Thursday, March 11, 2010

XC Ski Trip to Gatineau on a Beautiful Day

Our trip to Gatineau Park in the 1st week of March was spectacular. The beautiful weather we have experienced this early spring made for a great day with super snow conditions.

We started at Camp Fortune and worked our way into the trail network of the Gatineau Park. The trails leaving Camp Fortune were not groomed and very hard packed/icy, which made for a bit of a challenging start. After about 20 minutes, we hit the main trail, Ridge Road, which was beautifully groomed and nice and fast. We made our way across Ridge to Huron Lodge, where we had our lunch. On the way we had some fun downhills, with a few falls, and a big long climb.

After lunch, we headed to the grand views of Champlain and Etienne Brule Lookouts. Allowing us to enjoy the beautiful sunshine with magnificent views of the Ottawa Valley. The rest of the afternoon was all downhill and relaxing. Allowing us to enjoy the fruits of our hard work over the last few weeks. What a great day and I am always amazed that we have such a great natural playground in our backyard.

13 comments:

AllieDee. said...

Ski trip couldn't have been on a nicer day :).

At first it was quite the struggle attempting to climb multiple hills that seemed much larger then they actually were, and falling came naturally at the end of each slope creating a frustrating beginning to the journey. However, once we reached the cabin and began back to the bus after lunch, it was all a gradual downhill. This turned out to be really fun, full of gorgeous views over the look outs, and perfect warm and sunny conditions. It was very relaxing and truly a good time, which I much appreciated since the morning had been very tiring.

The views from the top were stunning and it was definitely a treat to enjoy a place I don’t often get to visit. Good company made the trip much more exciting and created great memories. Over all, the afternoon decent made the steep up hills very worth it and I’d love to go back.

AlexW said...

The morning of the ski trip was beautiful and not too cold. At the beginning I got worried that the trip was not going to be fun because of how pack and icy the snow was, however I soon realized that it was only temporary and we were soon on nicely groomed snow. The first part before lunch was a lot of hard uphills that got everyone sweating. After lunch we got right back on the trails and made our way to a nice lookout. Soon after that Charlie told me that I was not skiing right and showed me how and it finally clicked and even though I kept tripping on my pole it was a lot of fun, especially the last downhill which definately made all the uphills worth it. I hope to get my own skiis so that next winter I am able to go out to Gatineau many more times.

kiko said...

This winter was the first time for me to do XC ski. So I was worried if I would be able to keep up with the other members, before I went to the trip. At the beginning of the trip, I thought my concern was going to be true, because of icy snow and hills. However, after I overcame those hills, the slopes became gentle with groomed snow, which made me feel fun.
The outlook from the park was amazing. There, I noticed this was where my host mother had taken me in fall. Last time, the trees were so pretty, but this time, the ground was covered with snow, so these were quite different. I thought I am very lucky to stay here, which has vast nature and beautiful seasons.
Thanks to the perfect weather and many members’ kindness, I really enjoyed this trip. It would be one of my precious memories in Canada.

Taylor said...

It was my second year cross country skiing in outdoor ed, and my first full day trip. The weather was perfect which made the day that much more enjoyable.

The beginning of the trip made me have some doubts, as the hills proved to be a challenge and began to quickly drain my energy. By the first downhill section of the trail I felt like it was much needed. I managed to not fall going down it, and was able to turn the corners and manouver around those who had fallen.

The biggest hill we climbed was by far the least fun part of the day, but made the afternoon that much more enjoyable. The steady declined trail I went along made it easy to skate ski, and it was nice to practice on a wide trail.

The best part of the day was watching everyone come down and around the last corner at the end of the day, and watching the falls and crashes.

Overall it was a great trip and an experience that I'm glad to have.

BuckShot said...

The trip to Gatineau Park was one that everyone had been looking forward to since the beginning of the skiing unit. We had spent a lot of time on techniques as well as taken many trips around the Cairine Wilson property, these two aspects had me feeling confident before the day of the trip as I knew I was well prepared.

The morning of the trip could not have been a nicer day, the sun was shining, the thermometer was at an appropriate level and the conditions of the ski trails definitely reflected that. Skiing on the open trails was a completely different experience as the snow was well groomed and the trails were wide open. The park was an interesting mixture of straight flat sections as well as rolling hills which kept things exciting. When we stopped for lunch after the first half of the day I was unsure whether I would be able to complete the second half or not as I was exhausted but after a homemade lunch and some nanimo bars from Lauren I was ready to go. The second half of the day was by far the most enjoyable as it was mostly down hill allowing for many opportunities to rest your tired legs. I was able to learn a lot watching Mr. Brouwer and other experienced skiers as I could learn a lot from their techniques. The only let down of the day was the fact that Mr. Brouwer backed down from our scheduled race however, that clearly was a smart decision.

Thank you to Mr. Brouwer as well as Stephanie Leduc who both volunteered their time allowing us to have this experience. It was truly an eye opening experience allowing us all to experience the great nature and scenery that our great county has to offer.

CODEMAN said...

The ski trip to Gatineau Park made for an awesome day. This semester marked the beginning of my cross-country skiing experiences and I think I made some pretty good progress. At the outset of the trip the huge uphills and steep downhill slopes seemed pretty daunting but I tried my best anyway and learned a lot from watching the more experienced skiers and actually doing it on my own. It started out pretty tough but after a few minutes I got the feel for the powdery snow and didn't fall as much as I thought I would, which was nice. Racing and talking with friends while enjoying the beautiful Canadian scenery was great. By day's end I was pretty tired but was very satisfied with how well I did and with how incredibly majestic the great outdoors are. Thanks to Mr Brouwer and all my classmates for making it a wicked day and to Lauren for her delicious chocolatey snacks.

Comfortablynumb said...

I was not very excited to go on this ski trip this year. Though i had gone last year in my grade 11 Outdoor Ed. class and had fun (despite the freezing rain). I was worried that the snow would be icey and very painful, which it was. The icey conditions turned out to be very fun because you could ski fast with ease. With a combination of great weather and a warm sun, it turned out to be a wonderful day. I was very well prepared for this trip, I packed my bag the night before and was ready to go the next morning. Sometimes when i had trouble, was when Mr. Brower led some of us down a double black diamond. Despite falling twice on that hill it was a lot of fun, even with all my cuts on bruises.
Later on in the day it became quite warm and I was able to ski in a t-shirt. This was a lot of fun, until i fell on the ice and cut my arms very bad, this encouraged me to put a coat back on. At the begining it was very difficult becasue it was a lot of uphill climbing. The second half of the trip was much more fun, because it was mostly downhill. I had a very good time on this trip and will consider going again next winter!

sparkling salamander said...

I was pretty excited to go try out cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park after all the practice we did in the fields and forest at school. The weather was perfect for the trip and I was hopping to get a bit of a tan.

It was a rough start from camp fortune with hard icy snow and lots of uphills. After the first 15 minutes I’m pretty sure everyone had to shed a layer because all the climbing was so tough. When I saw the signs and the names of all the cabins, I realized that I’d been hiking in that area a few times with my family in the fall and I remembered the huge hill that we had to go up. By the time we got to the cabin for Lunch I was very tired and thought I might not last the rest of the day, but my lunch and some treats re-energized me to keep going. The second part was a lot less painful with the gradual downhill the whole way back to the bus. We were picking up a lot of speed near the end and having a hoot until I did a major face plant to save Ryan’s life going at about 100 km/h.

There was a lot of blood sweat and maybe a few tears, but in the end it was definitely an amazing, fun experience that I would love to do again in the future! :)

Yoboyjc said...

The Ski trip took place on one of the warmest days of winter. It seemed like a daunting task to me at first because I was a pretty novice skiier and I had bought the wrong back pack for it. I had bought a sports bag and Skiing with it was quite the challenge.

At first the path was very hard to navigate and I fell quite a few times while climbing, going downhill and even just standing still. After about the first twenty minutes of skiing we came to our first downhill. The feeling of speeding down the slope after working so hard to climb to that point felt great. From then on the ski trip was much more enjoyable for me. I relaxed enjoyed the scenery and tried to hit every downhill as fast as I could. Of course this often ended in some pretty spectacular crashes. But the way I see it what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

We stopped at a cabin for lunch where I enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich and bumped in to my old soccer coach. I had a long talk with him and then bumped into him again later. I missed a lot of the classes were we were taught how to ski properly and the old man showed me a few tricks. This further improved my experience and when the class split up Into two groups. I decided to go with braden and some others to try the steepest downhill.

It was a great trip all in all but I think next time I go skiing I'll try the downhill.

LoneSpirit said...

The morning was chilly but all that hard work warmed me up pretty quickly. The Snow made it pretty hard to skate ski at the start but we pushed through. Once we were on the groomed trails the going was easier but still a good work out. It was a great time hanging out with everyone and just cutting loose, especially racing Ryan G down the last big hill. Everyone seemed to be having a great time even with the big up hill. When we got to the cabin for lunch I could hardly wait to keep going. it would be great if next year we could have a Trip with this group in Algonquin again!!! Defiantly going to need to get my own skis.

birchy14 said...

The day of the ski trip was actually quite nice, it wasn't to cold and it was sunny. I cant say I was really looking forward to a whole day of skiing but I kept my hopes high. The day started out awful though, we went across a high path and came down a hill to the trail, where as I went down I fell on my hand and bent my thumb backwards. In less than five minutes, I was ready to go home. But I knew I couldn't so I kept on skiing. It was tough though, the snow being a bit icy and going up multiple hills. I didn't mind the workout though, if I wasn't going to enjoy it, I would at least get fit. Overall it wasn't to bad, seeing people fall (Ahmad) and enjoying the nice scenery. If I had the opportunity to do this again I probably would do it.

captain brown said...

Although I had alot of dissapointing falls during the ski trip, I mananged to have a very good time outdoors. It was probably one of the best experiences I've had in a long time. The most enjoyable part of the field trip was when we started to go down the first couple of downhill slopes. It was very challenging because of the fact that I didn't know how to stop. Overall it was a great trip and for the first time I felt that I had to accomplish a gaol and the goal for me was to finish the ski trails.

Swimmer said...

The cross country ski trip was definitely a pleasant experience. It was my first time ever and man did I enjoy it. I used to think that the Canadian outdoors were boring but I was definitely proven wrong.

I have to admit though I did find some areas challenging. Like the 20 minutes of constant up hill skiing it definitely works yours core and legs. I fell a few times, got my legs twisted in some crazy positions, and got like a bag full of snow down my back. The place where I really got a deep appreciation of the Canadian outdoors was at the point over-looking the town of Gatineau. The snow blanket covering the city and mountain was truly beautiful and put me in a state of awe. This trip would not have been so good if it were not for having your friends experience it with you. Falling and laughing at and with each other was truly a fun time. Skiing down that last huge hill with friends at your side and taking in the cool winds was truly amazing. Thanks so much to Mr. Brouwer for such a great trip. Would I do it again? Hell Yes!!!