Our Outdoor Education class went for a cross-country ski in Gatineau Park on March 10, 2015. We started at the bottom of Camp Fortune and we skied through the hills and the parkway heading north. We ended up at Huron cabin for lunch. Then we continued to Champlain Lookout, and finished the long stretch down the parkway to return to P10.
I really enjoyed exploring the Gatineau Park and obtaining this new trail and map knowledge. I often have gone to Gatineau Park in the past, but this trip was new territory for me and it was the first time I have been there in the winter.
On the day of our trip, the weather was really warm and it felt amazing because I had the right layers on. I had one base layer, one lightweight fleece and a windbreaker. I packed a small day pack in the morning with pasta, vegetables, and fruit. For snack I took a bag of roasted peanuts and a cliff bar. I also brought two water bottles, and even with them I ran out of water.
In terms of my skiing experience, I felt awesome going up and down through the small groomed trails with the trees on either side. I didn’t really like the parkway because the lanes were so wide and it seemed like they took forever to climb. I think that I was one of the faster classic skiers. I would have liked to skate ski because I noticed that my classmates who were on skate skis quickly overtook the classic skiers by taking the lead on the wide open, hard-packed snow trails. It was hard seeing how fast the skate skiers were going compared to my pace.
One of the main challenges that I found annoying and not very enjoyable about my skiing experience were the wide, long and sticky snow climbs I had to make on the parkway. On these trails, I learned that if the snow was in the sun for a while it was hard to ski on. So I tried to increase my speed to work rate by finding patches of shaded snow, where I could double push to gain more speed.
I would definitely go cross country skiing again. It was a great experience and an excellent day to go on. It makes me want to cross country skiing with my dad more often and try skate skiing out to go faster.