After a 4 km walk on Saturday and a 14 km walk yesterday (a similar amount of skating for Sue and Ken), today Ken went to work and Helen, Sue and I headed off with our skis to parking lot P17 near Wakefield, where we hoped it would have warmed up a bit from the minus 22C that greeted us this morning, albeit on another lovely sunny day.
It did eventually gradually warm up to about minus 10C, clouding over this afternoon. We made the best of the weather by heading off to Renaud Cabin, pictured above. It has been rebuilt since last year. Here’s the old cabin, of which there is now no trace or reference.
It’s a shame that the old cabin isn’t remembered in some way in the new one – it was a cosy place, with character.
A friend of Helen’s, Katie, joined us briefly until her waxless skis – not suitable for these cold conditions – forced her into an early bath. Meanwhile, one of my pole’s basket broke immediately after we set off, but its absence didn’t really hamper me too much on this easy route:
P17 > #53 > #51 > #50 > #55 > Renaud, and back the same way to P17, the #53 loop that we usually follow being out of condition, ungroomed, and possibly unpleasantly marshy. This is about 9.5 km each way, taking around 1.5 hours each way plus the time you stop in Renaud Cabin. We were out between 11.00 and 2.30 today.
Here are Sue and Helen in the sunshine on trail 51.
And at a junction – the Taylor Lake loop, we didn’t go that way today – on trail 50.
The new Renaud Cabin has been referred to as the ‘Cathedral’ by some stalwarts of Gatineau Park.
This must be the lightest and sunniest interior of any of the Gatineau Park cabins. With the wood stove going like the clappers and the sun beaming in, it was red hot indoors, albeit well under minus 10C outside.
It’s a day cabin only. Alcohol and overnight stops are both banned.
Here’s a view to the wooded escarpment from just outside the cabin.
This was a gentle 19 to 20 km, on a lovely if cold day – a brilliant first ski of the season for Sue and me.