Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Saturday 17 January 2009 – Fortune Parkway and Huron Cabin

One of the great things about coming to Ottawa in the winter is that there is no hurry to go out in the morning. And so it was that Helen, Sue and I enjoyed a leisurely start, after Ken had checked in to report that he had survived the night.

It’s a half hour drive from Woodroffe Towers to our starting point for the day, P10, at the foot of Fortune Parkway. Our skis had been lovingly waxed, and our poles sharpened, by our ever attentive host before he left on his own adventure. So we could leap out of the car to attack the gently rising Fortune Parkway with some considerable vigour, taking care not to overstretch certain muscles that inevitably undergo a process of rediscovery on such days.

On a normal Saturday in January we’d have been lucky to find space in P10 car park, but today there were few folk around due to the cold weather, and as you can see from the photos of me and Sue taken on Fortune Parkway, we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

We headed up to Gossips’ Corner, gossiped amongst ourselves, then zoomed on past Shilly Shally Cabin and up the Khyber Pass to Huron Cabin. A loop from there took us to the Champlain Lookout and back to Huron via the Champlain Parkway.

The view across to the Ottawa River from the edge of the escarpment wasn’t as clear as usual, as a few snowy flurries were invading the gap between us and the blue sky above. This view is something of a grander version of that of Teesside from Eston Nab, for those of you who may be familiar with the latter – picture it as it was in the winter of 1963.

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch in Huron Cabin – there will be more about these lunch breaks in a future posting – in the company of some friendly strangers and a man in a banana coloured suit who Helen was embarrassed to admit was known to her. His skiing kit was just a bit ‘70s style gaudy!

Martin poses outside Huron Cabin in his 21st Century gear

Having taken an hour and a half to reach the cabin for lunch, after that break Sue and I shot off down Champlain Parkway, whilst Helen headed down the Khyber Pass, meeting us at Gossips’ Corner for a brisk return down Fortune Parkway to reach P10 car park only 35 minutes after leaving Huron Cabin.
This was an excellent first day’s excursion despite the cold – with 13km skied in 2 hours, plus 45 minutes for lunch.
On returning home we woke Ken from his ‘nap’ and interrogated him about his ‘bivvi at -35C’ experience, leading to his brief report related in the previous posting. Well done, Ken, we wish all our requests for reports were met with such enthusiasm…

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