Another sunny morning saw Sue and me joined by Helen on a ski from P10, near the centre of Chelsea and the site of last night’s snowshoe running.
Sue is pictured above setting off on the 2 km climb up Fortune Parkway on a cold morning. Helen decided to do a there and back ski to Huron Cabin, where we met her for lunch after going further down Ridge Road and enjoying the intricacies of trails 24 and 1B.
After turning onto Ridge Road at Gossips’ Corner, you soon pass this small cabin – Shilly Shally. The Shilly Shally lodge on Trail 1 was created by skiers in the late 1940s, probably from the remains of an old settlement and logging-era cabin. The current structure probably dates from the 1960s and ‘70s.
Back on Ridge Road after our diversion down trail 24, snow flurries started. These slowed us down for the rest of our ski – snow in the tracks means ‘slow in the tracks’. Today I kept my nose covered in a (successful) effort to avoid the intake of cold air that may have led to yesterday’s toothache. My battery operated electric mitts were used for the first twenty minutes or so, but at only about minus 11°C the power wasn’t needed after that.
For the record: P10 (Fortune) > Fortune Parkway > #1 > #24 > #1 > #1B > Champlain Parkway > Huron Cabin (lunch) > Champlain Parkway > Fortune Parkway > P10 = 19.5 km, 285 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 10 mins (2.41 moving time).
Alan has enquired about the snowshoes. They all seem to be made by Atlas. The running shoes are smaller. Ken’s are pictured below next to my regular ones, which would have been difficult to use on last night’s run.
Here Sue models Ken’s shoes in her slippers. I eschewed wearing slippers last night and found trail shoes worked fine. It was surprising how fast you could run on a proper trail. Last night we were following a maniac (former olympian) who led the group through deep pristine snow in a forest, so it’s perhaps not surprising that we only managed 5 km in an hour!
Regarding Conrad’s question as to a comparison between cross country skiing and walking….
…there’s no ready comparison to my knowledge and it depends on how fast/energetically you walk or ski. Our 15 to 25 km skiing outings are equivalent to a half day walk I would guess. The 16 mile walk quoted by Conrad possibly equates to a 20 to 25 mile ski, depending on the terrain. There are many people older than Conrad on the trails. Once certain leg muscles and shoulders are used to the exercise, I think cross-country skiing has rather less impact on the body than walking.
There is however a bit of homework needed for skiing. Before leaving home, the skis need to be waxed according to the snow temperature – see the gadget on the work bench below, and it helps to have a large basement such as is found in many of the houses of Ottawa. The picture shows just a fraction of the basement here, which extends over the entire footprint of the house.