We woke again to positive °C temperatures, so no cold hands today!
All four of us started from P7 car park, but Helen turned back as her waxless skis didn’t like the ice. I didn’t notice any ice as Ken had waxed my skis to perform like fly paper. If there was any ice I was certainly sticking to it, along with any leaves and twigs and other detritus on the trail!
Despite some groans from muscles that had been unused for nearly a year until yesterday, Sue and I followed Ken along Ridge Road to Western Cabin for lunch. It was hot in there. Our sandwiches (ham and cheese with the bread buttered on the outside, wrapped in foil and toasted on the cast iron stove) were cooked to perfection in no time.
We returned in softer conditions via the Champlain Lookout, where Sue and I are pictured above, and with a bit more glide having removed the sludge of wax, leaves and twigs from our skis.
The Gatineau Loppet, which sadly will take place after our trip this year, was being advertised, with Sue being waylaid for a gossip near where some stalls has been set out in the manner of a Loppet support point, dishing out fig rolls, sweets and chocolate coated raisins.
After leaving Gossips’ Corner we enjoyed the last few undulating kilometres and a fine final descent to rejoin Helen, who had found an easy 10km route elsewhere, by about 2.15pm.
For the record: P7 (Kingsmere) > #30 > #1 (Ridge Road) > #2 > Western Cabin > #2 > #1 > Champlain Parkway > Fortune Parkway > Gossips’ Corner > #1 > #30 > P7 = 18.9 km, 306 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 31 mins (2.40 moving time)