Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Saturday 8 February 2014 – A Trip to the Fire Tower

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On this lovely sunny Saturday, Ken, Sue and I took a 25 km trip from P12 by Meech Lake to the Fire Tower and back. This starts with a steep ascent (very nice on the return journey) up trails 40 and 24 to reach Ridge Road after just over 3 km. It continues for another 7 km along fine undulating ‘Forestry Commission’ type tracks to get to McKinstry Cabin, outside which we are pictured above.

It’s a relatively new cabin, though I can’t find its exact history. After pausing in the cabin for a quick cuppa, we continued a further 2.5 km, in a surprise flurry of snow, along Ridge Road to its terminus at the Fire Tower.

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It’s a lovely ski, along quiet tracks even at weekends, as most folk stop at the cabin. Conditions today remained great. It has been a good year for snow hereabouts, and today’s well groomed trails made life very easy. After being a bit cool earlier in the week I found myself seriously overdressed today, and quite damp when I got home – very unusual.

We thought of Michael and others, taking part in the 180 km Canadian Ski Marathon this weekend. Perhaps we should have entered, the conditions were just about as perfect as they could be for the event today. Unusual!

On the way back down trail 40 there’s a sun trap shortly before the final descent to Meech Lake. Ken took advantage, inadvertently doing a fine bit of advertising for Salomon. Wisely, he put a windproof layer on after this break, as the fast descent into the shade involves a significant drop in temperature, to about minus 10C today.

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Back at base, we enjoyed a welcome pot of tea with Helen, who brought us the news that she had been unable to fish out any small/medium lobsters from the supermarket pond. “So I got four large ones” she advised.

Jolly good!

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