to next weekend!!!!!!!!
Mar16a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar16b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar16c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar16d.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 16 (2012-03-16) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [16.7km], Glide Wax: Yellow LF, Grip Wax:
Another morning of foggy, drizzly skiing. Started at P12 and skied up to Ridge and out to the wolf bench (almost) before coming back to 2 and down to the lot. Conditions were fair to good with fresh grooming everywhere I skied. A couple of muddy patches on the first climb and a few once it flattened out near 24 but nothing you couldn't ski around. About a foot of snow on the bridges climbing up 40 but I expect that will rapidly change tomorrow. Also, the lookout along ridge between the start and finish of 24 is a sheet of grey ice. One can ski across it for now but it will soon be gravel.

A little different conditions than Craig had yesterday as it didn't really freeze overnight so I was skiing in soft, slow snow from the get go. No matter though as it was a nice ski up to ridge with the sounds of rushing water roaring down the creeks. Saw a few tracks of some morning skiers once I got up to 24 but didn't see anyone else all day.
Mar 16 (2012-03-16) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
The good news is that there’s still lots of snow - about 30 cm; the bad news is that it ain’t crust-cruising. I had hoped to have skating day; instead, I gave up where Meech Creek crosses the FP. It was just too soft for enjoyable skating (and that’s what it’s about). The FP had been trackset; however, the skating lane was already cut up since the skis were sinking in. There were still good tracks in place - I think the answer today would be to go classic with fish scales or hairies - that way you probably would have a reasonable day. Tomorrow I will bring both my skating skis and my Fischer crowns.

I totally agree with Andy about wishing for the winters that used to be. I’m long enough in the tooth to have a long memory. I remember a very pleasant March 30 that I spent going up Penguin and telemarking down in deep new snow - today when I was going down in the slop any attempt at a turn would stop me dead.

I’m afraid the future will be more in the hands of the Peter Kents than in the hands of fanatical cross-country skiers. A note of explanation: I use the term “Peter Kent” as a synonym for a piece of something that is brown, odious and goes squish under-foot.
Mar 15 (2012-03-15) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another quick and late ski on the North Loop. As I drove to P10, Ian Black was announcing a thunderstorm watch!

This was the third short skate ski in a week for me, an unbelievable record for me since injuring my leg 15 months ago. I have really been missing it but it felt just like old times today (insert big smiley face here).

The north loop was full of clean, groomed snow. The temperature had recently risen to plus 3 and wasn't as slow as it might have been. There were no bare spots, no ice and not much dirt. The area near P8 looked a bit suspicious though, and will probably go in the next day. About halfway back, there were a few rumbles of thunder, and as I packed the skis in the car a very close BANG. The rain started as I closed the door. Perfect timing!
120315_Thunder-ski.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 15 (2012-03-15) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: Unknown, Grip Wax:
Lots of snow left up on the Champlain, but its sloogy. I thought I was tired,butit was sooo slow today. Trying to skate was hampered by a buildup of wet snow on your skis making them heavy,and a need to shake them off periodically. The parts at the bottom of hills was the worst, you kind of sink into it. Its the last days....

We have been shortchanged this winter of ski weather by an entire month, according to my records. The grooming was much better than last winter as Demsis kept things going in the multiple thaw/freezes.
To all those that go south, I miss winter, the way it was.
IMG_1848_(Small).JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 15 (2012-03-15) by Craig Storey from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #40, #1 (blue) [10.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Purple, Grip Wax: Vauhti Silver Plus Klister
P12 up #40 to almost McKinstry, and return. There are small dirt patches at the top and bottom of #40, but there's still lots of base beyond (>30cm) and good skis are still safe. The trails had been groomed last night and it very firm reshaped corn with well formed classic tracks. You will need good klister! I started out doing classic. In my scramble to leave the house I forgot to bring my klister bucket and my water bottle belt for that matter - both requirements for a season ending Fire Tower ski. Luckily I had skate skis in the car, so after climbing all the way up #40 on slippery thin grip I doubled back and changed to skate. Normally I would feel guilty skating over the classic tracks, but with temperatures hovering around -2C I wasn't leaving a dent as the trail was bullet proof.

#1 was also looking great, and skating was effortless and fast. Downhills were tricky. The skis tended to track the frozen corduroy and skidoo ruts, so you needed to be on your toes. Get out and enjoy before it goes! 4-5 more days?
Mar 14 (2012-03-14) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7 [11.6km], Glide Wax: yellow LF, Grip Wax: waxless
P6 - trail 7- Champlain Parkway to past top of Blacks

A lovely ski and it was not even raining much. Trail 7, marked as "not recommended" was fun and absolutely ski-able. It was slightly soft and dirty from neglect, but otherwise very pleasant. There was one very small bare spot which could be skirted easily(or marked with one of those flashy green signs that Demsis has taken a fancy to). I think Paul has hit it on the head with his comment about the trails now marked as "not recommended". It means they are no longer grooming them.

7 was so good, it was tempting to ski down 15 also, to Pink Lake and beyond, but the thought of all that uphill work at the end of the afternoon seemed a bit cruel. Instead, after some agonizing, I headed back up the Champlain Parkway just slightly past Black Lake, to see if there were any bare spots materializing in the usual spots. There are none yet, and coverage was excellent. There were a few suspicious gray spots, though, which means some bare patches in the next day or two.

Photos will be up shortly on www.musicisnonskis.ca/blog
Mar 14 (2012-03-14) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Violet Klister, covered with Vauhti Universal Klister
We got out for a short ski tonight from P10. Conditions are surprisingly good on the parkways and on Ridge.

It is soft granular, and fairly dirty. The snow is getting old enough now that it is starting to speed up a bit, which is nice. It won't last forever, but good skiing is certainly still available.
Mar 14 (2012-03-14) by Paul Jaenicke from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Took a chance on a gloomy day, my route was a short one from P10=>Fortune parkway=>#1=>Shilly Shally and back.
About a dozen of cars at P10, Fortune parkway still has lots of snow on it, Ridge near Shilly Shally has the usual bare spots starting to show see pic #1, and under the trees its all icy.

I am amazed by the NCC website today showing lots of RED on it , funny thing yesterday I was on #40, #33,#24,#2 and nothing wrong with those trails today NOT Recommended? I think they have given up on the grooming of those trails or maybe if they see one rock its not skiable to them.
Mar14a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar14c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 14 (2012-03-14) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: yellow, Grip Wax:
Quick early morning ski. Radar showed the rain staying south of the Ottawa river so I opted to go for a ski and ignore the water drops hitting my face It was tough to ignore by the time I got back to the car as the rain got heavier. No grooming at P10 when I started - nor did I expect any on this gloomy wet day. Despite that the conditions were quite good with no ruts and a firm, fast base climbing the hill. Got to Burma and found the groomer had been down 3 and turned back to Gossip. Couldn't resist another run along 3 so skied up on fresh corduroy. Snow is getting dirty but there is still lots of base. Ony a few bare spots in predictable south facing spots. All but one were easy to avoid. A little muddy portage was shaping up near the junction of 3 and 20 (pictured). I managed to just sneak by on skis but it was probably minutes away from being a short 2 or 3 step walk. Ridge was in good shape as well. A few grey icy patches on the flat stretch from Shilly Shally to the parkway but no signs of gravel yet. Should be good into the weekend as there's still snow depth depth varying from a few inches to a few feet. All a question of how many and how large the portages will be as they open up.

Of note, the Meech lake road was showing some signs of erosion on the hill just past the downhill center. Crews were there when I drove in. When I drove out they had pushed the snow banks back to help with runoff and dumped a load or two of gravel on the shoulder to firm things up where the asphalt had been undercut. Hopefully the road won't wash out with this fast melt we've been having.
�1.JPGEnlargeImage
�2.JPGEnlargeImage
�3.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 13 (2012-03-13) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: LF (yellow whatever # that is) , Grip Wax:
A very easy and slow skate ski on the North Loop with a little peek at the conditions on the other side of Meech Lake Road.

The North Loop was surprisingly wonderful. Thanks to the recent grooming there were no boot prints (well almost none), no dirt, and the skate lane was quite firm considering the temperature, something around 10 degrees. There were no bare spots and no ice. Across Meech Lake Road, it was considerably softer, as you can probably even see in the photo. And to clinch the fact that spring seems to be really here, there were 2 beavers out sunning in the pond, a nearby kingfisher and 2 Canada Geese. There were people both skating and skiing classic, but generally all was quite quiet.

More photos at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
120313_Doldrums.jpgEnlargeImage
120313_Goose-Pit.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 13 (2012-03-13) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40, #1 (blue) [16.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another warm sunny day when I started, my route was almost like Jo-Ann's of yesterday. P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>Wolf bench=>#1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#2=>P12.

I made it to the Wolf trail bench was interested in seeing how the hill was there, still coverage middle is showing ice, wont be much longer until we have to walk up that part. Trail # 40 at the junction of #24 is showing one rock and a root on my 3rd picture and another small rock after the bench on #40. Another medium size rock was showing on #33, the usual spot on the uphill coming from #40.. Besides that everything else is good.

Most of the parking lots I passed were near empty, I only met 2 skiers during my outing.
Mar13a.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar13b.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar13c.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar13d.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 13 (2012-03-13) by Alan Mortimer from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: something pink rilled, Grip Wax: Start Universal Klister/Start universal red mixed
Waxed for rain that didn't come. Probably universal silver would have been fine. Lots of snow on the North side: ~30cm on the bridges on trail 40. Getting think on ridge around the bench, but excellent where it is more shaded. It get s soft when the sun comes out so get out early!!
March_13_2012.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 13 (2012-03-13) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [20.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister (guess), maybe with some Red
The skiing is still good! Watch out for a bare patch at the Penguin lookout, but otherwise coverage is still good. I doubt the snow at Champlain and Huron lookouts will last much longer, however the rest of the parkway is in good shape and was groomed (on one side) for both classic and skate. Ridge road had no new grooming but was very skiable (a bit dirty). It is still possible to use good skis out there. Get out and enjoy!
Mar 12 (2012-03-12) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #1 (blue) [13.1km], Glide Wax: LF the yellow one, and lots of rilling, Grip Wax: waxless
Trails 40-24-Ridge to the top of Wolf Trail - trail 2 to Western, trail 2 to 40.

I read Laura's report with great admiration for her perseverance in skiing with her toddler. I had a very difficult day and had only myself to propel forward.

It was to be a ski to the Fire Tower while there was still snow. Ha ha ha.

At 10:00 I started up trail 40, with some rarely-used skis that had been oh-so-carefully waxed, rilled and klistered. The trail was still icy from the night before, but the real problem was that one ski had a persistent loud squeak in the binding. By the time I reached the top of the first set of hills, it was driving me crazy and I had to return to the car to get my waxless skis.

Take 2: With the squeak gone, I could now hear Pileated Woodpeckers in the trees, calling and drilling. The water was roaring as expected. The snow was still very icy, and these skis grip only in warm, soft snow. This was the slowest trip I can ever remember! I must have stopped a hundred times, and began to realize that at this speed there were not enough hours in the day to make it to the Fire Tower and back. A new plan!! To ski around, to visit every bench within striking distance and to stay out for hours and hours. The first bench was near the top of trail 40, and I sat for 30 minutes waiting for the ice to soften up!!! It was lovely there. There were more pileated woodpeckers and one skier went by.

It took forever to get to the bench at the top of the Wolf Trail. By this time the sun was out in full force so another long sit was in order. Some hikers came by.

About noon, the skis began to work beautifully. And the sun disappeared. The downhills were especially fun because these skis run evenly on wet sunless snow.

Sticking faithfully to the new plan, I headed to the intersection of Ridge and Trail 2, and happened to encounter Paul along the way. Still following the plan I sat for a while on the bench near 24, but the BENCH at trail 2 WAS OCCUPIED! So the only alternative was to check out Western.

There was a bit of agonizing about whether to take 24, 2 or 33 and 40 back (whether to make the downhills last longer, or to enjoy the steeper shortcut down trail 2.) Trail 2 won out. It is such an innocent looking trail for the first kilometer until it suddenly drops and drops. It was in great shape.

It ended up being lots of fun, although I didn't really end up going anywhere. There were no bare spots, no rocks, just deep snow everywhere. And Pileated Woodpeckers.
120312_Trail2.jpgEnlargeImage
120312_Paul.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 12 (2012-03-12) by David Brownrigg from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: F4 Universal, Grip Wax: Universal Klister
Planned on skiing the entire length of 53 from P17 but opted for the trail 51 shortcut to Lac Phillipe as the classic tracks were shallow to non-existent in many spots. Also the wooded areas, particularly the pine and spruce stretches were littered with needles, cones and dirt which readily stuck to my klistered skis slowing me down. If this mild weather keeps up classic skiing will soon be coming to a quick end for this season. Here's hoping for more snow before April...
Mar 12 (2012-03-12) by Laura Nerenberg from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I feel a bit sheepish adding my feedback this time... Today was only my second time skate-skiing. My first time was yesterday. (Plus one lesson in Jan.) I'm a convert! Today, I also got to pull the toddler in her chariot as well: not as easy as some make it look. Conditions were quite soft and mushy as we set out, though the early-morning grooming helped to compact the granular slush. Now that I am a skate-skier (albeit, a total novice), I have a much better appreciation for the quality of the skating lane. Since I was pulling my heavy pulk, I did not have much stamina for a very long ski, so I only skied from Gamelin to the Asticou turn-off. Shameful, I know, but, baby steps... maybe I'll get sitter next time. There was a ridge on the skate lane, which made it a little tougher going, especially uphill. Grooming seemed better yesterday, but I suspect that the warm weather is taking its toll. Classic tracks were iced over in parts, and almost all melted in others. According to the NCC's site, only the skating lane had been groomed as of 8:30AM. Despite my complaints, it was, amazing to be out on the trails, enjoying the sunshine and wide grins from my fellow skiers. Toddler also hit the trails for 15 minutes. She was unfazed by icy or slushy conditions and did not want to leave. It won't be long before she is blazing ahead of me.
Mar 12 (2012-03-12) by Ron Lorenson from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10, Grip Wax:
I agree with Vesta’s report regarding the Doldrums. However, the Doldrums are a changing story - I hit them a bit later than Vesta and got good soft spring conditions with moderately good glide - no crust cruising. The skating track had been trackset and was quite easy; the classic tracks were not trackset but were still firm from yesterday and were icy at first then soft and slow (for my wife). Although the Doldrums are a changing story they should be a prevailing story - with the current snow depth they should provide good skiing for another week. It’ll be a question of choosing your time.

Just a bit of information for those who knew the former park regular Pierre Cholette.

I met Pierre today. He was skiing with his brother Jacques who has been taking him out on the North Loop three times a week. His condition has worsened: he recognized me immediately and greeted me but, although he recognized my wife, he could not remember her name; he didn’t recognize another skier who he used to know fairly well. He is able to communicate in both English and French but with difficulty. Despite his problems he is still able to ski reasonably well - to see him skiing without talking to him you wouldn’t realize there was any problem.
Mar 12 (2012-03-12) by Vesta Mather from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: (guess) Blue Klister with a cover - will change as the day gets warmer!
Skied on the ponds between P9 and P8. Crust sking was excellent at this time of the morning, and there was good coverage. The Doldrums had been groomed recently, and was fast and granular. A little icy and hard where not groomed. Excellent spring skiing!
Mar 11 (2012-03-11) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #3 [18.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho, to start with
P10-Ridge-Huron-Champlain lookout, back on Burma

Similar to Ken, we decided on an early start (8:00) to try to beat the double-digit temperatures. We had the excellent company of my enthusiastic 14 and 16 year old niece and nephew who are learning to skate ski and have been absolutely starved for winter, as they live in Southern Ontario. It was minus 6 when we started and conditions were dazzling, especially in contrast to the icier tracks of yesterday's ski in the P19 belt. Traveling with hungry teenagers we had constant food breaks and enjoyed sitting out at Huron with the birds, and dallying at the lookout as the temperatures climbed. The Teho green worked like a charm until about the start of Burma. I upgraded once, but by then the temperatures were soaring and it seemed like a losing race with the sun. At around 11:00, BOOM, the snow was suddenly soft as we reached the last downhill on Burma and started down Fortune. Time to get those skis rilled!!
It was a delightful ski in every way, even with a total lack of grip wax! Great company, great trails, great weather.
120311_Fortune.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 11 (2012-03-11) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #40, #1 (blue) [13.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti violet, Grip Wax:
Echoing comments of others - gorgeous day for a ski and everything was in fine shape. Got up early enough to enjoy it in spite of the reduced sleep. Skied out of P12 and went up 40 & 2 to Ridge then out to the Tower and back. Everything was well groomed and getting a lot of use. Lot's of people out getting a last firetower mission (or run to McKinstry, or maybe just enjoying the sun at the Wolf bench - we all win!) in the books and going early to enjoy the fast snow. My wax (violet) was too warm when I started, then just right, then too cold... but can't complain too much when you can ski in shirt sleeves. By the time I turned around @11 or so the sun was starting to get the exposed snow a little slushy but that made the descents even nicer. Lots of stems and tele's down 2 to close out the ski. Should be much the same for tomorrow for those that can ditch work for a morning ski.
�1.JPGEnlargeImage
�2.JPGEnlargeImage
�3.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 11 (2012-03-11) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #57 [35.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Spring is here!!!! My route was from P17=> #53=>#52=>#57=>#52=>#50=>#51=>#53=>P17. I decide on the Wakefield triangle today going clockwise. Even at 11 am the trails in the sun were getting quite soft. The best part was on #52 it had been freshly groomed with no traffic on it, and a lot of the trail is through the woods so the track was still fast.

The slowest part was past the junction of #55 and #50 where its nothing but sun until P19, many overnight campers were heading back mostly walking. Trail #51 was the worst , the classic tracks pretty well non existent, icy patches here and there and places were another week and the trail will have some bare spots on it.

The oddest event of the day was on trail #53 just past the bench there was a pick up truck right on the trail, probably someone went on a joyride last night and got stuck there.
Mar 11 (2012-03-11) by Florence Lehmann from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: LF7, Grip Wax:
What a great day for skiing. I skated along #50 all the way to Smith Beach. Excellent grooming again. I hadn't rewaxed after yesterday's outing (LF7) but still had fairly good glide. Tracks for classic looked good (deep) for the most part - a little shallow in areas most exposed tot he sun - and there was no classic track here and there where there should have been. Overall very good though. Very little debris on the trail.
It was a little slow (granular) on the way back in sunny areas. A classic skier told me it was on the slow side for classicing.
Got to bask at Smith Beach for a while. How much better can it get? Chipmunks are out in droves and you can hear more birds. Spring is here.
Tomorrow morning should still be very good on #50. Enjoy while you can.
Mar 11 (2012-03-11) by Karl Saidla from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister
Really nice again out there this morning. Blue sky, bright sun, firm granular, good grooming. We skied from P6, mostly on the Parkway, but the smaller trails in the area looked to be in good shape as well.
Mar 10 (2012-03-10) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative), #56 [32.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti purple, Grip Wax: Super binder covered with carrot
Beatiful day to be out on the trails today. I skied classic out of P19. Took the back way over to 55 and then out to Taylor lake. From there I skied up to the Pontiac lookout before returning to Taylor, Renaud and a little ways out 50 before turning around and back to the car. The groomed runs were pretty close to perfect today though I was a little late in the day and things - in the direct sun - started to get slushy. My wax combo was ideal in the shade and gripless in the warm sunny tracks. I was tempted to switch to violet but decided just to double pole or - should the track turn uphill - skate up to the next bit of shade where once again my grip returned.

From Taylor lake I skied up 56 to the Pontiac lookout which I hadn't been to yet this year so didn't want to miss out. Trail 56 was pretty sketchy. The last users had been a snowshoe team who had clearly been out on a warm afternoon. They had left shallow postholes leaving the track a bit bumpy and rutted. Unfortunately the crust wasn't too supportive or I would have "cruised" up but little by little I made my way employing a variety of techniques (some classic, some skating... a little scootering, whatever kept me moving forward ;). Beautiful to sit on the bench in the sun so all worthwhile. The descent was a little challenging but got down okay and happy to be back on the groomers.

Lots of people had found the good sunny spots and were enjoying some warm bench/rock/log sitting. Another good day tomorrow and then an ill wind (for skiers) starts to blow. What will be left next weekend?
Resize_of_IMG_1357.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 10 (2012-03-10) by Garry Tarr from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Afternoon skate ski from P19 along the Lac Philippe shore on trail 50, with a sort side trip to Renaud cabin. There was still complete coverage, but the surface was quite hard, particularly between P19 and intersection with trail 55. Classic tracks were very shallow through this section. The best snow was in the pine forest along the Lac Philippe shore, with well-formed deep classic tracks. It was certainly worth skiing, but from other reports it would appear that the Ridge Road sector is offering better conditions. Friends we met along the route reported that trail 52 had not been groomed recently, and was hard and treacherous.
Mar 10 (2012-03-10) by Florence Lehmann from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30 [14.6km], Glide Wax: LF7, Grip Wax:
What a glorious day. Bright sunshine, trees set against a beautiful blue sky and perfectly white snow everywhere you looked.
Did #30, #1 to Huron cabin (nice long potluck with friends), onto Champlain Lookout, CP to T-junction, FP to gossip corner and back on #1 and #30 to P7.
Excellent grooming by Demsis. Perfect for skating. Perfectly set tracks and good conditions on waxless skis throughout, says my friend Qi with whom I was skiing. Small patch of ice showing going down to Wattsford Lookout and a bit icy in a couple a spots going down #30 closer to P7.
The cherry on the cake today... Cookies leftover from the Cookie Beiner race. Yum yum! Unfortunatly most of the kids were already done so we only saw a few.
TTomorrow morning should be good... bright and early.
Mar 10 (2012-03-10) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful day today better conditions then I thought, that couple of cm's from last night really helped, with a fresh grooming. My route was from P12=>#40=>#24=>Pond=>#1=>#1b=>#1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#2=>P12. Every trail was good, even there were tracks on some of the smaller backcountry trails like #21, #9, #38 although these small trails maybe a little on the crusty side.

Like Karl mentioned tomorrow morning should be good, before the warmup in the afternoon , were the trails will turn to mush.
Mar10a.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar10b.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 10 (2012-03-10) by Karl Saidla from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #40, #1 (blue) [11.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti Violet Klister, Vauhti K12 grip.
One of the best days of the year today, for sure. We skied from P12 out towards McKinstry. Conditions are firm granular. Really fast and skiable for either skate or classic (provided you've got a kliste base or binder combination that works). Tomorrow morning should be really good too.
Mar 9 (2012-03-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course, #31 [14.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
More of a exploring ski today,my route was from P7=>#30=>#1=>#4=Camp fortune race course=>#14=>#4=>#1=>#31=>#30=>P7. Like Jo-Ann mentioned the tracks were a combination of hard, sometimes icy and soft in spots were the sun had hit, but no sun by the time I got out.

I decided to venture out and try the Camp fortune race course today, I call it more like a giant maze that leads you in a continuous circle. I manage to make it all the way around about 5.5 km, of ups and downs and turns. There are a few challenging hills but being groomed and wide there is lots of room to control your descents. There is a small part of the course across from trail #4 that was not groomed,not too sure were that part leads to.

The only problem trail was trail #31, it was groomed but icy with lots of ruts on it. Also the big hill at Wattsford lookout had a patch of ice near the bottom.
Mar9a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar9b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 9 (2012-03-09) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (blue) [21.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
Don’t worry about the snow depth in town - winter still reigns supreme in the park. Pretty well everything has been trackset and is in wonderful shape. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of snow loss - it’s just a little more compact off track. I skated the following route:
P10 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 => wolf ridge => #1 (east)
=> pond by #24 where I spent 1 hr. communing with nature => back to #1
=> Huron => CP => FP => P10
Skating was effortless: it was fast in the freshly tilled cold snow but was even faster in the sun-softened snow. In classic: people with waxless skis did not seem to be doing at that well; however, I heard good reports about klister - both universal and violet. It’s still too early for crust cruising - the skis sink in a bit and the poles go right to the bottom of powder under the crust. Bushwacking would be good if you stick to a fairly level route - the crust will support skis in classic but going downhill the crust would exhibit a hunger for turning skis.
Mar 9 (2012-03-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: violet, Grip Wax:
Just some easy skating on the North Loop, Doldrums, whatever you want to call it. It was all thoroughly groomed, and skating seemed a more logical choice today after yesterday's 12 degree rain showers. The tracks and trail were really hard, evidently groomed when the snow was still a bit soft. It was verging on icy, even well past noon time, but considering the dreadful weather we had earlier in the week, I was totally thrilled with the effort and skill which had been applied to the grooming. By 3:00 things were starting to soften a bit, and some skate ruts were appearing. Another pass of the machinery, tonight, will have it in fine form for tomorrow's crowds. It should be a great day!
If you are going classic, be sure to put on the most bomb-proof binder you have. None of the icy snows earlier in the year can compare to what we have now in terms of being able to strip off grip wax.
Mar 8 (2012-03-08) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Violet Klister, covered with Vauhti Fluor Red Klister
Hi,

I skied last night on the parkway near P5. Slow and soft, for sure, but fairly clean and still lots of snow for the time being.

We skied at Nakkertok South this morning, which, as expected, was also slow and soft, but no problems for coverage for the time being.
Mar 7 (2012-03-07) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #14, #31, #11 [14.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Not much to say today except warm & slow describes this short outing. Started from P7=>#30=>#1=>#11=>#1=>#14=>#4=>#1=>#31=>#30=>P7. Still some debris (leaves) on most of the trails, at one point one of my poles sunk half way down.

I made a short detour of Ridge road to try out a backcountry trail #11, the part that starts at the pond, I climbed those 2 horrendous hills, the crust is no more for the time being so it would be safe to go down the hills and I came out at the crossing near #17 junction.

According to tomorrow"s weather rain the temperature is expected to drop later in the afternoon, so hopefully some grooming thursday overnight or early friday morning. Looking good for friday and saturday around the zero mark.
Mar7a.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar7b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar7c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 6 (2012-03-06) by Peter Lloyd from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 [9.6km], Glide Wax: LF7, Grip Wax: VR45 with a binder
Great conditions on trail 1. A little icy on some of the downhills but overall great conditions. The snow is a little abrasive so after an hour or so of skiing my wax started wearing down. I skiied from P7 to Champlain Lookout and back. The trail was in great condition all the way there and back.
Mar 6 (2012-03-06) by Paul Jaenicke from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #35 [22.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P6 today, my route was: P6=>#15 green=>#15 black=>#15 blue=>#35=>GP=>#7=>P6. Trails were hard packed, no Grooming since sunday, many leaves in the trails in the woods, the hills were fast but controllable. Unlike Jo-Ann I no longer depend on the NCC website for conditions, rather I check out the good reports you people submit here.

I ventured out to check trail #15 green today which I never knew about until I checked it out on the map, it is not very long and runs from the Makenzie King Estate Rd to Barnes road, it was not groomed at all only a few skier tracks.

Tomorrow will be a real day of spring like conditions, I doubt Demsis will groom anything tomorrow morning and thursday looks like a day off skiing so maybe friday morning when it cools off a bit.
Mar6b.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar6c.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 6 (2012-03-06) by Alan Mortimer from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (black), #36 (blue) [7.4km], Glide Wax: Vhauti Green, Grip Wax: Vhauti orange, Vhauti blue cover
Skied the back of Meach Lake. Groomed on the weekend with a hard track and hard and scraped on the downhills. Still good control. Really nice skiing with sun and a little glaze to speed things up.
Mar 6 (2012-03-06) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: blue (minus 5 to 15) covered with coldest green
P10 out on Ridge to where 24 finishes.

Although still a cold day (minus 12 when I started at 10:30) it had that spring feel to it. There were happy faces everywhere, and just as I turned around to go back to the car, I'm sure I heard the "click" of spring arriving. It just felt different.

There were school groups and the University Women's group, and many others enjoying the day. By the time I finished the parking lot was almost full, including a center lane and two waiting school buses.

Conditions were very good, although not freshly groomed. You will need to watch out for beech leaves, though, if you are going classic.

Just one complaint: I have been on the lookout for fresh grooming to ski to Fire Tower. As I usually ski alone, I would rather ski in the best of conditions when I am skiing that far, call me a whimp. Yesterday the Gatineau Park Ski Conditions page did not list it as groomed, at least not early enough in the day to act on it, so I figured it would be groomed today, for sure. Today it was listed as groomed yesterday. If I'd known I would have skied it yesterday. Putting out an accurate website is not rocket science. Surely there could be a daily list of trails "about to be groomed" or "presently being groomed". This is information that used to be available to skiers simply by phoning the park office. Where is that GPS they were talking about attaching to the groomers?

Photos will be posted tonight on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Mar 6 (2012-03-06) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: blue (minus 5 to 15) covered with coldest green
P10 out on Ridge to where 24 finishes.

Although still a cold day (minus 12 when I started at 10:30) it had that spring feel to it. There were happy faces everywhere, and just as I turned around to go back to the car, I'm sure I heard the "click" of spring arriving. It just felt different.

There were school groups and the University Women's group, and many others enjoying the day. By the time I finished the parking lot was almost full, including a center lane and two waiting school buses.

Conditions were very good, although not freshly groomed. You will need to watch out for beech leaves, though, if you are going classic.

Just one complaint: I have been on the lookout for fresh grooming to ski to Fire Tower. As I usually ski alone, I would rather ski in the best of conditions when I am skiing that far, call me a whimp. Yesterday the Gatineau Park Ski Conditions page did not list it as groomed, at least not early enough in the day to act on it, so I figured it would be groomed today, for sure. Today it was listed as groomed yesterday. If I'd known I would have skied it yesterday. Putting out an accurate website is not rocket science. Surely there could be a daily list of trails "about to be groomed" or "presently being groomed". This is information that used to be available to skiers simply by phoning the park office. Where is that GPS they were talking about attaching to the groomers?

Photos will be posted tonight on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Mar 5 (2012-03-05) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #6, #30, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course, #11 [26.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: green klister covered with Swix extra blue
Beautiful day for a ski and perhaps my last chance of the season to ski such lovely groomed tracks on real snow. Who knows what the warm winds will bring by weeks end? Skied out of P7 climbing up to Ridge before making a detour down to Fortune lodge to take a lap of the Race course. The loop had been freshly groomed both classic and skate and I was only the second person on it today. A lot of fun rollers in there and always worth the time to ski it. But pay attention! I let my mind wander to the beautiful forest for a moment on one inocuous section and it promptly dropped me to the deck! Soft landing though and I concentrated harder for the remaining loop.

From there I took a chance on an easier section of Merry go Round. Unlike Ron I found this backcountry trail not to my liking... although, to be fair, I was on one of the black BC trails and I think he was wiser to ski the green and blue BC trails. I found Merry-go-round to be crusty on a soft base and had difficulty maintaining control. I probably spent most of my time removing branches and debris from Saturdays windstorm as skiing so I jumped off at the Fortune Parkway and went up to the lookouts instead.

My return trip up Ridge was great on nicely groomed tracks. I did a short detour out onto 6 and discovered they had groomed it... umm, kind of. As my photos will attest it was kind of strange. Clearly it had been compacted quite wide with skidoos and then trackset (1 lane) up the middle. There was plenty of room for 2 tracks but instead they had set one "lane" with wide shoulders. It was very nice skiing but a bit ugly to my eye. Ah well, for those that like trail 6 trackset - get out there tomorrow if you can. For those that dislike it trackset... head somewhere else I suppose ;)
1329.JPGEnlargeImage
1330.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 5 (2012-03-05) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #9, #18, #20, #21 [25.3km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF, Grip Wax: A base of green klister mixed with tar and Start "super" green - klister wasn't needed
It was a perfect day for my bit-of-everything classic loop - parkway, Ridge, Burma, and backcountry. This loop is:
P10 => FP => #1 => #18 => #21 => #20 => #9 => #3 => FP => P10.
An ideal day with January snow and March sunshine. The tracks were on the slow side with the cold snow. All the trackset trails I took had just been done; the tracksetting was flawless on the Fortune Parkway and on #1, Burma was good in places but also had rough sections (probably the result of Saturday’s thaw). All the backcountry trails had good tracks with a layer of about 1 cm of new snow in the tracks. Off-track there is about 25 cm of powder covered with a light crust that breaks away easily if you go off track. Out of the track the skis sink in about 2-4 cm but the poles go to bottom - it’s not that hard to make your own trails.

A very enjoyable day - the only difficult thing was tearing myself away from the pond on #20 - a beautiful place.

If you want a good classic or backcountry day tomorrow should be ideal - with the forecast of rain for later in the week it might be the last good classic day for a while.
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
I opted to head out to P19 today and it was nice to finally cross paths with Ron shortly after I started my ski. Not much to add to his report except I was skating today so maybe a slightly different perspective. I did the tour of the Lakes visiting Taylor, Lusk and Phillippe and found generally very good conditions. I thought it would be icy after Saturdays warm spell but last nights light flurries in town must have been heavier up here. Lots of fresh snow on top of a thin crust off trail so no crust cruising just yet. Instead the groomers had made good work of the tracks and I found myself wishing for the classic boards (but was pretty happy with the skaters).

50 and 55 were in very good shape. Trail 54 up to Lusk was fully groomed to the short detour and then skidoo groomed above(as expected). It made it a little "rough and ready" but still very nice. The detour and the steep pitch just after are a little narrow for skating but beyond that it was quite good. A fair amount of debris on the tracks, particularly in the wooded sections of the trail after yesterday's winds but presumably anything big was removed by the grooming crew so no detours necassary. Nice to sit on the deck at Lusk cabin and enjoy the sun - which is clearly gaining strength(bad news for skiers;) - for a bit before turning back downhill for home.
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Logan Potter from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [29.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Thought it might be icy out so we decided to skate. However they had groomed already and it looked like it would have also been perfect classic conditions today. Very beautiful day for skiing today! Not icy but fast and hard packed.
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Paul Jaenicke from N/A grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #56 [10km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Inspired by Jo-Ann's report of her tip out to Richard lake on trail #56, that was my outing today. I started from the unofficial parking lot on Eardley road there were 4 cars when I arrived. I headed out first the opposite direction of the yurt. I made it to the intersection where you can either head back down to Taylor lake or head up to the lookout bench.

That direction is mostly uphill so I had an idea what I was getting into on my way back. Thanks Ron for mentioning in your report about the conditions of trail #56, delightful no more, the hills were difficult to manage with the crust and hikers, snowshoers, it doesn't look like a ski trail.

On my way back I proceeded to head in the direction of the yurt, and went past it about 2km down to Eardley road. The 2km stretch past the yurt was actually the best part, softer snow no crust, I guess the snowmobile going to check out the yurt actually helped the trail.

The horrendous trail coming down from the Lac Richard yurt that Jo-Ann was able to ski down, well that was 2 days ago, I tried it but near the bottom I missed a turn and had a minor fall. I only met 2 skiers all day, but numerous people snow-showing. Regardless of the harder conditions it was pleasant day nice sun not too cold. Good report from Laura today on some of the small backcountry trails near P7.
Mar4a.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar4c.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar4e.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar4f.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar4i.JPGEnlargeImage
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Laura Nerenberg from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #19, #22, #34 [13.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix blue
Lovely day for a classic or skate ski. Both P7 lots were filling up fast when we arrived at around 12:30PM. We classic skied to Keogan via 30 and 1. There were many skaters also enjoying the great conditions. Two rescue snowmobiles passed us, heading in the opposite direction. These created unpleasant grooves in the trail, but nothing too extreme. Ridge was in excellent shape on the way to Keogan. The snow was hard, and there were a few leaves. The grooming was also excellent and nothing was too scraped, yet. For our return, we took a meandering route consisting of 1-4-22-34-19-back on 1-30. (We were sans toddler, and I was feeling "adventurous.") On the way back, the going was not so easy. Many skiers before us made the trails easy to follow, in principle. The surface of the snow was crusted over and there was a carpet of leaf and twig debris to negotiate. Descents were difficult and required some strategic falling in places or sidestepping to avoid wrapping oneself around a tree. The biggest danger was the leaves sticking to the bottom of the skis during a descent. We made much use of the edges of our skis to stay safe. Despite our difficulties, it felt amazing to emerge from the forest unharmed and sweaty. Am definitely going to wait for a good dump of fresh, soft snow before attempting the backwoods again. High skier traffic made for a more scraped return to P7.
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #53, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative), #56 [46.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: many changes
A word to Jo-Ann: the world has deteriorated a bit from the paradise she described in her last report; however, around Taylor Lake things are still pretty good.

My classic tour was:
P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => #55 shared => #56 => #55 blue =>
=> #55 classic => #50 => P19 => #51 => #53 => P17.
It was a good day for classic with good tracksetting everywhere: under trees the tracks tended to be on the icy side; in the open there was a layer of powder in the tracks. Regardless, the thaw has hardened the trails from the delightful powder of last week.

#56 is no longer the backcountry delight described by Ken and Jo-Ann - the track is a hard uneven compromise between skiers and snowshoers with about 1 cm. of new snow on top - off-track there’s about 20 cm. of heavy powder under a light crust. The track would be doable but wouldn’t have the feel of following ski tracks. It would be possible to make your own track in the crusted snow without going too deep; however, the downhills would be a challenge - it’s unlikely you would be doing telemarks.

The downhill on #55 blue is certainly doable but a touch of caution is in order since it’s on the icy side and there’s some debris on it.

I had a very enjoyable day on classic but probably skating would have been a better option for today - the skating track on #50 and #55 looked quite good.
Mar 4 (2012-03-04) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 up the Fortune Parkway, then east on Ridge to the top of Penguin, west via Ridge and 1B to the first intersection with the Wolf Trail, then back. Conditions were generally very good despite the thaw yesterday. When I set out I found the lower part of the FP quite hard- it hadn't been tilled deeply enough. However, on the return skier traffic and sunshine had softened the surface nicely. Ridge was in excellent shape everywhere, with a more powdery surface. Even the Khyber Pass had no ice. 1B had the same strange grooming reported a couple of weeks ago, with a single classic track almost in the middle. As usual the best conditions were to the west of the 1B/1 intersection, with a powdery surface and less traffic over very fresh grooming. The grooming continued west of my turnaround point, probably to the Fire Tower. Indeed it would have been a great day for a Fire Tower run.

I recommend going a little hard with the glide wax in view of the abrasive, crushed-up snow- CH7 was too soft for my trip, but might be OK by afternoon.

Skier traffic has fallen off dramatically. Even at 9:30 there were still parking spots available at P10. I saw very few skiers until my final descent. Don't let the conditions in the city fool you- there is still piles of snow in the Gatineau Hills, and Demsis has actually been treating their grooming responsibilities seriously over the past few weeks. Get out and enjoy!
Mar 3 (2012-03-03) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Unusual day today where is everybody????? When P8 is not even half full, I guess the forecast of rain scared people. I met about 12 skiers at the most. My route was from P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>#1B=>#1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#2=>P12.

After spending 1 week enjoying the fresh powder snow in the backcountry trails, today it was back to reality, wet snow, slower conditions, a howling wind with lots of leaves and small branches all over the place. Having said that it was still a pleasant ski, I felt like I had the park to myself.

We will probably get fresh grooming after the temperature drops overnight. That was an interesting report from Jo-Ann concerning trail #56, she picked the right time to do that trail to Lac Richard. I have to get out there and try that trail but wondering after a good freeze tonight what that trail will be like since its not groomed.
March3.jpgEnlargeImage
Mar 3 (2012-03-03) by Jo-Ann Holden from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #56 [31.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: carrot
March 1st and 2nd: Report for a two night stay in a cabin in the Lac Philippe sector. Although this is all "snow under the bridge" at this point, I am going to file this just for the record. It is for two ski trips made from the home base of "des Pins" cabin.

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

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

Today all is changed. The snow in the Lac Philippe sector was wet as we skied out with our pulks. We all slathered gooey kilster-wax on our skis and shed extra layers of clothing. The wind was ominous and the temperatures were balmy.
Mar 2 (2012-03-02) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix VF30
It’s a day where you can decide whether you want creature comforts or fantastic skiing. Wrt to creature comforts, today involves light freezing drizzle that clouds the glasses in ten minutes and makes stopping cool and unpleasant. But, the snow conditions are glorious - fast and soft with everything required for complete control. The light rain seemed to give a special quality to the new snow. My classic route was:
P10 => FP => #1 => turned at bench by #2 => #1 => #3 => FP => P10
All the trails were perfectly trackset with soft classic tracks and a soft skating track. Burma was a special delight. Skating would be enjoyable but it’s really a day made for classic. In terms of snow conditions this was my best day of skiing this year!
Feb 29 (2012-02-29) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: Start super green over tar - added Vauhti carrot - still no klister
I wanted to be a real skier today skiing ungroomed tracks on real snow from P12 to the fire tower via #40, #24. & #1 blue - instead the tracksetting crew ruined my intentions by putting down perfect grooming on all of the aforementioned trails. Regardless, swallowing my disappointment, I was able to satisfy my ambition as a grooming-addicted-dilettante - I had a truly great run to the tower and back. The tracks were great with a reasonable glide and consistent grip. It was an interesting experience coming down #40 with effortless control. Half way out the Start super started to back-slip so I applied some Vauhti carrot which took me to the tower and back. The skating track looked quite good but with the new snow was a bit on the soft side. #38 had firm tracks on it. The old #10 has a firm wide trench on it made by a number of snowshoers.

The quality of the tracksetting was truly exceptional - one aspect that really impressed me was that the wilder turns have been banked - a bit of grooming art. Un gros merçi à André et l’équipe sur les dameuses!
Feb 29 (2012-02-29) by Jo-Ann Holden from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40 upgraded at Healey to carrot with traces of red squirrels' lunch leftovers.
O'Brien - trail 36 and then 50 to Healey, and a brief detour to the lake on the way back.

It was tempting to give this outing an "excellent" because I love this trail so much, and Monday's fresh snow was still influencing the general flavour of the outing. The weather was about minus 8, warming up a bit towards the end, so very easy to wax. The company was also superb (just me). In fact I met no one until just before trail 50, but more skiers were heading out as I finished. I was well rested to really enjoy the ups and downs. It was a great ski.

All that said, I couldn't give it the top rating, because the grooming really was old and stale. The flatter stretches were beautiful but about a third of the tracks had been skied out, not a big problem with last week's new snow. Most of the downhills were starting to get slightly icy in spots and were starting to develop distinctive "burms" at the turns. Not quite bobsleds yet, but heading that way.

Skiing alone, I was quite cautious on the first downhill to the lake, but it seemed to be without any of the hazards mentioned by Ron and Garry on the weekend. There is still a hazard sign near the first swamp, and the trail was quite icy there. It looks like they have routed the trail right over the top of the big rock, which could explain the unexpected drop as the trail turns.

Trail 50 was more recently groomed and in great shape, despite the ubiquitous "Demsis ridge" which might have irked skaters.

There will be some photos posted late this evening at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Feb 28 (2012-02-28) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #8, #31 [11.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another great skiing day, my short route was from P7=>#30=>#1=>#8=>#31=>#30=>P7. Ridge road was groomed today just great, I decided to try out trail #8 today first time this year, I skied it from Ridge towards P7.

The first big downhill has a rock showing but its at the top of the hill so you can avoid it, After that the other descents are good, the only problem as you can see on the last picture, is once you get past the house at the bottom of the final descent and stat climbing again thats where you encounter this small uncovered ditch, but I was climbing so no problem, but if you were coming in the other direction would need an abrupt stop.

Lets hope that friday's forecast of plus 7 and rain changes, in the meantime we can enjoy 2 more good days.
Feb28a.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb28b.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb28c.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb28d.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb28e.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 28 (2012-02-28) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Short morning loop on a beautiful sunny morning. Fresh grooming of yesterday's snow made the conditions perfect. Snow was firm, but a shade slow. Great day.
Feb 27 (2012-02-27) by Jane Cook from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #24, #33, #40 [6.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Starting at Meech we went up Trail 40 and turned left onto Trail 24, a brief stretch on the Ridge Road and down Trail 2 to Western Lodge. We returned via Trails 2, 33 and 40.

The snow was really lovely but quite different from yesterday, a lot wetter and slower. This was good because otherwise I’d find the downward journey a bit challenging. The trails were quite carved up in the middle by the skiers and hadn’t been groomed. Sometimes there was a bob sleigh dip in the middle, sometimes two. But it turned out not to be a problem because the snow was so soft. In fact, I think my determinedly wide snow plough flattened out a few of the dips carved out by people like my husband who mostly go straight down the trails.

As Paul reported below, it started to snow at about 4 PM making it quite delightfully beautiful descending through the trees. We met quite a few people on the way up, a dozen or so, but on the way back it was so quiet, the only noise was our skis.

Probably my last ski this season as I leave for a trip tomorrow, but as Craig mentioned, maybe there will be April skiing. Best wishes to all skiers and reporters. Have a great March!
trail40_sm.jpgEnlargeImage
trail24_sm.jpgEnlargeImage
goingdowntoWestern_sm.jpgEnlargeImage
western_sm.jpgEnlargeImage
viewfromwestern_sm.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 27 (2012-02-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (blue) [17.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A quickie ski to check out all this new snow that arrived while I was out of town! It was 4:45 when I started and the fluffy snow was just pelting down, something around 5 cm was already down. It was such a delight to have snow without ice in it. Conditions were pretty slow, however, even on the downhills, but it was too beautiful to care. The photo was taken on trail 15, I'd love to have had more time to ski it all.
120227_Trail-15.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 27 (2012-02-27) by Paul Jaenicke from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #14, #32 [5.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short outing today, my route was from P10=>#32=>#14=>#1=>Keogan chalet=>Fortune parkway=>#32=>P10. Decided to visit a old friend today skied up trail #32 that runs up along Fortune parkway right to the shooting range area. I was the first one on the trail since today's fresh new snowfall. It is a good climb until you get to the lake then its downhill to the range.

On my way back on Fortune parkway, I decided to treat myself and go the downhill way on #32, so I cut in the trail at the end of the lake. It had been many years ago for me on this trail, I had forgotten that the trees are pretty close to the trail, but with the nice snow the descent was fun.

It started to snow heavily around 4 pm and still coming down when I left what a treat keep it coming!!!
Feb 26 (2012-02-26) by Jane Cook from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #7, #15 (blue), #35 [9.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Moorside to Pink Lake via trail 7, returning via 35 and 15. What a fantastic day! The tracks were just perfect, providing a lovely glide without being slippery. The snow was nice and powdery, just right for going at the exact speed you wanted on the downhill, fast or slow, your choice. Moorside was a delight as always. We went late so it was quiet on the way back but the parking lot was still quite full when we arrived at 3 PM. We avoided the black section of trail 15 on the way home and returned via the Gatineau and Champlain Parkways and the last section of 7.

Best conditions of the season, for us. Glad everyone else had a lovely day, too.
moorside1.jpgEnlargeImage
moorside(2).jpgEnlargeImage
moorside(3).jpgEnlargeImage
moorside(4).JPGEnlargeImage
Feb 26 (2012-02-26) by Ron Lorenson from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Start super green over tart - still no klister
This was my day for #36 - it was glorious! Went from P11 to the intersection of 50/52 via #36 and #50 and back. Since Gary and I seemed to be polishing each others tracks on #36 & #50 throughout the day I can only iterate his comments that the tracksetting was extremely professional. One caveat regarding the ice on the downhill to the bay on #36: the tracksetter appeared to hit something difficult under the snow and left two short icy and irregular sections. As Gary indicated they’re doable; however, their difficulty derives from going from perfect powder conditions to irregular ice. These sections are well-marked with a green “danger” sign and with yellow Bannerguard - when you see them just prepare yourself to do a bit of work before you get back onto paradise-powder.

I was quite impressed with Ken’s report yesterday about the joys of bushwacking around Lac Richard and on #56. It was a great report. It gave an excellent picture of a special part of the park that not that many skiers get to. Many of my best ski days have been spent there. One delight on #56 is to ski in unbroken powder out of the track down from the lookout to Taylor Lake. I’ve observed over the years that there is always more snow on #56 than anywhere else in the park.
Feb 26 (2012-02-26) by Sheila Kealey from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #3, #24 [16.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A spectacular day for a ski! Lots of fresh new snow, great grooming, nice temperature, sunshine, all on a Sunday too - what else could you ask for? I stuck to the trails from P7 (Ridge, Burma, 1A+B, 24), and all was in amazing shape. Plan some extra ski time into the coming week - looks like it's going to be great!
Feb 26 (2012-02-26) by Garry Tarr from P11 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #52, #36 (blue) [28.2km], Glide Wax: CH6, Grip Wax: Swix green
I set up a car shuttle with some friends allowing me to depart from P11 and end at P17. It was a great day for classic skiing, and the skaters seemed to be having fun too. I started out on Trail 36, following it to the bench at Meech Lake and then up the hill to the intersection with Trail 50. Grooming was fresh and expertly done. I saw no sign of rocks on the steep downhills near P11 that are often bad. There were some rough sections on these downhills- it felt like there was rough ice under the snow- but all was controllable. Everywhere else the tracks were fresh powder. My Swix green grip wax was a bit marginal in the sun but worked well in the shade. It was a spectacular morning with snow clinging to the cedars under blue skies, reminding me of Cypress Bowl (OK, the snow wasn't quite that deep...). I met my friends on Trail 50 (they had taken the shorter route from P16) and we continued to Herridge for lunch. Trail 50 and Herridge were very busy, as one would expect on such a perfect day. Continuing west the crowds thinned out somewhat. We climbed to the ridge on 52 and then descended into the valley. Once again we found fresh grooming. All the steep downhills were powdery soft perfect. We arrived at P17 in the early afternoon to find it full, and also found P16 full when we completed the car shuttle. It's good to see so many people taking advantage of exceptional conditions, but parking is becoming a problem even in the larger, more out-of-the-way lots. Get out and enjoy the last few hours of sunshine this afternoon if you can!
trail36_small.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 26 (2012-02-26) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #26 [28.3km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Five star day. Fresh grooming everywhere I skied. Only saw tracks on the parkway on the way home. Can't get any better than that.
I would say the sun will warm things up to a 'blue wax' glide day. Snow was very slow and squeaky first this this morning so probably should have gone green.
Snow was much firmer than yesterday.
Feb 25 (2012-02-25) by Ken Trischuk from N/A grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #56 [10km], Glide Wax: Vauhti purple, Grip Wax: Carrot
Surprised to read that the parking lots weren't filled to capacity today. As I passed the Old Chelsea off ramp there was a long line of cars... must have been downhillers :( I opted to go further afield today (after spending yesterday afternoon in the maelstrom skiing the bc trails out of P7). Today I opted to go all the way out to the Eardley escarpment road and parked at the "Camp Gatineau" junction to pick up trail 56 (Black... or sometimes Blue?). I met a small group of snowshoers who were staying at Lac Richard yurt and had hiked out to meet some friends who would be joining them tonight but apart from that I saw no one else all day. Skied up to Lac Richard on their tracks and then from there was breaking trail the whole way (and loving it!). Wasn't sure if I'd get my wide boards out this year so this was a real treat. The snow depth varied from 15 to 25cm although I did plow through some knee deep drifts at times. Climbed up and over the main ridge to the junction for the Pontiac lookout (56 green?). I had hoped maybe to find this trail broken out but it was also untouched. Having already used up most of my quotient of fun - and was maybe a little tired - I opted to turn around here and go back to the unofficial lookout. Outbound from the car I set a blistering pace of 3km/hr but once I turned around I more than doubled that in my hard fought tracks. Took a few turns at the lookout and then continued on back enjoying a few more turns on the steep trail descents.

I was particularly keen to see if the huge washed out sections of this trail had been repaired this fall and am pleased to say that the worst sections appeared good as new. There is still a stretch in the last 2km on the way out to Lac Richard that didn't get looked after. They are currently marked with a lot of yellow "danger" tape. Probably ran out of time with so many other repairs to be done and, to be fair, these spots aren't too bad and can wait till next year to be fixed up.

As I returned to Lac Richard I met the group staying at the yurt and they were busy trampling my tracks with their snowshoes ;) They seemed apologetic but I told them that out this far in the park - on this lonely trail - its "catch as catch can". Without formal grooming out here, a snowshoe track is just as good to ski. I don't expect they got too far anyway.
10.JPGEnlargeImage
11.JPGEnlargeImage
12.JPGEnlargeImage
13.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb 25 (2012-02-25) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21, #28, #38 [14.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Snow everywhere lots of it !!! . Started out from P12=>#40=>#38=>#16=>left on #1=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#21=>#28=>right on #3=>right on #9=>right on #20=>#18=>#2=>P12.

Like Ron mentioned if you haven't tried the backcountry trails this is the weekend to do it. I was the first skier on trail #38 so that was quite the slog, trail #28 was also quite the challenge, I was maybe the second or third skier and the wind had blown a lot of the snow back in the tracks. At one point going down a steep descent one of my skis sunk way down so naturally I fell over but no damage lots of snow to cushion the fall.

Ron and I must of crossed paths as I was on some of the same trails he was 18, 20, 21. Oddly enough when I passed parking P8 shortly after 12, there was still lots of room which doesnt happen too often. This is were we miss the snowfall amount that use to be reported on the website, my guess from being the first skier on trail #38 was that we received at least 15 cm maybe closer to 20 cm.

Tomorrow is looking like another great day, before we get another warm spell.
Feb 25 (2012-02-25) by Ron Lorenson from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #3, #9, #18, #20, #21 [30.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot over Start super green over tat - no klister
Yesterday: it was “Snowfall Warnings” This morning on CBC it was a warning “to stay inside - it’s probably a good day to watch a DVD.” Notwithstanding, I ignored all warnings that had my best interests in mind and had a fantastic day playing in the snow. It was everywhere - in some places in was groomed, in other places it was wind-blown, in even others it was just deep. I managed to sample just about everything - parkways, loosely groomed trails, and back country trails.

My route was:
P9 => #32 => FP => gossip corner => #1 => water tank => #24 loop
=> #1 => #18 => #21 => #20 => #9 => #3 => FP => # 32 => P9

In no place were there consistent conditions - it was real snow conditions. Burma (#3) was particularly interesting in terms of challenge.

The back country trails were getting a lot of action - all of them had good firm tracks on them. If you’ve putting off your back country tour this is the weekend to go for it. I found my visit to old friends (#18, #20, #21, #9) quite enjoyable.

It’s not a weekend for fast or performance skiing - it’s a weekend to get back to our roots.
Feb 25 (2012-02-25) by Andy Jonyas from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop [11.3km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax: unknown
Either there were some very great accumulations of blowing snow, or there is a typo on the Gatineau Park website. While the Gatineau parkway and North Loop were evidently groomed, the Fortune parkway seemed to have suffered from blowing snow accumulations ( making grooming unrecognizable),and Champlain , Fortune to the lookout seemed not groomed at all,as there were no machine made classic tracks.
Missing also were the throngs of people usually seen on Saturday. Perhaps a little wind kept them indoors?
Feb 25 (2012-02-25) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy [17.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti K15 (Violet)
Tonnes of fresh new snow! Get out and enjoy it:) The groomers were out and about this morning and last night trying to compact all that new snow. Conditions were soft and not super quick, but it is really nice to ski on something fresh and this will help the general park conditions immensely.
Feb 24 (2012-02-24) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1 (black - Chelsea), #14 [20km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Violet klister
New grooming in most places, the only obvious exception being the classic tracks on Fortune Parkway between P10 and the T. Everything else was in good shape. The tracks were pretty icy in a lot of places and the violet klister worked fairly well but definitely wore off. Hopefully the snow comes soon!
Feb 23 (2012-02-23) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3, #1 (blue) [17km], Glide Wax: Vauti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauti Universal Klister
I think I hit the perfect time to ski today it was gorgeous and sunny! It was about 3 degrees when I was skiing so after burring my extra layers of clothes in the snow by Burma I continued my ski at the right temperature! I skied up Burma to Ridge Road. Then towards Western to trail 62 (hiking trail) and along trail 62 to the look out and then looped back around to Ridge Road. Finally to Champlain and back to P10. Ridge Road and Burma were recently groomed but had the new 2cm of snow on top which made skiing a bit slow. The parkways were in good shape they didn't look like the classic tracks had been set last night but the tracks were glazed and was much faster then on the side trails. Trail 62 as it is a hiking trail was well packed down but narrow and was like a bobsled run if you kept your skis in the walking rut it took you spinning around every corner (very fun!!!!)
IMG_0084.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_0091.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 23 (2012-02-23) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb [1.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Bad!
Two of us went out to practice step turns and other even weaker downhill skills. We skied around the penguin area and didn't actually "go anywhere". My waxing was less than inspiring - VR 75 was sort of, almost okay, but not quite. We met met someone who was using klister, but with the fresh dusting of snow I think we were certainly better off in terms of glide!!! There appeared to be fresh grooming under that dusting, and it was lovely for what we wanted to do today. Temperatures were springlike, so we concluded with some relaxation at a picnic table. It was a beautiful ski afternoon, and with the right wax (whatever that would be) or on skate skis, it would have been heavenly.
Feb 22 (2012-02-22) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (blue) [17.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti violet, Grip Wax: no-wax skis
No new grooming and quite warm out so the new snow makes it pretty slow out there. However, it is a beautiful day so just go out and enjoy the scenery and weather! I skied on some of the ungroomed backcountry trails and it was really nice in there. The new snow meant it wasn't icy, and the crust was really solid so you didn't go through.
Feb 21 (2012-02-21) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A little hair of the dog, just grabbed a short ski while the weather was so beautiful this morning.

There were quite a few new skiers and several groups of retirees as well. This is a popular spot even on weekdays.

It was certainly worth going out to ski. That said, the classic tracks were starting to get a bit icy in places, quite worn and generally just a little bit shallow, but that's to be expected after the bus loads of skiers (literally) who were out on the long weekend. Crossing over towards Penguin it had been freshly groomed on one side.

If you go classic, use your very best binder, you will need it.
120221_tracks1.jpgEnlargeImage
120221_tracks2.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 20 (2012-02-20) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [19.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Ironed in Binder and Teho green, several coats of vaughti orange and a top coat of vaughti green fluor.
P10 /Fortune/Ridge/1B/24/Ridge to Blanchet/side trip to Western and Champlain Lookout.

Starting out just before 3:00, the low sun was fabulous, and we managed to get a parking spot at P10!! If possible, I would have preferred to skate, the conditions and temperatures were so perfect for it!

The trails were buzzing with holiday skiers, and everything appeared to have been groomed recently. And my grip wax was charmed, both fast and grippy and lasted the entire trip.

The only negative during the whole magical sunset tour was that many of the classic tracks were skated out by the time we arrived. It was somewhat annoying as the once-soft turds of snow had hardened to rocks. In a few spots it was nicer skiing out of the tracks. On 1B this sacrilege was unavoidable because the one classic track was positioned in the middle of the lane. On Ridge Road it was just negligence on the part of a group of sociable skaters.

Here is Garry's report - he skated, of course! "Skate conditions were generally excellent on coarse, abrasive, deeply tilled snow. There was no problem edging, and glide was good. Heavy traffic had compacted the Fortune Parkway, but further west there was still evidence of recent grooming. I turned around at the Wolf Trail but grooming continued west, presumably at least to McKinstry, if not the Fire Tower. The Demsis "ridge" was quite evident down the center of trail 1, but didn't pose a major problem. Even at mid-afternoon there was little water in the snow, so even with a deep freeze tonight conditions should remain very good through tomorrow afternoon. ".

It was an extremely beautiful afternoon, and there were many photo ops. As usual you can find several more photos at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
120220_Fortune_.jpgEnlargeImage
120220_West-of-Bench.jpgEnlargeImage
120220_Classic-Tracks.jpgEnlargeImage
120220_Classic-Center.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 20 (2012-02-20) by Sheila Kealey from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [8.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Excellent ski conditions again today. We skied from P5 up Penguin to Keogan. Fresh grooming with fast but not icy skating, and classic tracks looked good too. Lots of people out enjoying the trails! Don't let the lack of snow in the city discourage you from going out, it's some of the best skiing of the year.
Feb 20 (2012-02-20) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #9, #24, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [33.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: green klister covered with Carrot
Another picture perfect spring day (which seems to have arrived all too soon). Drove past P8 and P9 which were full to overflowing with family groups out enjoying the weather on this (sort of) holiday Monday. I opted to head on to P12 and found only a dozen cars in the lot and the trails at this end of the park were pretty quiet. While Paul went right at the top of 40(yesterday) and out to the firetower, I chose today to turn left and ski in and out of some of the small trails between 40 and Burma. All the main groomed trails had been reset after yesterdays races and were in excellent condition. I even passed the groomer as he headed down 2 to the P12 lot. That was strange as the trails (both 2 and 40) were in pretty good shape and not really in need of another pass but perhaps better safe than sorry on this busy ski day.

I skied with a green klister binder and carrot wax for cover and had good grip. That said, even with a solid binder I still had to stop a couple of times to add some wax as the trail base of (a large number of times) retilled ice is very abrasive on the wax. That said there was lots of surface to the snow and it was easy to control the descents. I didn't see any icy patches.

I opted to ski the little ungroomed BC trails today as I have been waiting for weeks in vain for a decent powder day and it never seems to be coming. Today I found the side trails to be in good shape in spite of their somewhat crusty texture as they have been well skied in. Far from showing their best face I still enjoyed the ski and found they only required a marginal amount of talent to negotiate some of the descents. Not sure I'm up for the steeper and deeper side trails like Merry Go Round or the Highland Fling... but the greens and blues seem to be in good shape and worth the effort. After passing the groomer at the top of McKloskey I made about 100 stems down the descent to the carpark and can report that it was a very effective technique at completely removing my klister base... so one less job to do when I got home.
Feb 19 (2012-02-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Today was my first trip out to the Fire Tower, I couldnt have picked a better day.Nice and sunny, warm, great conditions. My route was P12=>#40=>#24=>#1=>Fire Tower=> back the same route, with a brief stop at McKinstry chalet.

Everything was nicely groomed, fresh classic tracks, you can see on my last pic how nice it was. There was evidence of tracks on old #10, probably some hikers too. Very quiet in this area today, with the races this morning not much traffic, only met a dozen skiers today on my way up there and back. The downhills were fast but easy to control your speed.
Feb19a.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb19b.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb19d.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb19e.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb 18 (2012-02-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [30.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another beautiful ski out today, Started from Lac Philipe P19=>#50=>#55=>#54 green=>Lusk cabin=>#54 green=>left on #55 around Taylor lake=>#55 blue=>left on #51=>P19.

The website reported fresh grooming but I found like it had not been groomed for a few days, the classic tracks on #50 and #55 were shallow, but still pleasant. Trail #54 to Lusk cabin according to the website said grooming 10 days ago and yet it looked no more then a day or two old it was in good shape. The best track setting was found on #51.

The conditions were much better then I had thought they would be, fairly fast , easy to control on the downhills and not icy.Should be another great day tomorrow.
Feb18.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 18 (2012-02-18) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy [14.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder and Vauhti K18 or K15.
2012/02/18 - 10am: Grooming overnight left the skate lanes in variable condition. In some places it was firm and and granular, and in others, still granular, but softer. The temperature when we tested was about -1, which is considerably warmer than what is predicted for the Sunday morning Gloppet races (-10, give or take), leading us to believe that the tracks will likely be fairly firm and fast at the start, and soften up to some degree as the day goes on.
Feb 17 (2012-02-17) by Matthias Purdon from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [15.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF graphite covered with HF Green, Grip Wax: Hairies, Zeros or Vauhti Universal or Silver Plus klister
Skied from P5 up Penguin down ridge road to the bottom entrance of Burma, up to Huron and back along the parkway and ridge road to P5. Skate.

Glide: Vauhti HF graphite covered with HF Green (pretty decent, blue would have been better, structure was fast)

Conditions are very good, most of the rain we got in town fell as snow in the park so coverage is not an issue (all white, no thin spots, not icy). Penguin, Ridge Road, and Burma are in good shape but have a thin ice layer with powder underneath as they have not been groomed yet. It is fairly fast and very skiable though. It was warm and sunny out there so the snow was fairly wet, dryer up top and wetter lower down. The tracks should firm up over night with forecasted colder temperatures and grooming which should make things a bit more consistent grip wise tomorrow. Anna reported that her hairy skis worked best today. By the looks of it courses should be in good shape for the weekend. I saw signs pointing up Penguin for the 51km race tomorrow...
Feb 17 (2012-02-17) by Kyle Power from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [25.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti purple, Grip Wax: Guess: Vauhti universal klister
Feels a lot like Spring today. The snow conditions are a little wet, soft and granular. The control is great and it's not as slow as you might think. Conditions also seem to be consistent through out the park. The warmer temps make the skiing quite pleasent and ejoyable so leave work early and get out there! Hope you are all looking forward to a exciting Gatineau Loppet weekend. The course should shape up quite nicely!
Feb 16 (2012-02-16) by Alan Mortimer from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue klister + Vh red hard wax +cover
Pat skied from P10 there was no grooming (which is a good thing)and some new snow: as much as 5cm at Champlain! I skied lower down P5 and penguin on universal klister which needed a cover to prevent icing. Beautiful day good skiing. To early to tell what to do for the weekend.
Feb 16 (2012-02-16) by Ron Lorenson from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #27 [12km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
A short skate from Asticou to Relais Plein Air via Gatineau Pkwy and #27 and back. Unusual conditions - two cm. of snowball snow on top of a hard base. For skating it was good with a fast glide; however, the snowball snow didn’t track as well as real snow - perhaps it’s just that I’m not used to it. The classic tracks were quite fast when double-poling; with the sheen at the bottom of them I expect that grip would be best with fish-scales or hairies or viewed as a “waxer’s challenge”.

In spite of the mugginess of the weather you can have a pleasant day.
Feb 16 (2012-02-16) by Megan McTavish from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #15 (blue), Pink Lake Access [22.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Pink, Grip Wax: Vauhti Blue Klister covered with Vauhti Violet Klister
Last night we skied from the start of the Gatineau Loppet and checked out the parkway, 5 and 15. Everything was in super good shape and the snow was pretty fast despite the warm temperatures.
This morning we went to Nakkertok and did classic. The wax of the day seemed to be Vauhti Violet klister, and to keep it on a layer of blue underneath. Later in the day you might need to go to Universal.
Generally the skiing is really nice right now, not too icy and good coverage. Lets hope it stays that way for the weekend!
Feb 15 (2012-02-15) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #31, #11 [13.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another mild and snowy afternoon, started from P7=>#30=>#1=>#4=>#9 (100 meters)=> Fortune lake old #13 =>Keogan chalet=>#11=>#1=>#31=>#30=>P7. A fresh layer of snow a couple of cm had fallen and it was still snowing when I left at 5 pm. No fresh grooming and the snow was slightly sticky so conditions were slower then yesterday and monday.

That being said decided to test out trail #11 , the short part behind Keogan going up what they call Hell's gate hill, I posted some pics what a wicked hill, and I went up it, the next big climb had a big stump on the side of the trail, the bottom of that hill has a big dip at the bottom that sort of shoots you back up.

Whenever I havent been on a hill, for the first time I always like to do more climbing to test it out just in case I wanna go down it later, see what I'm getting into. Hopefully we get more of snow and less of the rain , in y=the next day or so.
Feb15a.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb15b.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb15c.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb15d.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 15 (2012-02-15) by Logan Potter from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skied from Asticou out the parkway and back on the smaller trail with the long steep hill. Skied classic but the new snow was pretty light so it was hard to get grip. I would recommend a warmer Vauhti wax, I had some colder stuff on and wasn't getting great grip. Very nice day for a ski though, skating might be nicer.
Feb 14 (2012-02-14) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [28.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Guess: Vauhti Super Binder covered with K15 (purple)
Amazing skiing tonight! Super fast without being icy at all. Looking good for the loppet!!
Feb 13 (2012-02-13) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
A short ski for me on a lovely afternoon with ever warming temperatures. I skated from MacKenzie King up to the "T" and back on fresh grooming. The base was pretty much concrete hard but the corduroy gave enough purchase to hold ones edge so it was fast skiing all the way. The classic tracks looked nice but I'd bet they are pretty abrasive and would need a good binder layer to hold the wax in place. Conditions should hold tomorrow as the warmer weather softens the snow. It might be a little bullet proof first thing in the morning but should get better as the sun shines down. Try to enjoy it before the predicted rains fall at the end of the week.
Feb 13 (2012-02-13) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
A quick skate ski up the Fortune Pkwy to Ridge, out to the Champlain Lookout, then back down Burma. There was fresh grooming everywhere. The upper part of the FP was still pretty hard- it could use a bit more crushing. In contrast, Ridge and Burma had been thoroughly tilled, and were delightful. It was a blast descending Burma (for the first time this year) just as the sun set. Everything on Burma was completely controllable, including the final descent to the parkway. There was a good level skate lane and a good classic track. The excellent conditions should hold for tomorrow morning even if there is no grooming. I recommend waxing frequently given the tired, old snow we now have. My skis were running quite slowly, probably due to a light coating of tree sap and other crud picked up recently. I should have re-waxed!
Feb 12 (2012-02-12) by Jo-Ann Holden from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #52, #53 [30.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
P17- trail 53 then 50 to Herridge then back on trail 52. The Wakefield Triangle CCW with Herridge thrown in. The parking lot was a skating rink, as Ron mentioned yesterday, but the attendant was throwing sand around in his spare time, much appreciated by all the skiers there. It was quite cold, and yesterday's tracks were hard and still in great shape. By the time we skied 52 the Beech and Oak leaves were starting to accumulate from today's wind, and the 2 longer downhills were getting super hard and scraped from two days of snowplowing - not icy though. Not much to add. It's a real treat to have these trails in such good shape.
120212_Trail-53.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 12 (2012-02-12) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative), #56 [37.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Great conditions, nice sun, a bit windy fresh grooming at lac Phillipe area. My route from P19=>#50=>right on #55=>#56 to the lookout bench=>back down on #56=>#55 left around Taylor lake=>#55 blue=>#55 green=>left on #51=>P19.

Like Ron mentioned yesterday #55, #50, #51 a real treat to ski on. Amazingly my loop around taylor lake down #55 blue nice hill, only met one skier until I reached #51. I decided to visit an old friend today trail #56 first time this year. As you can see in the pictures the trail is left in its backcountry state, no ski-doos on it either, I met 6 guys who had been to Richard Lake Yurt on their way back, they said the journey there was quite a slog especially the part at the turnoff where I instead went to the lookout. You sort of have to improvise going down the hills with one ski on the track and the other on the crusty snow to slow you down.

There had been signs of snowshoers past the bench but not in the past few days at least. No fresh tracks there. You get the feeling of you are far away from the park in that area even though its part of it, so quiet. Had it been warmer I would of dozed off on the bench.
Feb12b.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb12c.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb12d.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb12e.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb12g.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 11 (2012-02-11) 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: Start Green over graphite, Grip Wax: A base of green klister mixed with tar and Start "super" green
Just another “classic” classic day great tracksetting, good snow, the right-kind-of-temperature, and warm sun - it’s not getting boring yet.

Took a selection of my favourite classic trails in the Lac Philippe area:
P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => summer camping gate => #55 shared
=> #55 blue (the pass) => #55 green alnternative => #50 => P19 => #51
=> #53 => P17.
Everywhere the tracks were exceptional - hard, firm, and fast with a dusting of snow. Everywhere there was good glide and good grip. #55 classic was superb - why it was so much better than the other trails I don’t know but it was so good that the skis just took over - I had it mostly to myself seeing only two skiers and two snowshoers while my skis were delivering me to #50. The skating track on #50 looked great - flat, fast, with a lot of control. If you’re thinking of doing #55 loop I recommend the clockwise direction - the downhill in the pass is in good shape and quite controllable.

It’s quite possible that there really isn’t a skiers heaven, but .... if there is ... it’s always mid-February there just like today.

The only contrary comment is that P17 is extremely icy without any gravel - it’s dicey to the point of dangerous walking from your car to the snow.

Comment: In the first five years on Demsis’ contract, the trails in the Lac Philippe were a mess suffering from a litany of problems. There was no guarantee that if you went to that area you would have anything close to skiable conditions. I had got to the point that I was giving up on trails for which I had a lot of affection. This year, whenever I’ve skied the Lac Philippe area, the conditions have been exceptionally good. I don’t what has caused this change but it’s greatly appreciated.
Feb 11 (2012-02-11) by Alan Mortimer from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24 [12km], Glide Wax: Swix CH4, Grip Wax: Rhode blue klister biner and Vhauti blue (K12) on top
Remarkably good conditions given the lack of snow. Quite dry and even windblown is some spots. Hard classic track but probably good binder would have worked. No icing though. Downhills were lots of fun: flat across, solid with just enough give in the corduroy for control. Fun all round.
Feb 11 (2012-02-11) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #9, #24, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [20.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Like Rick mentioned fresh grooming everywhere, nice tracks. not overly busy today. Mt route from P12=>#40=>#2=>right on #21=>right on #33=>left on #40=>right on #24=>left on #1=>#1b=>left on #9=>right on #3=>#20=>left on #21=>#18=>right on #1=>#24=>#40=>P12.

Skied a variety of trails the main trails in excellent shape, the smaller backcountry trails had a dusting of snow from last night and were in fair shape, centre of the trail hard packed of to the side still crusty. All things considered a beautiful day sunny, a little breezy.
Feb11a.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb11b.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb11c.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 11 (2012-02-11) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B, #3 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Group purple, Grip Wax:
A cold but beautiful day for a ski.

Skate skied from P8 up Penguin, Then Burma, Ridge Rd, 1B, Ridge and back to P8 via Ridge and Penguin. Great grooming almost everywhere--firm and fast.

Burma was superb and everywhere else was excellent.

Get out there and enjoy the day.
Feb 10 (2012-02-10) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #3, #4, #32, #12 [15.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another mild day out there. My route from P7=>#30=>#1=>#4=>#32 black=>Fortune lake=> #3=>#12=> short stop at Shilly Shally=>#1=>#30=>P7. Ridge road and Burma recent grooming in good shape fast. My trek on #32 black from the shooting range is in terrible shape , a ski-doo was over it a while ago its bumpy, hard, icy, so i soon cut over to fortune lake where there were some tracks from some skiers.

Trail #12 that runs from Burma to Shilly Shally was also in rough shape, hard packed, with crusty layer on the edges of the trail, so like Ron mentioned about some of the backcountry trails yesterday they are doable but not inviting. We really need more snow on these smaller trails. Also recommended for these trails are the poles with the big baskets on them.
Feb 10 (2012-02-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR 60 over a blue klister binder
Sometime between Garry's ski and mine, the classic tracks were groomed. It was great "Spring skiing"!! However the real story is the lack of accurate date information for skiers who rely on the park's ski conditions page. When I left home, the north loop and the Fortune Parkway classic trails were listed as groomed "2 days ago". That was not a pleasant prospect with the icy snow, daytime thaws and overnight hardening. Just now, at 4:00, they is listed as groomed "3 days ago". The truth is that it was groomed sometime after Garry skied this morning, something like 6 hours ago. It was fantastic! How many skiers stayed home because the web page was so misleading? Surely there is a way of indicating that a trail is about to be groomed? And, by the way, it will be really, really, really icy and unpleasant skiing there tomorrow (after the flash freeze) unless it is groomed again.
Feb 10 (2012-02-10) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skate conditions are superb on the Doldrums this morning. The groomer had done a pass shortly before 8AM, leaving a level surface of sugary snow. The corduroy was a perfect softness for edging, but still very fast. It looks like the Fortune Parkway and Gatineau Parkway towards P5 had also been groomed. The classic tracks had not been groomed, and were rock hard (even skating close to the tracks was tricky, the snow was so hard). The snow is extremely abrasive, so using a slightly harder glide wax than the temperature might suggest is probably a good idea.
Feb 9 (2012-02-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: kilster binder plus VR 60 (the gray mucky one)
It was 3 degrees when I started out at 3:00. The snow was still very hard, at that hour, but not icy. Conditions were variable, from very good to stale and old. The Gatineau Parkway was in nice shape up to the Pink Lake drop-off, but I declined to check out why the green hazard sign was there. Presumably it was easier to place the sign there than to give it one more pass with the groomer. I started down the roadway to the trailhead of the Pink Lake trail, for a possible atmospheric photo but the snow was very old, overly hard-packed and stale. The downhill turn at Mica was in a similar state, leftover from several days ago, almost solid ice, with lots of nuts and berries embedded in it. At the start of the Champlain Parkway conditions inspired me to turn back. My wax had more or less worked on everything up to that point, but that shiny old stuff would have required something more serious, perhaps Ron's magic formula (or skate skis). By this point the skis had also collected an impressive assortment of seeds, leaves and bark. At www.musicianonskis.ca/blog there is one more photo.
120209_danger.jpgEnlargeImage
120209_turn-at-mica.jpgEnlargeImage
120209_icy-tracks.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 9 (2012-02-09) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [23.8km], Glide Wax: Start Green over graphite , Grip Wax: A base of green klister mixed with tar and Start "super" green
Needing a break from skating I headed out looking for hard fast classic tracks and found them on the following route:
P10 => FP => CP => Champlain lookout => #1 => Blanchette => #1 => Huron
=> CP => FP => P10
As Karl and Rick noted the snow is certainly hard but there’s no blue ice showing and I found the surface to be micro-depth sugar giving enough control that things were were and enjoyable quite doable (with a tad of caution).

My odd combination of kick-wax gave me good grip everywhere. It was almost indestructible - I returned with as much wax as I left with. When the great dump arrives I’ll probably have to remove it with a heat-gun before getting back to a real-snow wax combination.

The skating track was quite flat and with the hardness had very few ruts. Most skaters that I saw were having a good day.

Trails #18 and #9 had quite a few tracks on them. They looked doable but not inviting.
Feb 9 (2012-02-09) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy, #3 [28.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
It's a beautiful day for a ski. I know wax choice is probably more important, but I would rather report that I wore a ball cap, one light layer with a vest on top and a thin pair of tights on the bottom. More like April skiing clothing than mid-February.

Skate skied from P10 to Burma, Ridge, Lookout then parkway to Gatineau Parkway, up Penguin, Ridge to Gossip corner then back down to P10.

Karl said it was hard and icy on the race trails.

I would say that if I had roller skis, I could probably have used them instead.

Everywhere needs another churning to soften things up a bit, but aside from being ultra hard packed, I found the trails to be in very good shape.

Burma is now as wide as I've ever seen it, and with a fresh coat of powder and some grooming, it will be awesome fun, the way it was meant to be.

Penguin is actually very good going up--wide and firm but not icy. I found it pretty fast and, dare I say, more manageable than usual.
Feb 9 (2012-02-09) by Karl Saidla from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: Camp Fortune Race Course [5.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Suggest Vauhti Super Binder/Teho Green mix as a base, covered with Vauhti Fluor Orange
We went to the racing trails at Fortune today, and they were in very good shape for both classic and skating. Really fun to be out on the trails that have been the scened of several national championships! Conditions are certainly hard and icy, so careful on the downhills and make sure you have some binder on if you are doing classic.
Feb 8 (2012-02-08) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: special blue klister binder, umpteen coats of "wax of the day".
Just one quick pass of the Doldrums - a great gift for a Wednesday when I don't usually get to ski at all. A beautiful day, sunny and cold. I waited until late morning hoping the tracks would soften a bit, but they were about as hard and abrasive as I've ever seen them. It was yesterday's grooming and everything sure LOOKED beautiful. To say the tracks were "hard" would be an understatement. I spent more time waxing this morning than skiing but it was time well spent! The klister binder wax worked well, and I couldn't imagine how exhausting it would have been to ski without a bomb-proof binder. I'm hoping tomorrow will bring some fresh grooming to soften up the concrete somewhat. One caution: the parking lots have a bit of grit down in places, but it would be very simple to slip and break a wrist or arm etc. while walking in ski boots. Be very careful.
Feb 8 (2012-02-08) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop, #13, #1 (black - Chelsea) [5.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super BInder covered with Vauhti Carrot (Fluor or reg)
Beautiful day out there today. Nice and sunny and much warmer than this morning. The tracks are really hard packed, but not icy. It looked like the grooming was a day or two old, but everything seems to be in good shape.
Feb 7 (2012-02-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from VC grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop, #13 [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
(Warning: This might be a very crabby report because I haven't had enough exercise in the last 3 days. Too many race photos and too many hours at a computer...)

I was very eager to try skate skiing today after a long hiatus following last year's injury, which is finally starting to improve. The park web site claimed that everything was groomed 2 days ago (and the classic 3 days ago), so by 10:30 I gave up on that idea, based on yesterday's 5 degree thaw in Chelsea. Needing exercise more than an icy ski, I decided to go for a run with ice grippers at the Visitor's Center. After one pass, though, it was obvious that the grooming here was ideal for my rusty and cautious skate skiing. It was beautifully groomed, and I actually felt guilty being in boots, despite it not being a dedicated ski trail. Luckily my ski stuff was in the car, so I was able to do a couple of very pleasant loops, and then couldn't resist heading over the hill to P8 to check if there really was fresh grooming.

AND THERE WAS!!! If I'd had more time and a bit of food I would have skied there for while. If I'd known ahead of time I would have just skied there, period. The website was quite misleading. Conditions were fantastic for skating. I forgot to check out the classic tracks thoroughly, but at least across Meech Lake Road, the classic tracks were done only on one side. One half of the road was beautifully done, one half was done superficially and without touching the classic tracks (they were awful after yesterday's thaw). I think the North Loop was better.

And an ongoing problem. A threesome had taken a hike on the freshest grooming on the Gatineau Parkway. There were actually more boot tracks here than at the Visitors' Center Loop!

I'll try again tomorrow for a better ski. Today just whet my appetite for a real ski.
120207_VC-Loop.jpgEnlargeImage
120207_Gatineau-Parkway-Boots.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 7 (2012-02-07) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1B, #2 (blue), #3, #24 [12.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Today was a totally mixed bag of conditions, but they were grooming so would likely be better by the time you are reading this.

Where groomed, it was awesome. Where not groomed, it was a very good test of balance and ski under the body.

Skied up Fortune (not groomed), Burma (wide but not groomed), Ridge (groomed), 1B (not groomed, Ridge (groomed), 24 (groomed), back on Ridge (groomed all the way to Gossip Corner), parkway (groomed).

...and then I caught and passed the groomer and was unfortunately back to skiing on really, really hard packed and groomved surface.

Likely much better by now.

Am still trying to figure out how the groomer got from 1/1B/33 to 24 without grooming that section of 1...
Feb 6 (2012-02-06) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #2 (blue), #3, #9 [25.5km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Decided to take advantage of the spring weather and get another ski in after a beautiful weekend on the trails. Managed to squeeze my way into P10 which was almost full at lunchtime and set off. The primary trails looked to have been freshly groomed after the weekend crowds and I had easy skiing all day. After climbing to Champlain lookout I skied the single digit trails today (1,9,2,1B,3). No particular reason it just sort of worked out that way. Tried to think if it would be possible to ski the prime number trails but I'll have to give that some research... perhaps if I consider the parkways as trail "0"... but I digress. Despite the warm sun the tracks held firm and fast. Would have been a good day for some warm bench sitting but it felt too early for spring just yet. Burma had not been regroomed this morning but it was still in pretty good shape despite the weekend crowds working it in. Perhaps the classic track was a little worn down in spots but overall not too bad. The final chute down to the parkway had one icy spot but it wasn't too difficult to ski around so no big problems there. All in all a very nice "springlike" day on the trails.
burma.jpgEnlargeImage
Champlain.jpgEnlargeImage
gossip_north.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 6 (2012-02-06) by David Brownrigg from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: F4 Universal, Grip Wax: Violet
Spring like conditions were prevalent this morning from P17 to Lac Phillipe and back. Tracks continue to be on the icey side aggravated by chunks of ice falling off trees and pine needles and oak leaves gumming up portions of the track in spots. Violet wax worked well on the way up but not on the way back. Skied a section of 50 between 55. The track on one side was almost completely covered over by the groomer. Lots of people out on a Monday as both parking lots (P19 and P17) were almost full.
Feb 5 (2012-02-05) by Laura Nerenberg from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix green + blue mix
As I'm still recovering from an recent "glute" injury, we stuck to a gentle classic ski on Gatineau Parkway today. Grooming was very good and seemed recent. Conditions were excellent and snow had a medium firmness. We skied to P8, and back to P5 and then a bit beyond. It was hard to tell it was the week-end, as there were so few skiers. A few expert skaters flew past us, and a few beginners beamed at us, rosy-cheeked, but we felt otherwise quite alone -- which is so different from our usual Gatineau Park experience.
Feb 5 (2012-02-05) by Garry Tarr from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
It was a great day for the Gatineau Lakes tour- start at P16 and see how many lakes you can reach on skis. Between P16 and Herridge conditions were hard and fast. The track had clearly NOT been groomed overnight, and the heavy traffic on this section had taken its toll. Past Herridge the surface became a bit more loose, and along the north shore of Lac Philip and on the Taylor Lake Road the corduroy was still quite fresh and conditions were superb- simply because these sections don't get a lot of skate traffic. I climbed the hill to Lusk for the first time this year. Track setting was excellent until the second steep hill on the ascent. Here the road had been washed out, forcing a bumpy detour for about 50m through the woods. Above the detour there was little evidence of any grooming, except perhaps the occasional pass with a snowmobile. Skating was problematic for the rest of the way to the cabin. It was fun to reach the cabin, but I don't think I'll bother again this year, certainly not on skate skis. The snow was sufficiently loose to allow complete control around the obstacles on the descent. For the return trip along Trail 50 temperatures had warmed enough to make for wickedly fast, effortless skating. I snuck down trail 36 to Meech Lake (yes, I know it's not a skate trail, but by double poling and skating on the hills where there are no tracks, it's quite possible to do it and leave no damage). A couple of brave- or crazy- souls had skied across the lake since the last snowfall. The final descent to P16 was entirely hard packed snow and totally controllable. I just wish there weren't so many skiers doing desperate, hard-edging snowplows at 5kmh down this hill.

Demsis seems to have adopted a policy of "lifting" the classic tracks on even very shallow downhills. This is probably good for beginning skiers. From my viewpoint this also makes many classic-only trails accessible to skate skiers- double-pole the flats, and skate the uphills were there is no track!
Feb 5 (2012-02-05) by Paul Jaenicke from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #29 (alternative), #29 (shared), #35, Pink Lake Access [19km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Started out from P6=>#7=> gatineau parkway=>Pink lake access road=>#35=>#15 blue=>#5=>#29=#27=>#29=>#25=>#15 blue=>#15 black=>P6. Not much to report on the trails other then nicely groomed, fast but pleasant.

My first time in years in the Asticou, Relais plein air area, it is a fairly flat area of the park, fairly wide open, but different from the Fortune area. Good if you dont like those big hills and you want to bring beginners along.
IMG_1223.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1224.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1225.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb 5 (2012-02-05) by David Brownrigg from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (blue), #29 (shared) [18.9km], Glide Wax: F4 Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Classic track conditions on the Gatineau Parkway between the Relais Centre and the Champlain junction have remained about the same since last weekend. Good but slightly icey. Makes for fast but very skiable conditions. Returned via #15 back to P2 which appeared not to have been groomed in the last few days even though the park report states otherwise. Still the tracks were in good shape.
Feb 5 (2012-02-05) by Matt McInnes from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1B, #2 (blue), #1 (black - Chelsea), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #4 [14.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Green LF4, Grip Wax:
Super nice ski. First tracks from P10 made for very good conditions. Grooming was skied out on the way back by 9am. Super day. Conditions on ridge, and the other small trails were very good.
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a quick, late afternoon ski on the North Loop. Good conditions, beautiful sunny weather. Nothing to report except that the number of skiers, of all ages and abilities - is just staggering! This sport is definitely growing!
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Alternated between Swix blue V30 and Vauhti carrot
Went, classic, to the fire tower - the first time this year.
My route was P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 blue and back. The great conditions described by Gary existed on all trails from P12 to the tower. #40 was especially well done - the steep downhills were trackset quite wide giving a lot of room for control. On the way back, on the hills, the hard-pack was breaking up into a nice loose sugar-snow. The scenery was great with evergreens covered in snow in full sun - the last km to the tower was a special experience If you haven’t been to the tower yet this year I recommend that you get out there.

The news is that, although many of us have become tracksetting-addicted dilettantes, there is still, at least, one real-skier left in the park. There was one ski track on the old #10 - uphill; with the crust it must of been something of a slog.
.
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Paul Jaenicke from P11 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Forgot my pics on previous entry.Can't get much better then this, sunny, warm, nice grooming. I decided on P11 today easy to get a parking spot there. My route from P11=>#36=>left on #50=>Healy chalet and back about 20km.

Many people at the chalet just sitting outside soaking up the sun. Trail #36 has to be one of the nicest in the park, nice scenery, rolling terrain, a few nice long hills. It was such a nice day had to stop at different areas for a few good pics.
IMG_1206.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1207.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1208.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1210.JPGEnlargeImage
IMG_1211.JPGEnlargeImage
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Paul Jaenicke from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Can't get much better then this, sunny, warm, nice grooming. I decided on P11 today easy to get a parking spot there. My route from P11=>#36=>left on #50=>Healy chalet and back about 20km.

Many people at the chalet just sitting outside soaking up the sun. Trail #36 has to be one of the nicest in the park, nice scenery, rolling terrain, a few nice long hills. It was such a nice day had to stop at different areas for a few good pics.
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Got an early start to avoid the crowds. At 8:30 there was still plenty of space at P10. The climb up the Fortune Parkway towards the sunlight was cold but beautiful. There was fresh grooming (probably done around 7AM) everywhere. The skate lane corduroy was hard and very fast, tending to nibble at the edges on the downhills. By the time I descended around 10:30AM sunlight and skier traffic had softened the surface nicely. At the intersection with Ridge I turned east and continued to the top of Penguin. I then backtracked and followed Ridge and 1B west to the first intersection with the Wolf Trail. The fresh grooming continued past this point. As usual the best skiing was to the west of the Trail 2 intersection. I didn't take Burma but it had been freshly groomed and the luge run to the Fortune Parkway looked fairly tame. The Khyber Pass was perfect-no rocks or ice patches. There is no excuse for a survival snowplow in the Pass today! Of course by the time I returned to P10 the crowds were ascending the Fortune Parkway. I noticed P8 was full when I drove by. Overall conditions are excellent. If you can find a place to park, go skiing!
ridge_morning_small.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 4 (2012-02-04) by Megan McTavish from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax: Binder (Vauthi Fluor or Super) covered with Vauhti Fluor Carrot
XC Ottawa is racing at Nakketok at the Eastern Canadian Championships. Come on out and watch! If you are looking for condition reports for Gatineau Park, check out skitrails.xcottawa.ca for reports from other local skiers.
Feb 3 (2012-02-03) by Ken Trischuk from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #13 [16.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Beautiful warm evening for a ski. Ever so light snow falling as I skated along which only seemed to act as a lubricant to the already fast conditions. Skated a nice loop of the Doldrums, up Fortune to gossip and then down Ridge to Penguin and added the bonus loop of 1 black and the 13 back to P8. Came across fresh untouched corduroy as I got to P10 and enjoyed it up for the rest of the night. Met the groomer at Gossip corner(headed up to Huron) so I guess they were out setting the track in the warmer evening before the mercury dropped overnight to firm up the track. Regardless things were pretty good for those of us that often ski at night. I also heard the roar of snowmobiles on the Parkway near Black lake as I skied along Ridge which I assume was the conservation officers out keeping tabs on the evening skiers. The descent down Penguin was so nice that I continued on down the elevator shaft that is 1 black into Chelsea. It. was. awesome!!! Perfect corduroy and lightening quick. I might go so far as to say that single drop was worth the price of my season pass alone. Too much fun.

So the weekend is shaping up to be spectacular. Could I ask someone to hold a parking space for me?
Feb 3 (2012-02-03) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho Green
P10 - Ridge - to the bench - Lookout

A quick ski with few photos. Conditions were very good and at 8:00 I had the park almost to myself (2 other cars in the parking lot). Interestingly, I was asked by a park attendant if I had a pass. This is interesting, because, of all the various times I have skied this year, it is the only time I have actually been asked if I have or need a pass. I don't even recall seeing an attendant before today!

The tracks were getting quite icy and hard in places, and the Teho Green worked like a charm. Yesterday I had to rewax once, and could have done it twice! If the downhills had been a bit less hard and more edge-able I would have come down Burma. It will probably be just perfect for all those racing types who love hard, fast tracks (the ones who are not racing in Easterns, that is).
Feb 3 (2012-02-03) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P10 up Ridge, 1B, back on 1 to Champlain Lookout, down parkway then east on Ridge to Chicken Run. No fresh grooming anywhere. Skate lane very hard packed and fast, but skiable. Classic tracks hard and fast. Noticeable snowmobile ruts. Well worth skiing but not exceptional.
Feb 2 (2012-02-02) 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: Vaughti Orange
P5 - Penguin - Ridge to Shilly Shally, diversion to top of Fortune, back via Fortune and North Loop.
Judging from Paul's photo he and I must have been skiing Ridge Road at the same time - I have almost an identical photo of the swamp! And indeed there is little to add to Ron's or Paul's reports. It was a beautiful afternoon with superb conditions.

One thing that I have been intending to mention since the weekend: As the snow creeps higher, there are now one or two eye-level branches beginning to appear beside some of the classic tracks (50, Ridge, Burma). It's a good idea to wear glasses and keep an eye out (as opposed to having one put out).

I also agree that snowfall amounts would be a most useful addition to the NCC ski conditions page. With the minimal information now submitted about the quality of the trails, fresh snowfall is valuable information.
120202_Ridge-Road.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 2 (2012-02-02) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #14 [9.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Superb track-setting like Ron mentioned in his report, started out from P7=>#30=>#1 to Shilly Shally=>back on #1=>Fortune parkway=>right turn on #11=> behind Keogan chalet=>back on #1=>#14=>#4=>#1=>#30=>P7.

My short detour on #11 was a test run on backcountry trail reporting on the website. Demsis reports backcountry trails as not recommended, so decided to check it out for myself. The trail was a little crusty on the sides, the track itself was fast with a very light coating of ice in certain spots. I suspect with backcountry skis the trail would be doable, otherwise I would rate the trail as Fair only because the lack of traffic.

I agree Ron the snow accumulation report on the website was useful and also they use to rate the conditions of the trails Recommended, Fair and Not Recommended, now we are down to 2 choices its either Recommended or not recommended nothing in between. The NO information Icon I guess the third choice tells me nothing relevant.

Its looking like an Excellent weekend of skiing!!!!!!!!!!
feb2.jpgEnlargeImage
Feb 2 (2012-02-02) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax:
This AM while preparing my skis I did something to my back as evidenced by a mild pain in the lumbar region that was reminiscent of previous battles with the back. So, rather than choose trails with grunt climbs I was a baby and chose the North Loop (known to the more performance-inclined as the “Doldrums”). The tracksetting was superb - fast and hard but soft enough on the surface that I could ski through the corduroy rather than being controlled by it. So with three iterations of it with easy slow skating I was cured. So, whenever your body talks back to you I recommend that you consult Dr. Gatineau and take three Doldrums.

A few reports back I went on a bit about the changes/omissions that showed up in the ski report on NCC web-site. Primarily the removal of the “precipitation in the last 24 hrs” entry. Talking to other skiers I find I’m far alone in criticizing this omission - that information was quite important in deciding how to prepare your skis for the day. Take for an example last Sunday: on Saturday the conditions were hard, fast, and granular - i.e., klister; Sunday morning there was about 5 cm of wet snow that fell in the park providing soft, high-humidity conditions - i.e., fluor kick wax. Since no snow fell in Ottawa/Gatineau, using what was known, it would have been normal to use klister which would have been less than ideal for soft wet new-snow conditions. If you agree with this view perhaps a comment to the Visitor’s Centre to bring the web-site back closer to what it used to be is in order - you could also balance your comment with an observation that the tracksetting has been better this year.
Feb 2 (2012-02-02) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #26 [6.3km], Glide Wax: Swix Gree/CH4, Grip Wax:
Great morning of skiing on freshly groomed trails! Should have had Red/ Purple because it was warmer than forecast. Other than that a perfect morning.
Parkway from P3 to 5 was groomed. 5 and 26 were freshly groomed and in perfect shape. We weren't even the first ones on it shortly after 6am!
Feb 2 (2012-02-02) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
No grooming last night but they are probably grooming now and it should be beautiful for the weekend! XCOttawa is racing at Nakkertok this weekend so check skitrails.ca for Gatineau Park reports from other local skiers.
Jan 31 (2012-01-31) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #30, #4, #22, #34, #56 [16km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Wonderful snowy afternoon, decided to try some backcountry trails. Started from P7=>#30=>#1=>#19=>#34=>#22=>#4=> back on #34=>unmarked trail =>#1=>unmarked trail=>#17=>#1=>#30=>P7.

After winding around these trails they are in very good shape, for how long depends on tonights or tomorrow morning's freezing rain, hopefully snow . I posted a pic from trail #34 oddly that still has the old style markings of the number and colour of the trail shown separately, not many remain in the park like that. The 2 pics of trail #17 were the first to descents if you take it from Ridge just above Wattsford lookout.
31jan.jpgEnlargeImage
31jana.jpgEnlargeImage
31janb.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 31 (2012-01-31) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1B, #3 [10km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A euphoric ski, from P10, up Burma, along 1B and back again on 1B and Burma. And a little diversion to Etienne Brule, I love that little extension of #3, short though it may be. With the previous grooming beneath and the fresh snow accumulating, I was able to practice my step turns (without killing myself)! Burma was beautiful and I've never seen the final descent so nice (no bobsleds this time). If any of my photos have turned out I'll post them around 9:00 tonight on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Jan 31 (2012-01-31) by Garry Tarr from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Quick skate trip from P10 up Fortune Pkwy, up Ridge and Khyber pass then out 1B to above Western and back. Superb skating with thin layer of fresh silky-soft powder over icy base. Skating best on Pkwy, staying away from snowmobile lanes where lumpy, icy grains have been stirred into snow. If you can escape for a couple of hours before the storm hits, go skiing!
Jan 31 (2012-01-31) by Ron Lorenson from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Jo-Ann Holden has some great photos on her Musician on Skis web-site that show the quality of trail #55 that I was trying to portray in words yesterday
Jan 30 (2012-01-30) by Jo-Ann Holden from P2 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #15 (blue), #29 (alternative), #29 (shared), #35, Pink Lake Access [25.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A very easy ski in the late afternoon. I was hoping to catch a nice sunset, but the clouds appeared just after I set out!! Skied from the Relais - down 29 to Asticou -up 5 - up 15 to Pink Lake and back on the parkway. The smaller trails were beautifully groomed, however I was a bit disappointed to find all the downhills snow-plowed to bits. (Having been spoiled by yesterday's exceptional trails, I had hoped to practice my very needy step turns today in similar conditions).

The Pink Lake hill was not in such good shape as the smaller trails, unfortunately. The tracks were shallow, and uneven. I opted for the center, which was hard and icy in spots. No fun there.

It was interesting to see snowmaking going on near the Relais. I assume this is for the Gatineau Loppet mas starts.
120130_snowmaking.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 30 (2012-01-30) by David Brownrigg from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: F4 Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Trails in the Relais Centre area appeared to have been freshly groomed (both classic and skate). Demsis seems to be keeping on top of things this year. 29 was finally groomed from end to end for for the first time this season. Conditions were a bit on the icy side but made for a quick enjoyable ski.
Jan 30 (2012-01-30) by Jane Cook from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Starting from P10 at 2:30 (it was surprisingly busy and we were lucky to get a spot) we went up Fortune to the Ridge Road and on to Huron Lodge and back the same way. The tracks were particularly nice on the way up and gave a good glide for classic skiing.

Cars are now parking again in the middle of P10, so that gives a few extra spots.

I wondered about going back via Trail 3 (Burma, I think it's called). It looked fine at the Fortune end and I expect it WAS fine for a more confident skier than myself, but if I'm going to fall down I like my snow to be soft!

On the way back, I put the brakes on hard on the Khyber Pass and managed fine. There was just a touch of ice as it was late in the day. I went almost all the way down Fortune in the middle as the tracks were a bit too fast for my taste. My camera crew (aka husband) was fearless and just zoomed down the tracks and others used the third method - one ski in and one out as a brake.

The grooming was great. We always go late in the day because it's warmer but inevitably we encounter more icy conditions on the way back.

A lovely outing, with beautiful sunshine and a welcome rest and refreshments at Huron Lodge.
fortunelake.JPGEnlargeImage
fortunelake2.jpgEnlargeImage
path11.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 30 (2012-01-30) 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 over graphite, Grip Wax: n/a
Yesterday Jo-Ann reported that she had the best ski in years. Not to deal in superlatives but I wonder what her judgement would be about today. For me it was wonderful, fantastic, incroyable, superbeau!

Excellent tracksetting this morning, firm fast conditions with a powder surface, the right kind of temperature, warm sun, dazzling scenery - disons superbeau!

I skated from P10 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 = green water tank on #24 => 24 => #1 (west)
=> Blanchette => #1 (east) => Champlain lookout => CP = FP => P10.

The tracksetting was excellent everywhere but #24 was exceptionally excellent. The downhill section has been set quite wide giving lots of room for old telemarkers to make their turns. In my view the tracksetting has been consistently good this season.

As a follow-on from my report of yesterday perhaps a recommendation for #55 is in order - it’s made for the classic skier who wants to get away from the crowds on Ridge Road. A eight km loop with two lakes (Renaud and Taylor) and one shelter (Renaud). The classic-only section is like Kennedy Road (#53) in that it is mainly flat or gently rolling for easy classic gliding with good scenery. The shared section is similar with a wide skating lane as far as Taylor Lake. The pass (blue section) is more of a challenge but with the level of tracksetting this year is quite doable: if you go clockwise you’ll have a great downhill followed by a roller-coaster followed by a slight climb; going the other way it’s a slight downhill then rolling terrain and then a grunt climb - regardless, the scenery in the pass is unique. From P19 it’s about 2.5 km to the start of the loop - from P17 via 51/53 it’s about 8 km.
Jan 29 (2012-01-29) by Jo-Ann Holden from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [22.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Best ski in years - the classic only trails were heavenly, and not much to add, other than photos, to what has already been reported.

Interestingly, a few km of 50 were incredibly slow, particularly near Herridge, and many of the usual downhill tracks were "missing". These downhills were painfully slow, and reminiscent of Spring skiing. I wondered if the grooming had simply been pressed on top of Friday's ice. Would this explain the slowness?

Anyway, it was a gorgeous ski day, one to remember for years.
120129.jpgEnlargeImage
120129_swamp.jpgEnlargeImage
120129_trail55.jpgEnlargeImage
120129_crowds.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 29 (2012-01-29) by Jane Cook from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue), #35 [17.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A beautiful day at the Mackenzie-King Estate with lots of classic skiers and snowshoers, all smiling. We took trail 7 down to the Gatineau Parkway, then continued east on the Parkway to trail 35 at Pink Lake and trail 15 blue westward to the Gatineau Parkway. Some of those coming towards us, downhill, were going pretty fast so it was as well to be alert but we had no problems. This part of trail 15 was amazingly beautiful with a great variety of views.

Not being brave enough to do the black portion of 15 we took a long, easy loop back to P6 by taking the Gatineau and Champlain Parkways and the Mackenzie-King Road.

All the trails we skied on were freshly groomed this morning and were still in pretty good shape by late afternoon. The tracks were a lot faster today than in that wet snow yesterday. All in all, a fabulous day.
startof7-2.JPGEnlargeImage
pinklake.JPGEnlargeImage
janeontrail35.jpgEnlargeImage
eardleyescaprment.JPGEnlargeImage
parkway.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 29 (2012-01-29) 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 over base of tar and klister
If Paul wants to do the Wakefield triangle that’s OK for him - but, for me, it was more of an easy gliding day to do the #55 loop around Taylor Lake. I needed an easy, classic “classic-day” as a change of pace from a week of skating.
My route was: P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => #55 (counter-clockwise) => #50 => P19
=> #51 => #53 => P17

As Paul noted it was beautiful out there. The new snow was wet and stuck to the trees - the experience going through areas of snow-covered evergreens was special.

The new snow could be slow and had that “real” texture treasured by “real” skiers; however, in places it was also fast, Under overhanging trees the snow didn’t hit the trail so the fast granular track was still there; in the areas touched by the sun the tracks developed a glaze. Going down hills going from slow to fast and back was wonderful balance training. With a bit of frost in the snow overnight the classic trails should turn into an experience-not-to-be-missed.

Track-setting was ideal everywhere. I must have missed Paul by about five minutes since I passed the tracksetter just past the 50/55 intersection so, unlike Paul, I didn’t get the benefit of the new tracks.

One comment on the tracksetting. In all the years that I’ve been doing #55 the blue section has been a misery. Even in good snow years there was gravel, rocks, and open springs showing. Today it was in great shape - even the open spring had been expertly covered. Thanks to André and the tracksetting team for a great job on a problem trail.
Jan 29 (2012-01-29) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful day out there, took Ron's advice did the Wakefield triangle counterclockwise, P17=>#53=>#51=>#50=>#52=>#53=>P17. As you can see by the pictures I crossed the Groomer just past the intersection of #50 & #55, so I had nice fresh tracks to ski on, the rest was not groomed but nice to get that new snow from yesterday.

Conditions were slower with the new snow and mild temperature but pleasant to ski, with a mix of sun and clouds.The next couple of days should be good until Wednesday, hoping the rain will change to snow.
29jan.jpgEnlargeImage
29ajan.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 29 (2012-01-29) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy [14.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: vauhti K15 (silver)
Today was mostly a parkway ski for XCOttawa as we were working on our classic striding with intervals up the big hill from P5. However, Sheila checked out Penguin and said it was really nice too. The extra snow from last night made everything a lot less icy and generally it was a really nice day for a ski.
Jan 28 (2012-01-28) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1B, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #1 (blue) [24.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar then Swix Extra Blue
Skied from P6 out to McKinstry today. Started a little later in the day and was initially thinking skating would have been a good choice as it took me a while to dial in the grip wax from a selection I had brought. As it started to snow however my choice of Vauhti Tar (0 to -2C) started to work great so I continued out Ridge road to McKinstry (Must have missed Karl and his birthday crew - best wishes!). Sadly just short of the hut my skis started to ice up as I suspect the temperature dropped a little and there was getting to be a lot of fresh wet snow. Trudged to the hut and scrapped off the ice before going to Extra blue. This worked quite well for most of my trip back but once again started to ice by the time I got to Champlain lookout. Out of wax tricks in my bag I periodically kicked off the ice and got good grip/glide for a few hundred meters before it started to bind up and I'd have to repeat the process. Not one to say a bad word about fresh snow I bit my tongue and skied on finally getting back to the car slightly longer than I had anticipated. It was indeed a beautiful day in the woods regardless of my wax woes. As the evening winds picked up it was a little like being in a chandelier shop during an earthquake as the icy branches tinkled all around me.

On the plus side there was probably 4 or 5 cms of new snow on the ground when I was pulling away (and still falling) so one would think they will groom up the primary trails in the morning so we can all try again!
Jan 28 (2012-01-28) by Jane Cook from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #7 [2.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A late excursion in the last hour before sunset from the MacKenzie-King Estate down trail 7 to the Champlain Parkway and back. The trail had been groomed and track set that morning. Large, wet snowflakes were falling as we skied, giving a little stickiness or resistance to the uphill. Snow ploughing downhill was soft and slow with a slight crunchiness of ice underneath.

On the way back we met a couple walking in the middle of the track and politely told them it wasn't allowed. They might have just taken a wrong turning from the snow shoe trail. We didn't stay to find out!

It was very beautiful in the fading light with the snow falling and the ice still adhering to the trees.
moorside1.JPGEnlargeImage
moorside3.jpgEnlargeImage
moorside4.JPGEnlargeImage
moorside5.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 28 (2012-01-28) by Karl Saidla from Old Chelsea grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B, #1 (black - Chelsea), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #3, #4, #14, #1 (blue) [28.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti violet klister covered with Vauhti Fluor Violet
For long easy skiing, there are few better places than Gatineau Park. All the major trails were groomed today, including the Fortune racing trails ( nice to see these in use for a race of some kind today). Classic waxing was a bit tricky tas conditions were quite variable. Skating looked like it would have been very good (not to mention fast). Careful on the downhills as the ice/snow combination did make things a bit unpredictable. Attached are a few pictures of "Karl's Birthday Ski", which he certainly enjoyed.
P1020387.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020390.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020389.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 28 (2012-01-28) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B, Gatineau Pkwy, #24 [23.1km], Glide Wax: Swix purple, Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P3 up parkway, 5, parkway, Penguin, Ridge, 1B, out to Wolf Trail, then back on Ridge, 24, Ridge, Champlain, then all the way back on the parkway.

If you are reading this before you go, all I can say is hurry up and get out there.  It's fantastic.

If you are reading this post ski, you already know how good it was/is.
Jan 27 (2012-01-27) 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:
After reading Rick"s report this morning I wasnt going to go out until it started snowing around 1 pm. Headed out around 3:30 pm out to P12 for a short loop, P8 & P9 about 3 cars all together nobody at P11 or P12.

I skied up #40=> #2 to western chalet for a late afternoon snack. From there back on #2=>#1=>#24=>#40=P12. That few centimetres of snow that had fallen had stuck to the icy, crusty surface making it slower but easier to climb the hills and you could go down the hills full speed ahead. I agree with Kyle you could use ear plugs as you could hear the crunchy snow as you skied along.

All things considered a pleasant ski, and should get even better after tonight's grooming, it was still snowing as I left at 5:30 pm.
Jan 27 (2012-01-27) by Kyle Power from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #27, #7, #15 (blue) [29.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Well folks, its an interesting day out there isn't it! Myself and Matthias started at Gamelin and skied up the parkway all the way up to the top of Blacks hill and on the way back we took Trail 15 coming down near Relais plein air. We headed out around 11am, in the midst of the rain and painful ice pellets. The skate skiing was super noisy (I would actually recommend ear plugs) and tricky . Meaning, it was quite crusty with sometimes a glassy cover and punchy snow conditions. When you could execute a decent push it was lighting fast. Trail 15 provided a few good thrills. Any type of trail like that be prepared to hold on and extra careful. Snowplowing is hard to do today. Any day skiing is better than no day skiing!? I would usually never say this but it might be a better day for a sport like bowling... That being said, the recent snow and some grooming later tonight could make for a very enjoyable weekend of skiing. Stay tuned for further updates!
Jan 27 (2012-01-27) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: greased lighting, Grip Wax:
Ron, no hard feelings. I'm a better skier for it.

This was a very early morning ski in the freezing rain with a buddy. As I was putting my boots on, fellow poster Matt Mcinnes pulled in with a buddy of his who I also know, so we all skied together.

There was fresh wet snow under a very thin layer of ice which made for very fast conditions, regardless of wax. At least for the guy in front who had fresh ice to glide on. The guys behind had broken chunks and a groove to contend with.

All in all, the ski was quite delightful as long as you did not wear/need glasses because there was quite a freezing rain drizzle going on. Our windproof jackets became almost bullet proof thanks to the ice coating.

We skied up to the top of Blacks then turned around and skied back 17min faster, but this time we had to deal with the broken ice layer we had created ourselves. It was much tougher skiing with tips catching etc, but still very fast and enjoyable.

And a bit crazy, for sure.

With a good grooming and minus 5 overnight, things should be awesome for the weekend.
Jan 26 (2012-01-26) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: Swix CH4 over graphite, Grip Wax: n/a
In the past two days I have experienced the some of the best skating conditions in my somewhat prolonged skiing career. Beautiful finely ground granular that the skating skis just seem float in.

Yesterday I went from Asticou to #15 via the GP and back one hour after the parkway had just been re-ground - euphoria.

Today I went from P10 => FP => CP => #1 => Blanchette and back. From P10 to the water tank on #24 conditions were hard and fast but quite doable. Just before the water tank I met the tracksetter coming back from the fire tower - from there to Blanchette and back to the Champlain lookout I was floating in fast flour - it was enough to make an old guy think that he was still a great skater. From the lookout back to P10 the new tracksetting was able to scratch the surface making the rest of my run still good. Everywhere the classic tracks were in excellent shape: on the parkways they were hard and fast; on #1 the tracks were softer. Everywhere the classic tracks were granular enough to eat wax. #24, #2, #3, & #1B looked to be in good shape but hard. All the backcountry trails were not doable.

The problem with this re-ground snow is that overnight the snow seems to re-freeze turning the previous day’s ski tracks into hard, unforgiving skier-traps. This is probably why the snow that gave me such joy yesterday created such misery for Rick.

For me it was great to have new tracksetting two days in a row. For Rick I can only apologize for those hardened tracks that I left behind to ruin his day.
Jan 26 (2012-01-26) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: would not matter, Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P3 to the intersection, then left up towards Kingsmere and back.

This was more a test of balance than I would have liked--very, very firm and fast with lots of ruts. Spent more time off balance than on.

Classic tracks were rock solid but icy so a binder would be necessary, unless you like to stop and re-apply grip wax.

I suspect things would be better later in the day when it has warmed up a bit, but at the time we went, it was not the most enjoyable ski of the year.
Jan 26 (2012-01-26) by Ken Trischuk from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [16.1km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Beautiful evening ski for me. Skating seemed to be the best choice as the track was hard packed and icy with enough texture to hold an edge. Definetley would have needed a binder to keep grip wax in place. Parkways and Ridge road were in good shape. The short steep drop at Wattsfords lookout was already snowplowed down to give it a polished icy sheen(to be expected) which made my descent quite a spectacle no doubt. The rest of the drop down Penguin was fine though wih lots of "surface" to hold an edge and remain in control.

Interesting to meet a pair of mountainbikers riding halfway along Ridge road. While clearly the wrong season for this, they were doing no damage to the track as the base was bullet proof solid. Of bigger concern to me was they had their two dogs with them, unleashed and happily bounding along the trail. Bit of an obstacle for me to sneak past them in the dark without impaling a dog so I gave them a few choice words as I skied by in the dark.
Jan 25 (2012-01-25) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #1 (black - Chelsea), #15 (black) [25.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti lf blue, Grip Wax: vauhti super binder covered with vauhti K12 (purple)
Very nice day out there. A bit tricky grip waxing as some of the trails are a bit icy, others almost dry and some warm and glazed depending on the sun and also when they were groomed. Everything is groomed though and the binder and purple worked ok. Skating looked to be nice too.
Jan 25 (2012-01-25) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue, Grip Wax: NA
Nice pre-work ski was much better than expected. Fresh grooming on the parkway and number 5 made for good and sometimes great conditions. Parkway was hard and very fast with variable icy spots. Number 5 was soft and superb. Get out there!
Jan 23 (2012-01-23) by Florence Lehmann from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: MacKenzie-King Rd [0.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The operative word of the night is "ice". The trail at P6 looked like an ice arena to me. My group went out for some double poling (hence the 2 stars - I personally rate it as one star-unskiable). I bailed out. Not a big fan of ice skating.
Hopefully some grooming tomorrow will fix this.
Jan 23 (2012-01-23) by Kyla Vanderzwet from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Hard packed snow, fast conditions. Great to see lots of people out despite the weather!
Jan 22 (2012-01-22) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative), #54 (black) [33.9km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Teho green binder covered by Swix Extra blue
Similar loop to Paul and similar comments. I opted to drive up to P19 today to get away from the crowds. Was happy with my decision as I passed the long line up of cars at the Old Chelsea off ramp. Was a little concerned when I saw P17 parking overflowing onto the highway... but true to form the upper "weekend" parking lot at P19 had lots of room. Enjoyed the sumptuous grooming down 50 to the end of Lac Phillipe and then took the big climb up 54 Black. Many thanks to Paul for doing some trail breaking work... I did a little more! Good snow coverage the whole length of the trail though the last steep pitch up near Lusk Lake is always a little rough and could use a little more snow. My pole sank a lot too but with touring gear I think I would have faired better. Still, the surface was crusty and the occasional tip grab when climbing was frustrating... but the base is there, now all we need is a good powder dump and it will be perfect. No signs of anyone brave enough to ski up trail 10 (the one that doesn't exist but many people ski anyways) which will likely need some more snow.

54 Green was fun and well groomed even above the washout. Looks like their putting one classic track and a wide skating lane above the washout so skaters can still ski up to Lusk lake. Skating the narrow bypass at the washout might be a little chore but its only a few hundred feet so no big deal. From there I skied out to Taylor lake and even 55 blue was freshly groomed and a fun ride down.

Say your "skiers prayers" tonight for more snow than freezing rain and we'll see how we come out of the next weather event.
Jan 22 (2012-01-22) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [27.2km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skated from P8 along the Doldrums, across the connector, up the Fortune Parkway, then along Ridge Road to the Fire Tower and back. I'm filing this report largely to give Demsis credit when they do something right. The route had been freshly and expertly groomed last night. (Grooming during the weekend- what a concept!) The corduroy was a bit hard, which was great since it gave excellent glide in relative low temperatures. Ridge Road between McKinstry and the Tower was particularly nice- I haven't seen it in such good condition in years. There were no bare patches or rocks, and minimal snowmobile damage. I had lots of company all the way out, largely from people training for the CSM gold. I'm glad I wasn't carrying one of their packs! Let's hope the trail isn't damaged too badly by the rain and freezing rain in the forecast for tomorrow.
deer_alley.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 22 (2012-01-22) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #54 (black) [29.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another beautiful day minus the sun, started from P19=>#50 to the end of lac Phillipe=> #54 Black=>#54 green to lusk chalet=>back on #54 green=>#55=>#50=>#51=>P19.

Nice tracks on #50, #55, #51, #54 green all groomed this morning. Now we get to #54 Black all I can say Ron I had some workout. The trail as you can see in the first picture looks more like a snowshoe trail very narrow and crusty on the sides. I only met 2 skiers now I know why, the uphills were difficult to climb your poles would sink at least a foot deep, and doing the herringbone your skis would sink down also. The downhills although I only had to go down one big one were also challenging, as soon as you are out of the track your skis would sink down or lose control.

I dont think many skiers have been on that trail lately see second pic, which would of helped flatten out the trail a bit. This is were a snowmobile pass on this trail would help especially if its crusty. Still an enjoyable ski, like Ron mentioned trail #54 Green was in good shape.
22jan.jpgEnlargeImage
22jana.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 22 (2012-01-22) by David Brownrigg from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: F4 Universal, Grip Wax: Swix green
Classic skiing was a bit icy in the Mont Bleu area but but otherwise easy and pleasantly fast. Trail 29 continues to be only groomed from the junction of the 27 to just behind the CEGEP but is skiable on skier made tracks from that point on to the junction of trail 5..
Jan 22 (2012-01-22) by Megan McTavish from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #52, #53, #54 (green) [23.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti fluor Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder covered with Vauhti Fluor Carrot
Perfect classic ski day in the Lac Phillipe sector. The grooming was great, the snow was nice, the sun was out and the scenery was beautiful! It reminded us that the trip out to Lac Phillipe is worth the drive.
P1020375.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020378.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020379.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Garry Tarr from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #4, #14 [12.5km], Glide Wax: CH6, Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P5 up Penguin to the Champlain lookout and back with a little detour to Camp Fortune and the race trails down #14 and back up #4. Rick has already reported on the outstanding conditions on Ridge. I'll just add that even after several days of snowplowing hordes Penguin and the Khyber Pass are still in good shape, with a hard base but no ice or rocks showing through. #14 and #4 were a delight, winding through the sun-dappled forest. These trails deserve more use. Tomorrow should bring another near-perfect day in the Ridge Road sector.
Trail_4.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #4, #14 [14.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
P9, fortune, Ridge, trail 14, racing trails, trail 4, Ridge, Lookout. It was beautiful everywhere, and for the best adjectives, read all the other reports! ("pulchritudinous" is my favorite!) As Ken also mentioned, the abrasive snow was a factor. I had lazily ignored this and ended up having to stop twice to re-wax.
120121_Fortune-Parkway.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #26 [28.3km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Swix Special blue
Exquisite day for a ski and for the most part the fresh grooming was simply sublime. Sorry, trying to find a few superlatives that haven't been used in the last week. I thought about refering to the tracks as pulchritudinous... but I'm not sure it applies to inanimate objects. Ah well, for now it was a good day to be on skis and get some k's before Monday's weather potentially changes things.

Dropped down 15(black) and enjoyed a few tight stems on the final chute to the parkway which was pooltable smooth with lots of bite - just perfect! Carried on along 15(blue) which was equally nice until the cutoff near the bottom at trail 25. It had not been groomed since the last snowstorm... but I see it isn't on Craig's list of trails... so perhaps it doesn't exist! No matter, it was well skied in and a fun ride down to the Hydroline plateau at the bottom of Pink's. From there I skied along 5 before cutting over to the parkway. Joined the masses of skiers working their way up the parkway to Pink Lake... probably only slightly smaller crowd than on Gloppet day but still lots of room to ski at your own pace. Was pretty happy with the impeccable grooming until I started up trail 7. It had not been groomed since the last little snowstorm midweek and was a little crusty and well used. Not a big deal though as I was almost home for the day. Overall a lovely day out.

On a side note the snow itself was pretty abrasive and I should have known better and put a base binder on to hold the wax on my skis. As it was I had to stop a couple of times to rewax as the descents effectively stripped my skis of all grip. I'll fix that before I head out tomorrow.
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1B, #3, #24, #1 (blue) [24.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P8, up Penguin, Fortune Parkway, Burma, Ridge, 1B, 24 then back on Ridge all the way out to the Fire Tower (first time this year). Met a few people I know and was dissuaded by him from going to the FT, then met another buddy who said it was awesome all the way out, so I had to find out for myself.

It was awesome. Excellent grooming everywhere. I think Buddy #1 confused his getting caught in the firm ridges of corduroy with the snowmobile tracks, as I had no issues at all with the latter, but crashed hard thanks to the former. I’m not complaining—it was groomed and I caught an edge. It happens.

From McKinstry to the FT was not freshly groomed, but it had been done recently and then covered over with about 3cm of fresh powder. Glorious skiing everywhere, even Burma where Buddy #2 did not think it was that good.
Perspective, eh?

To borrow part of Ron's phrase, it was the sort of day that...
reminds me it is a long and hard ski on not enough food and half a bottle of water, but at least it is downhill on the way back, except the uphills.
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [41.3km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix blue (V30) over Vauhti tar -30 to -10
It was the sort of day that takes the Calvinism out of skiing: no pain, no discomfort, no effort - just perfect weather and great tracksetting. The sort of day to do the Wakefield triangle counter-clockwise:
P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => #55 (shared) => Renaud => #54 green
=> #55 => #50 => #52 => P17
I must of be another of the people who Paul didn’t meet on #53. I agree with his comments - it was amazing. It would have been pleasant (as always) to meet him but if we had met we probably would have taken time from our skiing to compare superlatives.

The tracksetting was superb everywhere - well done - and with the lack of freezing rain the tracks were softer being more powder than granular. At no place did I encounter icy or hard conditions. I was impressed with how well #54 green had been done considering the problems with the trail damage.

As Paul has noted the freezing rain did not hit #51 or #53 - it’s all snow. I started to notice crust between P19 and Renaud but it was quite minor. At the end of Lac Philippe there was a noticeable crust but I don’t think it would have been a detriment to doing #54 black - particularly with back country skis.

The snow depth off track on #53 was about 80 cm - more than enough to stand up to rain predicted for Monday.

Oh yes! The Brown Lake hill was what I wished for - easy and pleasurable
Jan 21 (2012-01-21) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Wow what an amazing day had everything nice temperature, sunny and fresh Grooming as of yesterday Did a small loop from P17=> #53=>#51 to P19 parking lot=> back on #53=>P17 about 14 km.

This area of the park seems to have escaped last week's freezing rain, as there was no crust to speak of, on the side of the trails. It was sure nice to be on trail #53 for a Green trail it has a bit of everything, a few good hills, rolling terrain, open fields and some shaded areas. Even with all the people out, its a trail that you can be on for half an hour without seeing anyone.
pic21a.jpgEnlargeImage
pic21b.jpgEnlargeImage
pic21c.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Anna Geiger-Whitlock from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), Pink Lake Access [4.8km], Glide Wax: Vauti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauti Blue
Great night ski with Vesta! The bit of freezing rain and colder temperature have helped the tracks set well. Trail 5 was freshly groomed and with great tracks. Found the tracks a bit wobbly and not always straight on the parkway.
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vaughti green
Not much to add that hasn't been said beautifully by Ron and Rick. Just the best of conditions today. WOW!
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [14.6km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix blue (V30) over Vauhti tar -30 to -15
Went classic: P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 blue west => Wolf Ridge => #1 east => Champlain Lookout => #1 west => green water tank => #24 => #40 => P12.

Everywhere I skied the tracksetting was excellent and inspired. The tracks were firm and fast with good grip. The skating track was even and grooved but quite hard - on the downhills with the hardness the grooves tended to grab the skis so that a bit of caution was in order - with use they should break-up and soften nicely..

The only trail that was not trackset was #33 - from what I saw of it I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s quite icy and uneven

Paul has been going on a bit about the condition of the back-country trails - I totally agree with him - they should not be “recommended” as they are on the NCC web-site. Almost all that I saw were untracked and covered with the type of crust that eats ankles - fractures, bruises, and scrapes. The only one that I saw that had tracks was #9 (Western) with a broken track borded by crust - fine in the track but a challenge if you have to get out of the track such as on a downhill - not exactly the ideal back-country experience.

A great day: good conditions, a good temperature, and a warm sun - ideal for classic skiing.
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #26, #29 (alternative) [7.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
What an absolutely amazing day! Fresh, firm and settled grooming everywhere except 29.

Parkway from P3 was perfect, so were 5 and 26. It does not get any better that this.

Get to your parking spaces early this weekend. I predict overflowing parking lots everywhere.

And remember to hide your valuables (unfortunately).
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1 (black - Chelsea), #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [18.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Carrot covered with Vauhti Fluor Green
Beautiful skiing this morning, cold but sunny and fresh grooming everywhere! Ridge road was great. I also checked out the Fortune racing trails which had been groomed a few days ago for both classic and skate. They had a cm of fresh snow on top of the grooming which made them quite slow, but it was nice to see them groomed.
P1020368.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020370.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020371.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 20 (2012-01-20) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #1 (black - Chelsea), #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [18.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti fluor carrot covered with Vauhti fluor green
Beautiful skiing this morning, cold but sunny and fresh grooming everywhere! Ridge road was great. I also checked out the Fortune racing trails which had been groomed a few days ago for both classic and skate. They had a cm of fresh snow on top of the grooming which made them quite slow, but it was nice to see them groomed.
P1020368.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020370.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020371.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 19 (2012-01-19) by Ken Trischuk from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #57, #40 [3.3km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: blue (I think)
Beautiful evening for a ski and the warmest its been in a week. Skied out of Le Relais and skied a variety of trails and the Parkway. Can\'t remember all the trail numbers but all were in great shape with a fresh grooming underneath 1 or 2cm of freshly falling snow. A brief snow squall made it a little hard to see for a bit but the skis were locked in perfect tracks so no worries, just forge ahead. Despite a dozen cars in the lot I only met 3 people on the trails. Should be a beautiful weekend for skiing with the trauls in such good shape.
Jan 19 (2012-01-19) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Hardly worth a report since we only skied from P10 to Keogan for dinner and back, but man was it awesome!

It had it all: fantastic conditions, temperature, visibility by the Fortune lights reflecting off the clouds.

P10 was so full people were parking down the middle like a Sunday at noon.

Yes, it was that nice.
Jan 19 (2012-01-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #22, #34 [8.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another nice day, my route was from P7=>#30=>#1=>#6 counterclockwise=> #22 until intersection with #34, left on #34=> back on #6=>#1=>#30=>P7.

Ridge road and trail #30 fast hard packed nice classic tracks. Although the website list all backcountry trails as 100% recommended that would of been the case on tuesday, now we have a crusty layer on top and not too many skiers have used those trails, so it makes it harder to control your skis on the downhills. To sum it up for intermediate or advanced skiers it may be ok to ski on these backcountry trails but for beginners I would not recommend it until we get more snow. Although I did not fall down it was not as enjoyable as it was a few days ago.
Jan 19 (2012-01-19) by Jane Cook from P2 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (shared) [6.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
This is the first time we have started from Plein Air. We did an anti-clockwise loop consisting of trail 27 to 5 to 29 and back on 27 to P2. It looked rather bleak and icy starting out but once we were into the woods things improved a lot, though the tracks were still a just a tad icy. No problems snow ploughing down the long, slow slope on trail 5, however, which was in good shape. Trail 29 from 5 to 26 was very churned up. Mostly classic skiers, but a few skaters as well.
So, a nice outing but I'm disappointed we didn't get all that snow we were promised!
trail5.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 18 (2012-01-18) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #15 (blue), #15 (black) [25.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue (should have been green), Grip Wax: NA
Nice fast day. Would have been terrible had it not been for the fresh grooming. 5 & 15 were freshly groomed and 15 is in the best shape I have seen it in yet. Skied up Penguin and then back along the parkway. Only half the parkway was groomed from P5 to the split but the grooming was complete from there to P3. Pretty nice conditions considering the storm.
Jan 18 (2012-01-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a short run today to check out the conditions after yesterday's mix of snow, freezing rain. Started up $40=>#2=> #1 Ridge as far as the intersection with the Snowshoe trail Old trail #16 and back to #24=>#40 to P12.

Fresh Grooming today, classic tracks were great, the skating lane a little bumpy in spots with the odd track in the middle either made from a ski-doo or the Groomer.

For those wishing to try the backcountry trail I went by #21 and #38 they had little or no traffic on them, there is a thin crusty layer on top so i suspect it could be tricky on the downhills until we get more skiers on them or more snow.
Jan 18 (2012-01-18) by Logan Potter from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #13 [0.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful day for skiing, Freshly groomed and hard packed, a little slower in the tracks. Not as icy as I expected with the freezing rain so very good day for skiing. Enjoy
Jan 17 (2012-01-17) by Alan Mortimer from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1B, #24, #40, #1 (blue) [13.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Vhauti orange, Toko Blue cover
Good hard classic track on 40 & 1 towards McKinstry. A bit slow with new snow in track but hard and fast and stable on the downhills
Jan 17 (2012-01-17) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #3 [15.1km], Glide Wax: Briko purple, Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P8, up Penguin to Gossip Corner, parkway to Burma (aka the mogul run), 1, 1B, 1, 24, 1 and all the way back down Penguin to P8.

Very fast and firm conditions, but Burma is a bit of a disaster right now with constant dips and doodles making it very hard to keep well balanced. I expect to be a better skier after today's trip up.

Lesson learned for today: Don Maclean's iconic tune American Pie is a great song, but does little to inspire the listener going up Penguin.
Jan 16 (2012-01-16) by Ken Trischuk from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative), #57 [43.8km], Glide Wax: Green, Grip Wax: Swix special blue
Skied out of P17 today doing the Wakefield triangle plus a loop out to Taylor Lake. Can't add much to what Ron said on Saturday except that conditons were all freshly groomed this morning and just excellent skiing. Temperature even warmed up a little after the brisk conditions of the weekend. The only trail that hadn't been groomed today was 55 blue but it was still in fine shape(owing no doubt to lower skier traffic that uses that connector trail) after likely being groomed on Saturday.

Chatted with a ski patroller at Renaud hut who told me that his partner had skied up 54 black today and said it was in decent shape. I didn't ski it and would think I might let a few more snowfalls come before I ski down that trail as its pretty rough at the best of times but YMMV. More snow tomorrow so I guess winter is finally here.
1.JPGEnlargeImage
6.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 16 (2012-01-16) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: LF Green, Grip Wax: NA
Nice night for a ski. Very hard packed fast conditions. Even surface made the skiing nice. Blue would have been a better choice than green, but I had no time to wax after work.
Jan 16 (2012-01-16) by Jane Cook from P11 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The 'marginal' sign is still up and there were only three other cards in the parking lot but in view of the recent snow we thought we'd have a third crack at this trail.
The good news was that the classic set tracks were deeper and the leaves that had fallen into the tracks were no longer sticky so you could slide over them instead of their having the effect of applying the brakes. The first steep hill down to the bridge was way better than last time, no problems snow ploughing.
On the other hand it hadn't been groomed recently and the middle sections were really churned up with footprints. There were lots of sections where you got the bob sleigh effect, fortunately nowhere really steep, so it was still possible to remain in control. The worst part was he second steep hill, the one that goes down to the lake. It has an awkward section half way down where the rocks are not yet covered completely and there's a couple of bumps that are difficult to steer around. Not liking the look of it as it was where I had fallen last time, I took off my skis and walked around the rocks on the edge of the trail.
It's a very lovely trail but I was hoping they would keep it in good condition after the snow fall.
1comingdownthebridge.JPGEnlargeImage
2bridge.JPGEnlargeImage
3bridgeontrail36.JPGEnlargeImage
4trail36.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 16 (2012-01-16) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #15 (blue), #26, Pink Lake Access [12.6km], Glide Wax: pretty good today, Grip Wax:
late afternoon ski for my wife and I from P3. Skied parkway, 5, 15, in behind Pink lake and back home along the parkway.

very firm and fast conditions everywhere except 15, which was slightly soft and somewhat forgiving us us skate skiers. I enjoyed the conditions and the ski. My wife? Not so much as it was 10 degrees colder than it was thought to be and the soft conditions on 15 are not her favourite.

at the end of 15, I leaned something new: 15 is supposed to be classic only. Ironically, of the 6 skiers we saw, 2 were doing classic and the rest were skate skiing.
Jan 15 (2012-01-15) by Jane Cook from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #14 [9.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Starting from Kingsmere up Wattsford Lookout (quite a crowd at the Lookout but very jolly), we went on to the Ridge Road, taking a detour down #4 and up #14 then on to Keogan Lodge. It was fabulous from start to finish. Though we started late, at 2PM, and the trails were very well used, there was the merest hint of ice very occasionally on the way home.
Trails #4 and 14 were a complete delight and a welcome escape from the crowds.
wattsford_lookout.JPGEnlargeImage
frost_on_the_trees.JPGEnlargeImage
penguin_hill.JPGEnlargeImage
ridge_road.JPGEnlargeImage
descending_fromwattsfordlookout.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 15 (2012-01-15) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF over graphite, Grip Wax: Swic green
Reporting on the Wakefield Loop which is one of most pleasant and most scenic classic loops in the park. It's a bit more that 20 km.
Clockwise it’s: P17 => #53 => #52 => #50 => P19 => #51 => #53 => P17
Counter-clockwise it’s: P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => #52 => #53 => P17.
Clockwise you start with some significant climbs up to the top of the ridge on #52 after that it’s easy downhills and ego-building gliding on downhill false-flats.
Counter-clockwise it’s a long series of gentle climbs followed by some great downhills on #52 - the hill down to Brown Lake is a run that shouldn’t be missed.

Either way it’s fantasy classic skiing. On #51, #52, & #53 you’re skiing through evergreens. #52 is special with creeks, small lakes and groves of almost old-growth white pine and hemlock.

It's possible to lengthen the loop by bypassing the #51 shortcut and/or including the #55 loop around Taylor Lake

When I started from P17 it was -22 C so - fearing ice-cream headaches on the downhills - I decided on clockwise. For today it was a good choice. The climbs gave me enough time to admire the scenery. The rest of the way it was pleasure without challenge. The tracksetting was good everywhere. Starting off there was little glide in the shade but good in the sun; later on it was good everywhere. Needless to say grip wasn’t a problem. There was great snow coverage everywhere with no gravel or rocks showing. Off-track on #52 there is about 65 cm of snow.

Next time - on a warmer day - I’ll do it counter-clockwise and indulge myself with the Brown Lake hill.
Jan 15 (2012-01-15) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix blue, Grip Wax:
Surprisingly nice skating conditions on the Doldrums despite the -19C temperature. The surface had been freshly groomed to a hard texture, which provided reasonable glide, particularly in the sunshine. It wasn't fast, but there was enough glide for skating to be enjoyable (if you ignore the squeaking skis!). If anything conditions should improve later this afternoon with slightly rising temperatures and more time for the sun to work on the snow. It's well worth getting the skate skis out. For those skiing classic (probably still the sensible choice in this cold) tracks were deep and firm.
Jan 15 (2012-01-15) by Matt McInnes from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: Swix Green LF, Grip Wax: N/A
Super cold day with squeaky snow. Once you got warmed up and going it was fine. The grooming was excellent. Perfect skating conditions. Snow was a bit slow so you had to keep a good cadence to keep your momentum.

I only skiid from P5 towards P3 and then turned right up the Parkway towards Mackenzie King. Made it to the top of the big hill before turning around.

Sorry for inadvertently clicking on the race trails during yesterday\'s report. Only the lower biathlon loop, the access to Camp Fortune and the in (4) and out portion of the trails are groomed. The \'inner\' race trails are not yet groomed.
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Jo-Ann Holden from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [38.7km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Vaughti Green
Garry has written a good report on this fabulous (!!!!) ski. Today Gatineau Park was a world class ski area.

There is a gallery of photos at http://musicianonskis.ca/blog/2012/01/january-14-2012.
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Matt McInnes from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #3, #4, #14 [13.2km], Glide Wax: Swix Green LF, Grip Wax: NA
Amazing day of skiing. Started at the Camps fortune lot (not P10) and accessed via the race trails. Everything I skied had been groomed overnight. The snow was cold and squeaky but still relatively fast. Ridge, 4 and the camps fortune race trails were in excellent condition. Even Burma including the final descent was in very good shape. There was no wind and lots of sun which made the -20 conditions great. Tons of people out enjoying a true mid-winter gift!
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Garry Tarr from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [43.2km], Glide Wax: Swix blue, Grip Wax: Swix green
It was a classic day for classic skiing- even for someone who skates 99% of the time. Good old Swix green provided lots of grip, and glide in the tracks wasn't bad. The handfull of skaters we saw were, in contrast, struggling to get glide on fresh powder at -20C. We started from P17, skied along 53, crossed the Lac Philip road to pick up 51, then turned onto 55 and looped around Taylor Lake. We then joined 50 and skied to 52, returning to P17. Apart from a very short stretch of 55 blue to the west of Taylor Lake which hadn't been groomed at all, grooming was excellent. Classic tracks were firm and set to a good depth. The gravel on the Taylor Lake road is now entirely buried in snow, and I didn't notice any exposed rocks on the long descents on 52. These downhills had already been snowplowed down to a hard base, but the descent was still pleasant and easily controlled. Out of the wind in the afternoon sun it didn't even feel very cold. Overall it was a five star day, and tomorrow promises more of the same. Ron is making a great choice if he decides to ski the Wakefield Triangle tomorrow.
lac_renaud.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Florence Lehmann from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix V20
Nice classic skiing conditions today. With the cold temperatures, the trees set against a sunny sky were stunning. Most enjoyable scenery. I saw a lot more classic skiers than skate skiers today.
I went from P12 towards McKinstry (turned around 2K before the cabin for lack of time). All I had for grip wax for cold conditions was V20. I got good grip all the way up.
There was fresh track setting on #40 and #24 and snow was compacted in the middle. #1 was in great shape both for classic and skate for the most part. On the way up towards McKinstry (close to first intersection with snowshoe trail 62), I saw a small rock in the middle of the skating lane. It was partly covered in snow and you could easily have mistaken it for debris. I didn't check every dark spot I saw. But you might want to watch out for small rocks in that area. On the climb towards 62, Demsis created a ridge right in the middle of the skating lane, leaving more snow on one side than the other. Not too much of a problem but it could become one with all the snowplowing. After intersection with 62, there were snowshoe tracks right in the middle of the skating lane. It wasn't too much of a problem. #40 felt a bit bumpy on the way down (not quite level) but enjoyable nonetheless.
Overall a very enjoyable ski.
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Dibloc blue LF over graphite, Grip Wax: Swic green
Cool air, warm sun, new “green-wax” snow - a classic day - as good as it gets. Went from P16 via #50 to the end of Lac Philippe. The classic tracks on #50 were good all the way; from P16 to the intersection with #52 the skate track was narrow and uneven with two ridges separated by a groove - after #52 it improved considerably with a wide flat track. #36 was trackset and looked quite good - a potential option for tomorrow. However, the tracksetting on #52 looked even better and told me that tomorrow there will be only one option - the P17 Wakefield triangle. There were both uphill and downhill ski-tracks on #54 so there’s nothing to prevent the real skiers from immersing their gaiters in real snow.

On the way back Harrington Lake/Lac Mousseau looked especially beautiful: the ridge on the south side was frosted and with the sun on it the scene made an eloquent argument why it's much better spending winter days XC-skiing rather than at bingo.
Jan 14 (2012-01-14) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1B, #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #24 [16.3km], Glide Wax: definitely the wrong one :-), Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P10, up Fortune, Burma, Ridge to 1B to 1, 24, 1, 1B, Ridge Rd to a not so popular Gossip Corner, then back down the parkway to P10.

All in all, aside from having the wrong wax and skating on Burma, conditions were very good. Classic looked fantastic though. Ridge Rd was very hard packed with the snowmobile ski groves imbedded, but I did not find them a problem at all.

As I struggled over the top of Fortune, I looked toward to the lookout and was awestruck by the beauty of it all. I promptly forgot about my waxing woes and really enjoyed the rest of my ski.
Jan 13 (2012-01-13) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Swix red, Grip Wax:
Great day. Lots of soft new snow but the conditions were fast. A bit of a hard crusty layer under the new snow but nothing bad. No grooming at all between P3 and P5.
Jan 13 (2012-01-13) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green) [4.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
NCC site said lots and lots of grooming was done over night, and they sure did.

We skate skied from P3 in fresh snow. They had obviously groomed, but the Ottawa rain was Gatineau snow and covered things up. Parkway was firm, then we turned onto 5 and it was excellent. Tried to do 15, but it was not track set so we did a u-turn and got on the parkway, up Pink to the intersection then skied back on the parkway to Gamelin.

with the new snow falling fast, the parkway was getting pretty tough to ski on, but it was still good to pay the price now for better skiing later.
Jan 11 (2012-01-11) by Jane Cook from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A short, late afternoon ski from P10 to the hill just past Shilly Shally. We started at 3PM and Fortune was still in lovely condition, though the bit of trail #1 we did was just starting to get icy. Quite a chill wind at times. We met the same two incredibly tame deer that we saw last time outside Shilly Shally munching on the bird seed.
Let's hope that snow we are promised comes tomorrow!
fortune.jpgEnlargeImage
deer.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 11 (2012-01-11) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (blue) [21.8km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix blue (V30)
Went classic from P10 to the green water tank on #24 via the parkways and #1. Conditions were good, firm, and fast.

The parkways and #1 were trackset this AM. On the parkways everything is in great shape - both classic and skating. After the lookout on #1 the classic tracks are great; the skating track is variable with good sections and others where there were significant grooves that would last for about 50m - it appeared that there had been equipment problems with tracksetter.

#1 between #3 and the lookout has now been trackset. The classic tracks looked good; the skating looked to be somewhat uneven.

Nothing has been done on #40 or #24 - they’re skier tracked with about 8cm of new snow since the last tracksetting.

For the “real” skiers #18 and #9 looked to be in good shape.
Jan 11 (2012-01-11) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #3 [6.4km], Glide Wax: Swix purple , Grip Wax:
Skate skied from P8 up Penguin to Gossip Corner, then parkway to Burma, up Burma to Ridge, then back to Gossip Corner and Ridge, Penguin finally to P8.

Ridge Rd and the Parkway were amazingly wide and well groomed. There are still a few rocks or stones sitting on top but if you pay attention, they can be avoided. Unfortunately, I lost myself in thought once and stepped on one rock, and now have a large groove in my good ski. Drat!!!

To confirm Jo-Anne's report from yesterday, Burma (3) was interesting. I much prefer skiing up it since the final downhill to the Parkway is often scraped to nothing or grooved like a parallel luge course, and today it was the latter state--the grooves were closer to ditches (15cm deep and 30cm wide) and frustrating to no end to skate ski on. Mercifully, we trudged on to the top where conditions improved immensely and it was glorious skiing from then on. £Though it did not seem groomed, the classic skiers who opted not to ski in the tracks smoothed things out nicely. Had it frozen that way, I would have turned around, but as it was soft and maleable snow on a firm surface, it was good skiing from then on.

All in all, another fine day for a ski.

Then again, if it was not a fine day for a ski, I would not have gone for a ski, which may explain why so many of my reports are often optimistic ones.
Jan 10 (2012-01-10) by Megan McTavish from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: [0km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
XC Ottawa is currently racing in Whistler, BC. Go to skitrails.xcottawa.ca for up to date reports by local skiers. Have a great week!
Jan 10 (2012-01-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #3 [18.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: carrot
P10 - Burma-Ridge-Lookout-Fortune

As Ron has previously mentioned, there is no indication of snowfall on the park website this year. Just so you know, there have been frequent, small snowfalls many nights in the last while, 2 cm here, 5 there, 1 here, etc.,and it is accumulating nicely. I know this from brushing off my car each day and from the frequent shovelling needed on our walks. The park did not get warm last night as did Ottawa and you would have an impossible job of making a snowman with the beautiful powder that fell last night.

Why all this background information? Well, there were no classic tracks set on Fortune, Champlain, Ridge or Burma. The skating looked fantastic, and I would have given 5 stars if I had been skating. It made me drool! The best classic skiing was also out in the skate lane, for both efficiency and waxing.

Burma was compacted, and was very beautiful. It's still very soft and the compacting was interesting, undulating and uneven in many spots, moguls even, but nothing tricky whatsoever. I saw no rocks or roots. Occasionally a pole would disappear into the snow which was in places between 25 and 35 cm deep. There were also a few spots that felt a bit thin or icy beneath, the same spots that lose the snow early in the spring.

All in all it was a fantastic morning of skiing - but not because of the classic grooming.
120110_Fortune.jpgEnlargeImage
120110_Champlain2.jpgEnlargeImage
120110_P10-Cars.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 9 (2012-01-09) by Jane Cook from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (black), #36 (blue) [7.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I haven't seen any report on trail #36 starting from P11 so I thought I'd let you know I've been on it twice now and it's stunningly beautiful but you need to go slowly and watch for the rocks particularly on the second steep descent down to the lake, just before the 2.5 KM sign post. (I didn't go any further, just a 5K round trip.)

They've put a sign in the parking lot saying 'marginal conditions' and I suppose they are marginal, but if you're careful it is quite do-able. And quiet! Only one other car there today.
Jan 9 (2012-01-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaughti Carrot
A gorgeous day, and beautiful conditions on both the parkway and trail 5. I'd forgotten how beautiful this area of the park can be.
Jan 9 (2012-01-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #22, #34 [8.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Not much of a report other then Skyline #6 trail has been Groomed,but NO classic tracks, I posted a few pics, it is uneven to say the least and a few rocks are still showing on the usual locations. Trail #22 and #34 are fair to good a few icy spots in the shaded areas.

We could sure use some more snow on theses smaller backcountry trails, to make it more pleasant to ski on, but in the mean time they are still skiable as long as you are cautious on the downhills
Trail_6.jpgEnlargeImage
Trail_6a.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Ken Trischuk from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #26, #29 (shared), Pink Lake Access [26km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Carrot
Beautiful afternoon skiing around the lower part of the park. Conditions on the main trails were great with firm classic tracks and the skate lanes looked good as well. I ventured around most every trail I could find below the Notch road making a handful of circuts to explore all I could. I was clearly not alone as hordes of people were out and about enjoying a great day on the trails.

Perhaps the one exception to the generally good conditions was trail 15 which loops up behind Pinks Lake. There the classic grooming was... very well used! For the most part there was really only tracks on the short flat stretches and even there it was pretty well deteriorated. A few rocks sticking up but they were mostly in predictable spots and easy to avoid. While normally a fresh grooming would set things right, I expect running a groomer down this trail will pull up dirt and leaves thanks to the thin snow layer so perhaps nothing to do here but hope for more snow. It was still very skiable even without tracksetting (just a different kind of skiing) so this was a minor inconvenience. The rest of the day was on solid tracks and was fast and easy to ski.
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Jo-Ann Holden from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared) [18.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue
Just a short ski from P19 to Taylor Lake. The conditions were very good for classic even late in the day, despite a few random stones here and there and a few dirty patches. It was evident in several spots how thin the snow base really is.

Garry was less thrilled with the skating conditions, because of the recurring "Demsis bump", as well as dirt, oil and unevenness from snowmobiles and walkers.

The intersection of trails 50 and 55 were poor by anyone's standards - even taking into account the snow depth. This is a paved area similar to the parkways, yet the damage seems to be caused by the grooming (wrong equipment perhaps? Groomed when too mild?) not by a severe lack of snow.

We didn't ski out towards Herridge, but it looked very tempting past the new bridge.
120108_Intersection-50-55.jpgEnlargeImage
120108_intersection.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
Very good conditions first thing in the morning from Gamelin. Freshly groomed and very even track made for a great skating day.
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [30.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A change of scenery today, started from P19=> #50=>#51=>#55=>#54 back on #55=>#50 to P19. A very nice day today, trail #50 in great shape, #55 nice except certain parts near Renaud lake the Groomer pulled up a few small stones in the tracks otherwise ok.

Now the fun part!!! Trail #54 Green sure had a lot of damaged from last June's heavy rains. Most of the trail has been groomed by snowmobiles. As you can see in the pics there is a detour of roughly 100 feet or so, and the detour route is icy and not much snow on it. You also get a good warning sign on the way back. Many skiers take there skis off and walk up and down. It is skiable if you proceed with caution.

The first Danger sign you see on the trail #54 is at the Bridge but the trail is good on that part. I can see were people who stay overnight at Lusk might be a bit of a challenge getting there with all the gear .
Trail_55.JPGEnlargeImage
Trail_55_Blue.JPGEnlargeImage
Trail_54__detour.JPGEnlargeImage
Trail_54_coming_back.JPGEnlargeImage
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Ron Lorenson from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [27.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Swix blue (V30)
A very pleasant day with good weather and good conditions.

Went classic: P9 => #32 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 => Blanchet => #1 => Champlain Lookout => CP => FP => #32 => P9

With one exception conditions were quite good with a dusting of new snow over recent tracksetting. The tracks were fast, straight, & firm with the new snow giving good grip. The skating track looked to be quite good - even, fast, with good control. On #1 the tracksetting was as good as it could have been given the low snow coverage: the skating track is still showing the shape of the ground underneath; and, there are places in the classic tracks where grass is still showing.. The tracksetting after Blanchet still looked good; however, a reliable source who went to the tower told me that some of the downhills are still nasty and dangerous. At #1 Western (#9) looked to be in great backcountry shape with tracksetting having been performed by legions of “real” skiers. On the ridge there is about 25 cm of snow off-track.

The one exception was #1 between #3 and the lookout. The web-site reports that it was trackset four days ago but that the condition is “unkown”. Here is the report of one who now knows it. It does not look trackset. It is compacted either by snowmobile or skiers or both without any track. It is bumpy and uneven with lots of surprises - it is so bad that at one point someone had taken his skis off and walked a hill. It’s doable but not pleasurable.

Paul and Jo-Ann have made some meaningful comments on the new, unimproved NCC web-site. Daring to join such impressive company I’ll offer my opinions on the site. The “precipitation in the last 24 hours” entry has been removed - this was important information. The tracksetting standards have been removed and the trails are no longer grouped by priority. Since the tracksetting standards were defined relative to priority it is no longer possible to know what level of tracksetting can be expected .
Jan 8 (2012-01-08) by Craig Storey from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Orange
Beautiful day for a ski! Lots of skiers (all smiling) out today. The parkways are firm and the tracks well formed. A bit hard to get an edge some places. Ridge Rd. is a bit narrow and crowned from Gossip corner to Shilly Shally. The climb up Kyber Pass is very narrow and scraped bare so keep your head up while descending or climbing. From there to Burma was nice for classic and skate. Burma was exciting! Coverage was very good, didn't notice any rocks but there's not much snow. I skated, since I was under the impression it hadn't been trackset. In fact there were about 17 sets of tracks available which kept you on your toes on the descents. The final descent was bobsled run, or rather a bobsled run for each or your skis.
Jan 7 (2012-01-07) by Ken Trischuk from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax:
Skied the Pine road today out to the Lac Phillipe campgrounds. Nice skating conditions most of the way on a warm day. I guess we managed to miss most of the freezing rain or precip of any kind. Grooming was fairly recent and in good shape. Classic tracks looked solid but there were quite a few short stretches where leaves and gravel had been pulled up by the groomer. Further evidence that we don't have a lot of snow. Steep descents were predictably washed out and had some icy spots but not so bad you couldn't avoid them by going a little to one side or another.
Jan 6 (2012-01-06) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #22, #34 [8.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Decided to try out some of the backcountry trails near P7. Trail #6 Skyline, only a few rocks poking through but visible at the usual spots, trail #22 and #34 both good, except #34 had a 50 foot section on the pond that was slushy.

Like Jo-Ann mentioned in her report yesterday , I also find the conditions on the website to be somewhat confusing and not accurate. How can 87% of the trails be recommended when all the backcountry trails have the NO INFORMATION icon on them. I am sure the full time patrollers have been on most of these trails why arent they reporting anything?
Jan 6 (2012-01-06) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #26 [18.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Fresh grooming early this morning on the Gatineau parkway had 2-3cm of fluff on top of it. Nice skating but slow, classic tracks were very good. Trail #5 was groomed later and was in great shape and faster. Tracks are down to the crust below so its a bit more abrassive - add an extra layer or two if you start on #5. It was a bit windy on the parkway, so protect your skin and eyes.
Jan 5 (2012-01-05) by Jo-Ann Holden from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #57 [35.7km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: green
A long ski with many stops, many photos, and a lengthy detour to visit the area of old growth forest near Brown’s Lake. It was a great ski, the weather was glorious, scenery was spectacular (sun and snow squalls) and there was fresh powder to ski on. The high rating was because it was fun, not because of any grooming.

I am dismayed by the lack of accuracy on the Gatineau Park ski conditions page. Trail 52 was indicated as “track set” 2 days ago, but it has absolutely NOT been track set in any way at any time. It was evidently compacted before the most recent snowfall - there is quite a difference between track setting and compacting.

Trail 50 was better, track set at some point in the past, and the skate grooming was recent. Trail 51 appeared to have been track set 2 days ago, as claimed.
120105_Trail-52-no-tracks.jpgEnlargeImage
120105_trail-50.jpgEnlargeImage
120105_Trail-51.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 5 (2012-01-05) by Rick Hellard from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Swix purple, Grip Wax:
Skate skied FRESH TRACKS on perfect corduroy all the way to Lac Philippe on this beautiful and sunny day. Conditions were awesome for skate skiing, but the classic tracks were not done. The tracks were obviously there and solid for those that eventually did get to ski in them, but they were not done.

At one point, we caught the snowmobiles with the mats so stopped for a chat at Herridge to give them a bit more space. Never caught them again. so all was good.

These are the days that make skiing so rewarding.
Jan 5 (2012-01-05) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti carrot
A beautiful day today weather-wise - sunny, warmer and a few centimetres of fresh powder on the ground. At 9:30am the classic tracks had not been re-groomed and some snowmobiles had driven down the middle of the parkway leaving some odd looking bumps and ridges. However, the snow is soft so it shouldn’t be a problem. Enjoy!
Jan 5 (2012-01-05) by Ken Trischuk from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (black) [16km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: Blue over carrot
Rare early morning ski for me. Beautiful conditions with a light dusting of snow over solid grooming. Probably not enough snow to warrant fresh grooming but it will get worked in quickly by skiers and the new snow offered little resistance. Parkways were in great shape. Side trails 15 and 7 have been rolled to lay down a base but no track setting as yet. Still not enough snow along these trails in the woods I suspect as every ripple and roll of the underlying ground was still present. Nice enough to ski on with some care but we could still use more snow before these trails come into their own.
Jan 4 (2012-01-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I took the day off, but my friend Rosy wrote these comments about her midday classic ski.

"We skied from P10 to Western Lodge via the Parkways and #1 past Champlain Lookout. Nice grooming. We didn't check out how far the grooming went on #1 though. Only icy bit was the final approach to Western. Light snow coming back. One of us went on the upper end of Western Trail (where it's mostly flattish) and said it was nice enough (not too many rocks)."
Jan 4 (2012-01-04) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30 [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Bravo DEMSIS!!!!! Ridge Road has been Groomed today, very nice from Penguin hill, I skied to Shilly Shally, also Groomed were #30, #31, #4, #14. With a little more snow and one more pass on the trails it should be in tip top shape the next time its groomed.

Many skiers, students enjoying the skiing today, not as cold as yesterday and snowy!!!!!!
Jan 4 (2012-01-04) by Rick Hellard from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: not sure, Grip Wax: Toko polar white
Skied from Gamelin, then 5 and 15. Not groomed, and understandably with the rocks we saw, but pretty good conditions nonetheless. We returned on the parkway to avoid the rocks and the tracks for classic were solid and well done.

Another great day for a ski, though a bit nippy going down Pink Lake.

All else is good.

Rick
Jan 3 (2012-01-03) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: vauhti green, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot covered with vauhti green
Although it was cold, the conditions were great. New grooming and nice hard tracks.
Jan 3 (2012-01-03) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30 [8.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Here is the scoop on P7, although is says on the website not a recommended starting point, I skied up trail #30, then Ridge as far as Shilly Shally, there is little or no classic track, the trail is well compacted, with some debris leaves in certain areas, but quite skiable.

The only problem spot the Penguin hill is somewhat icy in the centre, but still manageable. I would rate the conditions on Ridge between fair and good and fast.

I do find the new system of reporting the trail conditions on the website, a little confusing as they have a section for classic and one for skating plus the backcountry trails. I preferred the old system of last year.
Jan 3 (2012-01-03) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vaughti green fluor
It was a very cold morning, with an intense windchill (minus 30 according to Environment Canada, if you can believe it). However with face covering, warm mitts and boot covers, and extra layers, the cold was not a problem providing we kept moving. Rather than trying to ski far in this cold, we focused on drills not too far from our cars.

The park ski conditions page indicates that only the classic tracks were done this morning, however both classic and skate were in top shape. We skied only between P8 and P9 but I expect the rest of the parkway network was groomed similarly. There is no lack of snow on the parkways, and it is good to see it being maintained as the smaller, rockier trails await more snow.

Photos will be posted at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Jan 2 (2012-01-02) by Rick Hellard from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1B, #24 [5.4km], Glide Wax: Swix purple, Grip Wax:
Skied from P9 up Fortune to Ridge up Khyber Pass to 1, 24, 1B and back down the parkway to P9.

Parkways were awesome fun, Ridge was run over and thin in spots with a few rocks popping up, but generally good if you paid attention. 1 to 24 was excellent, 24 not groomed and soft, but still fun. 1 back to 1B was excellent, 1B was not groomed with a number of rocks just below the surface ready to pounce, parkway back home was really fast and hard packed.

All in all, a beautiful day for a ski and it showed me why they have not groomed some of the trails--still have rocks much too close to the surface to risk the machines.
Jan 2 (2012-01-02) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
Skied out of P19 today going along trail 50 to the end of the lake and out 55 to Taylor lake. Light layer of fresh snow over the tracks which had turned a little crusty and lumpy after yesterdays rain and warm weather. For the most part it was very nice skiing with an occasional tap as the ski pole hit the asphalt beneath. A little offputting to find the walkers and snowshoers using the skating lane to walk (presumably) into the huts. Not usually one to complain but it was frustrating as there was a perfectly good snowshoe/walkers track just a few feet off to the side of the ski tracks... but I guess you can't walk 4 abreast and chat over there. I tried skiing in the snowshoers lane since it wasn't being used but it was a little narrow. Ah well, so it goes. The chewed up track kept me on my toes.

Skied up trail 54 to Lusk lake as well. No track setting as yet as there is very little snow but the daily skidoo runs to check on the cabin have made a pretty good (albiet thin)skating lane - but no classic tracks to be seen. At the area where the trail washed out last summer they have built a small bypass trail which is pretty rough (owing mainly to the lack of snow) but servicable to get around the rocky churned up creekbed. Lots of big signs and haybales to warn (especially those coming down the hill) of the detour. The big groomers will likely turn around here (if we ever get enough snow for them) Beyond this point, I suppose, will be a skidoo laid classic track only. Since there wasn't any grooming as yet - other than the smooth(ish) skidoo tracks - it was a very nice skate up to Lusk lake.
Jan 2 (2012-01-02) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: vaughti orange
I almost went snow shoeing instead of skiing because I kept receiving emails from friends reporting terrible grooming or a lack of classic tracks. This photo was sent to me by a friend who found "the grooming very poor as only P8 to P9 was done in the last 24 hours and all the other parkways were left with huge ledges and narrow skate ski areas. I skied P 5 today and there was a ridge 3 feet wide with grooming marks - dangerous and useless skiing space".

I skied at 3:00, just from P9 to P8, and by then the Doldrums had been groomed and well skied-in by an astounding number of skiers - I've never seen such crowds!! Considering this wear and tear on the trails, I hope Demsis will give the trails the consistent attention they require.
ridge-on-parkway.jpgEnlargeImage
Jan 2 (2012-01-02) by Eric Rouleau from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Gatineau Pkwy, #27 [18.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
La neige commence à durcir. Demsis a rénové le centre des promenades seulement. Bravo pour avoir sortie la machinerie étant donné le peu de neige. Les traces de classique sont fermes avec un peu de poudreuse dans le fond. Les conditions en patin sont bonnes mais faîtes attention car l'asphalte n'est vraiment pas loin.
Jan 2 (2012-01-02) by Karl Saidla from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet., Grip Wax: Vauhti K15 (Violet(, Vauhti Fluor Silver
We had a little extra time so we went to P16 and skied on the 50 out to Lac Philippe. For the most part, conditions were fair, with only the odd rock and usually quite visible.

The snow conditions got a little crusty overnight, and then some light snow has fallen on top, and so far it has not been groomed. The classic tracks looked to be generally in good shape and have been skied in a bit. The skating was a bit tricky in some places as a snowmobile had driven down the middle, and left some ruts that made it awkward here and there. All told though, we had a very enjoyable day.
Jan 1 (2012-01-01) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Swix CH7, Grip Wax:
Happy New Year. The parkway was groomed down to P3 (Gamelin). Trail 5 is in good shape for both classic and skating. The middle of the trail 5 on the "Gat-zilla" hill (final hill climb of Gat Loppet a few times), is getting scraped away with people going downhill. Other than that, solid coverage. There appears to be no grooming on trails 26 and 29 although both are very skiable.
Jan 1 (2012-01-01) by Eric Rouleau from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27 [5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
DEMSIS! DEMSIS! DEMSIS! Ben oui, ils ont commencés la saison en lion en traçant avec à peine 5 cm au sol et bang aujourd'hui dans le secteur d'asticou, Relais plein air aucune nouvelle trace d'eux. Température idéal pour skier en famille dans un secteur plât et relaxe mais dans des conditions difficles pour des enfants de 6 ans avec des oistes tout crochent!!!! Devinez, si j'ai payé pour pour l'accès aux pistes aujourd'hui pour ma famille. Bref, bon ski pour tous et en espérant que nos traceurs professionnels se pointent le nez après la neige de cette nuit!!!
Dec 31 (2011-12-31) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Here is the photo from today - it didn't work the first time!
Fortune-Parkway-Grooming.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 31 (2011-12-31) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: vaughti orange
Parking lots were buzzing even at 3:00 on this New Year's weekend. Since the last grooming a few days ago, we have had at least 8 cm of snow. However there was no grooming of either the parkways or trails. The skating seemed fairly fast although the snow was quite soft, bumpy and churned. The classic tracks were inexcusable. All in all the parkways and Ridge Road looked pretty much as they would look if they had been skied in by a great number of skiers (which they had been). The skiing was fun, there was terrific snow coverage and the scenery was just spectacular, with the whitest trees I can recall ever seeing.
At 4:00 a groomer came by, and did a beautiful job on the Fortune Parkway, the short 2.5 k stretch to the Lookout, and presumably the Doldrums. (No work was done on the rest of the parkway network or on Ridge.)

(More photos at www.musicianonskis.ca/blog)

Happy New Year to everyone!
Fortune-Parkway-Grooming.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 31 (2011-12-31) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40 [9.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Ou est DEMSIS??? paying $140, I dont expect the machinery to stay in the garage!!!! Can someone tell me is it a lack of snow? since yesterday a couple of inches of new snow has fallen, like the others mentioned before conditions are soft, but the scenery is awesome.

P12 parking is still a quiet area, trails #40, #2, #33, #24, #1 are almost like mid winter conditions, even saw some track on trail #21 and #38. Didnt have to worry about the cold today, with the snow on the trees makes for nice pictures.
Dec 31 (2011-12-31) by Ken Trischuk from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #6, #4, #14, #19, #34 [16km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vauthi carrot
Skied from P5 up Penguin and then looped around some of the smaller trails checking out the conditions. Beautiful powder day although the base is still a little thin and a few roots and rocks lie in wait for the unwary. Bigger hazard is perhaps the overhanging branches still laden with last weeks freezing rain. Requires a little ducking and dodging here and there but for the most part still manageable. Skied across one pond that had a little slushy layer but was otherwise fine to cross. One big downed tree on trail 19 that needs a trailcrews saw or a foot more snow. All in all the backcountry trails are skiable with some care... but a little more snow wouldn't hurt.
Dec 31 (2011-12-31) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar 0 to -2, covered with K15 (Violet)
As you might expect, conditions were very soft and no grooming had taken place when we skied from P5 this morning. The tracks are fairly well skied in and skating is certainly manageable as well. Good practice for staying light on your feet.
Dec 30 (2011-12-30) by Jo-Ann Holden from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: Vaughti green fluor
Another beautiful ski. Great coverage, beautiful packed powder, and we used our good skis without problems. It's surprising to have these graceful trails groomed early in the grooming season. The classic tracks were admittedly variable, ranging from shallow machine-tracked to skier-created to none at all, but despite this the entire outing felt like a high season ski. Oddly, we met few skiers but several hikers and snow shoers
111230_Hikers.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 30 (2011-12-30) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #24, #5 (green), #15 (blue), #15 (black), #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [29.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Tar -1..-6 + Vauhti Orange
Great afternoon for my first ski of the year. Temperature was -9C, light snow turning to ice crystals at the end. Tar+carrot combo worked perfectly in the loose tracks. Trails were generally pretty firm with a bit of new powder on top. Parkways were wide, level and well trackset but a bit slower than the trails. Trail #5 was good for classic but too narrow for skating (for me) and only a track on one side. Trail #15 was surprisingly good. Bumpy, but only a few easily avoidable rocks showing on the two steeped uphills, heading towards Pink from the power line. Trail #29, star of the Gloppet was rough but you can get to Relais Pleine Aire easily by going on Trail #26. The 5cm of snow and ice pellets forecast for tonight will greatly help, since that should be enough for the groomers to get the big machines on the trails to widen and flatten everything. Should be a great weekend for skiing!
Dec 30 (2011-12-30) by Sheila Kealey from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Another great day for a ski. Started lower down in the Park (Gamelin), and stuck mostly to trail 5 (for warmth and finally getting off the parkway!). No new grooming, but good coverage.
Dec 29 (2011-12-29) by Devashish Paul from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [16km], Glide Wax: Swix CH4, Grip Wax:
I skied from the Gamelin Gate (P3) on Dec 29th mid afternoon. The grooming has been down down the to gate. The parkway is solid hard packed. Great if you are a strong skier, but a bit hard for novices doing skating. The track was in great shape for classic skiing. The Parkway going up Pinks Lake was also in good shape The Trail 5 was groomed from Asticou to where it joins up with the Gatineau Parkway at the base of Pinks Lake. Conditions were hard packed in the middle, but a bit loose on the left side fo the trail (if heading away from Asticou towards Pinks Lake). Overall, good job. Trail 29 and 26 that you can use to connect Trail 5 to the parkway and whose underlying surface is dirt (vs Trail 5 and Parkway which are ashphalt) were not groomed. All in all, plenty of good skiing given the limited snow we have to date. One can use their good skis (not rock skis) on the parkways or trail 5. Solid coverage all around.
Dec 29 (2011-12-29) by Jo-Ann Holden from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: VR 30
Trail 50 from P16 until around the intersection to trail 52. Conditions were superb, especially for classic skiing. With the cold temperatures (minus 16 at solar noon) the snow was slow, and the skate skiers in particular seemed to be getting a thorough workout! It was a joy to be out and to enjoy the fine classic grooming. Blue sky and the firs were laden with snow today, so it was a feast for the eyes from start to finish.
111229_Pine-Road.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 29 (2011-12-29) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Went classic from P10 to Etienne Brule - great conditions & spectacular scenery

The real news however is that P10 just got a lot smaller. In response to the recent accident there NCC Conservation has declared that parking at P10 will only be allowed at the sides - the mid-lot parade will no longer be allowed. This means that for anything more than very low-traffic days P10 will no longer be a viable starting point
Dec 29 (2011-12-29) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Decided to venture out around Western chalet, started from P12=> #40=.#2=>#1=>#24=>#40=P12. All the trail in that area have been compacted even trail #33, all in good shape but narrower then usual, but no Classic tracks yet, I guess they are waiting for more snow.
You get a good idea by looking at the first pic from Ridge road out past Western, to see how narrow it is. I noticed the new website of cross country conditions its either recommended or not recommended or no information there is nothing in between?. At least last year we had another option of Fair conditions.
The scenery with the snow on the trees is just spectacular on a nice cold sunny day!!!!
Ridge_road.jpgEnlargeImage
Trail_40.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 29 (2011-12-29) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [21km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange covered with Vauhti Fluor Green
A cold and spectacular day. I only skied on the parkways around the P5-Mica area. Things have firmed up considerably since yesterday and are also faster. Both the tracks and skate lanes varied from location to location and from once side to the other in terms of grooming and firmness, but it was all reasonably nice.
Dec 28 (2011-12-28) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [20.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Orange, covered with Vauhti Fluor Green
If you like it blustery, today is your day. Parkways were groomed overnight for both classic and skate. In some places, like near P5, conditions are surprisingly firm. Near Fortune/Champlain, it is more soft. Certainly windblown in places as well. Don't expect it to be fast, but it is pretty. Ridge Road was in the process of being rolled while I was returning. If like the small trails, several of them have been skied once or twice...plan on hitting the odd rock though...
Dec 27 (2011-12-27) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: vauhti purple, Grip Wax:
After couple of days skiing in the southern end of the park I decided to venture north to the lac Phillipe gate to see how things were up there. Snow conditions were much the same as elsewhere and obviously will be very different tomorrow morning... but I did want to report on trail 50. It had been planned to detour trail 50 around the construction work at the washed out culvert so I was curious to see how things were progressing. When I got there I was pleased to see crews had gotten good advantage of the warm fall we had. Heavy machinery was all gone and in its place construction fencing has gone up around the edges. Its clear there is more work to be done in the spring but for now a 20ft lane has been left (with a slight swale) to permit the ski lane to pass as before. All the "trail 50 detour" signs which I saw earlier in the fall have been removed so it looks like it will be business as usual for those skiing the length of Pine road this year.

Heavy snow started to fall as I drove away so looks like a good powder day tomorrow!
Dec 27 (2011-12-27) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 [7.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Out for an early ski before the storm, decided on Rock skies today from P7. Relatively good coverage all the way on Ridge from Wattsford lookout to Shilly Shally, although rock skies are recommended, only the odd rock showing here and there, just have to be cautious on the downhills.
Even the hill at Wattsford lookout had decent coverage, the trail has seen a few skiers from yesterday and some hikers too .After tonight\"s snowfall, Ridge should be groomed soon. It took a long time for the snow to get here, but its looking good for this week enjoy!!!
1.jpgEnlargeImage
2.jpgEnlargeImage
3.jpgEnlargeImage
4.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 27 (2011-12-27) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Purple, Grip Wax: Vauhti K-Line Silver
We didn't go very far, but conditions on the parkway were quite good, having firmed up significantly since yesterday. While there was no fresh grooming, either classic or skate worked fairly well. Poles are still going through to the pavement, but skis are now safely on top. Looks like more snow on the way....
Dec 26 (2011-12-26) by Devashish Paul from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix CH7, Grip Wax:
We skied a few loops on Boxing Day afternoon between P8 and P9. Coverage is OK, but you can go down to pavement if not attentive. I would recommed rock skis. We also made an aborted attempt to ski from P3, but it was really easy to go down to pavement. Parkways were groomed. After the Tuesday/Wednesday snowfall that is coming, the conditions on the parkways will be perfect. Go and enjoy!
Dec 26 (2011-12-26) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti violet, Grip Wax: Used waxless, probably Vauhti silver would work too.
We took out our rock skis and left the parkways for the first time this season. Rock skis were a must, but it did work out and was lots of fun. We did check out the grooming near P5 and it was rolled for skate and had two classic tracks on each side.
P1020363.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020366.JPGEnlargeImage
P1020367.JPGEnlargeImage
Dec 26 (2011-12-26) by Garry Tarr from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [15.4km], Glide Wax: storage wax!, Grip Wax:
Skated from P6 to the Champlain Lookout, with a short diversion down the FP to the intersection with Ridge Road. The best skating was on the FP and CP between the T and lookout. Conditions there were excellent, since heavy skier traffic had flattened the snow surface and bonded the snow to the icy base. Conditions were fairly good below the T, but the snow was more loose and occasionally tended to slide out from under the ski due to the ice beneath. I used rock skis but good skis could have been used on any part of the trip. For those heading out later today or tomorrow morning my guess is the best skating will be from P10 to the Lookout.
Dec 26 (2011-12-26) by Craig Storey from P1 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #24, #27, #26 [5.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Arno Turk passed along the photos below. No grooming, but good coverage everywhere this morning. Tell us about your ski today!

SNOW = BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!
arno1.jpgEnlargeImage
arno2.jpgEnlargeImage
arno3.jpgEnlargeImage
arno4.jpgEnlargeImage
Dec 25 (2011-12-25) by Andre Marchand from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: na
We finally have real snow! No grooming yet, but enough snow to skate ski without scraping through to the pavement. Merry Christmas :)
Dec 25 (2011-12-25) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange,
I think we are finally there....some great soft snow skiing today from P10. Poles were still hitting the pavement this morning, but otherwise very nice. Don't have to think about hitting the pavement of the grass with your skis anymore. Of course, Merry Christmas!
Dec 24 (2011-12-24) by Sheila Kealey from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Surprisingly good skate skiing this morning. The cover is thin, but the ice over the pavement is a decent base. Should be great tomorrow with the new snow on Christmas!
Dec 23 (2011-12-23) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy [12.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhit Carrot
Your Christmas Present....Rock skiing has returned!!

Karl and I skied classic from P5 this morning and it is actually pretty good given the small amount of snow. An icy layer underneath the snow makes it pretty fast.
Dec 21 (2011-12-21) by Megan McTavish from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
The webcam should be back up and running now. In case you are wondering, it didn't snow in Chelsea either. Hopefully it changes overnight and we get a little something out of this.
Dec 21 (2011-12-21) by Megan McTavish from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [2.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Sorry about the webcam! Unfortunately we can't reboot it until we get home from work. Do your snow dance today and hopefully Chelsea will get more snow than freezing rain. We will get the webcam up and running tonight and also update you on the snow or lack thereof.
Dec 19 (2011-12-19) by Megan McTavish from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
We were out of town racing during the melt down. The newly refreshed whiteness of the webcam picture and the forecast for hopefully more snow this week is promising. We will be taking a rest today, and will start searching for snow again tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Dec 13 (2011-12-13) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: waxless skis
Karl and I skied from P5 early this morning and it worked out better than we expected. The coverage on the grass is still good on the North facing hills, pretty sparse on the South ones, but all in all it was quite skiable. Who knows what it will be like after the rain/snow/hail/freezing rain coming out of the sky today (it was definitely rain-like as we were finishing). Keep your fingers crossed, and we will try to keep you posted.
Dec 12 (2011-12-12) by Ingrid Hagberg from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
Skiing is still good along Champlain, but there are some large bare spots forming along the pavement on the climb up. Rock skis strongly recommended.
Dec 11 (2011-12-11) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: storage!, Grip Wax: Swix minus 1 to minus 7
I don't have the reflexes, balance, flexibility or desire to descend a hill on a narrow strip of barely covered grass with a large group of talented skiers who can leap over objects and do 360's at will. So yesterday morning, after checking out things at P10 we headed to the Doldrums, expecting to run instead of ski. Surprise - the snow was (relatively) fine for classic skiing, and it was possible to ski almost right from the car. It was good enough that I went back for seconds today. On a side note, the parkway itself had very good traction for running, and there were quite a few runners and dog walkers both today and yesterday.
111211_Doldrums_Saturday.jpgEnlargeImage
111211_Doldrums_Sunday.jpgEnlargeImage