Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Friday, 4 February 2011

Thursday 3 February 2011 – The Icing Sugar Run, aka The Burma Road, aka Trail Number 3

The view from Champlain Lookout - 3/2/11

Ok, so this isn’t trail 3.  It’s the view from Champlain Lookout, reached via….the Fortune Parkway, in lovely condition today – with beautiful sunshine and around –14C.

Sue asvends the freshly groomed slopes of Fortune Parkway

Sue was enjoying being on her skis again, but as she headed on up the Parkway, taking the easy route to Huron Cabin, I took the trail up to the right, the Burma Road.  It had been groomed, sort of, in a rather bizarre manner that left humps and dips and grooves to trap the unwary.  Here’s a section where the grooming was fine.  The snow was the consistency of icing sugar – lovely to ski on, and easy to overcome the imperfections of the grooming that in days to come could evolve into dangerous icy bumps.

Trail 3 - just like icing sugar

It was stonkingly sunny, and just warm enough to be comfortable without overheating, so long as a modest speed was maintained.

Sue spotted this Pileated Woodpecker – quite a large bird, about 18” long, manufacturing one of its trademark oblong holes.

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

It took me an hour and a quarter to reach Huron Cabin, where Sue was waiting and all the other visitors were taking it in turn to apply their own individual technique on resuscitating the failing fire.  My method of closing the doors of the wood burning stove once it was full of well lit wood was rejected out of hand, despite my plea that I was sure that the stove was designed to operate with its doors shut!

But who was I, a mere foreign tourist, to argue with these ardent French Canadians?  Anyway, the stove did eventually get going sufficient to toast our ham and cheese sandwiches; delicious they were too.

Outside Huron Cabin

The feeder at Huron was busy as usual – Common Redpolls were out in force.

Common Redpolls (Carduelis flammea) on the feeder at Huron

A Hairy Woodpecker (about 9” long) was tucking in to the seeds.

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) on the feeder at Huron

As was a White-breasted Nuthatch.

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) at Huron Cabin

After lunch I headed along Ridge Road to Trail 2, at the junction with the turn to Western Cabin.  A short way down trail 2, there’s a junction with trail 33 that links with trail 40.  That had to be left for another day, I didn’t want to keep Sue waiting.  She was going around Ridge Road to the Champlain Lookout, then back to P10 via the Parkways.

So I turned around at the trail 33 junction and headed back to P10 car park via trail 1B, in lovely condition, and the Lookouts and Parkways.

On the way, I passed Lac Fortune, glittering in the sunshine.

Lac Fortune on 3/2/11
Waxwings beside Fortune Parkway

In the trees by the lake, a flock of Bohemian Waxwings was gorging itself on the berries.  I was too far away to get a better close up image than Monday’s, but there are plenty of birds in the above picture!

A sting in the tail came on the final descent, where the inside track of the freshly groomed trail had collapsed in several places, perhaps due to the antics of novice skiers, perhaps due to the passage of a large animal, or perhaps both.  Anyway, on return to base a call to Paul, who would be leading a group along that trail in the dark later, was considered wise.

18km for the day, with 420 metres ascent, in three and a quarter hours, brought me back to the P10 car park rendezvous with Sue, who turned up a few minutes later, having paused for some arty photos (you’ll have to wait for the trip slide-show for them!).

I’m now up to 200km on the skis this year; my heels are suffering less having reverted back to my old worn out shoes, and a glance at the skis indicates they may be nearing the end of their days…

1 comment:

afootinthehills said...

Some lovely photographs there Martin. Snow looks good too.