Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Wednesday 4 February 2015 – A Snowy Ski to Western Cabin

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We woke to a balmy minus 8C and snow that persisted all day.

A trip to McKinstry Cabin had been planned, but after reaching P12 (Meech) at 10.30 after nearly running over an errant wild turkey, and wending our way slowly up to ridge road, we decided on a shorter option as the going in the fresh snow was very slow, albeit enjoyable.

So we turned left instead of right, along Ridge Road to the junction with trail 2. The bench situated half way along Ridge Road sometimes triggers a pause, but not today as it was loaded high with snow and afforded a view into the swirling snow storm. There’s usually a good view to the west from this prominent point on the Gatineau escarpment.

Trail 2 plunges quickly down to Western Cabin, which was empty when we arrived. However, there was already a roaring fire and the cabin soon filled up. Perhaps a better choice than the more distant McKinstry today.

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Despite being perched on the edge of the escarpment, views were as limited as they had been earlier from the bench.

Today’s conditions were ideal for the backcountry ski trails, so Sue and I returned to Ridge Road along one of these, trail 9, whilst Helen wimped out by heading up trail 2. Back at the big junction where trail 2 intersects Ridge Road, we headed back down to Meech along trail 2, the climax of which is a tough descent that Sue and I had never done. In today’s conditions it was easy peasy, so we just bombed down, hardly needing our ‘snowplough’ brakes.

Trail 2 joins trail 40 for the final plunge down to Meech, where Helen is shown arriving on this still snowy day.

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Our route is shown below – 11 km, with 260 metres ascent, taking a little over two hours skiing time.

Excellent.

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