Gatineau Park Overnight Reflection
By Liam Meek
The grade 12 Outdoor ed class spent 2 days in gatineau park on a fun and exciting trip that was tiring but rewarding. Our day on the 23rd of February started off with final preparations and loading up the bus. We departed the school around 12:30 for a half hour bus ride to gatineau park. We arrived P17 in wakefield and began to load up for the 3 kilometer hike to Brown cabin. To get to our cabin we needed to take snowshoe trail 72. The trail was mostly uphill on the way there with a nice downhill for the last 200 meters. Once we arrived we started to melt snow for water bottles right away as we were heading out for a snowshoe hike around the surrounding lakes. We planned on hiking the three peaks around the cabin and around Brown lake and Carman Lake. We decided to make our own paths and once we started we found it would be a hard hike. We left around 3 and planned for a 3 hour hike. Once we got going we found the snow to be fairly deep and it was a hard slog. We started around Brown lake and we managed to run into a trail along it that we followed. Once we got to the end of Carman lake we started to climb. We had already been out for a good amount of time so we decided to just do one peak and head back. After a tough climb up we were pleased to slide down the rest of the way on a fairly steep hill. After getting back to the lake we went back to the cabin to prepare dinner. For Dinner we had spaghetti and garlic bread and it was excellent after a long day of hiking. Sadly our power went out during dinner and pretty much stayed out for the rest of the day.
I felt like the first day went really well and everyone had lots of fun. The hike was challenging but also lots of fun due to the big slide down the hill. We were organized and everyone helped out loading up so we got to the cabin in good time. Everyone also was in bed in good time due to the 24th promising to be a long day.
We awoke on the 24th and started the day off right with breakfast sandwiches to fill us up. The plan was to do a nearly 22 km ski loop with a side detour to lusk caves along the way. The plan was to start out by taking trail 57 out from the cabin and linking up with trail 52 and heading North East to trail 53. then we would take trail 53 North West until the junction with trail 51 west. Then we would take trail 50 around Lac Philippe and stop for lunch at Renaud Cabin. We stopped and had some awesome grilled cheese to refill our stomachs for the second half of the loop. We would continue to take trail 50 and stop off at the snowshoe trail 73 so we could take a 1 km hike up to Lusk caves. After coming back we took 50 east until we got to 52 Northeast. We continued along 52 until meeting back up with trail 57 and returned to the cabin. We were greeted with ready made Fajitas made by Nick and Dylan.
The 24th turned out to be a long day, but a rewarding one still. we were pretty steadily heading uphill the whole time and I was pretty tired by the time we got in for lunch. The second half was also pretty tough but the hike to Lusk caves was pretty cool and definitely worth the trip up. Trail 52 was a big challenge with lots of steep uphills and steep downhills to test our ski skills. It was really good that dinner was ready for us because it would have taken a lot longer if we did it once we returned due to how tired everyone was.
The last day we had pancakes for breakfast and we packed up in good time to take trail 72 back out to meet our bus.
All in all I had loads of fun this trip. We did lots of tough activity and it gave an accomplishing feeling to get through it all in one piece. We had lots of great food and even some leftovers. Our group was really well prepared due to our google drive document that made sure everyone could contribute and also got helpful tips from Mr. Brouwer during the process. Over all I would do this camp again in a heart beat.