Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Friday 27 January 2017 – An Outing from P12 (Meech) to the Fire Tower

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Warm again, with snow flurries all day. No sunshine. No frozen digits. A classic ski with Sue and Susan from P12 (Meech) to the Fire Tower and back.

Waxing was pretty much spot on with lilac (or is it violet?) wax not being too sticky today. (Just.)

After checking the fire at McKinstry, we made it to the Fire Tower, the most distant part of this section of Gatineau Park.

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Then it was back to McKinstry Cabin for lunch. There were very few people about today.

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It took us a shade over an hour to return to P12 on excellent trails in fresh snow.

For the record: P12 (Meech) > #40 > #1 > McKinstry Cabin (elevenses) > Fire Tower > McKinstry Cabin (lunch) > #1 > #40 > P12 = 25.5 km, 568 metres ascent, taking 4 hours 6 mins (3.34 moving time)

Later: Fish and chips at the Riverside pub.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Thursday 26 January 2017 – An Outing from P10

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Susan arrived last night. We celebrated with champagne cocktails.

Today’s start from P10 was in idyllic surroundings on a warm day in newly fluttered snowflakes. The purple wax didn’t work. Susan and Helen were fine – they had waxless skis. Sue and I walked. It was a bit like snowshoeing, but on skis. The skis had huge lumps of snow under the waxed sections.

S and H waited for us at Gossips Corner.

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Huron Cabin was our luncheon venue.

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I thought that trail 3 – the Burma Road – would be fun in the fresh snow. Susan and I went that way, leaving Sue and Helen to return by the Parkway route. Once all the purple wax had been removed and a bit of lilac rubbed in in its place, my skis performed much better, Sue found someone with blue wax that was even better.

Trail 3 was delightful, then we returned to P10 along Fortune Parkway in lovely conditions.

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To our surprise, Susan and I reached P10 ten minutes or so ahead of the others despite our longer route. They must have been gossiping.

For the record: P10 (Fortune) > Fortune Parkway > Gossips Corner > #1 > Huron Cabin > #1 > #3 > Fortune Parkway > P10 = 15.1 km, 253 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 17 mins (2.25 moving time) [Sue and Helen took a Parkway route rather than #1 and #3]

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wednesday 25 January 2017 – An Outing from P16 (Vallée-Meech)

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After a few centimetres of snow yesterday, a liberal daubing of lilac wax for Sue and me, and waxless skis again for Helen, saw us at P16 (Vallée-Meech) after our usual leisurely breakfast and a 35 minute drive.

Conditions were excellent. The sun emerged for the first time this trip. It isn’t usually such a reluctant companion over here.

The path led first to Healey Cabin, where Sue observed the Chickadees and squirrels competing for grub.

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Then we travelled the short distance to Herridge Cabin for elevenses, where Sue’s top photo shows that whilst the cabin was empty, the fire was roaring in the hot building.

Helen took a picture as we left Herridge and headed down trail 50 in the sunshine.

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Lac Philippe is about 10km from P16, and was our turning point today. The following picture may be my only contribution to today’s entry. There again, it may be one of Sue’s.

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Retracing our ‘steps’, we paused at Herridge for lunch and were back at P16 shortly after 2 pm, after a lovely glide down the final kilometre of descent.

For the record: P16 (Vallée-Meech) > #50 > Healey Cabin > Herridge Cabin > Lac Philippe > #50 > Herridge Cabin > #50 > P16 = 20.2 km, 328 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 24 mins (2.35 moving time)

Later, Susan arrived from Connecticut, sadly without Roy, who has to work. It’ll be good to have her company for the next week or so.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday 24 January 2017 – Mooney’s Bay Beach

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This is a ‘Beach Holiday’. With tired muscles and light snow falling, all Sue and I could manage by way of exercise today was a 5 km stroll to our local beach and back. Sue took on the Lifeguard role for a while, before deciding that her skills would be better employed in the kitchen.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Monday 23 January 2017 – An Outing from P3 (Gamelin)

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It was slightly cooler today, with wind chill taking the thermometer’s -2°C down to about minus 10°C.

Sue and I drove the Imprezza across Ottawa to car park P3, Gamelin. At just half an hour from Ken and Helen’s house, this is about our closest point of access to Gatineau Park. We don’t start from here that often, as there are no convenient lunch cabins. However, our muscles are starting to rebel against the unfamiliar activity of cross country skiing, so a short ski was in order, returning to base for lunch.

We did take a flask of tea though, and Sue is pictured enjoying that at the end of trail 35, by Lac Pink, which as usual at this time of year was white.

Waxing was a bit tricky, and Sue stopped to rewax her skis three times, never seeming to be happy with the waxing. I soldiered on with the purple wax I’d applied earlier. Most of the people we met were using waxless skis that were probably the best bet for today, whereas usually our waxed boards are far superior.

Never mind, we are going to a canoe club slide show tonight, and will have a day off to rest our muscles and watch the snow storm (here’s hoping, anyway) tomorrow.

Sue is pictured here wrestling her way up the scenic delights of Trail 15.

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For the record: P3 (Gamelin) > Gatineau Parkway > #5 > #15 > #35 > Lac Pink > Gatineau Parkway > P3 = 16.5 km, 251 metres ascent, taking 2 hours 51 mins (2.40 moving time)

Highlight of the day – the speedy Parkway descent after Lac Pink – that kilometre took just over two minutes, quite exhilarating.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday 22 January 2017 – An Outing from P7

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We woke again to positive °C temperatures, so no cold hands today!

All four of us started from P7 car park, but Helen turned back as her waxless skis didn’t like the ice. I didn’t notice any ice as Ken had waxed my skis to perform like fly paper. If there was any ice I was certainly sticking to it, along with any leaves and twigs and other detritus on the trail!

Despite some groans from muscles that had been unused for nearly a year until yesterday, Sue and I followed Ken along Ridge Road to Western Cabin for lunch. It was hot in there. Our sandwiches (ham and cheese with the bread buttered on the outside, wrapped in foil and toasted on the cast iron stove) were cooked to perfection in no time.

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We returned in softer conditions via the Champlain Lookout, where Sue and I are pictured above, and with a bit more glide having removed the sludge of wax, leaves and twigs from our skis.

The Gatineau Loppet, which sadly will take place after our trip this year, was being advertised, with Sue being waylaid for a gossip near where some stalls has been set out in the manner of a Loppet support point, dishing out fig rolls, sweets and chocolate coated raisins.

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After leaving Gossips’ Corner we enjoyed the last few undulating kilometres and a fine final descent to rejoin Helen, who had found an easy 10km route elsewhere, by about 2.15pm.

For the record: P7 (Kingsmere) > #30 > #1 (Ridge Road) > #2 > Western Cabin > #2 > #1 > Champlain Parkway > Fortune Parkway > Gossips’ Corner > #1 > #30 > P7 = 18.9 km, 306 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 31 mins (2.40 moving time)

Saturday 21 January 2017 – An outing from P17

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It’s ‘Spring Skiing’ weather in Gatineau Park. No chance of cold hands in the warm weather that requires klister on the skis if you aren’t lucky enough to possess waxless boards.

The four of us – me, Sue, Ken and Helen enjoyed a 22km ski into Renauld Cabin for lunch, returning by a slightly different route.

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It was warm. We didn’t over exert ourselves, though Ken came with a 7 kg rucksack and a bit of energy for toing and froing between us as part of his preparation for the 150km over two days Canadian Ski Marathon that takes place in four weeks’ time.

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The woodpeckers have been busy, as shown in the top picture taken by Sue. The light, and my incompetence with the Canon G16 camera, didn’t allow me to take more than a few very average snapshots.

Anyway, it was a good first day out despite the heat and the relatively slow going, and the trails weren’t too busy.

For the record: P17 > #53 > P19 > #50 > #55 > Renauld Cabin > #55 > #50 > P19 > #51 > #53 > P17 = 22km, 372 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 50 mins (3.15 moving time).

Test – At Renauld Cabin

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Trying to make Open Live Writer work…