After the previous night’s indulgencies at Woodroffe Towers, it was 10.30 by the time Helen and I had rendezvoused with Susan and Roy at P19, the most westerly of the ski trail car parks.
The trip to Lusk Cabin is one that we’ve enjoyed many times over the years. The header picture shows Roy and me outside the cabin on Wednesday lunch time, admiring the view across the lake, and pondering the whereabouts of the Ghost of the Lost Skier of Lusk Lake.
It was warm – around +3C, with snow flurries. With a couple of centimetres of fresh snow, which was rather wet, this made the skiing conditions…. ‘interesting’. After setting off along trail 51, Helen flew off ahead (unusual) with her waxless skis. Susan and Roy soon returned to their car to change into their ‘waxlesses’. I don’t have any such skis, so I floundered on, slithering slowly backwards on the slightest of uphill gradients, and bizarrely failing to get any glide on the downhill sections. It was like skiing on slippy wet putty, though I’d never want to try that!
Violet wax was supplanted by purple wax, but it didn’t make much difference. After a while, Helen left us to take the direct route to Lusk, whilst the three of us soldiered on around the picturesque ‘Taylor Lake Loop’.
Light snow and the difficult trail didn’t do much to spoil our enjoyment of this beautiful woodland trail, though. After a steepish hill, the trail passes a canvas ‘yurt’ before emerging at the eastern end of Taylor Lake. Here Roy posed for me (see below) with the lake in the background and a new yurt to the left in the shot. These yurts can be hired for overnight stays by private parties, as can Lusk Cabin and one or two others in this section of the Park. Most of the cabins in Gatineau Park are, however, for use by day visitors only, and they don’t cater for overnight stops, though many are used as destinations for evening ski trips and are often found full of folk enjoying mid-week cheese and wine parties.
A little further along our slither, we skirted Lac Renaud, where despite the unseasonable warmth, nobody was found sunbathing on this judiciously positioned bench.
They were all enjoying their lunches in Renaud Cabin, in front of a roaring fire…
After establishing that Helen hadn’t decided to stop at Renaud, we scooted on to Lusk to join her for lunch. Part of the 3 km cul de sac trail to Lusk was recently washed away, but a good attempt at a diversion has been made, and we were pleased to make it to that characterful cabin. It was hot inside. Very hot. A backwoodsman turned up and opened a window. Nobody complained. It was hot. Rather above freezing. That’s very unusual at Lusk at this time of year.
On the way back to Philippe and P19 car park, I discovered that ‘special red’ was the wax of the day, and after applying that I was suddenly and surprisingly able to more or less keep pace with Susan and Roy!