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Apr 19 (2014-04-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Here are the pictures!!!!!!!!!
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Apr 19 (2014-04-19) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skied out of P12 up to the Wolf bench and back. Met about 12 skiers and a few hikers. Like Ron said still skiable but going fast. On trail #40, only 2 areas of short walking, or if you have rock skis you can keep them on. Its the usual spots one on the bank facing south, other near the bench.

Trail #24 going right is still covered. Trail #1, only bare spot is at Wolf bench hill. Towards McKinstry heard its still covered. There are a few spots where its down to a narrow strip to ski on.

Probably a couple more days left, unless you are prepared to walk more with each passing day.
Apr 19 (2014-04-19) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10 with rilling, Grip Wax: n/a
It keeps on going but conditions are getting thin and inconsistent but, nevertheless, skiable. Just being out there is the best part. My route was:
P10 > FP > CP > #1 > #2 bench at #2 > #1 > Huron > CP > FP > P10.
The Fortune Pkwy can be skied without taking the skis off but there are narrow detours around the bare spots. The Champlain Pkwy is the same as far as Huron - after that it's completely bare. #1 is fairly good from the lookout. A friend went as far as the Wolf ridge and said it was good - he also said there tracks going farther toward McKinstry. Ridge has complete coverage with a number of narrow detours around bare spots. The sun is enlarging the bare spots considerably.

When I went up in the AM I was fighting grey ice and frozen granular; on the way back(around 1:30 PM) it was soft, fast, manageable corn snow. Towards the end of the day there will probably be running water. There will probably be skiable conditions tomorrow but until things warm up conditions will probably be difficult - particularly on the Fortune hill.

March 16 I posted a report in which I cautioned that there was probably only 6 - 7 weeks of skiing left. Substantiating reasons could be:

there's this old guy who when he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of skiing

there's this old guy who counts the number of snow fleas in a square-meter sample area and applies that number to a logarithmic graph to get an astoundingly accurate estimate of the end of skiing.

The real reason was that I had skied February conditions that day and, in spite of the date, in my mind I was still back in February and added 6-7 weeks to the end of February. However, tomorrow will be five weeks after the 16 March !
Apr 18 (2014-04-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #4, #14 [10.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: klister
Forgot to mention that there are a few more photos at musicianonskis.ca/blog
Apr 18 (2014-04-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #4, #14 [12.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Universal Klister
I had mentally "packed it in" for the season until I read Karl's report this morning. Thanks, Karl! I'm so glad I skied today.
P10 was surprisingly full at 9:30, with 2/3 of the parking spots filled (no center row though). Numerous small groups of male skiers were blasting their way down the parkway, perhaps the last unofficial competition of the season? It was a bit icy ascending the parkway, and I considered going back home for my skate skis but plugged away with the klister-skis.
I decided to check out Ridge Road and headed toward Penguin. The first bit was icy, bumpy and rather unpleasant, but it improved after Keogan. A pileated woodpecker, chipmunks, squirrels and 3 unidentified woodpeckers with black heads kept me company, and the klister started to work like a charm in the softer snow. Now for the best surprise of the day! Trail 14 was fabulous! I intended to turn back at the first bare patch, but there were none. It was deep, firm snow, no debris, no bare spots, no ice. I returned to Ridge via #4 and continued as far as the open swamp, at which point a portage would have been necessary.
Heading back, the big hill before trail 14 was getting pretty bare, but going up it wasn't a problem (going down would have been!). Fortune was granular by 11:30 and the bare patches were growing. However I was able to keep my skis on for the entire outing. Now it looks like one more ski day is in order....
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Apr 17 (2014-04-17) 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:
This could be my last report maybe not!! Skied out from P12 today, up #2, then right on #1 past lookout bench to right on #24, then #40 to P12.

Thanks Karl for your report out of P10, probably the only other option left in the park besides P12. Overall for april 17 I have skied on much less snow before.

Trail #2 , had the one bare spot going up the first hill, after that it was good until you reach the top near the bench at the intersection with #21, where after that there are several open areas.

Trail #1, was good although many icy areas, and as usual the area near the outlook bench, there a bit of walking was involved.

Trail #24 full covered except the hill at the water tank and the intersection with #40. Trail #40 was probably the best , the hill going up from parking lot still skiable, just 2 problem areas one not far from the bench, and the other near trail #38 requires a small detour. The exposed sunny banks on #40 are starting to go fast though.

It is probably still skiable out towards Mckinstry except for the Wolf bench hill. There might be a few more ski days before too much walking is required.
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Apr 17 (2014-04-17) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Not required!, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister
Megan and I went out for an early evening ski from P10. We encountered quite a few people with big smiles on their faces. And why not? The snow is granular, sugary, and fast. We skied from P10 to the Fortune junction without having to take our skis off (there was one very thin spot near Fortune Lake) and then to Huron, where the snow ran out. We also went the other way about as far as the top of Black Lake, where it is also thin. Most of the parkways in the area were still completely covered. If you want the title of last person to post a trail report, it is there for the taking, and actually, quite worth the trip up to the park.
Apr 16 (2014-04-16) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder, covered with Vauhti K18 or K15
The conditions are "surprisingly good" out there. The translation for that being, it wouldn't be considered good if it was January, February or March, but given that it is April 16th and there is no snow in the city, it is good. The snow yesterday made it skiable. Under the snow it is very icy, but we got just enough to fix that problem for now. It is also very pretty out there with the sparkly tree branches and the beautiful sunshine. Skating is probably best right now. Enjoy the last few days!
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Apr 15 (2014-04-15) by Mark Rajack from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Purple, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
The fresh snow provided a very enjoyable ski this evening. Underneath the snow is very icy and quite bumpy in certain places; the road remains exposed in what I assume are the usual spots as well.
We would suggest turning left at the top of the T with Champlain as the conditions are still better on that side.
Also, avoid the frazil ice that is barely covering the roadway in places, while it does provide good stability and glide, you will hit the road with your edges as you kick off it. Rock skis still need their edges :o)
Apr 15 (2014-04-15) by Mark Rajack from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Purple, Grip Wax: Carrot !
The fresh snow provided a very enjoyable ski this evening. Underneath the snow is very icy and quite bumpy in certain places; the road remains exposed in what I assume are the usual spots as well.
We would suggest turning left at the top of the T with Champlain as the conditions are still better on that side.
Also, avoid the frazil ice that is covering the exposed roadway in places, while it does provide good stability, you will hit the road with your edges as you kick off it. Rock skis still need their edges :o)
Apr 14 (2014-04-14) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: universal klister
I couldn't resist the 20 degree temperature, but decided to stay relatively close to the car and keep a good eye on the sky, as heavy rain was forecast. Interestingly, there didn't seem to be many other skiers out, could it be because of the dismal ski conditions, possibly? I went up to Penguin, turned back when the sky turned a vicious black, but then ended up checking out the north loop as the rain seemed to be only teasing. Everywhere, the snow was either thin, crusty, icy, soft, granular or missing. Despite this, it was a wonderful ski. There was enough coverage to keep the skis on and Klister seems to be able to deal with anything (thank you Suhong for the push), and it was inspiring to feel the seasons changing around me and under my feet! The rain began just 1 minute after I reached home - whew!
Apr 13 (2014-04-13) by Ingrid Hagberg from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #8, #31 [19.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Some decent spring skiing out there. The pavement is starting to show through in a few spots, but everything is mostly snow-covered. The snow is starting to get quite dirty off the parkways, so it can be slow going. No new grooming and the classic tracks are essentially gone on most of the trails. There's still some lovely skiing out there, but be warned that you will probably have to hop over numerous streams if you take some of the back country trails!
Apr 13 (2014-04-13) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Late report from Saturday afternoon. Skied out of P19 up to Lusk cabin. Apart from the first 100m of asphalt, we managed to get out and back with skis on but there were spots starting to open up that we had to sneak around.

Conditions were slushy in spots as was expected but still had some glide until we started up 54. In the woods it was quite dirty with limited glide. Near the top, in more open hardwoods, the snow was cleaner but very soft. Still, it was worth the effort to enjoy the sunshine on the deck at the cabin - something we may not see for a couple of days. Most people heading in to the huts for the night were on foot but hard to argue based on the conditions.
Apr 12 (2014-04-12) by Karl Saidla from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Champlain Pkwy [22.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow., Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister, with a little bit of Vauhti Red Klister, and a little bit of Vauhti Silver Plus Klister
This morning we skied a loop from P6 to Fortune Parkway, then Ridge Road down Penguin, and then back to P6 via Gatineau and Champlain Parkways. For skating, conditions were surprisingly good and reasonably fast most of the way. Some sections were better than others, but we didn't encounter any major bare spots anywhere. The weather made it all feel like a summer sport today, which is always fun. No grooming appeared to have taken place today, so the classic tracks are very old at this point, but many people were clearly getting by regardless.
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Apr 12 (2014-04-12) by Garry Tarr from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [13.1km], Glide Wax: Yellow and rill lots, Grip Wax:
I had to start at P9 because there were no parking spots left in P10 at 9AM! Clearly there is some serious end-of-season denial in this town. I skated up the Connector, then the FP, and Ridge to the valley lookout bench, then returned via the same route with a detour out to the GP at Huron. There is still lots of snow in most places, but it is being seriously undermined and eroded by flowing water, leaving deep fissures. For example in several places streams have cut across the Connector. I could see no evidence of fresh grooming, but the snow was soft enough by 9AM for quite good skiing. In a few places on the FP it was rutted and bumpy enough to be irritating. Under pine trees the snow is so dirty there is effectively no glide (darn squirrels!). West of Huron there had been much less traffic and conditions were more enjoyable. There are a few bare patches showing on Ridge Road, one at the base of the Khyber Pass and another near the valley lookout. Overall it is worth the drive up from Ottawa but be prepared for very wet, slow snow this afternoon.
Apr 11 (2014-04-11) by David Brownrigg from P6 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: swix universal
As has been reported there's still lots of snow but if you're a classic skier like me things aren't that great without fresh grooming. I started out from P6 hoping to do #7 but should've known that was a bad idea especially after . last night's heavy rains and wind... so decided to follow the CP towards FP. Tracks were almost faded to nothing for most of the trip. Grip was good for the climbs (universal klister) but the return trip around 11:30 was slow with the soft wet snow starting to sink a bit on the downhill runs.
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Apr 11 (2014-04-11) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [14.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF10 with rilling, Grip Wax: Fish scales with Swix universal lquid glide wax
I agree with Karl - skiing is definitely worth it. The question is what kind of skiing do you want do - whatever your choice there's certainly enough snow to accommodate you. My choice today was a leisurely, wayward plod on my waxless Fischer Crowns with the objective of finding a warm sitting rock beside the fen between #24 and #1 just before Blanchet. My route was:
P12 > #40 > #24 > #1 blue > warm rock beside fen > #1 > water tank
> #24 > #40 > P12

I didn't find any bare spots or washouts - there was a good solid base everywhere. Even by the bench on #1 there is coverage; although, it's getting grey in places. I've attached photos of the two snow gauges on #40 - the bench and the bridge - and a shot of #33. The base on the trails in about 25 cm.

The thaw has had an interesting effect on #40: it's transformed from a great classic trail to a reasonable skating trail. The classic tracks have almost melted into non-existence; but, there is a firm and flat base that at the right time of day would be good for skating without any risk of cutting tracks.

Starting off, the snow was icy enough that the fish-scales would not grab giving me trouble on the climbs. Mid trip I had good grip and glide. My return, around noon, was slow with the soft snow grabbing the skis occasionally on the downhills.

In summary: skating or serious classic would be good early in the AM ; plodding would be varied but good enough throughout the day.

Skating is probably not the most important aspect. The park is coming alive with the birds returning and the waterfalls opening up and whatever your predilection regards skiing it's awfully nice to be out. However some care should be exercise wrt to unfortunate accidents - the vultures have returned.
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Apr 11 (2014-04-11) by Ron Lorenson from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just passing on the following grooming report from the NCC:

It’s warming up! In the last few days, the sun, wind and warm temperatures have slowly transformed the skiable surface. The result, transformed snow mixed with large ice sheets. At higher altitude, the snow is still looking pretty good, but the problem we have is getting to it with the groomers! The machines are based near P8, they need to use the North loop to reach the best snow. At the moment, the groomers are equipped, just like in the fall, with rubber tracks. Without these, the groomers could be damaged while going over the type of surface they encounter this time of year (really hard ice, rocks, pavement…). The problem is that these tracks don’t offer the same amount of traction as the regular ones. This is why, at the moment, with the ice that is found on the North loop, the stretch of Gatineau Parkway between P8 and P5 and the lower part of the Fortune parkway, the groomers cannot climb the hills. This morning we tried going up towards P10 and we weren’t successful. We will continue to closely monitor the weather and if we can groom, we will, but at the moment, things don’t look like they are going to change.



No matter if the trails are groomed or not, conditions should be excellent tomorrow. Spring skiing at its best! This time of the year, it is important to look at the weather forecast and time your outings with the softening of the snow.



Enjoy the spring skiing!
Apr 11 (2014-04-11) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [14.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister with a touch of Vauhti Red Klister and a touch of Vauhti Silver Plus Klister
There is certainly no shortage of snow in the Fortune/Champlain area. No grooming has taken place over the last several days however, so conditions are deteriorating to a certain extent. In some places this morning in was quite icy, while in others soft and wet. The classic, tracks, while still visible in most places, are certainly getting worse for wear. All this being said, I would still recommend skiing today, and I think the weekend should be good.
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Apr 10 (2014-04-10) by Megan McTavish from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, #14 [9.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Univeral Klister, with Vauhti Red Klister
No grooming today (or for a few days on the smaller trails), but with the warm temperatures that didn't cause a problem. The snow was really slow though, so don't expect free glide! Nice to get out before the forecasted rain though. The snow depth is still really good, and I was still using good skis.
Apr 10 (2014-04-10) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #26 [6.3km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: swix universal klister
My route from P1 this morning was GP to #26 to #5 to Mine road and a short jaunt on the 25 and back on #5. Snow was wet granular and universal klister worked great even though it was 4 days old and very dirty. Still lots of snow but its getting dirty and grey/icey looking especially in the Asticou area. Tracks are still in fair condition. The only area with bikepath pavement showing through was the junction of # 27 and #5.
Apr 10 (2014-04-10) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti yellow, Grip Wax:
Quick morning ski to the lookouts. Groomer was out on the parkway renovating the skating lane. The classic tracks still looked good albeit at that hour they were icy. They'll likely soften a little later in the morning... and then a lot by the afternoon.

The skating lane was granular corn snow. Unfortunately I caught and passed the groomer just before Ridge. Things were a little choppy in front of the groomer but not too much so that it was unmanageable. Skiied up Ridge to the lookouts and then back down the parkway. The groomer had gone left towards Black lake at the T but they may have come back to groom up to the lookouts later in the morning - and maybe Ridge road?

Depth of snow is good as can be seen in the photo. The "Gossip junction" bridge wall is still totally buried. The snow is getting a little dirty and there were a few small spots - in the exposed areas - where the snow pack was taking on the grey "iceberg" look but it was still skiable. With the current forecast for rain starting Sunday and possibly running through the 15th, there could only be a couple more mornings to ski on fresh groomed trails... but the snow pack should last well beyond the end of the official grooming.
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Apr 9 (2014-04-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P2 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (shared) [19.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Here is a summary of trail conditions in the southern part of the park. The Gatineau parkway ,trails #5,#26,#15 still good snow coverage. Trail #29 not so good a lot of streams are opening up, see first picture.

I think they have given up on this area of the park as far as grooming goes. There are many boot marks on most trails. But its April 9 and we are still skiing cant complain. Its probably a better option to ski out of P1 Asticou in this area, and just avoid using #29.
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Apr 9 (2014-04-09) by Karl Saidla from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [20km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister, with a little bit of Vauhti Silver Plus Klister
Where it's been groomed (the parkways) conditions are quite good for either skate or classic. The snow is certainly old and granular. Earlier this morning, in some parts it was a bit icy, but in most places it was breaking up but staying fast. Ridge Road hasn't been groomed in several days, and was very icy an rutted in spots this morning. As things soften up during the day it should make for reasonable skiing. Overall, there is still LOTS of snow. The age-old measure of snow depth (the top of the bridge at gossip corner), is still buried in snow.
Apr 7 (2014-04-07) by David Brownrigg from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: swix universal
Did 2 passes of the doldrums and conditions were good. Univeral klister was a bit too sticky in the frozen tracks starting out at around 10:30 but improved as the snow got wetter towards noon. And after that things slowed a bit which is normal of course for wet snow.
Apr 7 (2014-04-07) by Andy Jonyas from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Figured it could be my last run from P3. Crushed ice until after the bridge. The rest, up to the CP was lumpy but relatively fast. The melt is on. Worth the trip before the rain starts.
Apr 6 (2014-04-06) by Andy Jonyas from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [11.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
As everyone said, the conditions were excellent today. In 20 years of skiing I have never seen 100% of the trails open in April, with no melting in the woods. And now for something completely different: The warm weather on a clear and not -20 day got us to pull out a camera with a 20x zoom. This shot was taken from the Huron lookout, and only on clear days can you see this, about 18km away, the Kanata business park near March road with the Canadian Tire centre in the background.
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Apr 6 (2014-04-06) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [11.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
(P6 to the bench out near trail 24.) As Karl and Ken have already reported, this was one the best days! I think the skate skiing, for me, was one of the best in several years. Only at the end of the ski did the snow become discouragingly soft ( if I hadn't stopped to talk to all the "usual suspects" as Ken put it, I could have avoided this). It was great to check out all the sunny benches and to see everyone enjoying the fabulous conditions.
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Apr 6 (2014-04-06) by Karl Saidla from P9 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1B, #3 [20.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Univeral Klister, witha few drops of Vauhti Silver Plus.
Well...spring skiing was about as good as it gets today. The snow is old enough now that even as it get warm it stays fairly fast for some time. Conditions are soft granular for the most part, but the tracks are holding up well and most of the skating was firm and fast enough to be really fun. If you get up early you can certainly find some good crust skiing here and there as well.
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Apr 6 (2014-04-06) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, #3, #9, #24, #20 [27.8km], Glide Wax: some, Grip Wax: none
Excellent morning of spring skiing. Still lots of snow and it was washed clean by yesterday's rain. Parkway and Ridge groomed up nicely. Grooming stopped at the far end of 24 but the snow had warmed up enough that I skied up to the wolf bench with no problems.

Upon return I jumped off onto the bogs for some great crust cruising. Linked through the woods and ponds to get over to 20 and 9. Skated these bc trails but the crust held firm so I did no damage to the "classic only" trails. Crust started to fade by 1030 so it was back to the groomers.

Saw most of the usual suspects out skiing so they know it was a great day already... but get out there if you can!
Apr 5 (2014-04-05) by Katie McMahon from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, #30 [18.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti LF violet, Grip Wax:
I can't get over how awesome the ski conditions are!!! After the rain we got last night, the snow this morning was slushy, but a very fast slush. It was also extremely clean snow for spring skiing, again making it quite fast out there. I would still recommend using your good skis everywhere. Both parkways and ridge road were in excellent condition. Even went full speed down penguin hill with excellent control and zero ice.
Apr 5 (2014-04-05) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [9.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Not many skiers out today, I counted only 3 on my route. P12=>#40=>#24=>left on #1=>#1B=>#2=>#40=>P12. Surprisingly the skiing was better then I thought it would be, no grooming today, but the snow was soft enough giving good control on downhills.

The classic tracks on #40, #2, #24 were good, oddly enough though on #1 Ridge they were very icy, so I skied mostly in the centre skating lane which was softer and good. There is still lots of snow out there, as you can see on my bench photos, and I posted an interesting pic from the bench on Ridge past Western, one from today April 5, 2014 comparing to one from last year on April 8, 2013.
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Apr 4 (2014-04-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Some skate lessons and a group ski - at noon it was only slightly above zero, with a raw wind. The Champlain Parkway was groomed, and was quite firm and fast for skating. By the time we finished, the skate lane had softened somewhat, had become churned up from quite a bit a skate traffic and was starting to freeze back. Just as we finished, it started snowing (not raining as forecast). All in all, a lovely ski.
Apr 4 (2014-04-04) by David Brownrigg from P10 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: swix universal
My route this morning from P10 was FP, CP and back via Ridge. You can tell it's April, Demsis seems to restrict it's grooming to the Fortune/Wakefield/Meech areas at this time of year meaning crowded parking lots even on a weekday. No fresh grooming on the FP or CP for classic with Ridge being the exception. Universal Klister worked on FP's icey tracks as far as Ridge and then things got slippy all the way to the Lookout. After that recent grooming on Ridge made for a pleasant ride back to the FP.
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Apr 4 (2014-04-04) by Katie McMahon from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: vauhti LF violet, Grip Wax:
Conditions are still very very good! Last night Ridge Road was arguably better than the parkways; smooth, fast and great coverage. What seemed to be happening on the parkways is that the slushy snow that had been in the sun all day was freezing into deeper ridges, so be careful and lift your feet! Classic tracks looked very icy but still holding up. I was still on my good race skis for everything and I had no problems.
Apr 4 (2014-04-04) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #33, #40 [6.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Did the short Meech loop - 40, 33, 21, 2 - with a mixture of grooming. Trails 40 and 2 were freshly groomed: soft and granular, excellent skiing. I had no grip but I am not good with klister. Trail 33 was icy and rutted, OK for climbing but treacherous to descend. Trail 21 had deep, icy tracks that would grab your boot or ski. The crust beside the tracks was in perfect shape so I took that instead. Ron would have liked it. The descent on #2 was as good as it has been all winter.

We are lucky to have good skiing in six consecutive months.
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Apr 3 (2014-04-03) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax: n/a
A good day of spring skating from P10 to the water tank on #24:
P10 > FP > CP > #1 > water tank > #1 > FP > P10
All groomable trails have been groomed to perfection - both the skate lane and the classic tracks are in great shape. The snow is still crystalline rather than granular. In the shade the powder was cold enough to give a good glide; in the sun (around noon) the glide was slowing down but was still there. The classic skiers I talked were having trouble with the variable conditions - in places klister would give good kick and in others it was tire-spinning time; probably the best wax-of-the-day would be waxless.

The best news is that it's almost crust-cruising season. I tried a few ponds: my skis stayed on top just fine; but, my poles, with baskets designed more for style than support, tended to break through. Some skiers had been out on the ponds beside Ridge past Huron with what looked like a lot of success but it's likely they were there early in the AM.
Apr 3 (2014-04-03) by David Brownrigg from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: universal klister
Skied the GP and FP from P8 towards #7. Classic tracks were icey and my universal klister had limited effect. Had to do the climbs in the skate lane where grip was perfect. Skate skiers had fresh grooming the whole way and were just zipping along. Arrived at trail 7 and found zero grooming and too icey to attempt so returned back to P8 around 11:30 only to find that the doldrums had just been groomed for classic.
Apr 2 (2014-04-02) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #7, #15 (black) [5.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal klister, mixed with a touch of Vauhti Red klister
Trails 15, 7, and the Gatineau and Champlain parkways were all in good shape this morning for either skate or classic. The classic tracks were surprisingly firm as there seems to be a quite hard base. This makes grip waxing easier than it otherwise might be.
Apr 1 (2014-04-01) by Megan McTavish from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [15.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister with a bit of red klister mixed in
Another stellar day for spring skiing. They groomed the skating lanes on the parkway, so in the morning parkway skating was definitely the best option (still nice and fast too). As it warms up, the classic tracks and the other trails will improve, but the conditions will get slower, so that is the trade off.
Apr 1 (2014-04-01) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [7.6km], Glide Wax: n/a, Grip Wax: universal klister
Classic skiing in the Asticou/Mont Bleu area was a bit tricky this morning. At 10:00 AM all classic tracks were basically frozen slush from yesterday's warm weather. The only fresh grooming was on #27 for both classic and skate. As temps started to rise towards noon the snow got wetter then universal klister worked well. Zero grip on the still frozen stretches...basically anything in the shade..
Mar 31 (2014-03-31) by Florence Lehmann from P11 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #2 (blue), #3, #9, #18, #21, #36 (black) [25.6km], Glide Wax: Waxless, Grip Wax:
Nice spring skiing today, even on classics. Did #36 (black) -> FP -> up burma -> #3 to #21 -> #18 -> #2 -> #9 -> #1 -> #3 -> FP -> #36
Lots of snow everywhere, even on backcountry trails. Good glide and grip in the morning. Sloggy after lunch but enjoyable nevertheless.
Enjoy.
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Mar 31 (2014-03-31) by Katie McMahon from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [6.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF violet, Grip Wax:
Excellent spring skiing out there. Everywhere still has complete coverage and is amazing. Get out there before it's gone!
Mar 30 (2014-03-30) by Megan McTavish from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: vauhti hf or lf yellow, Grip Wax: vauhti K12 (silver) or K9 (red)...this is a guess
Crazy that we are still getting new snow! The skiing today was much slower than last night, but was still very nice. It was maybe a bit better for skating because I think the classic waxing was proving to be a bit tricky out there.
Mar 30 (2014-03-30) by Garry Tarr from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: CH8 plus rilling, Grip Wax:
Skate ski from P19 to Herridge and back along Trail 50. This route had been groomed after the overnight snowfall of about 5cm of fresh powder. Unfortunately from P19 to the east end of Lac Philippe the grooming had been shredded by a snowmobile. In places it had thrown snow into the classic tracks. For much of the route along Lac Philippe a heavy-footed hiker had added bootmarks down the middle of the skate lane. Past the end of Lac Philippe the grooming was excellent, nice fresh corduroy with no snowmobile damage (for some reason the snowmobile had gone up 54 Black). Skate conditions were excellent early on in the trip, particularly in shadier sections. On the return after lunch the snow was getting quite wet on the more exposed parts of the trail, making for slow skiing on the uphills. I found the classic tracks slow everywhere due to suction- it was faster to descend in the skate lane. There were very few other skiers on the trail, so even without fresh grooming Trail 50 should be quite good tomorrow afternoon.
Mar 29 (2014-03-29) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: violet, Grip Wax:
Late afternoon ski at Lac Phillipe. Everything had been groomed up, likely in the morning, and had gently softened through the day. The base was solid throughout but in open areas it had gotten a bit slushy.

I skated the three spoke trails visiting the end of Lac Phillipe, Taylor and then up to Lusk.

Conditions were quite fast though the snow was starting to corn up a bit. The climb up to Lusk was really nice as it was a bit more sheltered than the other trails. The sun was actually poking it's head out and made for a pleasant afternoon for sitting on the deck.

As the day ended the temperature started to drop a bit and a wind kicked up. As a result the snow started to get a bit crusty. I expect it will be a bit icy first thing unless they roll the groomer. If not, the warm temperatures should set things right by mid morning.
Mar 29 (2014-03-29) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1, Gatineau Pkwy, #3 [24.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti K Base klister topped with Vauhti Universal klister mixed with Red
During the day the trails were fairly firm and fast, as the temperature dropped in the evening things got pretty hard and the tracks were really fast on the downhills. Things should continue to be good as long as they groom over night, or as long as it warms up during the day.
Mar 29 (2014-03-29) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [15.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Forgot the pictures again ........
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Mar 29 (2014-03-29) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [15.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Not a bad day out there today, my route was P12=>#40=>#2=>left on #21=>right on #3=>#20=>#18=>#2=>#33=>#40=>P12.

Was told when I arrived by the parking lot attendant conditions were somewhat icy after yesterday's rain. There was a thin layer of wet snow on top of a hard base underneath, which made for controllable downhills. My waxless skis also had no problem for grip.

I did meet a couple who said they had purple wax and were finding it difficult no grip. Very few cars at P12 or P11, most skiers staying on the parkways near P8?

As you can see on my first picture the snow depth on the first bridge on #40 is quite impressive, a long way to go here (3 weeks?) The was No fresh grooming of any kind on the trails I skied, the small backcountry's 18-20-21 were still quite good to ski on, except the tracks on the pond on #20 were starting to sink down a bit.
Mar 29 (2014-03-29) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [21km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
I started from P8, planning an exercise skate ski on the Doldrums. As I was setting out some friends returning from skiing the Loop told me the best grooming was around Mica, so I changed my plans and headed first up the Gatineau and Champlain parkways to the base of the Black Lake hill, then down to Pink Lake and back to P8. Everywhere I skied had been groomed recently, but it seemed the groomer had finished on the Gatineau parkway, giving a softer surface there. The surface was definitely harder between Mica and Pink Lake, but the skiing was still quite good. On the Gatineau and Champlain parkways the skating was controllable but very fast. Classic skiers seemed to be having a tough time with tracks varying from soft and mushy to hard and icy. The skate lane surface is still old powder snow, there is no sign of granular snow yet.
Mar 28 (2014-03-28) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #8, Camp Fortune Race Course, #19, #22, #34 [13.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti K Base binder, Vauhti K12 (and likely K9 for later in the day)
We did a nice loop of the small trails this morning, which are in very good shape, if you ask me. Ridge Road and the Camp Fortune racing trail were the only main trails we skied on, and they had not been groomed (I believe grooming is planned to occcur either tonight or tomorrow morning). Grip waxing was a bit tricky, but Vauhti K12 worked pretty well this morning. Zeros or hairies would probably be a good option.
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Mar 27 (2014-03-27) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti lf blue, Grip Wax: vauhti K12 (silver)
Maybe the powder day of the year with the higher temperatures forecast starting tomorrow. We have tonnes of snow though, so the skiing should be good for quite a while longer. According to reports from the NCC if the conditions are good, grooming will continue until April 15th. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Mar 27 (2014-03-27) by Ken Trischuk from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #3 [18.4km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Perhaps an irrelevant report as conditions are about to change pretty dramatically over the next few hours... but conditions were quite excellent tonight. Skipped out of work early for a last ski on "mid winter" conditions. Quite remarkable for March 27th.

Skied the parkway to the lookouts and then back to Huron for a quick break before taking a run down Burma. Light powder over a solid base and my skis were gliding quite nicely. Rain tomorrow and warmer temps for the foreseeable future mean midwinter is likely over. The depth of snow suggests we have a lot of spring skiing ahead though so take advantage!
Mar 27 (2014-03-27) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [21.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
In summary, classic conditions are great - skating conditions OK too - details follow:

Did a short wayward tour:
P12 > #40 > #24 > #1 west > Blanchet > #1 east > Champlain lookout > #1 west
> #24 > #40 > P12.

#40, #24, #1 were trackset this AM. #1 blue was done yesterday. Doesn't matter - the snow started at noon which added special grooming to all trails. All trails have a firm base with 2 cm of new snow on top. This snow is a tad slow so classic would have more aesthetic appeal than skating for the aesthetically inclined. On the 27 March it's a great experience to go down the hills noiselessly with complete control - my turn of choice was the telemark - felt good.

The snow seemed a bit wet so a fluor wax would be best - the air temperature was -4 C.
Mar 26 (2014-03-26) by Don Fugler from P19 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #54 (green), #54 (black) [6.6km], Glide Wax: Varied, Grip Wax: Varied
As Ron mentioned, several us left P19 at Lac Philippe and then went south into the plateau area, eventually ending up at Lac Charette south of Lusk. We were wandering through the series of lakes, ponds, and creeks in that area, sometimes following someone's tracks, often making our own. After seven hours and 27 kilometers (more or less), we made it back to the Lac Philippe parking lot. It was a beautiful winter day and skiing was superb, although the wooded areas were often deep in snow and hard to ascend. We followed otter tracks for at least one kilometer (see photo) as it plunged under the snow to reach the creek below and emerged 50 meters down, leaving a muddy exit hole. Thanks for Dave for the inspiration and guidance and Mike for his aplomb and copious photography. Mike excelled in back country pole basket repair. Thank you, too, to Ron for joining us on the route to Lusk.
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Mar 26 (2014-03-26) by Ron Lorenson from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [20.9km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
If you're a grooming-addict dilettante skier and you're going to the Lac Philippe area stay on the groomed trails and don't think of going back country. This AM I joined a group of real skiers for a day of bushwacking on the ridge above Lusk Lake. However, rather than preparing properly and breaking out my back country gear I grabbed my usual trail skis (Madhus Terrasonic) and poles and headed out - it didn't work out - p'en toute! The conditions were good off track if you had the proper back country gear but my stiffer skis wouldn't compress on the powder leaving me to try to climb on the brushed and polished glider on my tips. My performance was a tad embarrassing.

I bailed from the tour across from Lusk Cabin. When I got to the cabin the trail had been groomed - at last I was home! In fact all the trails in Lac Philippe area have been groomed and are in excellent shape - pure powder with a soft surface. So if you're grooming addicted you'll have an excellent day out there - classic recommended - skating would be good but the snow is cold and might be a bit slow.

Don Fugler was one of real skiers so hopefully he'll fill in the off trail conditions later. It looked good if you had the proper gear.

Oh yeah - my back country skis - they're still safely warehoused with the summer wax from a few years ago. I'm still not sure where my climbing skins are.
Mar 26 (2014-03-26) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue) [20.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder, covered with Vauhti K18 or K15
Well, well. It is March 26th and based on measurements derived from the rungs on a ladder in my backyard, the snowpack is at it the highest level we have reached so far this year. This bodes well for a great and long season of spring skiing. Both skate lanes and classic tracks are quite hard with a somewhat granular base, with a bit of windblown snow here and there. As you can see from my pictures, things look very good!
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Mar 25 (2014-03-25) by David Brownrigg from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix blue
Skied the #51 and 53 loop out of P17. Excellent mid-winter conditions despite no fresh grooming but the tracks were still in great shape from yesterday's pass. The tracks are slightly icey and hard in the sunny areas and dry with firmly packed snow in the shade. Blue wax worked very well and the only glitch was having to stop to scrape pine bark off my skis a few times. Unfortunately I won't be able to ski for the next few days so that's probably it for the dry winter conditions. Spring weather is coming Friday... March has been a real treat this year.
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Mar 25 (2014-03-25) by Megan McTavish from Old Chelsea grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7, #15 (black) [26.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti K15 (violet)
Beautiful skiing out there today. Perfect tracks for both classic and skate and nice warm (-3) temperatures. It is not spring yet!
Mar 25 (2014-03-25) by Matt McInnes from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #4, Camp Fortune Race Course [14.3km], Glide Wax: Purple (green would be better), Grip Wax:
Good day. Colder than anticipated (-16) but the snow felt colder/ slower.

Ridge and number 30 were not groomed and were fast/ a little skied out. Race trails were groomed. Very nice but much slower.

Mid winter conditions out there but not for long!
Mar 24 (2014-03-24) by Florence Lehmann from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue extra with some purple under the foot
40 -> 24 -> 1 to fire tower and back
I skied later than Ron. Trails had been groomed and trackset. Conditions were fantastic for both classic and skate. A bit icy on the steep downhill from wolf ridge, and some deep boot marks from fire tower down the trail for a bit (hikers coming up from lusk falls, I guess). Great otherwise. As Ron said, go there while you can.
Mar 24 (2014-03-24) by Ken Trischuk from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Another perfect January ski day... in March! I opted to skate from P16 out to Lac Phillipe and back with a short side trip down to Meech.

Perfect fresh grooming the whole way out 50 and 52 looked to have been regroomed as well. Made for fast easy skating. 36 had not been regroomed since yesterday but it was still very nice. Took a nice sun break at the bench at Herridge to enjoy the warm sunshine.

My blue wax was fast in the sun and felt a bit slower in the shade but still decent. Conditions should be similar tomorrow but it looks like springtime comes at the end of the week so ski it while you can.
Mar 24 (2014-03-24) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [14.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
After my tour of yesterday my legs screamed "no more"; my inner self screamed "you can't let these conditions go to waste". I compromised with a short tour that maximized the joy of the downhills on my return:
P12 > #40 > #24 > #1 blue > Wolf ridge > #1 east > #24 > #40 > P12

My inner self was right about the conditions. #40, #24, and #1 up to #24 have been groomed and the tracks and skating lane (on #1) are in great shape. #1 blue (past #24) hasn't been groomed and shows the use from yesterday: the skating lane is quite chopped up; the classic tracks still have that dusting of new snow - in fact, the classic skiing was better on the ungroomed #1 blue than on the newly groomed trails. Coming downhill in the middle lane was a bit rough due to the use.

My Start Racing Green gave me good grip; the Swix LF6 was probably too warm for the snow and was on the slow side.

Skate if you must but to me classic is a much better option for today.

The skating lane on #1 blue between the two crossings of the Wolf snowshoe trail has been walked on with foot potholes making a slightly rough trail rougher. To me there are two signs of spring: the dog scat thaws; and, the walkers show up on the ski trails. Thawing dog scat is a natural process whereas ...

On the subject of spring, you know that lovely spring spot - the bench at the top #40 where the sun is so warm. I have attached a picture of it which shows the snow depth and which suggests that spring is still not here and that the dog scat should remain firm for a while yet.
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Mar 24 (2014-03-24) by David Brownrigg from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix green
Absolutely perfect conditions today on Ridge and Burma. Both were freshly groomed as of this morning. Dry snow, track set, no wind, not too cold, sunshine and blue skies...hard to believe it's late March. Tomorrow's supposed to be the same. Get out if you can, the end of the week is starting to look more spring like.
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Mar 24 (2014-03-24) by Don Fugler from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #6, #19, #34 [7.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix blue -5 to -15
Skied the short loop at the top of Penguin hill - 19,34,6. Perfect mid-winter conditions both on the groomed climb and the small trails. Lots of grip. No ice. Couldn't be better.
Mar 23 (2014-03-23) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #3 [17.1km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Skate ski from P10 up FP to Ridge, out along 1B to the intersection with 2, back on 1A to Ridge, then down Burma and home. Amazing dry powder mid-winter conditions. The snow was so dry I found the skating quite slow (a harder glide wax would have been better)! The photo of the picnic table at Shilly Shally suggests how much longer the season might last (note that this is a sunny location where the snow usually melts early). The corner in the Khyber Pass was just a bit icy, and the final luge run down Burma to the FP was also a bit hard and worn, although controllable. The classic tracks were firm, deep and a bit glazed, allowing for fast descents. It looked like all trails I skied on had been thoroughly groomed overnight. They were a bit worn by heavy skier traffic by late afternoon, but skate conditions were still good to excellent. This should hold for tomorrow even if there is no fresh grooming.
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Mar 23 (2014-03-23) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #3, #18, #20 [20.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Perfect conditions - what a great gift for this late in the year. (Read Ron's report, it really says it all) It felt like early February. Trails skied were a mix and match of groomed trails, swamps and unmaintained trails, each one a joy to be on. The only small negative to the entire outing was having to leap out of the tracks on the last descent down to the parking lot - a family with a knee high toddler seemed to be coming up Fortune hill on the wrong side!
Mar 23 (2014-03-23) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #52, #53, #55 (green - shared) [34km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar ; added Vauhti Carrot
This was the best day of the year. Did the lengthened Wakefield Triangle:
P17 > #53 > P19 > #50 > #55 > lunch @ Renaud > #55 > #50 > #52 > #53 > P17

The dry powder reported by Gary yesterday lasted for the grooming this AM giving a beautiful powder base - after the grooming there was a dusting of 3 mm of new snow which improved the texture of the tracks from "fantastic" to "exquisite" (I had to invent a new scale for today). This new snow gave fast glide and trustworthy grip. The tracksetting was flawless.

The Start racing green worked exceptionally well throughout the day on that new snow - even in sun-warmed snow. At the beginning of #52 I added some Vauhti Carrot - probably because of a belt and suspenders mindset - I'm not sure I needed it. Herring-boning was a technique that I had no need of.

There is about 120 cm of snow pack off track. I doubt that there will be an early end to skiing. I am addicted.

In summation a near-perfect day: great sun, wonderful snow and tracksetting; and good company.
Mar 23 (2014-03-23) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30 [14.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix VR55N
Late report from Saturday. Set out from P7 at 3pm. Snow had become quite wet. Couldn't get any grip with VR45, VR55 worked like a charm. Conditions are perfect with the new snow for backcountry trails like 8, 11 and 17. I had to stick with 30, Ridge and the Parkway -- long story involving downhill skiing and a broken arm, sigh.

No grooming on 30 or Ridge. The skate lane and one classic lane were groomed on Champlain between FP and the lookout. Classic was good, great where they had groomed. Skating looked heavy on Ridge with the thick snow.
Mar 22 (2014-03-22) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 [14.5km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
I set out today hoping conditions would be good enough to get in some exercise skate skiing on the Doldrums- I really wasn't expecting anything more in view of the 10cm snowfall in the morning and temperatures rising through the freezing point. Leaving P8 I found there had been some grooming of the center of the skate lane, although the classic tracks hadn't been touched and were not in good shape. The snow was surprisingly dry and powdery, giving excellent control and reasonable glide. On my second hamster lap a groomer came past, working on the skate lane and one classic track. This improved conditions to the point that I decided to cross the Connector and head for the Champlain Lookout. The Connector and the Fortune Parkway had both been groomed and although the climb was a bit slow it was quite manageable. Ridge Road had not been groomed at all, and skating through the thick fresh powder was tiring. For this reason I turned around at Huron and retraced my route to P8. I met the groomer once again doing a second pass on the FP.

As mentioned the snow was surprisingly dry and powdery. At the end of my ski I could feel it hardening a bit, but even without additional grooming it should be reasonable tomorrow on the parkways. If Demsis splurges on another grooming pass in the morning I would expect superb midwinter conditions. Not bad for the last week of March.
Mar 22 (2014-03-22) by Andy Jonyas from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Waxless
We are not addicted to skiing. We can quit at any time.We are not addicted to skiing. We can quit at any time.
Ignoring the apocalyptic forecast, at 0730 we were the second car at P3. With heavy snow falling we blazed a trail almost to the GP and CP intersection. For most of the trip we saw nobody. On the way back, looking for the tracks we had created only a short time ago, we saw many more people coming out, obviously fed up with another snow dump on a weekend. Its nice to know that were not alone, literally and in spirit.
Mar 21 (2014-03-21) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
No I didn't ski on the Doldrums for 5 hours! I was out twice, once for a short ski with a friend at 10:00, and again later in the day for a longer skate ski. Conditions were superb in the morning, although I misjudged the grip wax entirely. Something stickier than I used (minus 1 to minus 3) would have worked better. The skating was lovely in the afternoon, at least on the North Loop. By 3:00, though, the previously sunny spots were starting to become icy and a bit rutted, probably neither helped or hindered by the fact that a groomer passed around 2:00 in the skate lane while the snow was warm.
Also, this from a serious skier friend who skied more trails than I did today. " The conditions from P9-P9 were the best. Ridge was quite firm having been thoroughly skied in after grooming and Penguin was icy and treacherous."

The freeze-thaw cycles are a sure sign that spring is here. It's the time of year when a carefully timed (i.e. when it's cold out, not wet ) daily grooming can really extend the ski season and keep all the weekday pass holders happy. Fingers crossed that the grooming continues as long as there is snow.
Mar 21 (2014-03-21) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [7.6km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix blue extra, then purple..
First day back skiing after spraining my thumb on Monday. Thought my season was done but constant icing did the trick. Anyhoo, conditions were icier than I expected especially after the snow from yesterday. All trails were groomed but it looks like that only had the effect of stripping the new snow down to the ice. Hence my blue extra and then purple wax had limited effect. It was clearly a universal klister morning.

You can tell spring is in the air...ran into a family hiking along #26. Mentioned that it was still skiing season but they just tuned me out....
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Mar 20 (2014-03-20) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26 [17.8km], Glide Wax: PUrple (bad call go red/ yellow w structure), Grip Wax:
Wow. Nice fresh snow over the icy base made it soft. However the snow was so wet it was incredibly slow. You would have to offset on the downhills.
Mar 19 (2014-03-19) by Matt Brown from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, North Loop, #1, Champlain Pkwy [26.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Purple, Grip Wax:
Still some great skiing to be done out there in the park! Dusting of snow covering a hard packed base. Tracks are still very hard and are in good shape throughout the park.
Mar 19 (2014-03-19) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #33, #40 [6.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix -1 to -3 (but useless)
Hard pack skiing with the small advantage of no crowds. I had no grip on the climb (time to learn about klister) and the small traverse of 21 was dangerous on the downhills. The descent on 2 was reasonable: grooming does have its advantages.
Mar 18 (2014-03-18) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
I spent an enjoyable two hours as a hamster skating the Doldrums. The intent was, after a long period of classic, to see if my legs and other body parts remembered how to skate. Conditions are excellent: the skating lane is hard with enough of a powder surface for control; the classic tracks are fast with enough of powder to give reasonable grip. The temperature and sun are the best part of it - a great day.

About 1:00 PM the groomer tilled one side of the skating lane giving a soft, cold, powder surface. Most skaters, myself included, ignored this excellent work and stuck to the hard packed side where the snow was faster.
Mar 17 (2014-03-17) by Jo-Ann Holden from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho Green
What a strange feeling it is to be able to ski before dinner this late in March. Usually in mid March I would be trying to be home before the dusk freeze-up which follows the midday thaw. Today, it was a tropical minus 6 at dusk, much warmer than this morning's minus 19.

Although everything was hard and verging on icy -noisy! The wax (one coat of Teho Green applied hastily) worked like a charm for the short ski on the relatively flat terrain. It was a beautiful hour to be out. There were a handful of other skiers, numerous animal tracks, and the birds seem to be gathering.
Mar 17 (2014-03-17) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix green
Fast, icey conditions in the Asticou/Mont Bleu areas this morning. Tracks are shallow and hard. Green grip wax worked very well. Unfortunately took a spill on #5 and fell on my hand spraining my thumb. Hoping this doesn't prematurely bring my season to an end... will know tomorrow morning for sure..
Mar 16 (2014-03-16) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar and base klister
After the thaw I judged it to be perfect day for fast easy gliding. Where better to go for fast rolling terrain that avoids challenging descents than the 51/53 loop: P17 > #53 > P19 > #51 > #53 > P17. Besides I've got the precedent of Ken's recent ski around the loop - I've always respected his judgement in choice of locales.

It was everything I was looking for. The tracksetting is as good as it could be given the conditions. The tracks were fast and hard. The snow varied from almost crushed to almost powder - the tracks were closer to powder close to Masham around the long loop - harder close to P17. It was just such easy skiing - some people were indulging themselves with double-poling. It was a great day - cold air, warm sun.

My wax survived the abrasive conditions. I started off with a thin layer of base klister; then ironed the tar into the klister base; then added kick wax on top.

Yesterday Jo-Ann posted a picture of vanishing snow from March 2004. As a counterpoint I've posted a picture, taken today, of the first signs of the end (a sunny bank beside #51). Not to panic - it's the judgement of this old guy that #51 is the first trail to lose its snow and this bank is the first on #51 to lose its snow. However, the end is nigh - we've probably only got 6 - 7 more weeks of skiing - let's not miss any opportunities.
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Mar 15 (2014-03-15) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 [9.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Yellow, Grip Wax: Vauhti K-Base BInder, Vauhti Fluor Red
I skied on Ridge Road from P7 to Huron, back down the Parkway to the Gossip Corner junction, and home.

No grooming had taken place when I went out. As a result, the base is quite hard, and the tracks are a bit glazed in places, with a little bit of fresh snow in them. I lucked into a fairly good wax combination, described above. It provided good grip just about everywhere, with no significant icing.
Mar 15 (2014-03-15) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Ch8, Grip Wax:
Two hamsters of the Doldrums on skate skis. There was no grooming this morning and the temperature is dropping below the freezing point with a strong west wind, so conditions are rapidly becoming hard and icy. Double poling the classic tracks was the fastest way to move. I found it possible to skate offset with care, but it wasn't much fun. A racer with better balance than me would have found the skating really fast. For mere mortals it probably isn't worth the drive up from Ottawa (unless Demsis breaks out the groomer this afternoon).
Mar 14 (2014-03-14) by Ken Trischuk from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
Decided to take a morning off and get in a ski up in the park with all the fresh snow. Skied the loop out of P17 up 53 and the long way round to P19. Then back 51 and down 53 again. The trails had been groomed at some point yesterday and were in excellent shape. I found the trails a little abrasive and stopped once to add some wax but apart from that a beautiful ski. At the top end of 53 - out in the open fields - the tracks had been blown in a bit by drifting snow but not so much as to be a problem.

Conditions warmed up a bit while I was out there but it was still colder up in the park then when I got back into town so perhaps the predicted rains for tonight and/or tomorrow will be snow up in the hills.
Mar 14 (2014-03-14) by Megan McTavish from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti K15 (violet)
Superb skiing today, feels like mid-February not mid-March out there. The grooming on Ridge Road, the parkways and the Camp Fortune Race Trails was fresh and perfect. The snow was fresh and a bit soft, but nicely packed and great for both skating and classic.
Enjoy!
Mar 14 (2014-03-14) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #40, #38 [6.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Back from a trip south and I wanted to get some skiing in before conditions deteriorated. I did the 40-38-1-2 loop out of P12. Trail 38 was the best of them all: untracked and unused, so fresh powder with a sprinkle of maple keys. The other trails were groomed but crunchy hard and fast.
Mar 13 (2014-03-13) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #9, #18, #20 [23.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Today, with the cold temperatures and lack of grooming (according to the infamous NCC site) I did everything else first and saved skiing until late afternoon. It seemed to pay off! The wind was slight, Fortune was very slow, but groomed, Burma was even slower, not groomed, but very beautiful in the late afternoon light. The wind had brought down beech and oak leaves, which settled in the skied-in tracks, so I opted to ski out of the track much of the time. Although it was minus 8 at this time, the snow was still very abrasive and slow. Some of the downhills felt like series of lurches! Everything changed when I turned onto trail 9. No debris, just a delightful single track and the skied-in snow was quite a bit faster. 20 and 18 were also delightful, especially in the glow of the low sun. When I reached Ridge Road, near trail 2, the groomer was just passing by. The section of Ridge between Champlain and Fortune was still quite a mess of debris, with only one classic track being shared by skiers in both directions. AS I descended Fortune, the parkway was filled with skiers coming up for dinner, and the large groomer was doing his magic. The almost-full moon was in the sky. A beautiful evening!
Mar 13 (2014-03-13) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
It's not a typical March day - cold January snow and air - but the sun is March warm. As David reported the FP is fully trackset as far as Gossip Corner - after Gossip Corner only the centre skating lane is groomed putting an end to in-track classic. That snow is slow - being cold and in many places wind-blown - but occasionally I hit points where the sun had warmed the snow and the tracks would speed up and then, just as fast, put the brakes on.

Skiing should improve in the PM as the sun warms the snow. Today, however, the best option would probably be the back-country trails. There's been about 3 cm of new snow on top of a firm base would should make the real-skier trails more a delight than a chore - little in the way of trail-breaking but enough snow for control. Skating looked quite slow.
Mar 13 (2014-03-13) by David Brownrigg from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #30, #31 [8.5km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Trails 30, 1 (Ridge Road) and 31 were all groomed as of 10:00 AM. 30 was a bit icey in spots but improved as I got onto Ridge. Intended to ski up to the Champlain lookout but the grooming on Ridge ended at the FP. The FP was groomed for both skate and classic towards P10 but only for skate towards the CP. Presume Demsis is cutting back on ops as we head into mid-March?
Mar 12 (2014-03-12) by Matt Brown from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27 [5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax:
Very hard packed, icy conditions from the melt and freeze. Recommend skating as the tracks were very icy. Nice mild morning for a ski- the snow in the forecast will make a big difference and will shape things up nicely for the weekend!
Mar 10 (2014-03-10) by Laura Nerenberg from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #40, #21 [19.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: blue
Superb ski today with excellent grooming on 2, 33, 40 and Ridge. No grooming (skate or classic) on Burma. 21 had been "track-set" by a previous skier, lucky for us. But, in narrow downhills, the fresh snow was scraped off.
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Mar 10 (2014-03-10) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: blue extra
Recent grooming on trails 5, 26, 27, and 29 this morning. Nothing done to the GP as of noon. It's getting a bit icey in spots but overall nice conditions. Blue extra wax worked ok for the most part, but tended to be a bit slippey here and there. Nice mild day to stop and take some pictures...
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Mar 9 (2014-03-09) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #6, #9, #4, Camp Fortune Race Course, #31, #11, #22 [28.8km], Glide Wax: violet, Grip Wax: carrot
Got a late start for some reason but it felt earlier than it was so a nice ski none the less. I skied out of P7 climbing up 30 - 6 - 22 -4 and down into Fortune. I then skied out to Fortune lake and skied "old 13" which is now defunct across the lake. Finally a bit of 11 and the race trails before heading back along Ridge.

The sun was warm yet the snow was holding up well. The backcountry trails were getting a bit skied out but were still controllable - just a bit crusty in spots.

The race trails were perfectly groomed and there was only signs of 2 skiers and a walker that had used it before me. The tracks were fast but abrasive and I had to reapply the wax a couple of times.

Trails were busy when I started but by the time I was winding my way back on Ridge I was all but alone. Sun was up until 7 so I was surprised how few people were out late in the day.

A little fresh snow falling tonight so things could be quite nice for those who don't have to work.
Mar 9 (2014-03-09) by Garry Tarr from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #36 (blue) [27.4km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
The Lakes Tour on skate skis, starting from P16. Took 50 to 55, skied along the shore of Taylor Lake, then looped back up Green 54 to Lusk Cabin for lunch. There I came across a group planning to set out across Lusk Lake to ski Old Trail 10, which has been the subject of much interest of late. As it happened an old friend of mine had also stopped at Lusk, and after lunch we decided to ski across the lake ourselves and at least find the start of OT10 (on skate skis I didn't have much hope of actually ascending the escarpment on a backcountry trail). We found a well-skied trail leading to the far east side of the lake, where it intersected the usual approach from Black 54 at a weir or dam. The trail leading up the escarpment had obviously been well used in recent days, and was easy to find. The approach to OT10 across Lusk Lake is probably easier than using Black 54, which is now used by snowshoers.

After the Lusk Lake adventure I returned to P16 with a detour down 36 to Meech. Surprisingly even by the end of the day and even in the sunshine the snow did not become wet.

There was fresh grooming for both skate and classic on all trails. The skate surface was a bit crusty and noisy, but fast. The downhills (including the last descent to P16) had enough snow to be completely controllable. There was not a hint of bare patches, even on the sunniest sections of the road near Lac Renaud. It looks like we will be skiing on "real" snow for at least two more weeks, and after that the granular snow may last well into April.
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Mar 9 (2014-03-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [15.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
After yesterday's long outing decided for a short ski around P12 area. My route was P12=>#40=>#2=>left on #21=>right on #3=>#20=>left on #21=>#18=>right on #2=>#33=>#40=>P12.

All the trails still nice, although I found that Burma was a little on the rough side. On the small back country trails were the sun made them soft yesterday, some spots were a little icy today but not too bad. On my return at 1pm the parking lot was pretty well filed up.

This is the best conditions I have seen on trails #2, #33 and #40 for a long time fast yet controllable. I agree with Ron about the amount of snow out there and the long range forecast does not show real warm temperatures, so its a pretty safe bet that there will be some skiing in April!!!!!!!
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Mar 9 (2014-03-09) by Riel Allain from N/A grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #24 [10km], Glide Wax: purple, Grip Wax: k-12 covered with K-15 vauhti
Wow! It's packed out there! Skating was pretty fast and firm today. Trails were probably groomed on friday, but they are holding up just fine (classic tracks included!). I started at Camp Fortune and went up trail 1 towards the fire tower. This is some of the best skiing we will probably get for the next few years, so get out there before it all melts. The sun is setting later than ever, so go after work while it is still shining! Put some sunscreen and sunglasses on! It's bright out there!
Mar 9 (2014-03-09) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Swix V30 then Vauhti Carrot then Swix VF50
A day like today is not for serious skiing - it's just for enjoying. The best skiing would have been skating but I've been enjoying classic so much this year that I couldn't give it up. However, I kept any Calvinist urges firmly in check - just enjoying the sun, the snow and the scenery and stopping frequently to capture it all with photos. I went initially from P16 to Meech Lake via #50 and #36 and then followed #50 past Herridge (slowly). A lunch stop in the sun at Herridge was then obligatory. Reluctantly, I then returned to P17 (again slowly).

Wax was an interesting challenge but I followed the same scheme I used two days ago for the Lusk Lake tour with the same success. A simpler wax scheme would be to use fish-scales or hairies or, best, to skate.

Trails were freshly groomed and were in excellent condition. #50 is getting into its usual spring mode of powder in the shade and slush turning to ice in the sun.

It looks like a long ski season - I've posted a picture of the snow pack beside trail 50 which I've estimated to be at least 120 cm deep.
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Mar 8 (2014-03-08) by Riel Allain from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #9, #8, #17, #22, #34 [19.8km], Glide Wax: red, Grip Wax: K-9 vauhti
Beautiful day, there is a lot of snow on the ground! Backcountry trails are simply amazing, groomed trails also looked amazing! Everything was amazing! Although waxing can be tricky because the groomed trails at some places are almost slushy, while the backcountry trails are sometimes powder. However, a good warm kick wax should work pretty well.
Mar 8 (2014-03-08) by Jo-Ann Holden from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [34.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue Extra until noon, then VR60
Really just a foot note to Paul's report, as we skied many of the same trails, and actually briefly crossed paths at one point, too. It was a wonderful day for a relaxed, open-ended ski with friends, ideal for long lunches, photo breaks and yes! - for sitting on benches. Our wax waxed and waned from moment to moment, depending on the sun and slope, from charmed to irrelevant, but it really didn't matter.

Tomorrow will be interesting, as some portions of trail were getting icy or slushy by late afternoon.
Mar 8 (2014-03-08) 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:
Forgot my pics again.........
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Mar 8 (2014-03-08) by Paul Jaenicke from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #54 (black) [29.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Fantastic day and conditions, like Ron says today was a day to visit an OLD friend and an ANCIENT one. My route was from P19=>#50 to end of Philippe lake=>#54 black=>#10=>left on #1=>McKinstry=>#1=>#10=>left on #54 black=>right on #54 green=>right on #55=>left on #50=>#55=>#51=>P19.

Trail #54 black is in much better shape then last year, they have done a good job in cleaning up all the branches. The trail resembles much more a snowshoe trail as the first Km from Philippe lake is shared. Most of the small ditches were covered up except for the usual spot see first picture.

Old trail #10 still has many markers on the trees though most of them faded away. The trail is in pretty good shape, whoever cleared it must of been up there a long time. I cant remember when I did it last could of been before the ice storm of 98, it seemed like there were a few spots were the trail has taken a different path. One word of caution if you happen to ski it, best done with sunglasses, as there are many annoying small branches at eye level in certain parts of the trail.

When I got back to the groomed trails #54 green, it seemed so easy to ski and I was again in contact with skiers. I did not meet one skier on either #54 black and old #10.

Conditions were the same as Ron mentioned in his report of yesterday, early on mid-winter snow conditions, in the hot sun snow was getting soft, and in some shaded areas glazed over. I guess we are now into sitting down on benches time.....
Mar 7 (2014-03-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #27, #26, #29 (shared) [15.2km], Glide Wax: Swix Purple, Grip Wax:
A relaxing skate outing starting at P2. Beautiful sun, temperatures around zero, lovely trail conditions. Couldn't have been nicer.
Mar 7 (2014-03-07) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #53, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [34.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Swix V30 then Vauhti Carrot then Swix VF50
An interesting day: a spring skiers delight; a waxer's challenge. I tried to maintain my string of euphoric skis by combining 51/53 with the scenery of #54 and Lusk Lake.

My route was: P17 > #53 > #51 > P19 > #50 > #55 > #54 > Lusk Cabin and back.

I started about 10:00 AM to get the cold snow. From P17 to P19 I had mid-winter grip and astounding glide. At P19 the temperature had risen to the point to justify a change to Vauhti Carrot - the Carrot carried me up to Lusk Lake and kept working until I got to the sun-warmed uphills on #50 on the way back. From that point I used VF50 (predecessor of VR50). For the rest of the day it was winter snow in the shade; softening in the sun; and glaze in the areas had been sunny and were now in shade. The VF50 worked in the varying conditions. There was new grooming on all the trails I skied - it was excellent.

For the real skiers there was a well-traveled track on #54 black.

Enough of the technical bumph. I could have had no grip and sucking glide and I still would have had a great day. This is a magic time of the year when skiing is comfortable and the colours are so intense - the snow is so white; the sky so blue; the trees so green. The Lusk Lake area is an ideal place to experience this magic season. I've attached two photos to show what I'm talking about.
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Mar 6 (2014-03-06) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [13.6km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Excellent skiing this morning from P1. Website indicated fresh grooming as of yesterday but everywhere I went (with the exception of #27)appeared to be skier made tracks over a base of light new snow. My route was #5, #29, #27, GP, #35, #15, #25, #5 and back. Weird that only #27 was groomed and not even the GP... That said my green grip wax worked wonderfully and the only hiccups were having to stop twice to removed bark pieces from the bottom of my skis. Early March and it still feels like January ski conditions...I'm lovin it!
Mar 6 (2014-03-06) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #19, #22, #34 [9.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR30
Brilliant day to be out. Started at P7 > #30 to Ridge. Decided to negotiate #6 counter clockwise to #22 > #34 > #19 and #30 back. VR30 gave great grip. Lots of fresh snow. I am sure the warm sun made everything seem better.
Mar 6 (2014-03-06) by Matt McInnes from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.7km], Glide Wax: Start Green, Grip Wax:
COLD morning at -28 from the fortune lot (only -18 in Ottawa). No wind/ sun made it nice. Snow was very slow (ungroomed) on the race trails, but faster (fresh grooming) on Ridge/ the parkways.

Should be perfect mid-day when it warms up a bit.
Mar 5 (2014-03-05) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Swix V30 blue over a base of Vauhti tar
Did the 51/53 loop counter-clockwise: P17 > #53 > P19 > #51 > #53 > P17.

An exceptional day with the right kind of temperature and perfect ski conditions - 2 cm of powder on top of a firm trackset base. Doing the 51/53 loop ion a day like this does for me what people look for in meditation. It's so easy and so scenic. Gliding through spruce and pine bush broken with the occasional clearing on skis that are performing perfectly is, for me, a spiritual experience - I don't think this vieux bonhomme will make it into the conventional paradise so I'll grab my paradise now with days like today.

Skiing was quite easy. I started off with Start Racing Green as my kick wax but then switched to the V30 which worked perfectly; the Swix LF 6 gave very good glide.

These good classic conditions should last until Friday - then with the forecast warming we can see if we can find the same experience on skating skis.
Mar 5 (2014-03-05) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue) [20.2km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Vauhti K19
Beautiful day..not too windy, not too cold, a little refreshing and a little sun here and there. Both the Gatineau Parkway and Trail 15 featured a firm feeling base for either classic or skate with about 3cms of ungroomed powder on top.
Mar 4 (2014-03-04) by Cindy Courtemanche from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR30
Quick outing tonight from P9 to P5 and back. Beautiful fresh power, no wind, good grip, bit slow on the glide. Think this is the first Tuesday night all season it has been warmer than -20, nice change.
Mar 4 (2014-03-04) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, Camp Fortune Race Course [21.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti fluor orange
Beautiful skiing today. The race trails at Fortune were in perfect condition. Ridge rd (1) and Burma (3) were good too but the grooming was a bit older so not quite as perfect. Overall, a really nice day for a ski!
Mar 3 (2014-03-03) by Florence Lehmann from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #19, #22, #34 [9.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Great day to play on classic and backcountry trails. Excellent snow coverage, no ice or debris and perfect grooming on main trails. Temperature made for somewhat slow gliding, not a bad thing on backcountry trails.
Did 30->6(counterclockwise)->19->34->22->34->6->30.
Time to go out and play on backcountry trails. Enjoy.
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Mar 3 (2014-03-03) by Don Fugler from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3, #9 [13.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue -10 to -20 which worked well
Just did the 9/3 loop off the Fortune Parkway. I rarely start at P10 and am not that familiar with the trails in this part of the Park. I had done a 3/9 loop earlier this season when 9 was fairly choppy. Doing the loop going west on 9 and coming back on 3 makes much more sense, as the downhills are more manageable on the wider trail 3. I came across a group of 20 school kids blocking the trail on the final descent on 3 to the Parkway. When they heard me coming, they parted like the Red Sea and let me go through at speed. Very courteous.
Mar 3 (2014-03-03) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40 [6.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
Did a short PM loop: P12 > #40 > #2 > #1 > #24 > #40 > P12.
#1, #2, #33, #24, and #40 have been groomed and looked quite good ... except those trails got no slide. With the cold snow it was very slow classic skiing; I expect that skating would also be painfully slow. My glide wax might have been too warm for the conditions; the snow probably justified something as cold as cold powder. #38 looked like it got a lot of attention on Sunday with good firm tracks.

Regardless it was a pleasant enough day and, with the slow snow, going downhill on #40 was almost too easy.
Mar 2 (2014-03-02) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6 over graphite, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
Did the Wakefield Triangle counter-clockwise - the best way for today:
P17 > #53 > #51 > P19 > #50 > #52 > #53 > P17.

Tracksetting was performed sometime during the night while the snow was still falling which meant there was an underlying firm trackset base with powder snow on top. #53 and #52 had 5 cm of surface snow ; for #51 and #50 it was 1 cm. This was a nice combination when the tracks were skied in: the underlying base gave a form to the skiing; the new cold surface snow had an excellent grip and glide - and for the grooming-addicted skiers it was as close as they are likely to get to real skiing. The new snow on #52 was a delight on the downhills - a true novelty of controllable, noiseless descents.

Brown Lake Hill (on #52) is trackset with an uphill track for the entire length of the hill. This track is not necessary since few skiers would want to climb a hill as steep as this in-track; it takes manoeuvring room away from the downhill skiers and diminishes the pleasure of what can be a great downhill run.

This was a extra-special day with unique snow conditions and a wonderful sun. Early February snow with the sun of March. It worked against Calvinist skiing - the warmer the sun became, the greater was the temptation to stop and absorb the day.
Mar 2 (2014-03-02) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Finally made it out to the Fire Tower, first trip out there this year, so the same route as Cindy's today except about an hour later. The hill at the Wolf bench was well skied in on the way back.

The NCC reports at noon everything groomed today? what planet are they on? like Cindy said there was no evidence of grooming on my trip. That being said it was a very enjoyable outing, nice sun, lots of new snow and little wind.

I did a little inspecting of old #10 trail, there were no fresh tracks since this weekend's snow, but you still could see old tracks visible. I went in about 50 feet or so before I turned around and had snow past my ankles, but I could not feel the crust underneath so that is a good sign. Would be best skied in with backcountry skis and basket poles.
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Mar 2 (2014-03-02) by Ingrid Hagberg from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy [14.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
A good day for skiing! The new snow has covered up everything from last week's thaw. There wasn't any recent grooming, so there were a few cms of fresh powder on the trails. It was already getting pretty packed down for skate later in the morning, and the classic tracks seemed to be skied in as well.
Mar 2 (2014-03-02) by Cindy Courtemanche from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #40, #26, #1 (blue) [12.7km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax: VR30
First time to the Firetower and picked a fantastic day to do it. P12 > #40 > #26 > #1 > Firetower and back the same way. Perfect grip and glide. On they way out there were less than five cars in the lot, almost full at 1pm. Did not see s single sign of grooming. Not a problem on the way out, but with the number of skiers on the way back the trails are getting chewed up for both classic and skate.
Mar 2 (2014-03-02) by Don Fugler from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #6 [4.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue -5 to -15, worked well
Very good day for a circuit of Skyline. The only skier who had done the full loop this morning prior to me had large canine tracks on top of his or her ski tracks. At first I thought that they were being pursued by a wolf but, given that the animal followed them all around Skyline, and that there was no blood, I am guessing that it was an early morning ski with the dog.
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Ken Trischuk from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #40, #21, #36 (black), #36 (blue), #28 [24.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
One of the nicer skiing days of the year! I felt for sure we had past the chance of having a dump of fresh, dry powder but sure enough March 1 slammed us with some white gold. My route was 36 to the "T" then across Meech lake and up 40 - 2 - 21 - 28 - 3 and down the parkway to 36 to complete the loop.

No grooming on 36 but it was well skied in and a pleasure to ski. A couple of the steeps were a little washed down the center to an icy base but a few inches either side of the "ice" was fresh powder so I tried my best to "redistribute" the snow back into the middle. Found the groomer had been down (and back up) 40 (and 2) when I got there but I probably hadn't missed them by much as the track was pretty soft and hadn't really had a chance to set up. In fact that was my luck on the rest of the groomed runs I skied. I just missed the groomer but the track was still pretty soft behind them with only one or two sets of ski tracks in the fresh snow. I expect it will set up nicely by tomorrow if it didn't get rutted out by too many skiers in the afternoon.

21 was perfect for backcountry with soft snow on a firm base. Interestingly I found 28 to be a little choppy. The powder seemed to be sitting on top of a breakable crust base. Perhaps not too many people have skied out there this season. It was a little challenging but certainly skiable so... more people should go!

As I got onto 36 black to drop back down to P11 I was once again too close behind the groomer and the descent was a little soft but still nice skiing. Easy to carve a few turns on the steeps. Walking back into the lot I could hear the beeping of the groomer just up the hill where I started so 36 will be groomed again for tomorrows skiers.

Question for Ron. The NCC has a website?
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
For credibility I have attached a photo of the elusive, mythical, yellow machine, spotted out near the end of Ridge Road, about 1 K from the Fire Tower.

Yesterday's ski was a combination of fast, icy trails, and slow un-groomed trails. Today we skied "backcountry" to the Fire Tower, skiing in about 10cm of fresh powder. The wax worked like a charm, fortunately, so the whole trip was quite pleasant, if slow. The downhills were particularly interesting, as there was usually a mess of deep snow mixed with a chaotic tangle of skier-made tracks, remnants of the previous grooming and skiers'snow-plowings. (I had one very exciting near crash).

The groomer was a surprise, to say the least, especially mid afternoon. And he was going fast! I recall being "stuck" behind groomers which were going very slowly, but today, he zipped past and was gone. The tracks were lovely for a bit, but an hour later they looked only slightly better than the un-groomed ones we had started out with. The top of 40 was in great shape, but continued only to the turn-off to 33. The lower sections of trail 40 were rutted loose snow or icy, scraped downhills.

I so agree with Ron about the website. It is completely useless. Just roll the dice and go skiing wherever you feel like going. One thing is certain: you will be either pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised.
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Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #52, #53 [15.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
It had been my intent to do the 51/53 loop this AM. However, as reported by everyone, there was no grooming. I went a short way on #53 on wobbly tracks and realized that this wouldn't be a day for any distance. I then broke trail up #52 for a few fresh snow telemarks down the first hill.

All reports, today, reported no grooming; the NCC site reported that all these trails were trackset today. Last weekend I ran into problems with debris on #53 due to its not being trackset; once again, the NCC Site indicated that #53 had been done in its entirety. Enough said about the veracity of the NCC Site - it's of no value.
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Paul Jaenicke from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #35 [22.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Same as the prior reports today no grooming around P6, but around 3 pm I met the big Groomer coming up Champlain parkway, but for the classic skiing the trails were well skied in so it didn't really matter.
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Katie McMahon from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax:
Lots and lots of new fresh powder! Nothing was groomed as of yet, but the snow is light and fluffy enough that it is still quite skiable.
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Don Fugler from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #30, #8, #17, #31 [8.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Green -5 to -13 (must be 10 years old)
The winter that keeps on giving ...

A good day for trail running on 17 and 8, and someone had broken trail already! What a bonus. On a weekday morning at 9:30, you are usually the tracksetter. Conditions were great. Following the tracks of a small group, I noticed that they were more apt to go straight down the slopes where I might at least start with a snowplow. Then again, with fresh snow, you can see where they crash ... If anyone is doing these trails in the near future, and has a small saw, there are the ends of trees on the path on 17 near the junction of 8 and on 8 near the King Mountain trail. Fifteen minutes of sawing would mean that it would not require a snowmobile and chainsaw for maintenance.

Have fun people: it's a beautiful day.
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Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Andy Jonyas from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax:
Where were the groomers? Demsis has been pretty good this year but recently a little invisible. We arrived at P5 to ankle deep snow and although it was skate skiable, we felt our legs burn on all the uphills. Snow stopped falling an hour after arrival and we waited in vain for the grooming panzer to come over the hill at some point. A quick pass would have helped, even if it was half the parkway. It was the weekend, after all.
Mar 1 (2014-03-01) by Ron Lorenson from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #40 [2.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
An addendum to my report of yesterday after reading Paul and Jo-Ann's reports

When I said all trails were trackset I referred only to what I could see - #40, #24, #33, and #1 blue.

It looked as if #1 has been trackset all the way to the tower. When I started off for Osprey Lake only side had been trackset - it appeared that this was done when the snow had a high moisture content because there was a slight glaze to the classic tracks - the other side with the ungroomed snow was as slow as described by Jo-Ann. I met the returning groomer on the Wolf Ridge on my way back, doing the other side - this side was fluffy powder, which would suggest that the snow had dried out in the interim. An eloquent statement of the art/science that goes into the grooming.

The divergence in the three reports is a recommendation for what is a great idea by XC-Ottawa for this reporting site - it's a big park and conditions and grooming can vary widely throughout the park.
Feb 28 (2014-02-28) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
First with basic report. All trails have been trackset and are in excellent condition. Only the new snow has trackset without any disruption of the hard base underneath - this means that in some places the classic tracks are a bit shallow. Regardless there are great mid-winter conditions for both classic and skating.

This was a day to visit an "old friend" - in this case Osprey Lake. Osprey Lake is a very attractive little lake that is snuggled into the west side of the Wolf Ridge. To get it you go over the Wolf Ridge on #1 and then turn right into the bog/fen on the north side of #1 before crossing the creek - I've attached a map of my route into it. Intent did not become resolution: when I started to cross the fen I realized that the bushwacking conditions would probably be too difficult for me to get into the lake. The crust from the rain will only marginally support a ski - there's about 50 cm of powder under the crust with about 7 cm of powder on top. It's not too bad on level terrain but it would have difficult to climb where you have to put more force onto the crust. My fear was getting stuck in difficult place with one ski trapped underneath the crust. It might be possible with proper back country gear - wider, softer skis and poles with real baskets. For me I'll wait until things firm up in March before I bushwack my way into the lake.

I headed back east along #1 to the water tank and then returned to P12 via #24 and #40. My return was leisurely, stopping whenever the sun was inviting. It's a truly magic day - the snow conditions of early February and the sun of the end of February. Nevertheless, as I write this I'm listening to a weather report on radio that counsels me to "bundle up" because it's dangerously cold out there - two diametric views!
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Feb 28 (2014-02-28) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #15 (blue), Pink Lake Access [17.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Green
Lot's of nice fresh new powder to ski in! Unfortunately, the parkway was only groomed for skate so classic was a tad slow today. Trail #15 however is groomed perfectly for classic.
Feb 28 (2014-02-28) by Paul Jaenicke from P6 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #35 [23.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short loop today from P6=>#15=>#35=>GP=>#7=>P6. Nice crisp day out there but the sun is warm and the wind was dying down from this morning.

Trail #7, #15 & #35 were freshly groomed and in great shape, cant say the same from what I saw from the Champlain & Gatineau parkway's, so I guess Jo-Ann you are right they are waiting for the weekend!!!!

Now the only question is with the 5cm or so coming overnight and into tomorrow will there be grooming early in the morning tomorrow?
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Feb 27 (2014-02-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Compared to Don's wonderful off trail ski, my afternoon outing was depressing, although starting at the same location I skied between P5 and Kingsmere. The snow was slow, parkway was tedious, dark clouds were pressing on all sides, and there was no grooming to be seen. I'm sorry I didn't leave earlier and head for something smaller and more interesting. What's with this lack of grooming, anyway? Winterlude is over? Just groom for the weekends? I feel like a sucker for having bought a ski pass.
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Feb 27 (2014-02-27) by Don Fugler from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #6, #15 (blue), #19, #34 [13.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue 3-10C
Ottawa had about 2 cm of snow: the Gatineaus received 6-10 cm. What a surprise. I took the Penguin climb to the easy top loop - 19 to 34 to the flat part of 6. It is a nice backcountry loop when conditions are nebulous. Lately I have been noticing that my skiing is noisy: the skis clatter on ruts and each pole plant is heard. In the new snow today, the skis were quiet but the poles still made noise on the crust below. It was a lovely, soft descent on the Penguin Hill which had not yet been groomed. A good afternoon for classic skiing.
Feb 27 (2014-02-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
10:00 a.m. ski on the North Loop. The snow had just stopped, P8 was not plowed, Meech Lake Road was quite slippery, and there was no grooming. Shortly after 10:00 a small groomer passed by and did part of the skate lane. The snow is thick and light, for the moment covering the abrasive rarely-groomed trails of the past week, but we could certainly use a more throrough compacting and track-setting, hopefully before the weekend.
Feb 26 (2014-02-26) by Matt Brown from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: MacKenzie-King Rd [0.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti K-Base, covered with Vauhti Fluor Orange
The trails in the park today are very hard and icy and has an abrasive base. In open areas there is blown snow covering the tracks that slow things down a bit.Make sure you iron in a binder if your heading out for a classic ski.
Feb 26 (2014-02-26) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #33, #40 [8.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Similar loop today to Don's yesterday from P12=>#40=>#2=>left on Ridge=>#1B=>left on #2=>Western Chalet=>#2=>#33=>#40=>P12.

Conditions described like Karl said, hard packed, with some loose snow on top which made for controllable downhills. No recent grooming anywhere that I saw today. Nice sun, if you can stay out of the wind pretty good conditions.

Most of the parking lots were deserted even P8 was only a third full.
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Feb 26 (2014-02-26) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B, Camp Fortune Race Course [20.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti K-base Klister, covered with Vauhti Fluor Orange
Once you get out of the windy parking lot, the sunshine makes for nice skiing today. The trails feature a very hard, icy, and abrasive base, covered with a small amount of windblown snow. For the most part, this makes for reasonably good conditions. For classic skiing you will need a very good binder or klister as a base to keep you kick wax on. The Fortune racing trail is in pretty good shape for either classic or skate, but the classic tracks have certainly been skated over in some places.
Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Cindy Courtemanche from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26 [17.8km], Glide Wax: CH7 Violet, Grip Wax: VR40 Blue
In our group we has blue and green grip wax. All worked, at first. By the end all skis had no grip wax left, even ones with a good layer of base binder. Most trails has good tracks. Surprisingly, there were only a few spots with ice. Parkways are better than #26 or #5. Skate skiers seems to be moving well.
Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Laura Nerenberg from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (shared) [19.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Had my skate ski class this AM. Did hill drills on the hard, not-recently-groomed surface. Worked to stay upright and avoid dog feces. There were several walkers on 27/29 and Gatineau Parkway. Was disappointed in the lack of grooming as there were MANY skiers out today enjoying the last of February. A group of school children were out on 26 doing hills evals with their teacher. Yikes! Many of them looked cold in jeans and thin gloves... Their waxless skis made short work of the up-hills though. Hoping Thursday's class is better grooming-wise.
Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Katie McMahon from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
The snow is really hard packed out there! Quite icy on most downhills and pretty difficult to keep a flat ski out there! Wicked fast though...For classic, my best guess would be a Vauhti Blue Klister (at least as a base binder). Those tracks are mighty solid/ice.
Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #33, #40 [6.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Did the short Meech loop. Conditions are very hard pack on the groomed trails: sometimes my pole tips would bounce off the snow when climbing. Maybe I should sharpen them. The downhills are fast. I am happy to have steel edges. I ventured on 21 and would not recommend back country trails for anyone right now. More snow would be useful.
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Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix hydro blue, Grip Wax:
Quick skate ski of the Doldrums (two hamster loops) for exercise. I was the third skier on fresh corduroy. The skating was exceptional- very fast and controllable, although a bit noisy. The groomers have done an excellent job crushing up the hard base to produce granular snow. The crowds were already gathering at 10AM, so the corduroy will be washed out by this evening, but skiing should still be nice. Use a hard wax!
Feb 25 (2014-02-25) by Megan McTavish from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti LF blue, Grip Wax: Guess: Vauhti K-Base klister covered with Vauhti Universal klister
Nice evening ski last night. The grooming looked about a day old but it was still in good shape - hard and fast, but not too icy.
Feb 24 (2014-02-24) by Jo-Ann Holden from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #29 (shared) [17.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue, Grip Wax:
Late afternoon skate starting at the Relais. The trails were reported as groomed at midday, and so I went seeking beautiful new corduroy. The trails really did not look to have been groomed that recently. 29 was hard, verging on icy, 26 looked anciently icy (I avoided it). 29 and 5 featured a few washboards from a hasty grooming. The parkway seemed more thoroughly groomed and deeply tilled. Even there, though, the snow was already very hard and grooved by a skier who had evidently skated on his edges, forming deep ruts. Anyway, it was all ski-able and quite fast, but not exactly the relaxing outing I had hope for.
Feb 24 (2014-02-24) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Teho Green + VR40
Gave a morning classic lesson on the North Loop. I was expecting conditions similar to those reported yesterday but at the last minute we had a thick dusting of fresh snow which covered the tracks and slowed things down more than expected! Sun was bright, wind was brisk, winter is still here. A beautiful morning.
Feb 23 (2014-02-23) by Laura Nerenberg from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Short classic ski up Fortune Pkwy, R on Ridge, to Shilly Shally with the family today. We couldn't find the klister, so hobby opted for Special Red (an older can 0 to +2). Turns out we didn't need klister, our grip was fine. Back country trails looked pretty well impassable, shellacked with ice. Temps were great for a ski with young children, and there were many out today. Skaters flew by us with the fast conditions -- I was feeling a tad jealous.
Feb 23 (2014-02-23) by Karl Saidla from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti K Base klister, covered with Vauhti Violet/Universal klister mix
Today we skied from P12 to McKinstry and back. Conditions might be described as semi-firm granular, with excellent grooming the length of the route. Some skaters had done a remarkably good job skiing on top of the classic tracks in places, but other than that, with the right klister job you have what might be described as "hero" conditions: very fast, very nice!
Feb 23 (2014-02-23) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #53 [8.9km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Roode multigrade klister
With the reconstituted snow it seemed an ideal day for fast easy gliding on the 53/51 loop. Initially conditions were reasonably good on #53 with crunchy granular snow and tracks that varied from good to shallow depending on the amount of underlying ice. Things deteriorated on #53 at the intersection with #51 - from that point #53 hasn't been groomed and was icy and covered with considerable debris. It didn't look that bad so I proceeded on #53. Not a good idea: with klistered skis I began to quickly pick up debris. After about 100 m the base of one ski resembled a leaf museum - the other a bark museum. I cleaned the bases and headed back to P17. I could have proceeded on #51 without much problem and then continued on #50; but that wasn't the image of the day that I had in mind.

Perhaps I should concentrate on skating for a while until some snow comes along to cover things that stick to kick wax.
Feb 22 (2014-02-22) by Ken Trischuk from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [29.1km], Glide Wax: blue (probably irrelevant though), Grip Wax:
Skated a loop from P6 today. First up the parkway to Huron and then Ridge to Wattsfords, down Penguin and around on the Gatineau parkway to return to P6. The parkway and Ridge had been groomed, likely first thing after yesterdays rains, and were in good shape. I expected it to be pretty soft but the surface held up really well. The temperature was +5C with a warm sun but there was a gusty wind blowing so it didn't feel that warm except in sheltered spots. Where the Parkway sat in direct sun all day it had gotten a little soft but for the bulk of my loop, where the shadows of the trees kept the snow surface cooler, it was firm and fast. Ridge road was also nice although the strong winds had brought down a bit of debris and ice chunks that had frozen to the tree branches. For the most part though it was no problem. I even found the descent to Wattsford and Penguin to be in excellent shape. Lots of "surface" to control the speed and it hadn't gotten too icy. Towards the end of the day, as the sun started to sink, the surface started to get harder and a little choppy but it was fine until I got to the car. They may have to resurface things tomorrow morning if these spring conditions continue... but colder weather looks to return next week so daily melts might be short lived for now.

Took a quick look at the Fortune race trails but they hadn't been groomed yet and looked pretty rough. Perhaps they'll get redone later in the "order" once the higher priority trails are set right. As Paul mentioned, anything off the groomed runs looked unappetizing as an icy crust seems to have formed.

Saw a fair number of people out in the groomed classic tracks which looked nice but not sure what their wax pick would be for the day - klister? waxless? My glide wax choice worked well but probably almost anything would work due to the icy nature of the snow. The one exception was a 10 foot strip under the bridge at P5. For some reason the snow there was very wet (maybe dirty?)and my speed dropped in half in an instant almost forcing me to "yard sale" in the middle of the parkway.
Feb 22 (2014-02-22) 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:
Just a short outing today to take a look at overall conditions after yesterday's rain / freezing rain. Started out from P12=>#40=>#2=>right on #1 to Blanchet trail=>back on #1=>#24 water tank=>#40=>P12.

Not many cars at P12 or P11, everywhere were they have Groomed is good overall except lots of small debris on the trails, Ridge past #24 intersection not groomed skiable but hard and icy tracks.

All the small backcountry trails had an icy glaze to them, would not recommend them. Still with nice temperatures and sun, the Groomed trails were still enjoyable....
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Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #9, #4, #8, #17, #31, #11, #34 [23.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I knew I forgot something here are the Pictures !!!!!!!!!!
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Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #6, #30, #9, #4, #8, #17, #31, #11, #34 [23.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another spectacular day on the backcountry trails today, my route was from P7=>#30=>#31=>#8=>#11=>#17=>Keogan for lunch=> across pond=>#9=>#4=>#34=#6=#1=#30=>P7.

The warm temperatures and sun started to change the texture of the snow, by the time I finished around 1pm, the glide had gotten slower, but was still a good day.

Amazingly, I met only 3 REAL skiers in all the backcountry trails I skied. I am not sure if Don is a real skier or not, but if he like's the thrill of coming down #2 like I do, I would recommend #17, #11, #8 even #9, there you will get your money's worth also.

With the upcoming slop for tomorrow looks like I will be joining Ron on the comfort of his flawless tracksetting,but for me this will not be home....
Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: Blue Extra, Grip Wax: Universal
Skied out from Asticou and did the 26, 29, 27 and 5 routes. No fresh grooming but tracks were firm and in mostly good shape. Grip was decent with blue extra and it was nice to ski in mild conditions for a change. Tomorrow is not looking too good though...
Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #33, #40, #38 [7.3km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Ron,

I was on 38 yesterday, likely just before you as I was cutting track in the overnight snow. I wanted to try a loop that had me return on 33 to 40, as I usually only climb 33 on my way to descending 2. I had encountered a family descending 33 and they raved about that twisty trail. So I did the 40, 38, 1, 33, 40 loop in that order. I think I prefer the descent on 2. It is just a rush. The 33/40 descent, while interesting, is not as precipitous and demanding, and the return to the parking lot is less exhilarating. It was a good ski nonetheless.
Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Katie McMahon from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [17.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF violet, Grip Wax:
Every trail out there that I could see was perfectly groomed for both classic and skate today. The Camp Fortune race trails are groomed and have never looked better!
Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [12.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Spectacular conditions. Started at 9:30, with VR40 for grip expecting to change, but no need. Great grip, great glide, sunny skies, new grooming, have I left anything out? P7 > #30 > Ridge past Western to the bench and back. Passed the groomer 2 - 3 times along Ridge.
Feb 20 (2014-02-20) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30, Camp Fortune Race Course, #1 (blue) [28.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti K12, Vauhti K9
A spectacular morning and I am sure the afternoon will be nice too. Ridge Road, as well as the Fortune and Champlain Parkways were in terrific shape for classic or skating, having been groomed overnight. The only trail I saw that was not recently groomed was the Camp Fortune racing trail, does not appear to have been groomed since before the last snowfall.
Feb 19 (2014-02-19) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #38 [5.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Swix VF 40
I took Cindy's advice to get out before the warm weather and, yes, I did have a great day. Because I felt the window of opportunity would be narrow I made my tour short. I decided to visit an "ancient friend". I have talked about "old friends", they're favourite places that I try to visit at least once a year. An "ancient friend" is a trail that I haven't skied for decades - a trail that I skied when I was a real skier and so was everybody else. The "ancient friend" in question is #38 (Beaver) - in times past it used to be one of the Lorenson family's favourite trails. It's an interesting trail but, since I've adapted to flawless tracksetting, I found it to be a challenge - I've forgotten how to squeeze between trees downhill on irregular tracks with heavy unbroken snow at the side. When I finally got to the trackset comfort of #1 I felt that I had returned home. It's an interesting trail, with interesting challenges, but it's quite a change from the parkways.

My route was: P12 > #40 > #38 > #1 > water tank > #24 > #40 > P12.

#40, #24 , #2, #33, #1 as far as #24 have been trackset. The tracksetting is excellent albeit a tad predictable. The snow is wet but my fluor wax gave me an acceptable grip - the glide is quite fast. Classic skiing was easy and fast. However, skating would probably be a better option.

As of 12:00 conditions were still quite good.
Feb 19 (2014-02-19) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [24.2km], Glide Wax: vauhti lf blue, Grip Wax: vauhti fluor carrot
I skied yesterday after the new snow. It had not been groomed yet, but I'm sure it will be by now. This new snow will definitely set us up for some nice skiing for the upcoming warm snap.
Feb 18 (2014-02-18) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1, #30 [10.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue Extra
Such a treat to ski in the warmer temps and with fresh snow. Conditions were excellent for skate or classic - we opted for the latter. Great grip and glide. Have to wonder why there was no signs of grooming anywhere we skied. Get out there before things warm up and spoil these conditions.
Feb 18 (2014-02-18) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #9, #4, #19, #34 [19.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Swix, ordinary old Extra Blue
Another patchwork of trails skied today, part 3 of my quest to become a real skier. A bit of this, a bit of that, basically Fortune to #9, past the racing trails, to #4, then #34, #19, and back home on Ridge and Fortune. I was hoping to ski Skyline as well, but simply ran out of time, and didn't want to leave my piano student wondering where I was! I also had to stop and check the map several times as I have never skied these trails before and had a strict time limit. It was really fun - I am truly hooked! The trail looked like it had seen quite a bit of traffic over the weekend - a two-foot wide trail with a covering of fresh snow, rather than a single track. It was a very relaxing ski with the bit of fresh snow.

Something odd is happening to me. When the snow is this nice I would much rather be off the boring parkways and wider trails and explore the narrower, backcountry trails. However I am frequently angered by the lack of good grooming on the so-called groomed trails. I supposed I am just beginning to realize that back country skiing and track skiing are indeed two separate sports.

Fortune was in full neglect mode today, unless you count a hasty half section of the skate lane. The tracks were pathetic and coming back down the parkway was a wiggly, slow affair in soft snow. Ridge was quite nice, still firm tracks under a layer of fresh snow. I'd have been tempted to give a 2 star rating if Fortune had been the only place I was skiing today.
Feb 17 (2014-02-17) by Ron Lorenson from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green
Did a leisurely tour of #36 this AM. Conditions are hard but there's a layer of loose powder on top. The tracks are reasonably fast. The downhills have been trackset wide and with the powder surface are quite controllable. Overall the conditions are good to very good but the sun and temperature are excellent.
Feb 16 (2014-02-16) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Blue, Grip Wax:
A short, late afternoon skate ski on the north loop. I hesitated to file this report, after the glowing reports that preceded it. But here it is. Both Garry and I found this area was quite poor for skating, overly skied, and either "polished" or rutted. It was a perfunctory skate at best. (The classic tracks, however, looked amazing.). I hope there will be fresh grooming this week, now that the races are over.

I would also like to take this opportunity to whine a bit about yesterday's ski conditions for the 15 K afternoon race, the poor cousin of the other two longer classic races. It felt like a back country race, particularly on the parkway stretch from Pink. The tracks were almost non-existent, and the surrounding snow extremely soft. I believe the snow was simply not packed adequately before being track-set. The race was fun and the weather stunning, but the classic grooming the worst I have ever seen for a classic race, including that for the same race of previous years. End of whine.
Feb 16 (2014-02-16) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I meant "counter-clockwise" for the triangle. Perhaps the day was just so great that I lost my orientation.
Feb 16 (2014-02-16) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1B, #50, #51, #52, #53 [36.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar changed to Vauhti Carrot
IF - a big IF - there's a skiers heaven and IF - again a big IF - this vieux bonhomme would qualify for entry then, in this skiers heaven, it will always be the third weekend of February 2014. But, in the event that one of those IFs isn't valid, I felt that I had to honour this special weekend two ways. Yesterday I skied from the start of #36 to Herridge watching the classic loppet; today I did the Wakefield triangle (there's only so much you can work in when you are in paradise).

From this vicarious observer the classic loppet was a complete success. Everyone, regardless of ability, seemed to be enjoying the new course very much. I asked a fiftyish couple if they were having a good day - they answered, in a Scandinavian accent "yes and the tracks are SO good". I've done the loppet many times in years past: my memories are of bitter cold, high winds, abrasive ice, rain etc. - my view has been that god hates loppets. Perhaps Yan Michaud and the loppet committee have a direct line to a deity or have made a pact with the devil but they have had a very successful weekend - congratulations.

Today I did the triangle clockwise - the only way on such perfect powder conditions. Perfect snow, perfect temperature, perfect sun, perfect tracksetting! This wasn't a performance day - there were many stops to take in the beauty along these trails. Again the Wakefield Triangle is:
P17 > #53 > #51 > P19 > #50 > #52 > #53 > P17.

And! Tomorrow looks just as good.
Feb 15 (2014-02-15) by Megan McTavish from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [12.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti HF Blue., Grip Wax: Vauhti K15
Beautiful weather for the Gatineau Loppet classic races. Tracks were in perfect condition and weather was comfortable as well. Great to see so many people out participating and spectating. Should be another great day tomorrow.
Feb 13 (2014-02-13) by Katie McMahon from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 [9.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: vauhti violet
Excellent conditions out there! It's getting a little warmer out there so the snow is getting faster. We started with just carrot and decided to cover with violet because the snow was warmer than we thought. The violet worked well.
Feb 12 (2014-02-12) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [7.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Conditions are still awesome. Skating is very hard packed and getting a little tricky to stabilize, but still excellent conditions. Everything is looking pretty prime for the upcoming Gatineau Loppet!
Feb 12 (2014-02-12) by Ron Lorenson from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop, #36 (blue) [9.9km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar
I decided that today would be my day to do #36 - it's the last of my "old friends" that I haven't visited this year. My timing was not impeccable. It is being worked on by Demsis to get it in shape for the classic Loppet on Saturday. There's a tracksetter, three snowmobiles, and snowblowers at work. They are currently working at the bay covering up the rock garden there. Up to that point the trail is ground up with shallow, temporary tracks and quite a few snowmobile ruts. Past that point it is as "stale" and "polished" as reported by Jo-Ann last Sunday. I skied for about three km until I decided that this wouldn't be the memorable day that I had hoped for and turned around.

As a ski-trail superintendent, I can only approve of the work being done. The result should be the #36 that we dream about. The hills are being widened and a good base is being put down. I doubt that it will be ready before Friday. Un gros merçi to the crew doing the crew doing the work - they're doing great work.

I finished up the day by doing one iteration of the Doldrums which were freshly groomed and in excellent shape.
Feb 12 (2014-02-12) by Rick Hellard from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3 [8.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Ski lesson on Burma, so we did it twice.

adding to the reasons for a double Burma were the fantastic conditions. I think this is the best Burma has been in years. Solid classic tacks and excellent and wide skate lane.

This winter has been amazing.
Feb 11 (2014-02-11) by Rick Hellard from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #33, #40, #36 (black), #36 (blue) [18.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Toko carbon white--really good in the shade, not so much in the sunshine
A fantastic classic ski. Conditions were excellent all the way around.

skied a great loop: P11 to 36, 50, across Meech Lake to P13, up snowshoe trail 62, left on Ridge to 24, 40, 33, back to Ridge, 1B, Ridge, Burma, Parkway, 36 back to P11.
Feb 11 (2014-02-11) by Don Fugler from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #33, #40, #21 [15.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue (3-10C) and it worked for once
A great ski yesterday afternoon, shorter than the full distances outlined. I climbed 40 to 33 and then took 21 to 3. I turned right at 3, skied to 1 and went west back to 2 where I descended to P12. It was a lovely loop of 12 km with a mix of backcountry and mainline. The descent on 2 was fast and empty. We have been so blessed with good conditions this year.
Feb 10 (2014-02-10) by Megan McTavish from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [22.8km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Carrot
Absolutely beautiful night for skiing! The trails were in perfect shape, waxing was super easy (carrot!) and the moon was bright. A good week to plan that cabin ski you have been putting off all winter...
Feb 10 (2014-02-10) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #18, #20, #21, #12 [21.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Another sequel in my quest to become a "real skier". Skied a patchwork of trails, some in both directions, spliced together by sections of Burma: #12, 21, 18, 20, and some swamp cruising. Not being raised on ungroomed trails, and doing these trails on my own, I was most careful, and even sidestepped two hill that would certainly have been great fun to go down. I met not one other skier, and was surrounded by swamps, animal tracks, the odd woodpecker and a few red squirrels. :) It was a very satisfying morning, and coming out to Burma felt as though I was skiing on a highway!

Having read Rick's report about the odd classic tracks on 1B,and having just received an email from a friend who had also found tracks "missing" on trail 36 compared to earlier years, I want to add that the classic tracks on Burma also seem to be fewer than they used to be. I have been noticing this trend for several years, but it seems to be increasing. Anyone else notice this?

Photos will be posted on www.musicianonskis.ca/blog
Feb 9 (2014-02-09) by Rick Hellard from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #1B, #24 [10km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: swix carbon polar white--it was awesome
This was actually on Saturday.

Another classic ski day for me, while my friends skate skied. It balanced out our speeds nicely.

Having primarily been a skate skier for the past 20 years, this classic skiing thing is starting to grow on me.

Conditions were amazing, but, now that i use them, I found the track setting a bit odd, especially on 1B--the tracks would disappear on the crest and some of the flatter spots where they would be useful, then re-appear on the uphills where they were a bit less useful. Not the end of the world, but certainly odd.

Someone asked earlier about who has the right of way when a downhill skier meets an uphill skier. I believe the one with the momentum has the right of way, which would be the downhill skier.
Feb 9 (2014-02-09) by Paul Jaenicke from N/A grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #56 [10km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Went out for my yearly ski of trail #56 , from the unofficial parking lot on Eardley road across from Ramsay lake. I was the first car there at 10:30 ,skied up to the intersection point then left right down to the bottom at Taylor lake. then back up again proceeding to the lookout bench for a brief rest. Just past the bench there were tracks leading down around the corner leading to...... somewhere!!!!

It was nice coming down the trail from the lookout heading back to the intersection and turning left where I had started from. Surprisingly or not I only met 2 skiers just up from Taylor lake that was it for the day. As I got back to my original point, instead of going back to the car, I proceeded for the final 2km, seems like more up to Lake Richard / Yurt.

All in all the trail was in good shape up there, a few snowshoe tracks at the start of the parking lot /road area along the side of the ski trail. Its such a remote area that you never know what condition the trail will be in. One problem area a big tree had fallen see picture, but was identified with yellow tape before you got there. The big hill going up toward Richard lake was good, although more snow there would be nice.

When I arrived at the yurt it was deserted but a nice fire was still roaring, so lunch time was pleasant.
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Feb 9 (2014-02-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
This is part two of a long ski from P11 to the shores of Lac Philippe. Pine Road was in beautiful shape, fairly recently groomed. Unlike trail 36, our wax worked beautifully here, there were no "polished" sections and conditions were just as you would hope for. Delightful!
Feb 9 (2014-02-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: something blue
We had a long ski from P11 to the shores of Lac Philippe and back, with a lunch stop at Herridge. All in all, a lovely ski, but since the conditions on trail 36 were quite different to those on 50, I'm writing two separate reports.

On the way out, we found the tracks a bit "stale" and the downhills "polished" . A fresher grooming would have been nice, especially considering weekend traffic. Anyway, on the return trip, a snowmobile had evidently been on the trail to rescue a skier. (There are surprisingly often novices on this trail, and perhaps one of those polished downhills had been just a bit too shiny?) The snowmobile tracks had inflicted a lot of damage, removed many of the tracks, and made some of the downhills quite unreliable.
One more comment about this trail: This trail can be a classic skier's delight, and I have many fond memories of coasting along on the rolling classic tracks, on many downhills and around bends in the trail. In the last few years, many of the customary tracks seem to have been omitted. I don't think this is my imagination. It seems that many smaller downhills are missing tracks. This really impacts the distinctive enjoyment of trail 36. In the absence of these tracks, it seems that skiers revert to "death plows" turning the snow into the polished surface mentioned earlier.
Feb 9 (2014-02-09) 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 LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green over Vauhti tar changed to Swix Blue (V30)
Commuted to Lac Philippe (via #51 & #53) from P17 to do the #55 loop around Taylor Lake. Conditions were just as good as yesterday. If the conditions are the same next Saturday the Gatineau Loppet 51 km classic race should be a blast. It looks like the turn from #51 to #50 will be quite interesting - it appears that the course will go straight from #51 into the rock cut on #50 (with snow buildup to fill in the mini-cliff) with a sharp left turn before the racers hit the rock wall on the other side. The Canadian Ski Marathon must have had the best conditions ever.

I met the Brown Lake Express again - on #51. Even though the snowmobiles affect the ski surface they are helping to improve the ski experience - e.g., the ski patrol and the people who are doing maintenance on inaccessible shelters like Herridge, Huron, Western, McKinstry etc. If there are accessible shelters like Brown Cabin and the Lac Richard yurt they should initially be accessed by truck bypassing the ski trails. We have the ridiculous situation where excellent grooming is put down on #51, #53, and #52 only to have the Brown Lake Express to come along, after, to affect that grooming when there are alternatives.
Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Riel Allain from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vauthi K15
WOW. simply amazing day! p17 to p19 then along lac philippe back to p17 (the triangle, counterclockwise)
It does not get any better than this. Go train for the Gatineau loppet!
Fresh grooming all around!
Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #40, #1 (blue) [17.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti blue
Those that proclaim "mid winter conditions" in November when we have a few inches of snow do a disservice to days like today. Perfect groomed tracks so I figured on doing a long ski in the groomers. What better then a run out to the tower. I skied up 40 to 24, a short side trip off 24 on an old pond traverse and then out 1 to the tower and back opting to descend 2. Perfect classic tracks and the skate lane was good. A few of the steep descents were scraped down and a little icy but still very manageable.

My grip was - as Katie and Ron suggested - pretty solid but I did pick up a few leaves in the grip wax which had to be corrected with a pit stop at McKinstry.

I also saw good tracks on old 10 which Ron's report confirms from the other end. I'll have to venture out there for a first hand look soon. Overall a beautiful day and more of the same tomorrow.
Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #9, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21 [20.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Another great day out there, I started out from P12=>#40=>#2=>#21=>#3=>#9=>Hidden valley=>#1=>#3=>#20=>#18=>Hidden valley( 100 meters)=>#18=>#2=>#33=>#40=>P12.

All the small backcountry trails that I skied on are in great shape, Burma was also very good. I decided to look for an old trail formerly numbered #13 Hidden Valley trail. I skied down #9 in the direction towards ridge and found some tracks that headed left, I had already gone right the other day which connected to the pond on #20. Going left I skied through several open areas, there were recents tracks only a day or two old so I followed them hoping to end up on Burma, according to the old map 1978, but instead ended up connecting on Ridge about 50 meters below Burma.

There were hardly any skiers on the backcountry trails, #28 had some good tracks on it, as did #38. As I arrived in the parking lot at P12, I was asked by a couple if this was just a ski trail? they were looking for a snowshoe / hiking trail, so I directed them to P13.
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Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Don Fugler from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #6, #34 [6.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a short loop on a beautiful day to a fast descent to Penguin. A question: who has priority on shared trails these days? It used to be that, in climbing, you would yield to skiers coming down the hill. Skate skiers seem to take up over half the trail width and force descending skiers to squeeze to the far right. Is there any formal protocol to deal with these encounters or is it a game of chicken in the snow?
Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #53, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared) [34.3km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green
This has been the week for visiting old friends - today was Lusk Lake, commuting from Wakefield.
P17 > #53 > #51 > #50 > #55 > #54 green > Lusk cabin & return.

Conditions were very much as reported by Katie. I had two variants - newly trackset snow and powder cover over an old hard base. The glide was better on the newly trackset tracks than on the old snow. #50, #51, #53, & #55 have been trackset - #54 green and the #53 long loop have not been trackset. It doesn't really matter - classic skiing is excellent everywhere.

Early this week I mentioned that there were no tracks on old #10 and wondered where the real skiers have gone. Well, they're still around and doing quite well. #54 black had firm tracks. While at Lusk cabin I saw familiar real skiers skiing along the lake - they had just come down #10 and said that it has been brushed extensively and is excellent condition - if there was any doubt, the smiles from their euphoric run would be sufficient contradiction - they were going to return by #54 black. Some of the unofficial BC trails had tracks on them. Going by the descriptions of these reliable witnesses #10 is currently something to be experienced.

And oh yeah! Skating looked pretty good on #50 and #55. It's just that it's a wonderful classic day - in track or hors piste.
Feb 8 (2014-02-08) by Katie McMahon from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
Perfect day out there! It's one of those perfect classic days where you can grip everywhere! The snow is a little bit slow because it is so dry, but again, perfect grip so it's all worth it! Get out there!
Feb 7 (2014-02-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #15 (blue), #26, #29 (shared), #35, Pink Lake Access [26.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
Beautiful skiing today in the southern area of the park. Everything we saw was consistently in good shape. The Pink Lake trail was especially nice - groomed and fast, and out of the damp wind.
Feb 7 (2014-02-07) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [7.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Conditions are pretty perfect for both classic and skate. It was a bit windy so there is a bit of wind-blown snow in some of the classic tracks. The snow is also pretty fast, which makes for awesome skiing!
Feb 7 (2014-02-07) by David Brownrigg from P17 grooming 
Trails Skied: #52 [7km], Glide Wax: universal, Grip Wax: blue
Skied #52 for the first time ever. Several big climbs on this trail. No fresh grooming and 2cms of overnight light fluffy snow. Tracks were skied on by several skiers who were ahead of me but once I passed them had to cut through the light snow myself. Blue grip wax worked very well. On the way back to P17 a snowmobile had partly obliterated the tracks for about 3kms. Other than that it was a very enjoyable ski...
Feb 7 (2014-02-07) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (blue) [8.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
10am arrived at P7 and took the last parking spot (???). Skated to Western, conditions were interesting. Slow like sandpaper from P7 to FP, much faster to Western. Classic skiers seemed to be having an easier time of it. Winds were a factor, even in the forest. Great day to be out and clearly we were not the only ones with the idea.
Feb 7 (2014-02-07) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #3 [17.1km], Glide Wax: Swix hydro blue, Grip Wax:
Skate ski from P10 up the FP, east on Ridge to the top of Penguin, back west on Ridge and then 1B to the intersection with 2, east on 1A to Burma, down Burma and back to P10. Superb midwinter conditions with flawless fresh grooming! I saw a groomer on the FP and another doing a SECOND pass on Ridge Road. Conditions were a bit cold and squeaky for skating, but the corduroy was perfect. 1B had not been groomed, but it was still in good shape. Burma had been freshly groomed,and was in the best condition I've seen this year. I'm no racer, but on the last long "toboggan run" down to the FP I quickly decided I could just let my skis run. There was no ice, and the skis carved the turns effortlessly. There was a strong, cold west wind for much of the trip. If you can get out and ski this afternoon, go for it- just wear a windshell or something a bit warmer than you would usually use at -10C. Another note- the MRC police were once again radar trapping on Meech Lake Road. I saw them pull over a car that didn't seem to be going very fast, so I'd advise staying very close to the speed limit on this section.
Feb 6 (2014-02-06) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just taught some skate ski lessons in the most enjoyable and easy conditions this year.

Grooming was excellent, the snow was perfect and the sun and temperature combined to make for fantastic conditions. These are the days you dream about for skate skiing.

Did some double poling in the tracks and they were also solid and fast.

Get out there and enjoy!
Feb 6 (2014-02-06) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix green
all trails in the Asticou/Relais de plein air area were freshly groomed as of 10:00 AM for both classic and skate. Conditions were very good with lots of cars at P1 despite the cold. Lack of wind made for a pleasant ski.
Feb 6 (2014-02-06) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #9, #18, #20, #21 [25.3km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green
The photos that should have been with report
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Feb 6 (2014-02-06) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3, #9, #18, #20, #21 [25.3km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green
Maybe it was peer pressure or just the persuasive powers of Jo-Ann and Ken but I decided to follow their ski tracks and venture off the groomed trails into the world of the backcountry trails. I did a loop, that I do a few times a winter, that includes all variants of trail - parkway, trail, & backcountry:
P10 > FP > #1 > #18 > #21 > #20 > {stop on pond} > #20 > #9 > #3 > P10

FP was newly trackset to an interesting level - the skate lane was hard but the classic tracks were soft - both were good. Ridge was also newly trackset and was quite good. All the backcountry trails had firm tracks. Burma (#3) has not been done and is getting a bit worn but is fast and quite controllable.

It was everything I had hoped for. All variants of skiing were enjoyable but the best part was the stop in the sun on the #20 pond - Jo-Ann's special place.
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Feb 5 (2014-02-05) by Katie McMahon from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [13.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax:
Skied last night at Chalet des Erables and the Camp Fortune race trails as well as Ridge Road. Everything was groomed perfectly! Check out this less skied upon part of the park, the camp fortune race trails have never looked so great!
Feb 4 (2014-02-04) by Cindy Courtemanche from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #15 (blue), #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [13.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Blue Extra
Tried the Loppet 15km classic route: P2 > #27/29 > #5 > #15 > #35 > Pkwy > #5 > #29. Good conditions all around. At least two days since there was grooming. classic tracks are getting rounded. Skating looked great. Blue extra wax gripped fine. Lots of people out tonight - great to see.
Feb 4 (2014-02-04) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green
A beautiful early February day to do a classic excursion to visit an old friend - like the fire tower.

I took the usual route P12 => #40 => #24 => #1 => the fire tower and back. #40 and #24 have old tracksetting covered with feathers of new snow; #1 is newly trackset all the way to the fire tower. Both conditions were extraordinarily great - I'm not sure which I liked best. Why do I feel indulged? The grip was great, even on the steep climbs; the glide was reasonably fast.

I find Start Racing Green works exceptionally well on new, cold snow. I was able go parallel uphill where most skiers had to herringbone. It's supposed to be equivalent to Vauhti Teho.

The route out to the tower was as beautiful as ever.

The old #10 only had some old snowshoe tracks on it. Maybe we can paraphrase an old Pete Seeger song as "Where have all the real skiers gone".

I think I will spend the rest of today levitating on the memories this memorable ski.
Feb 4 (2014-02-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #9, #33, #40, #18, #20 [16.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR40
This is a variation on Ken's ski yesterday, minus trail 11. The comments are also pretty much the same. The single track trails are such a spirit lifter! If I'd had more time, I would have skied them all again. Just lovely! Trail 40 is well skied and quite fast now. The bit of Ridge I saw was freshly groomed, and I thought I heard a grooming machine heading back from the direction of the Fire Tower. Great skiing! Get out if you can!

Photos will be posted this evening on musicianonskis.ca/blog
Feb 3 (2014-02-03) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #9, #33, #20, #21, #11 [28.4km], Glide Wax: vauhti blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot
Another nice day on the trails. I did a loop out of P12 skiing up 40 to 33 - 21 -20 -9 then a short jaunt up the parkway to 11 - 1 and finally down 2 and 40 to the car.

The groomed trails had all been reset and were in excellent shape. The backcountry trails were equally nice. The snow had set up a wee bit since Sunday and was a little less fluffy but was still easily managed for fun skiing.

As Megan said the waxing was easy and the warm sunshine made for a great day on the trails.
Feb 3 (2014-02-03) by Megan McTavish from P6 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #7, #15 (blue) [28.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Carrott
Trails 15 and 7 are in great shape for classic skiing, having been recently groomed but not skied very much. The parkways appear to have had the skate lanes refreshed. Grip waxing is about as easy as it gets, and the snow is reasonably fast as well. Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures don`t hurt either!

As an aside, thanks to everyone involved in the Eastern Canadian Championships for putting on such a great event at Nakkertok this weekend!
Feb 2 (2014-02-02) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
Quick late-day skate ski from P10 up the Fortune Parkway, west on Ridge to 1B, 1B to above Western, then back on 1A, Ridge and down the Parkway. The traffic jam leaving the park at 4PM was amazing. Despite the number of cars leaving, there were very few spots available in P10. The FP had been groomed in the morning, but by afternoon had been churned into fairly bumpy powder. Ridge was in much better shape, perhaps because the skier traffic had flattened the skate lane. 1B was also quite nice, but 1A was a bit bumpy. The sharp corner at the top of the Khyber Pass has already been skied down to ice. The classic tracks were in good shape just about everywhere and provided fast descents. In all in all it was great to be out enjoying the sunset from Ridge Road. If there is grooming overnight, conditions should be superb in the morning. If not, the FP will be a bit of a grind, but Ridge should be quite nice.
Feb 2 (2014-02-02) by Paul Jaenicke from P7 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #30, Champlain Pkwy, #4, #8, #14, #17, #19, #22, #34 [22.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
It does not get any better then this: nice and mild weather, lots of snow, partly sunny, you could tell this was a good day, at P7 even the overflow parking lot had only a few spots left.

Today was definitely a backcountry day, my route was from P7=>#30=>#1=>#19=left on #34=>left on #22=>right on #4=>#14=>#8=>left on #17=>#23=>left on CP=>connector from CP to #8=>#30=>P7.

There were many skiers on Ridge, but I did not meet any on the small backcountry trails. I decided to try a NEW trail today #23 which use to be called the Nature trail on the old maps, and recently was mostly used as a hiking trail in the summer. I think with the fall cleanup of the trails they decided to reopen it to skiing.

For those who are not familiar it branches of #17 and goes across #8 and after it descends to the Champlain parkway right near Black lake. I would say maybe 1 km give or take. Up to the intersection with #8, I was the first one on it today, after the #8 intersection there had been one skier who climbed it from the parkway.
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Feb 1 (2014-02-01) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53 [35.1km], Glide Wax: Swix LF6, Grip Wax: Start racing green then Swix blue V30 then Vauhti Carrot
Finally got around to doing the Wakefield Triangle:
P17 => #53 => #51 => P19 => #50 => #52 => #53 => P17 (i.e., counterclockwise)

A very pleasant day. Initially I was able to do fast flatland commuting on this AM's grooming. When I got to the beginning of #52 my timing was impeccable - the new snow started to give me grip on the uphills and control on the downhills. A great way to start off February.

The only downer was meeting the "Brown Lake express" on #52. To explain: Demsis needs to deliver water and skiers luggage to Brown Cabin; they do this via snowmobile on #51, #53, and #52 hence the Brown Lake express - perhaps you've already experienced it. These trails are too narrow to accommodate a snowmobile pulling a maintenance sleigh - if the snowmobile has to veer on a turn or to avoid a skier it's bye-bye tracks. I don't know what they do if both tracks are occupied by skiers. It's not necessary - you can get within 1/2 km of the cabin via truck via Brown Lake Road and access the cabin with a short snowmobile trip - LaFleur accessed the cabin via Brown Lake Road. It's unfortunate that the flawless grooming by the tracksetting crew gets trashed by poor planning.
Jan 30 (2014-01-30) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #24, #40, #1 (blue) [12.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Start racing green
Went classic from P12 to McKinstry by the traditional route (#40 => #24 => #1) and back by the same route. Conditions were ideal for classic: with the tracksetting on Tuesday and with 1/2 cm of powder on top it was just what classic skis work best on. The skied-in tracks were moderately fast; the grip was excellent, even on the steepest of climbs; with the new snow there was lots of control on the downhills. It was effortless classic without any "grunt" factors.

Skating would have been good too - it was just that classic was that much better.
Jan 30 (2014-01-30) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [12.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti K15
Ridge Road and the Camp Fortune racing trail are in good shape for either classic or skating. There is a small amount of windblown snow that has been mostly skied in. Conditions for both techniques might be described as firm, packed powder.
Jan 30 (2014-01-30) by David Brownrigg from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: universal, Grip Wax: green
Good conditions on #36 from P11 to the Junction with #50. No fresh grooming but enough skiers out this morning to smooth out the tracks. Tracks are snow covered in the open areas due to the winds. Took the short cut across the lake in the bay area where the old boat shed is located. Ice is nice and firm, no worries....
Jan 28 (2014-01-28) by Cindy Courtemanche from P11 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Polar
Classic skied from P11 along #36 to junction. Great conditions with recent (last six hours) grooming. Contrary to weather reports, it was very comfortable and no one was frost-bitten. Surprisingly good grip with polar (too lazy to change it from yesterday).
Jan 28 (2014-01-28) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a skate ski lesson on the Doldrums. The conditions were groomed on one half the trail, but not the other.

The non-groomed side was faster.

Faster, not fast. the groomed side was like sandpaper. very slow but good for balance and slowing things down to work on some finer points.

I agree the windchill and frostbite warnings are overkill. It was a beautiful sunny day in the park.

I know that one of these days, I may get bitten...but not today.
Jan 28 (2014-01-28) by Steffan Lloyd from P7 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1B, #1 (black - Chelsea), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #3, #9 [15km], Glide Wax: Unsure..., Grip Wax: Vauhti Superbinding (abrasif!) with Vauhti K line blue (forget the number)
Did a nice long ski from P7, to western, down on burma switching partway down to the #9. Also then skied across fortune lake to camp fortune, then back up the #4 to trail #1 and P7.

Conditions were excellent, great grooming and good grip. Fortune lake itself wasn't groomed but also was very fun to ski across. Would recommend skiing everywhere in the park, they just groomed all the fresh snow and it's awesome!
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Jan 28 (2014-01-28) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green
Went looking for Jo-Ann's single track on Burma but Demsis removed it - with flawless grooming. No skier grooming is to be allowed today.

Went from P10 to Huron via the FP and Ridge and then went down #3 (Burma) - a truly magic day. All groomable trails have been exposed to flawless grooming - the classic tracks are soft and moderately fast - the skate lanes are good but seemed a bit on the slow side and were soft enough to punish a ski that was edging too much. After the boilerplate of last week it was a delight to experience the feel of new snow and the squeek of new, cold snow. All of Paul's real trails had tracks on them.

Wind chill and frost-bite warnings are an unforgivable myth. This is a wonderful day in terms weather and conditions. Conditions are about as good as possible.
Jan 28 (2014-01-28) by Karl Saidla from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Pink Lake Access [0.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Green
The team skied at Nakkertok South today. Preparations for the Eastern Canadian Championships are clearly underway. Grooming was taking place on just about all the trails while were there this morning. We should warn you that right now, the skating is EXTREMELY slow. Classic skiing is definitely a better option for an enjoyable ski.
Jan 27 (2014-01-27) by Jo-Ann Holden from P10 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: VR 40 (minus 4 to minus 12)
I was a bit worried about the wind today but in the end could not resist the lure of sun on fresh snow.

Started at P10. The parkway was suffering windburn, with terribly slow snow, blown-out tracks and decorations of leaves and occasional pine sprigs. However the wind seemed to have abated by the time I started (around 2:30), and the sunlight and fresh snow were intoxicating.

Burma was an enticing diversion from the slog of the parkway. Just a single track most of the way, one of the most enchanting skis of the year. I passed one skier going my way, and met one going in the opposite direction, an uncommonly quiet day for Burma. The sun was low, and the forest was wrapped in long shadows by the time I reached Ridge Road, but my camera was still functioning, proof that the weather was not nearly as cold as it has been. A quick visit to Etienne Brule to check for deer - no deer, but deep, trackless snow - and a visit to the Champlain Lookout and back on Ridge. Ridge was nicely groomed and the tracks were still in good shape, so it was a quick trip back to the car as the sun was setting. What a beautiful afternoon!
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Jan 27 (2014-01-27) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #6, #30, #4, #8, Camp Fortune Race Course, #11, #22 [31.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti green, Grip Wax: Super binder covered with vauhti blue
Beautiful day to go after the backcountry trails on the fresh powder. I took off from work at lunch time and found P7 almost full when I arrived so clearly others had the same idea. Fresh grooming on Ridge road and the Forthue parkway. I also saw the parkway at P5 was groomed but the Champlain parkway as it goes past Black lake was not. There were a few other trails here and there that might be on the "secondary" list that were also ungroomed. Probably the right call to get some, but not all, of the trails groomed as the blowing snow would probably undo a full grooming effort and there would be fewer skiers mid week anyway. Besides, all the "real" skiers would be in the woods on the ungroomed tracks anyway - right?

I skied a loop of backcountry trails from 6 to 22 down into the race trails at Fortune(which were ungroomed). I then did a few bits of 11 before coming back on 8. The fresh snow made the backcountry trails a delight and there was negligible wind in the woods. I must say the big "metal" tree at the top of the Fortune ski area was "singing some strange songs in the gusty wind.

Snow was pretty cold and dry making glide a bit of a rare commodity and to be fair my grip wax was too warm for the day but I appreciated the extra "stick" on the narrow bc trails. Most of the tricky descents are in good shape now but I wouldn't say no to some more snow. The "rock" at the top of the first drop on 8 is exposed but I knew well to expect it and skied around with no difficulty. Also there is a narrow creek on the last (or first depending which way you go) little bit of 8 just near the intersection with 30. It has been well marked with yellow tape and is a definite ski breaker (or something more vital) if you take it at speed so keep your eyes open for it. As it was I was going uphill there so no problem stepping over it.
Jan 27 (2014-01-27) by Cindy Courtemanche from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #9, #24, #40, #21 [14.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Polar
Starting from P12 at 10am to fresh grooming over at least 10cms of new snow. Took 40 (newly groomed), up #2 (newly groomed), then #21 to Burma (no grooming at that point in the day), then #9 to Western, #1 (newly groomed but getting wind-blown) to #24 and #40. Winds were howling and quickly blowing snow across all the great new grooming. Great day to be out, good grip and glide. In the trees the wind was not a factor at all.
Jan 27 (2014-01-27) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [4.9km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: swix green
Snow squals when I left Orleans this morning were intensifying as I reached P1. The groomer had just finished a pass of trail 5 so perfect timing. Skied #29 towards des Hautes Plaines and decided to go up #27 towards the GP but was turned back by howling winds and whiteout conditions. Slow return due to blown in tracks and buffeting winds....
Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Jo-Ann Holden from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #5 (green), #15 (blue), #26, #35, Pink Lake Access [14.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaughti Green Fluor (minus 8 - minus 25)
Very similar to Garry's report except that I was skiing classic, and opted to take a detour down the Pink Lake trail instead of skiing on the parkway to Kingsmere. Conditions were lovely, with fresh snow, and good grooming. The classic tracks on the parkway were beautifully formed, and a bit faster than on trail 5 (shallower tracks and frequently skied-out), but skiing down trail 15 was the most fun part of the day. And more snow is coming!
Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Garry Tarr from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #5 (green), #26 [25.9km], Glide Wax: Swix blue hydro, Grip Wax:
A late afternoon"Kingsmere Run"- Asticou to Kingsmere and back- on skate skis. There was fresh grooming on 5 and 26, although the classic tracks weren't very deep. The grooming on the parkways was better, with fresher corduroy in the skate lane and deeper tracks. Surprisingly, above Mica the Champlain Parkway was only groomed on the west side! Since this was late Sunday afternoon, I can't imagine the groomer was coming back for a return pass. It looks like the grooming crew ran out of time to finish their work. Despite the cold temperatures (around -18C) and fresh powder, the surface of the skate lane was hard and skating was quite fast, but controllable and enjoyable. The classic tracks were hard and offered fast descents. As usual for this sector,there were lots of skiers of all levels of abilities out enjoying the trails. As we left Asticou snow was already beginning to fall, so it's hard to predict what conditions will be like tomorrow.
Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Paul Jaenicke from P12 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #2 (blue), #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40, #18, #20, #21, #16, #38 [21.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Let the REAL skiing begin, decided today would be a good day to try some of the backcountry trail's near P12 and it was one of my better day's this year.

My route was a real pot-pourri from P12=>#40=>#2=>Left on #21=>right on #3=>#20=>#21=>#18=>#2=>Western chalet long lunch=>#2=>left on Ridge=>#24=>#40=>#38=>left on #16 Wolf=>left on Ridge=>#24=>#40=>#33=>#21=>left on #2=>#40=>P12.

I was surprised by how few skiers were out, P8 was only half full which is a rarity for a weekend, it was a pleasant day, no wind to speak of, only got a chill coming down #2 at the end.

I agree with Ron, the little that I skied in the groomed tracks they were kind of slow, but for backcountry it was awesome. Now Cindy that would be nice to get 15-20 cm, but after last week's skiing on concrete it was nice to be out on a fresh coat of new snow even if it was not an enormous amount. Every bit of 5cm here and there sure helps.
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Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Ron Lorenson from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Start racing green
I had intended to do some sort of loop starting with the 53/51 access to Lac Philippe. However, the glide is so slow that I realized that any significant loop would require more time than I was prepared to put into it. So I turned around on #51 before I got to P19.

It was a very pleasant day with new snow and great scenery. The grip was good; the tracksetting was flawless. It was just that, in terms of speed and distance, the snow was "klik-less". I saw good skiers double-poling down hills at a beginners speed that they would normally take in a crouch.

The tracksetting is providing a benefit to the park's population: #53 was covered with coyote tracks; # 51 had deer tracks.
Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Cindy Courtemanche from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #3 [8.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Polar
Route was P10 > FP > Burma > Ridge > CP and P10. Started at 9:30, very few cars in the lot. Fresh grooming in the last 12 hours meant tracks were well set and skate lanes appeared to be in good shape. Poor glide for the first half of the route, much better on the return. Delightful to finally get back out on the trails, this week promises to be fantastic. Hoping for a good dump of 15-20cms of new snow to freshen things up.
Jan 26 (2014-01-26) by Ron Lorenson from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Just a comment on the lack of grooming yesterday. I\'m not talking from experience - unfortunately, when I arrived at P6 yesterday I discovered that I was prepared to go skiing in all regards but had two left mitts which put an early end to my ski.

In my opinion any attempt to groom the boilerplate would have been counterproductive and resulted in crunchy, shallow, and wobbly tracks. The reports, from yesterday, said that the new snow in the old (rock-hard) tracks worked quite well.

There\'s a problem in that the skiers and Demsis are talking through an opaque wall. The NCC, occasionally, issues tracksetting reports to members of the \"round-table\" explaining what will be done and why. It would be helpful if a representative of the tracksetting team or the NCC could post on XC Ottawa a plan explaining what tracksetting will be performed and why. At least then everyone would talking from the same page.
Jan 25 (2014-01-25) 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:
DEcided to ski the Taylor lake loop with a brief detour stop at Lusk cabin. My route was from P19=>#50=>#54 green=>Lusk cabin=>#54 green back=>left on #55=>#55 blue down big hill=>#55 =>#51=>P19.

Repeating what others have said NO grooming here either, but on a day like today it didnt matter, most of the trails were skied in nicely, the odd open area the wind had blown in snow in the tracks.

The top of #55 blue, the big hill going down, you could still feel the icy base, but once you made the turn the rest was good. I am always amazed on how few skiers you see doing that loop past Taylor lake. From Renaud cabin I did not meet one skier until I got down the big hill.

P19 was real busy as the overflow parking lot was almost full too. Unless you arrive before 10 am you pretty much have to park in the overflow parking lot. For those who snowshoe trail #74 starts at the end of this parking lot.
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Jan 25 (2014-01-25) by Rick Hellard from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [8.7km], Glide Wax: swix purple, Grip Wax: swix green
pretty short classic ski, of which i am not usually one, but I found it rather delightful in the trees.

I agree there was no grooming and that was a bit annoying, but the wind was blowing hard and filling in the tracks anyway.

Grip was worryingly poor out of the parking lot, but got better and better up Penguin and on Ridge all the way to the Parkway to the point where it was awesome. On the way back, it started to snow and the grip was most excellent all the way back to P5.

I think a few more days like today could make a classic skier out of me.
Jan 25 (2014-01-25) by Ken Trischuk from P11 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #36 (blue) [21.2km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: vauhti carrot and not enough binder
Skied out of P11 along 36 and 50 to Herridge and back. Nice skiing in the woods on the fresh snow. Not sure I've ever seen 36 so busy as there were lots of folks with lunch packs heading to the huts as I did. No fresh grooming but the classic tracks were well skied in. A little icy on the steeper hills but enough fresh snow to the sides to regain control and usually a snowy berm to help get you around any fast corners. Still a few rocks which were mostly in predictable spots but one just before the T junction caught me by surprise and likely left a mark on my ski base.

I had initially thought of skiing across Meech Lake for a loop but the strong head wind that hit me as I arrived at the lakeshore dulled my motivation.

Even with the fresh snow I could have used a good binder to combat the icy base. Hoping for more snow to cover the ice up but we'll see what we get.
Jan 25 (2014-01-25) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [12.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti Fluor Orange or, maybe K15.
The team had a great workout on the racing trails at Fortune today. The base is hard and fairly smooth, obviously with some fresh snow on top, which feels good after all the icy skiing we've been doing recently. The classic tracks are windblown and haven't been skied in yet, but they are certainly there.
Jan 25 (2014-01-25) by Andy Jonyas from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #15 (black) [21.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Waxless
We made a huge mistake in bringing the classics out, as we spent most of our time looking for traces of classic tracks from last week, or the work of other trail blazers. We can understand there was no point in regrooming the trails during last week's cold spell with few people out, but expected a grooming pass somewhere on a busy weekend day. Groomers were nowhere to be seen on the major parkways, and there certainly was enough snow to deal with. Skating looked pretty slow too.
Jan 24 (2014-01-24) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #15 (blue) [7.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder mixed with Vauhti Teho Green, covered with Vauhti K18
Today I skied down to the bottom of trail 15 and back, and also used the Gatineau Parkway a bit between P5 and P8. Conditions are extremely hard and somewhat icy for classic skiing, especially on the downhills and corners. That being said, the tracks are generally smooth and pretty well-defined on both the parkway and trail 15. Skate lanes on the parkway looked similar to the last few days: very hard, and perhaps a bit icy in places.
Jan 24 (2014-01-24) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Cold Green ironed in, on a good binder wax.
The "Skiers-Over-50" met for their weekly training session this afternoon. It was pretty chilly according to the media, however, dressed appropriately and moving steadily, we were all comfortable. We did modify the session somewhat, focusing on drills, and stayed closer to the parking than we normally would have. We avoided distance and hills, as the downhills would have been downright frigid. After about 75 minutes, the lure of coffee in town encouraged us to finish earlier than usual. All in all, considering the weather, it was a good ski, however I must add that the grooming is getting tiresome, or rather the lack of it. Concrete and ice may suit younger, more elite skiers who can balance on one ski while they coast downhills and switch skis with their training partners. My age group would really appreciate more than one grooming a week, in fact we plan our outings according to the NCC site before we leave home. Or at least we used to do this in the olden days (before 2007). Now we have to try to interpret the words "recommended", which could mean, either "you can probably see where the classic tracks are and you may even ski on them" or "you will have a lovely time on this trail". It seems to be more frequently the former. I'm looking forward to fresh snow tomorrow!
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Jan 23 (2014-01-23) by Andy Jonyas from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Waxless
Hummed and hawed until finally psyching myself to leave the warm house early pm. There were four cars at Gamelin. The classic tracks were great, a bit icy but fast. The bright sunshine and multiple layers, plus fast tracks made for a wonderful time. All the dozen or so skiers I encountered acknowledged each other. The connector trails, 5 and others were well maintained. Only noticed how drained I was from the cold on the way back.
Jan 23 (2014-01-23) by Karl Saidla from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 [8.5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder mixed with Vauhti Teho Green. Cover with several layers of Vauhti K18, then a little K21.
Well, here we are...back in the "polar vortex". The classic tracks are very hard and a bit icy in places, which is why I recommended the wax application that I did. Tracks are actually quite fast and in very good shape on both Ridge Road and the parkways. The skate lanes are also very hard, but a bit less fast as there is a bit of powder on the surface.
Jan 22 (2014-01-22) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #15 (blue), #15 (black), #26, Pink Lake Access [9.9km], Glide Wax: LF vauhti green, Grip Wax: vauhti Green
Classic skiing was beautiful again today! Everything is extremely hard packed for both skate and classic. Trail #15 was nice, just a little bit icy in some places. An all round great day for skiing! Just remember to bring your buff!!
Jan 22 (2014-01-22) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #20 [15km], Glide Wax: Toko cold powder, Grip Wax: Swix polar over tar and klister binder
A truly magic day! A good cold day like today with a warming sun needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Such a day leads me to choose "the road less traveled by" and go bushwacking.

I headed out on the FP and #1 and then, past the Champlain lookout, exited from the traveled trails and followed some ponds into #20. I took CP and FP to get back to P10.

All the trackset trails were quite hard but in good condition - the classic tracks were surprisingly fast for the temperature - the skating lanes were quite doable but not as fast. Hors piste there is a crust that supports skis covered with about 5 cm of true powder that has no glide whatsoever - once you're off-track the skis function like snowshoes.

It was really a great experience to be on the ponds in full sun. The snow is so white; the pines are so green; the sky is so blue; and the sun is so warm. Tomorrow should be as magic.
Jan 21 (2014-01-21) by Katie McMahon from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 [7.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Green
Brrrrr it's a cold one!! But...dressed appropriately, the skiing is wonderful! Because the snow was icy before, at these cold temperatures it is super hard packed actually not that slow in classic at least, skate might be a different story. And...you get perfect grip!! As long as you don't mind your eyelashes freezing together, get on out there it is beautiful :)
Jan 21 (2014-01-21) by Craig Forcese from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, #1 Penguin Climb, #1, Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green) [27.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A bit tricky to find the skate ski "goldilocks" trail conditions today. Where the grooming was day-old, it was frozen corduroy. Where it was freshly groomed it was cold snow molasses. All very skiable, but really a day in which you had to choose between control with no glide or glide with less control. Classic looked much better. Next lesson: when you ski when it's this cold, don't choose a loop that has you climb for the first half and then, once suitably sweaty, loop around for a mostly downhill return.
Jan 20 (2014-01-20) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Swix Blue, Grip Wax: Vaughti Green Fluor (minus 8 - minus 25)
A short, late afternoon ski. Luckily the wind had dropped by this time, and it was a very comfortable ski.

Now, is it just me?! Ok, the Park website has three areas, one each for classic trails, skate trails and back country trails. Am I missing something to expect that this particular classic trail, which was marked as track-set today, would actually have groomed TRACKS for classic skiing? In fact, only the center was groomed, for skating, which I found especially bizarre as the cold temperatures literally screamed "SKI CLASSIC!!" The really odd thing was that, from the parking lot, you could see gorgeous, fresh classic tracks leading down to the parkway.

Covered in fresh, abrasive snow, the tracks were exceedingly SLOW. At the Champlain parkway everything changed, and the groomed tracks were very fast (or was it only the contrast?). In fact I almost came to an abrupt head-over-heels halt when gliding from one area to the other on the return trip.

Despite the inconsistent conditions, it was good to get some fresh air and be out on skis.
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Jan 20 (2014-01-20) by Ken Trischuk from P19 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #54 (black) [24.7km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax: blue
Nice afternoon for a ski. I skied out of P19 following 50 down to the end of the lake before climbing 54 black up to Lusk lake and then back down to the car on 54 green. Was surprised to meet the groomer just after I started but there he was and who am I to argue with crisp tracks. The groomed trails had nicely blended yesterday's snow and the classic tracks were nice and fast. Could have used a binder though as the snow was a bit aggressive.

Skied up 54 black which was a bit tricky. Just a dusting of new snow over a hard crusty base. Going UP was okay but I'd wager descending would require a fair bit of talent. Not for the faint of heart. Above where the snowshoe track bears off the ski trail really is a challenge. Don't think it was ever fixed after the floods up here a couple of years ago. As a result much of the track is an eroded trench. Lots of rocks and a fair bit of exposed water. Going up you can pick your line around the obstacles but it's slow work. Coming down would be an adventure without a lot more snow. Some evidence that trail 10 had been skied this year but not recently.

Met a nice group of Dads at Lusk cabin spending a couple of days in the hut with their little kids. Was even offered a turn on the Game boy... but I suspect it was because the kids were currently fighting over who's turn it was. Might have got a new Game boy if the fight had lasted longer ;)
Jan 20 (2014-01-20) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: n/a
Did one skating loop on the Hamster Wheel of the North Loop. Would have gone around the wheel a few more times but it was a tad fresh going west - it would have required a strength of character, that I didn't have, to face the west wind for another turn of the wheel.

Demsis has tracked one side of the North Loop and the GP (both skating & classic). They changed the result of Jo-Ann's snow squalls of yesterday into some very nice corduroy. The snow was reasonably fast for cold snow. The classic looked best, given the cold snow - also, with only one side tracked, there was a choice of trackset powder or original powder.

For the strong it's a good ski day.
Jan 19 (2014-01-19) by Jo-Ann Holden from P2 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [20.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Violet, Grip Wax: Carrot
I injured my knee in a fall a few days ago (not on ice, but in the kitchen!!) so I decided to try P2 for its relaxed terrain. We arrived at the Relais area just after the Coupe Skinouk race clean-up had finished. A beautiful ski in snow squalls, we checked out 29, 26, 5, and the Gatineau Parkway. There was probably grooming at some point in the previous 24 hours, but it irrelevantly covered in fresh snow. Trails 26 and 29 were almost deserted, but the Parkway was very popular, and interestingly, there very few speedy skiers to be seen - ( resting from the race, perhaps?) Garry found the skating "lovely, soft, controllable powder, not super fast but one of the nicer skates of the year". I enjoyed the falling snow and the soft classic tracks. By the end of the ski my knee felt almost back to normal!
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Jan 18 (2014-01-18) by Garry Tarr from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #54 (green), #55 (green - shared), #36 (blue) [27.4km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Today I did the “Lakes Tour” on skate skis. On this trip one starts at P16 and cruises trail 50 and vicinity passing as many lakes as possible on the route. These include Harrington Lake, Lac Phillippe, Lac Renaud, Taylor Lake, Lusk Lake, Meech Lake and an obscure beaver pond near the trail 36 turn off whose name escapes me (Lac Trudel?). All the trails I skied had been expertly groomed overnight, giving a firm, compacted surface with just the right amount of corduroy for fast, controlled skating. Unfortunately along most of the route the center of the skate lane had been deeply shredded by a snowmobile, slowing glide. The only icy patches were on the hills above P16, and these were easily avoided. Trail 54 to Lusk was in excellent condition, even on the steep sections. The classic tracks were generally deep and firm with a slight glaze, making for fast descents. The classic skiers I spoke to generally reported good glide but problematic grip. There were small branches jutting out over the classic tracks between Herridge and Lac Phillippe, some at eye level. Trail 36 had been groomed, although the classic tracks were rather shallow. There were no rocks showing on the two hills leading down to Meech Lake. (Just a note- trail 36 is classic only, but I cover the section between Trail 50 and Meech by double poling the flats and skating the hills where there are no tracks). Overall it was a great ski and a great day to be out. By late afternoon the snow was a bit soft, and will probably harden overnight. If there isn't fresh grooming it might be a bit crusty tomorrow.
Jan 18 (2014-01-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - alternative) [38.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Forgot my picture
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Jan 18 (2014-01-18) by Paul Jaenicke from P17 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #51, #52, #53, #55 (green - alternative) [38.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Decided today would be a good day to do the Wakefield triangle counterclockwise. My route was from P17=>#53=>#51=>#55=>#50=>#52=>#53=>P17. The ski trails were not overly crowded today, everything had been groomed, and with the couple of cm of snow we got tracks were nice and not too icy, in fact conditions were slower then I expected.

If you happen to ski on trail #51, on the other side of Lac Philippe access road going toward the junction with trail #55 you will encounter a surprise ditch, see my picture. I had to take my skis off toss them over and jump across this ditch.

I noticed when you come back on trail #52, across trail #53 there is a connector going to the wakefield Inn that is now open this year, the sign shows 700 meters to the Inn from that junction.
Jan 18 (2014-01-18) by Ingrid Hagberg from P9 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [14.3km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: N/A
The snow is still pretty granular and somewhat icy. Trails have been groomed, so the skiing is very good overall. There were some icy patches on a couple downhills, but everything else is well covered. If you're doing classic, make sure to put some superbinder on!
Jan 17 (2014-01-17) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #1B [12.3km], Glide Wax: CH8, Grip Wax:
Skate ski from P10 up the FP, west on Ridge and 1B to the intersection above Western, then back on Ridge to the top of Penguin, then return. The park received quite a bit more new snow than downtown Ottawa did. This was snowball snow- it took quite a while to clear off my boots after walking across the parking lot! The new snow had not been groomed, which made for a slightly bumpy but quite skiable surface up the FP. The warm snow had bonded quite nicely to the ice, so that even the top of the Khyber Pass had no exposed ice. I found it rather slow going but very enjoyable. The best skiing was from Keogan to the top of Penguin where a combination of (I think) more recent grooming and lots of skier traffic had flattened the surface nicely. I hope there is grooming tonight, but if not conditions should still be very good tomorrow.
Jan 17 (2014-01-17) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #27, #15 (blue), #29 (alternative), #29 (shared), #35 [11.1km], Glide Wax: swix universal, Grip Wax: universal klister
left Orleans this morning with klister wax on my skis and arrived at Asticou to find fresh snow starting to accumulate. No matter, klister worked fantastically, probably the best ski of the season so far. No fresh grooming anywhere but it didn't matter, glide and grip were perfect. My route was GP, #35, #15, #5, #27 and back to Asticou on #29.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Florence Lehmann from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1 [11.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skated skied from P10 to Huron and back. Great, fast conditions. One icy patch at the top of Kyber Pass. Lots of fun on the downhills. My classicing friends didn't seem to have trouble with waxing.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [7.6km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Blue, Grip Wax: vauhti base binder covered with vauhti carrot
Really fast skiing out there! The snow seems to be a bunch of ice beads, which makes stabilization great as well as super fast! Some of the downhills are a bit washed out and icy. For classic I would definitely recommend some sort of binder otherwise you will lose your wax very quickly. Enjoy!
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Andy Jonyas from P3 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: unknown, Grip Wax:
N'ayer pas peur. GP from P3 was icy and bumpy, but from the base of Mount Pink onwards, one lane was ground up into super fast crushed ice. Good for an evening ski. Go for it.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by David Brownrigg from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Universal Klister
Classic skiing up the FP and towards the CP lookout was very good. It only got a bit dicey after the lookout and towards the water tank on Ridge Road. Tracks weren't as deep as on the parkways. Even worse on the return trip via Ridge to the FP. Tracks were very shallow and faded here and there. Most of my klister was stripped off by the time I reached P10.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Rick Hellard from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
skied from P8 and did the Doldrums twice.

firma and rutted would be the best way to dewcribe this section. good for balance work.

Checked out from P8 up to Penguin on the Parkway and it was most excellent. a small sample, to be sure, but if it stayed anything close to the same, the Parkway would have been awesome.

We definitely need everyone to get out of their chairs and do a snow dance.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
I skated the FP and the conditions mirror totally the conditions Matt reported from P3. I gave up just before Gossip Corner because I was not enjoying the skiing that well. I checked at P8 om the way back: the North Loop is also rutted boilerplate; the GP has been trackset and looked quite good but, according to the NCC site, it's only trackset as far as Mica. With the snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow, tomorrow looks like a better day.

Just a caution. Even though we are eager to get skiing we shouldn't let our eagerness to cause us to break the laws of the MRC des Colline de la Gatineau; specifically, we should all strive to observe the posted speed limit of 50 km on Meech Lake Road.
Jan 16 (2014-01-16) by Matt McInnes from P3 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [11.5km], Glide Wax: Purple, Grip Wax:
Very fast conditions but the parkway has frozen over and is somewhat rutted. Definitely ski-able but not that much fun. Did lots of double poling in the classic tracks. Nice day otherwise though. We need some snow!
Jan 15 (2014-01-15) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24) [15.6km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot over Vauhti tar binder
I heard the weather forecast which said there would be 2 cm of snow this AM - and thought 2 cm on top of the tracksetting from yesterday - perfect classic conditions! It didn't happen - there was only a dusting of new snow mixed in with new grooming.

I had a good enough day in terms of glide but grip was marginal - maybe if I had put a bit klister under my kick wax I would have had a better day - but, regardless, I still had a good day. But I really would have had a much better day if I had skated. The tracksetting crew have done a great job but the result is much better for skating.

My route was:
P10 => FP => CP => Huron => #1 => water tank on #24 => #1 => CP => FP => P10

The parkways are in great shape (particularly for skating). #1 from Huron to the lookout was hard and rutted (it may be groomed by now). #1 from the lookout to #24 was trackset - superb for skating but so-so for classic. #24 has been trackset. #3 is hard and rutted.
Jan 15 (2014-01-15) by Katie McMahon from P2 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27 [5km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF violet, Grip Wax:
Conditions are much better today! Fresh grooming and it is nice warm spring skiing conditions out there!
Jan 14 (2014-01-14) by Katie McMahon from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy [8.1km], Glide Wax: vauhti violet, Grip Wax:
No new grooming. Everything is extremely hard packed and getting icy. There are some ridges that are now frozen into the skate lane. Still skiable but a little bit sketchy. Classic tracks looked hard-packed and icy.
Jan 14 (2014-01-14) by Paul Jaenicke from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #26, #29 (alternative) [19km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Do not let the DOOM and GLOOM of the NCC website keep you from skiing. I was out today from P1 parking area, on trails #5, #26, #29 and part of Gatineau parkway, and conditions were reasonably good, there was no Grooming but the snow was still soft enough that it was not icy.

Skaters that I saw seem to be having no problems at all. For myself classic skiing was still overall good.
Jan 13 (2014-01-13) by Ken Trischuk from P16 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: blue, Grip Wax:
Skied out of P16 and, like Ron and Cindy, found excellent fresh grooming the whole way. The snow seemed to be holding up well despite the +6C conditions. I thought things would slush up a bit but, while a bit soft, I found conditions really nice. Skied out to the Phillipe campground and back and only saw a few people out. The classic tracks were solid but looked like it would be tough to get a good wax choice to work. Trail 52 was freshly groomed and looked nice too for those looking for a Wakefield triangle loop but 36 had not been touched. I would expect the conditions to be good for an after-work ski for a while until a) the rains start or b) things start to ice up later in the evening.
Jan 13 (2014-01-13) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax:
Being in a January thaw frame-of-mind I was prepared to give skiing a pass today until I read the reports from yesterday and the NCC reports that tracksetting had been done so I comprised between a non-ski day and a serious ski day and joined Andy's Hamsters on the North Loop.

The tracksetting team have really done a great job. Skating was great - fast and easy control. Things did not look as good for classic with a glaze in the tracks; however, for those that were into double-poling the tracks were ideal - less confident skiers seemed to be having trouble.

It's hard to predict how these conditions are going to evolve: there were places on the skating lane that were beginning to glaze over due to the wind; others were remaining as ideal moist powder. The forecast for tonight and early tomorrow is for rain followed by a freeze. On verra!

There were quite a few Hamsters out on the Doldrums of all abilities.
Jan 13 (2014-01-13) by Cindy Courtemanche from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Fresh grooming on the Gatineau and Champlain Pkwys made for perfect skate skiing. Warmer temps are making the conditions a bit soft and slower, but so nice to have one less layer to wear. Classic were set today, but looking icy in many places. Skied from 10 - noon, weather reports gusty winds, didn't notice a thing on the parkways.
Jan 12 (2014-01-12) by Paul Jaenicke from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #15 (black) [22.2km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
I did not intend to ski today, but after seeing the report at 1:30 pm decided to head out to P5. My route was P5=> left on Gatineau parkway=>Champlain parkway=>McKenzie King Rd=>#15 black=>left on Gatineau parkway=>P5.

I met the groomer coming down Gatineau parkway compacting the center skate lane, there seemed to be only one track groomed on the one side. With the dusting of snow we got it covered most of the ice and conditions were somewhat slow. I did not intend to ski the un-groomed trail #15, but after seeing skier tracks I decided to try it out and it was quite good.

There was also evidence of skier tracks on Ridge road at the bottom of Penguin and trail #7. There were only about a dozen of cars at P5 which is unusual for a sunday. Looks like we have a couple more milder days ahead of us before the temps drops below zero again.
Jan 12 (2014-01-12) by Andy Jonyas from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Went to P8 and grinded out 20 k in 3 back and forths like hamsters. The grooming panzer went by a couple of times. Conditions were good. Dunno what the rest was like. The NCC website says nothings open, but we think the FP may also have neen groomed as well.
Jan 11 (2014-01-11) by Florence Lehmann from P8 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Skate skied P8-P9 and back three times. Skate lane is icy. But you can skate ski reasonably well in the skidoo lane. Best option in my opinion.
Classic tracks looked like a block of ice that had been trackset. I saw 6 classic skiers. One told me he needed to reapply klister 3 times. Most of them were practicing their double polling, which seems the only way to go on classic.
No precipitation while I was there. So once temperature goes down again, Demsis should be able to make it all pretty again.
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Jan 11 (2014-01-11) by Megan McTavish from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Violet, Grip Wax: Vauhti Universal Klister
A very strange day. Nothing in the park appears to have been groomed except for short section of about 1 kilometre heading up the hill from P8 in the direction of P5. It looked to me like there must have been some kind of mechanical problem because there were deep ruts, piles of snow in weird places and the odd large hole where the groomer looks like it got stuck. While we haven't skied there, reports from Nakkertok South indicate that it was in good shape today so if you are considering skiing, that's where you should try, I think.
Jan 11 (2014-01-11) by Kyla Vanderzwet from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Yikes! It is icy out there today. We checked out the trail from P10 and P8 and decided to head home... if you do hit the trails, bring your ice skates!
Jan 10 (2014-01-10) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative), #29 (shared) [9.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Blue
Wholeheartedly agree with Megan and Ron's report. The classic skiing in the Asticou/Mont Bleu area this morning was the best I've experienced so far this season. The light dusting of snow combined with the firm tracks made for a very fast and easy ski. Best to get out there today before the 'mess' returns starting tonight...
Jan 10 (2014-01-10) by Megan McTavish from N/A grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #4, #14, Camp Fortune Race Course [13.9km], Glide Wax: vauhti lf blue, Grip Wax: Vauhti K15 (violet)
This morning we skied the racing trails at Camp Fortune as well as #4 (Fortune Lane), #14 (Chicken Run) and #1 (Ridge Road). Everything was in great shape for both classic and skate. The racing trails had a skiff of snow on top of the latest grooming, but the other trails were freshly groomed.
Jan 10 (2014-01-10) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: n/a
A simple day - skating back-and-forth on the Doldrums enjoying the feel of skating easy terrain. The new snow has transformed the quality of the trails creating very good conditions for both classic and skating - you've probably got a few hours to enjoy pleasurable skiing everywhere before the forecast slop forces us off our skis for 2-3 days.

A bit more on the elusive P17. It's important to realize that the almost invisible entrance is a short distance from the exit from the traffic circle: when you exit from the traffic circle (going toward Maniwaki) maintain a creeping speed and look for a track across the construction rubble to the left - the last time there I estimated it to be 100 m from the exit. It's important that you don't do the normal exit acceleration; otherwise, you going to miss it. If you've got frenetic traffic on your tail it's worth an extra go-around of the traffic circle until you can be sure of a clear road to allow for a dithering speed.
Jan 9 (2014-01-09) by Paul Jaenicke from P2 grooming grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #29 (shared), #35, Pink Lake Access [24.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
After reading Jo-Ann's and Ron's report today I felt inspired to get out there this afternoon. My route was from P2=>#27=>#29=>Gatineau parkway=>Pink lake access road=>#35=>#15=>#5=>#29=>#27=>P2.

The good news it was sunny, pleasant temperature's, the BAD , the Gatineau parkway in this area was average at best, the worst was trail #15 which had been Groomed earlier in the day was a disaster, shallow tracksetting, bumpy, most of the downhills were scraped right down to the ice. Having said that it was still skiable but not ideal.

I have included pictures with information regarding Parking at $P2 at Relais Plein Air. Since January it is now a paying parking. All the pictures are pretty self explanatory . Basically there is a box at the enntrance that you put your coins in and collect a ticket that you leave on your dash.

$2 will give you 1 1/2 hours, $3 will give you 3 hours ,etc. I did see a few people park near the stadium behind Mont-Bleu high school, but there is a towing showing at the Relais Plein Air sign, so I guess if you dont pay its at your own risk, wether someone checks the vehicles or not , I didn't want to take that chance to save $2.
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Jan 9 (2014-01-09) by David Brownrigg from P17 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #51, #53 [13.4km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
Skied 53 to the junction at 51 and then on to the Lac Phillipe area on 51. Tracks are good but icey in spots with debris from the pine and spruce trees here and there. Didn't have a good binder and so had to re-wax at least once. Someone mentioned that the turnoff for P17 is hard to spot. I agree.... went back and forth twice before I spotted it. The sign is buried in a cluster of orange construction signs.
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Jan 9 (2014-01-09) by Ron Lorenson from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [21km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: n/a
Following on from Jo-Ann's report the Gatineau Pkwy is great - stupendous.

It's been groomed - but not in its entirety. The tracksetter went from P8 to the intersection with #15, from whence it turned into the bush and did #15. However, if you proceed farther to Mica you will pick up more tracksetting which starts somewhere in the direction of Pink Lake and then continues up the CP.

Conditions, where there is recent tracksetting, are beautiful sugar snow made for effortless skating. Where the tracksetting is old there is about 1/2 cm. of new snow on top of a hard base - not as good as the trackset sections but still quite manageable - better than yesterday. For example, the north loop is not trackset (at 11 AM) but would still be quite enjoyable.

To me this a day made for skating; however, you could still have a great day doing classic. As Megan advised a good binder is probably in order. The tracks are in good shape and would have good grip and glide. They, however, look to be abrasive so a good binder or klister layer is probably necessary to prevent frequent wax stops.

I had a very enjoyable time immersed in the joy of skating on conditions made for skating. I, too, gave Penguin a pass.
Jan 9 (2014-01-09) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy [1.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
A very short ski as I will be hiking or snowshoeing this afternoon. But what a nice surprise, especially after hearing many friends going on about "debris, ice, bobsleds, etc. The parkway from P5 appeared to be freshly groomed, or perhaps it was the warmer weather softening things up a bit (it was about minus 10)? In any case the classic was enjoyable and the skating might have been even better. The Teho green was fabulous for grip and beautiful glide, at least for the short time I was out. I checked out the base of Penguin Hill and have to say that it would be horrifying to contemplate coming down that hill. Words like bobsled, luge, etc would certainly come to mind. It looked like it had perhaps been groomed while wet - is this possible? Anyway, the parkway came into its own today. I would gladly have skied longer.
Jan 8 (2014-01-08) by Megan McTavish from P6 grooming 
Trails Skied: Champlain Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd [8.9km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Binder covered with Fluor Carrot and green or K19
Did a quick skate ski from P6 this evening. The access road to P6 was quite hard but the Champlain parkway was nice and sugary without being too soft. It must have been groomed more recently. The classic tracks were solid and in great shape. I think you would definitely need a good binder to get solid grip though.
Jan 8 (2014-01-08) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , North Loop [4.8km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax:
Things are still bipolar. I started off to skate the Doldrums -and did - and they were OK, fair - boiler-plate with a fast glide and a challenge to edge-control. When I had enough of the boilerplate I returned to P8 to return home and lunch. Just as I was about to put an end to the day I realized that the tracksetter had gone up the GP. I crossed the road to check things out and found wonderful soft sugar-snow conditions. I skied about about 1 km toward P5 when I met the tracksetter coming back - moving and forming a lot of snow. I continued on a way and then chased the tracksetter back to P8 enjoying the superb snow he had laid down for me. For a unique snow experience start off from either P5 or P8 for a little bit of paradise - either skate or classic.
Jan 7 (2014-01-07) by Cindy Courtemanche from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 [7.1km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Green
Decided to push through the cold weather forecast. Again, the reports of the cold are greatly exaggerated. Along Ridge Road there was limited wind and quite comfortable skiing temps.

We clearly need some new snow. Great deal of debris along the trail. Appears to have been groomed today but the classic tracks were icy. Skate seemed to be the way to go tonight.
Jan 7 (2014-01-07) by David Brownrigg from P1 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #5 (green), #27, #26, #29 (alternative) [8km], Glide Wax: Swix Universal, Grip Wax: Swix Green
All trails skied were groomed (5, 27, 26 and 29) as of 10:00 AM but no parkway grooming in the Asticou, Mont Bleu areas. Groomer was just starting on the parkway at around 11:30 at Asticou. Classic tracks were firm and fast where snow had not drifted in. Swix Green grip wax worked very well
Jan 7 (2014-01-07) by Jo-Ann Holden from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Life is full of surprises - and today's was WONDERFUL! Just an "exercise ski" as Garry would call it (only one photo) but sort of personal duathlon, one pass classic and one pass skating. Both were wonderful, but I think the skating was the most fun. Interestingly a skiff of fine powder covered one half of the trail. The Teho green worked like a charm on the more freshly groomed, skiff-less tracks, but regular grip wax would probably have been fine on the other, powdery side. Similarly, the skating was fairly fast on the fresher grooming, and nearly impossibly slow on the powder. Conditions will probably get slower as the day goes on, but wow! It is nice out there. Do cover up, the wind is strong enough in places, to grab your poles away.
Jan 7 (2014-01-07) by Karl Saidla from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy [4km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti Super Base Binder, covered with K18
We did a short workout from P10 this morning and only used Fortune Parkway. Grooming was in progress. The skate lanes are actually a bit soft given the recent grooming, with a mix of granular and fresh snow, making it quite fast and pleasant skiing. The classic tracks felt firm. According to the grooming report, the racing trail at Fortune was groomed for both classic and skate this morning..which is great to see!
Jan 5 (2014-01-05) by Jo-Ann Holden from P1 grooming 
Trails Skied: MacKenzie-King Rd , #5 (green), #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black), #35 [16.4km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Asticou to Kingsmere and back via 5 and 15 with detours to trail 7 and Pink Lake.

I used to ski from Asticou more often and had forgotten how delightful these trails are, particularly on the return (more downhill) trip. The NCC site claimed there had been grooming, but we saw no evidence to back up this claim. In any case, the fresh snow made for fantastic, if slightly slow, conditions. It was great agility training, because the trails were absolutely PACKED with skiers of all abilities, many of whom would stop for a break in literally any spot (mostly halfway up OUR downhills, it seemed). The most fun part of the trip was a detour to the short but hilly trail 7 on the west side of the parkway. It was deserted and full of twists and little downhill bumps that reminded me that back country skiing can be a lot more fun than the groomed stuff! Also, the little short-cut trail which leads from 15 back down to 5 was in fine form - very little work, and a series of gentle bumpy downhills with the one short but steep run-out at the end.

Just a great day - so sad to now be awaiting a freezing rain storm. I hope that Demsis is saving their pennies for a solid few days of trail renovations.
Jan 5 (2014-01-05) by Cindy Courtemanche from P9 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1 Penguin Climb, #1 [17.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Hoping for new grooming, started at P9 and skated to P8, up Gatineau Pkwy to Penguin, up the hill, and took Ridge to the Fortune Pkwy and back.

Conditions were surprisingly good. Even with the new snow glide was fast. Met the groomer on the GP setting the skate lane. Ridge Road hadn't seen grooming in a while but still good for skate skiing. By 10am there were lots of people out enjoying the warmer weather.
Jan 5 (2014-01-05) by Ron Lorenson from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Swix LF7, Grip Wax: Vauhti Carrot
My ski experiences seem to be going bipolar - yesterday I reported a "dud", today I'm reporting "delight" - extreme delight. Today I decided to make it a simple, short ski from P16 to #52 via #50 and back. There was about 2-4 cm of new moist snow on top of the mornings tracksetting. It made for effortless grip and glide - classic skiers' paradise! Although there was new snow in the skating lane I think skating would have been quite enjoyable with the warmer, faster snow - particularly on the easy up-down rhythm of #50.

When I got to #52 I realized that today would have been the day for the Wakefield Triangle - #52 had recently been trackset and looked great. The tracksetter had continued on #50 in the direction of P19. On the way back #36 had recently been trackset and looked just as good as #52.

The forecast of rain and warm temperatures for tomorrow does not bode well for the longevity of these magic conditions. Lets all pray to the Nordic god-of-snow.
Jan 5 (2014-01-05) by Don Fugler from P5 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #1 Penguin Climb, #6 [4.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Perfect conditions for classic: light, fresh snow over packed base. I broke trail around Skyline the whole loop. Lots of fresh deer track and other animal trails that I could not identify. The descent of #1 in fresh powder was about the nicest run down that I have ever had.
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Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Florence Lehmann from P11 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Beautiful conditions on #36. No fresh tracksetting. But lots of snow and tracks are deep for the most part. Three rocks showing under a thin layer of snow 2 kms in. And some debris in one spot (see pic).
Good glide throughout. A very pleasant outing.
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Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Jo-Ann Holden from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy [19.6km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: something blue (minus 5 to minus 15)
Late afternoon ski from P5 to Lac Mulvihill and back. Many skiers were out, and the parking lot was well filled. The fresh snow saved the day, as there was no grooming. Classic tracks disappeared for long sections at intersections, and also vanished briefly on the descent back from Kingsmere to Mica. In any case it was a very pleasant ski (only minus 13!)- but grooming is overdue.
Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Garry Tarr from P10 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, #1B [14.8km], Glide Wax: recommend blue, Grip Wax:
Quick exercise skate ski up the Fortune Parkway, west on Ridge, 1B, then back on 1 and the parkways. The NCC website said no grooming. Surely they really had groomed- it's the weekend, and no work has been done on the trails for days. Well, there really was no discernible grooming anywhere. Skating was still OK, with a layer of skied-down fresh dry powder over a hard base, but some of the corners on 1B and Ridge are getting quite hard and rutted and could use a touch-up. The north side of the Fortune Parkway was cold and powdery, making for a hard slog up to the lakes (this was an exercise ski wasn't it?) Up on the ridge temperatures were noticeable higher, the south wind was blowing, and there was much better glide.

On the way down I passed many skiers heading out for dinner at Huron or Keogan. I'm sure the cabins will be busy tonight. The stream of headlights on Ridge Road near Keogan looked like a scene from Lord of the Rings. Elven lights?
Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Ken Trischuk from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #30, #3, #4, Camp Fortune Race Course, #17, #31, #32, #12, #34 [31.3km], Glide Wax: green, Grip Wax: blue
Skied out of P7 today and found things in decent shape but no new grooming on the main trails anywhere so they were getting a little tired. Climbed up Booth and then skied a bit of 17 before cutting across to 34 and down to the race courses at Fortune. The BC trails weren't too bad owing to more and more traffic on them but they'll be much nicer with a fresh load of snow!

Skied 32 over to the top of Fortune parkway. It was a bit of a mess thanks to snowshoe traffic and some postholing walkers. Still skiable but slow going.

Burma was certainly busy as I skied partway along it to 12. Probably quite nice to skate but the classic track is fading.

A nice day to ski in the somewhat warmer weather but fresh snow and some grooming would help things.
Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Megan McTavish from P5 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy , #1 Penguin Climb, Gatineau Pkwy [14.5km], Glide Wax: vauhti lf green, Grip Wax: vauhti K19 (blue/carrot)
It was slow going out there today. Nothing looked like it had been groomed recently (the Gatineau park ski conditions site reports that the last grooming was on Tuesday). This means that both skating and classic are a bit slow. Looks like things will change with warmer weather and precipitation in the next few days.
Jan 4 (2014-01-04) by Ron Lorenson from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [22.8km], Glide Wax: Dibloc Blue LF, Grip Wax: Swix VF20 over Vauhti tar
Yesterday was delight - today was a dud. It started with high ambitions to do the Wakefield Triangle - a rite-of-passage for any ski season - i.e., the ski season hasn't really begun until you've done the WT. Gary and Jo-Ann had a blast doing an extended WT a week ago.

To start with I missed the turnoff for P17 and rather driving 3 km before I could turn around I did an immediate change of plan and headed for P19. The new plan was to do the Taylor Lake loop and then to go up to Lusk Lake.

None of the trails, in the Lac Philippe area, have been trackset - conditions are old firm tracksetting covered with 2 cm of cold, high-humidity new snow. The tracks were skied in but were quite slow - in the open areas the tracks were wind-blown. Going around the #55 loop there had been one skier ahead of me. By the time I got to #54 to Lusk Lake I felt that I had been slogging rather than skiing so I gave up on Lusk Lake and headed back to P19. There is a good base on the long hill on #55 (no rocks showing); however, the underlying tracksetting has a single track, for the total length of the hill, which constricts the space for downhill control.

There were a few skaters; however, they did not seem to be having much joy.

Other than the over-nighters, there were very skiers out. On #55 I was alone until I got to Renaud.

If you're heading for P17 be quite careful, it's easy to miss. It's about 100 m past the new position of the traffic circle but it's hard to see. It's hidden by a tangle of construction equipment, dirt piles, and high snowbanks with a very narrow entrance - also there's not much in the way of signage.
Jan 3 (2014-01-03) by Ron Lorenson from P12 grooming 
Trails Skied: #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #2 (from #40 to #1), #24, #33, #40 [9.9km], Glide Wax: Toko cold powder over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix green over base of Vauhti tar -10 to -30
I dared to challenge predictions of the apocalypse that would result if I stuck any body part outside. However, I didn't see or feel anything that would suggest an apocalypse; instead, I had a very pleasant and comfortable classic ski:
P12 => #40=> #33 => #2 north => bench at #21 => #2 => #1 => #24 => #40 => P12

MacDonald (#40) is getting hard and worn out on the downhills. #33 has been walked on with significant craters on the hills where the walkers broke through the base - #40 and #2 have also been walked on but the base is less damaged. #1, #24, and #40 between #24 and #33 had a hard base covered with about 2 cm of snow and were a classic delight. #1 looked to be equally good for skating.

I expect that tracksetting tonight should improve #40 considerably.
Jan 3 (2014-01-03) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti K19 and K21
I got out during the warmest part of the day today and it was reasonably pleasant provided I kept my face covered. It's been a few days since Ridge Road has been groomed, so the tracks and skate lanes are getting a bit worn and bumpy. The glide was considerably better than I expected. I also skied the Fortune racing trail. It has a couple of centimetres of fresh powder on it from earlier in the week, but remains fairly good overall.
Jan 1 (2014-01-01) by Karl Saidla from P7 grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1, Camp Fortune Race Course [19.1km], Glide Wax: Vauhti Green, Grip Wax: Vauhti AT Binder, Vauhti K19
Another chilly but spectacular day. We skied from P7 out to Huron and back, with one complete trip of the racing trail at Fortune as well. The racing trail was in very good shape. It's groomed a bit narrow for skating right now, but the classic tracks were firm and the whole course was well packed. Ridge Road and the parkways didn't look to have been groomed within the last day but were generally in reasonably good shape.
Dec 31 (2013-12-31) by Cindy Courtemanche from P19 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50, #55 (green - shared), #55 (green - alternative), #55 (blue - alternative) [22.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Polar
Early New Years celebration with the kids. From P19 classic skied along #50 to #51, then #55 past Taylor Lake with dinner at the Renaud cabin and back.

With the fresh snow, gliding was slow. As so many have said before, the weather reports are not a reliable guide. We were very comfortable, even a bit over dressed (especially up the 'big' hill on #55).

We were the first at the Renaud cabin, by 6pm the place was packed. Though there were no signed of fresh grooming, the tracks were set well enough to be enjoyable. Happy New Year to all!
Dec 31 (2013-12-31) by Jo-Ann Holden from P12 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Vaughti Green Fluor (minus 8 - minus 25)
Trail 36 can be such a delight, with classic tracks which roll up, and down and around, as well as some of the best scenery in the park. We chose this trail for those reasons as well as for the shelter it offered against today's cold temperatures. As well, the NCC website indicated that it was groomed this morning.

Rather than being a delight, today's ski was a disappointment. Temperatures were not a problem, in fact, I was a bit too warm with my fuzzy boot warmers and wind-proof mitts. The trail was ski-able, but if grooming was done, it was a bargain basement grooming done in quick fashion with sub-standard equipment, the kind of grooming you might be happy to see at a third rate conservation ski area. The tracks were often missing or only half the depth they should have been. There were corrugated sections of trail that looked as though a snowmobile had passed by while the snow was wet. (!?) The edges were not properly compacted, and there were frequent sections of icy snowballs, particularly at corners. The downhills required quite a bit of attention, and were scraped down to a very hard base in many spots. The rocks are still in evidence at the section downhill, but more snow will take care of that. On a more positive not, there was no evidence of walkers or snowshoers using the trail!
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Dec 31 (2013-12-31) by Craig Forcese from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, MacKenzie-King Rd , #7, #15 (blue), #15 (black) [22.8km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
Midday classic ski from P2 (Relais de plein air) up 15 and 7 and along the Parkway. With about 2-3 cm of fresh snow down, not the fastest glide, with some tracksetting on several of the trails about half filled by new powder. But also not nearly as cold as feared, especially among the trees.

One thing to note: there is a new park and pay meter at Relais de plein air. Apparently you need to pay to park there come January. Not sure if there is a distinction between parking at the centre and at P2, but one way or another, free parking will be less common there. I can find no information on this on the NCC webpage.
Dec 31 (2013-12-31) by Ron Lorenson from P10 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, #1, #3 [15.9km], Glide Wax: Toko cold powder over graphite, Grip Wax: Swix polar over base of Vauhti tar -10 to -30
The intent today was to do Burma (#3). Burma is a trail about which everyone has an opinion - there are Burmaphiles and Burmaphobes - mostly Burmaphiles. The Burmaphiles describe the trail in superlatives. The Burmaphobes are like a person who once said to me "I like most trails but I don't like trails that go-up-and-down".

I took Burma from Ridge Road - that way, although it goes up-and-down, it is more downhill. It was a very pleasant day.

All the trails skied were quite firm - throughout the day there was a light, cold snow which powdered the surface. Normally such cold conditions should make for styrfoam glide; however, I had good glide everywhere - perhaps the cold powder is really as good as it's reputed to be. The polar and tar combination gave "human-fly" grip.

While I was going out Demsis was grooming the skating lane on FP. Burma had been recently groomed - but it still needs more snow - there were crunchy sections (albeit improved by the new snow) and there are still deep ditches at the side. Ridge was hard and well-used but with new snow surface was a pleasure.

There were a number of people skating - they seemed to be having reasonable success.

Pay no attention to the media whiners - it's a delight out there. I think skiing would be great everywhere.
Dec 30 (2013-12-30) by Ken Trischuk from P12 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: #1, #2 (blue), #2 (from #40 to #1), #3, #24, #33, #40, #18, #21, #38 [24.7km], Glide Wax: green, Grip Wax: Teho green binder covered by Swix special green
Skied a loop out of P12. Only a few brave souls out but it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be and quite nice in the sun. Most all of the groomed trails were freshly tracked and in excellent shape except 33 which was likely groomed on the weekend but was still nice. I tried a few of the BC trails (18, 21, 20 and 38). They were skiable but a little crusty. I'd think anything steep would be tough to manage but the base is there for the next powder day.

Interestingly I came across a groomer at 4pm making his way out Ridge road near 2. Not sure if he was headed to the tower (which looked fine to me but I didn't ski all the way out there) or perhaps going to groom 33, but at any rate grooming was still going on at the end of the day.

I also saw the lot attendant redirecting a snowshoer to head to P13 and not start out at P12 so at least some of that traffic is bring headed off.
Dec 30 (2013-12-30) by Cindy Courtemanche from P2 grooming 
Trails Skied: Gatineau Pkwy, #5 (green), #27, #15 (blue), #29 (shared) [23.9km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax: Polar
Think the cold temps kept the crowds away. Classic skied form P2 around Pink and back via the Gatineau Parkway. NCC reporting fresh grooming on all these trails, but they were well used. Skate lanes were very firm, but not icy and classic tracks were in good condition. Fortunately the firm snow conditions meant the guy walking two dogs along #15 did not do much damage.
Dec 30 (2013-12-30) by Megan McTavish from P7 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, Champlain Pkwy, #1 [13.6km], Glide Wax: vauhti LF green, Grip Wax: vauhti fluor carrot covered with vauhti fluor green
Beautiful day out there today. Sunny, cold (but not too cold) and fresh grooming in most places. Ridge Road (#1) was regroomed for skating and one of the classic tracks was groomed while the other one was old. Fortune Parkway was nice (again I think one side had new tracks and the other old). Champlain Parkway looked to be groomed towards Black's Lake but not towards Champlain Lookout. The skating in that section was a bit awkward and the classic tracks were slow. It is possible the grooming was still in progress. All in all, a great day of skiing. Get out before it turns bitter cold again!
Dec 29 (2013-12-29) by Garry Tarr from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: Fortune Pkwy, North Loop, #1, #1 (green) (#2 - #24), #1 (blue) [24.7km], Glide Wax: CH7, Grip Wax:
First Fire Tower run in two years! Skate skied from P8 along the Doldrums, across the Connector, up the Fortune Parkway, then west on Ridge Road. Contrary to the Park website report, there had been recent fresh grooming all the way out to the western intersection with 24. The groomed surface was nice powdery snow, making for easy edging. The classic tracks were a bit glazed and not particularly fast. West of the 24/Ridge intersection there had been no fresh grooming and the surface was harder, but still skiable. Ski traffic on the downhills had broken through any crust, allowing for good control. (I admit I snowplowed the downhills to maintain control on the hard surface; braver skiers were enjoying fast, full-throttle descents). There were irritating snowmobile ruts extending all the way out to the Fire Tower, ready to catch skis on the downhills. All the ice storm debris from last year has been cleared away. The only problem with the trail was a couple of icy patches near the Fire Tower. I didn't see many other skiers until I passed Huron on my return trip. There were a few parking spaces in P8 at 2PM.
Dec 28 (2013-12-28) by Paul Jaenicke from P11 grooming   photos!
Trails Skied: #36 (blue) [6.5km], Glide Wax: , Grip Wax:
First ski out of P11 on #36 blue to the junction with #50 and back same way. Temperature was hovering around zero to +2 , a few skiers who had just started off were on the side of the trail, I guess looking to change wax type. I pass-by one skier on the way back, he must of given up completely, he had taken his skis off and was walking. I had no problems with my wax-less skis.

There is one minor problem area, the second big hill (which sort of does a zig zag before you get to the lake shore) had 3 small rocks poking through see pic (this is a common problem area some skiers call it a rock garden), but other then that the rest is great.

Note for Jo-Ann : I encountered some boot marks on the way back in middle of the trail, there were also snow shoe tracks off to the sides. I figured out why we get this on the first km or so from P11; the hikers and snowshoers like to go to the Carbide Wilson Ruins. Its too bad there is not a small trail on the side to get access to that area.
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Dec 28 (2013-12-28) by Ron Lorenson from P8 grooming grooming 
Trails Skied: North Loop [3.4km], Glide Wax: Swix LF8, Grip Wax:
Encouraged by Paul and Jo-Ann's reports of yesterday I set off with visions of a great #53 & #51 day. But, being somewhat of a belt and suspenders kind-of-guy, I also took along my skating skis as insurance.

On the outskirts of Gatineau the thermometer on the vehicle hit +1 and the GP ridge was blanketed in fog - leading to fast change to plan B. So instead of a glorious mid-winter classic ski I satisfied myself with one skating iteration of the Doldrums.

Conditions were great for the change of plan. The snow is fast and soft - a skater's paradise. I except that all the skating trails will offer effortless glide with complete control. Classic would also be good with a fluor wax, fish-scales, or hairies.

Currently strategizing how I'll put in a fuller day tomorrow.
Dec 28 (2013-12-28) by Megan McTavish from P16 grooming 
Trails Skied: #50 [14.7km], Glide Wax: Vauhti LF Violet, Grip Wax: Guess: Vauhti K9 (Red)
Today we skied from P16. It had been groomed yesterday and was good for skating and classic. The classic tracks were looking a bit glazed so waxing might be a bit tricky. The skating was pretty firm, and pretty fast.