Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tuesday 10 February 2015 – A Trip to the Fire Tower

1003meechP12

The ski from Lake Meech to the Fire Tower and back is usually an enjoyable one, and in today’s (relatively) warm and sunny weather the 25 km there and back trip, with about 550 metres of ascent, was superb.

We got a late start having waited for the early cloud to clear, so it was 11.30 by the time we set off up the steep hill (pictured above, looking deceptively flat) from P12.

There were very few people about, and the trails had been freshly groomed, so the going was superb, and having shortened my ‘wax pocket’ my skis were gliding along much better today. I was almost able to keep up with Sue, who’s pictured below on Trail 40 that leads up to Ridge Road.

1005trail40a

Arriving at McKinstry Cabin at 1 pm, we were surprised that nobody had bothered to light the stove, so our resident girl guide did the business before continuing on to the Fire Tower, the furthest you can get on this side of Gatineau Park on the groomed trails. There’s a path down to Luskville from the Fire Tower, which I have a vague recollection of visiting on snow shoes a few years ago.

The Fire Tower isn’t particularly photogenic, or did Sue just slip when taking this picture?

1012firetower3

Back at McKinstry the fire was now in full bloom and our sandwiches quickly toasted on the cast iron surface. The other visitors were both skate skiers, one who had popped across from Montreal for the day, and the other had a tin of oysters for his lunch then needed a bag to take care of the oily tin. These people hadn’t done much skiing this year due to the persistently colder than normal weather and the lateness of the snow.

After our second long break at the cabin we set off yet again into the blinding sunshine.

1016McK3

It’s an easy 10 km back to the car park by 3.30 pm. A very enjoyable, mainly downhill, run in lovely light with long shadows. Our route is shown below (but the link, like many things, isn’t ‘Apple friendly’, I’m afraid).

Back at home, Ken was nominated for barbecue duty and we enjoyed some of British Columbia’s finest salmon burgers. Sue’s stomach has returned to normal, and Helen has some medication for her pneumonia, so she should make a full recovery but may not be able to do much skiing this week.

1029BBQ1

No comments: