Friday, March 13, 2015

Gatineau Cabin Overnight PAD4O

Ski Trip Overnight Cabin Trip
Log and Reflection
Cameron McLean
As soon as we arrived we immediately unpacked our gear and started strapping up to leave for the trail. I was feeling really energetic and the pack felt light enough, so I decided just to hop into the sled and just started to move to get the group going. Sadly, I was going the wrong direction, but a direction is better than no direction. We took trail 72 with a few small breaks until we reached the cabin, about 2km. We then dropped off our gear and began to walk off trail across Lac Brown and Lac Carman. Then south to the closest unnamed lake, and up the peak to the north. Once we reached the peak we snacked and made a direct line back towards the cabin. The total loop was about 4km. The snowshoe into the cabin was much steeper than I expected, however I challenged myself to complete it and refused to give in until I did, I can be fairly stubborn that way. Luckily from all activity I’d been doing I was in better shape than I had arguably ever been. Once we reached the cabin I gave myself a small break before putting myself in a better mental state for the long journey to come. And it was most definitely worth the suffering up the large hills and across the cold lakes. I don’t think I have ever had such a strong feeling of relief and fun in my life, when I saw those small cliffs and huge snow piles to jump into. That is a memory I am sure I won’t forget anytime soon. That Night we ate a spaghetti with tomato meat sauce, garlic bread, and ceasar salad. And went to bed soon after. The food was amazing and I ate as much as I could. I helped as much as I could to get all the skis away and properly attached as well as made sure all my stuff was in my bunk or put neatly away somewhere. I didn’t actually end up helping to make the spaghetti, I felt as if there were already too many people in the kitchen at the time so I set the table so we could eat as soon as it was ready. Regretfully that night I also didn’t help with the dishes as much as I would have liked to.

The next day we spent our whole day skiing and visiting the lusk caves. We woke up to eating eggs and some amazing egg and bacon sandwiches. Since I hadn’t done too much cooking the night before I decided to help out as much as I could by making the eggs and bacon that morning, I was also one of the first ones awake so I was able to get started as soon as I could, I enjoy making eggs so I really didn’t mind waiting on my breakfast a little bit to cook the eggs for everyone else. We took trail 57 and 52 north back towards the parking lot. Then 53, to 51 to P19, 50 then 55 to the Renaud Cabin. This is where we took a break to eat some grilled cheese, and rest out muscles, as well as decide what else we wanted to get done, and if we were really going to go all the way to the caves. I really enjoyed the ski to the Renaud Cabin. Most of the others were doing fairly well and I made sure to keep an eye on everyone with the packs and asked them multiple times if they wanted me to take the pack for a while, none of them volunteered. Finally since I was the first to arrive at the cabin with Spencer, we decided to get the grilled cheese started as soon as we could. Personally I had very little experience making grilled cheese so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn! From there we decided to leave to lusk caves and complete the full loop around Lac Philippe. And so, we returned to Trail 50 and continued east towards the caves and stopped to take the trail into the caves. Once there we spent over half an hour exploring all the in’s-and out’s of the caves. I decided again to take up the challenge and took the trails with my skis. Which again ended up worth the pain and was A LOT of fun on the way back. Once we got to the caves I had forgotten my light and ended up sharing with a few others, regardless, the sights were amazing. I would have spent far longer in those caves if running out of light weren’t an issue. They were beautiful and always seemed to have another chamber to explore. Again this trip gave me another memory I would not soon forget. After the caves we left back to the cabin by taking the steep and bumpy Path 52. Getting up to the peak of Trail 52 was a bit of a challenge, however once I reached the top, the rest of the path was so enjoyable. I ended up being in the lead of the group and apparently just ended up farther and farther ahead, as a lot of people fell and lost all their speed. At one point I stopped for nearly 10 minutes and just listened to, nothing. During the winter all the snow absorbs every noise. This is the third memory that I’m not going to soon forget. Sitting in the snow, watching the scenery and listening to pure quiet, this is why I love trips like this. Finally once we reached the Cabin supper was ready for us and we had some amazing tortillas and spanish rice. We played games for the rest of the night in the dark and went to bed. Food always tastes better when you’re hungry and this was no exception, the food was amazing. Again I didn’t help with the dishes as much as I would have liked, this upset me more than it really should have. I really don’t like feeling like dead weight or like I’m just tagging along.

The next morning we ate some pancakes both with and without chocolate chips. Then cleaned up and left back to the parking lot via trail 72. The hike was the same as the first we had done, so it was about 2km and more of a downhill then on our way there. Again I was one of the first to wake up so I decided to start pulling out the materials for that morning’s breakfast. I was making most of the bacon and started helping with the pancakes once the bacon was finished. I also cleaned nearly all of the dishes and made a point of doing so since I genuinely felt bad for not helping out as much as I should have with the other ones. Finally the hike back was great; since I wasn’t dragging a sled up the hills, I could have my head up, and got the opportunity to look around. On the hike back everyone seemed ok with the weight they were carrying and weren’t struggling up any of the hills. So other than making sure the front group didn’t get too far ahead from those at the back, there really wasn’t much for me to do to help out.

Overall the trip was really fun. I quite enjoy a trip where the harder you work the more payout you will get, and I found that this was definitely the case. Since I stayed optimistic and focused on the positives of each situation, I was able to really cherish the rewards of the work that had been done. Ex: The harder you skied the faster you’d go. The higher you climbed the larger the drop. The caves were far, but the caves were worth it. Leading the group in the snowshoe is difficult but making your own path is fun. You get the idea. The trip was really fun, and the only thing I regret is not doing enough once I reached the cabin. I think I got a little too caught up in relaxing and enjoying the break, rather than continuing to work.

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