.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Road Cyclists Beware : The Park is Still a Ski Kingdom.
By:  Justin Demers   (2008/04/16)

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I admit I haven't skied much since Nationals. A combination of school, work and sickness has been keeping me home lately but there is still great skiing out there. The base near Ridge Road is still at least a foot deep. And so during my ski I was left wondering about what we should a be doing at the moment and how I ended up on a ski trail. I for one should have been at home. I should have been studying for a calculus III exam on Friday evening. As interesting as Green's and Stoke's theorem or triple integrals may seem to some, my mind had diverted to methods of procrastination. I started the afternoon by going outside in shorts and t-shirt to pump up the tires of my commuter bike, my other commuter bike, my road bike and then my mountain bike. That wasn't enough so I decided to ride everyone of them around the block. I did a few adjustments and then caught myself wondering what the heck I was doing. There was still snow and I was dusting off my bikes.

I had just breached a law of skiing so I proceeded to put everything away and head to my wax room. I wondered which skis to klisterize (soon to be a verb, to apply klister to one's skis), but then noticed that I first had to deklisterize (soon to be a verb, to remove klister from one's skis) a pair. I got distracted and wondered why the English language didn't have a word for this task that has been or still is a daunting task to every skier and a prerequisite to spring skiing. Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish probably have words for this. Maybe even Italian, German and Estonian. Any skier will tell you that klister is a test of will, unless you have unbounded desire to ski, always, and buy waxless skis as your tenth pair of boards. The sight of my waxless skis brought me back to earth and I quickly scraped and brushed them. I got my other stuff ready and got out of my place.

On my way to the Park, I saw a few cyclists and I felt good about the prospects of skiing in shorts and a t-shirt instead of bundling up and riding in the grit, the water and dealing with crazy drivers. Just past the highway on Old Chealsea road, I saw some white Look road bike on a blue New Beetle. I couldn't help to think that the driver had left Ottawa, in the early traffic, thinking of riding the loop only to see a lot of snow and drive back. He inspired the title and I had a little chuckle.

I got to P10 only to find that the perfectly fine trails were 'Not Recommended for skiing'. I couldn't help but think that this was not because of the weather but because... We've heard the story and I feel too positive today to restate the issue. The skiing itself was great and I didn't even get a chill despite very light clothing. Take a look at the few pictures that turned out alright.

In the end this day was set to be pretty dull but it turned out very well. Here's the secret to making most of your days like this : ski. If this fails then running, hiking, cycling and other various activities achieve similar results. I felt I had to throw in another sentence that way people who only look at pictures and are not worthy of such a powerful antidote to cubicule syndrom, may carry-on with their 'efficient' lifestyle and let us have all the fun.

Ferme_pour_la_saison.jpg

There's something about the snow and the sign that I don't understand.

Parking_P10_April_16_2008.jpg

I mean there are still plenty of people skiing on a Wednesday at 14h30 when no one is on vacation.

P10_gate.jpg

Even if a truck were to try to plow away the ski trails, it would probably fail.

Stream_crossing.jpg

This is near Shilly Shally. I can understand that this is a challenging obstacle, if you're driving a groomer. The photo doesn't render justice but the water is at least a foot deep.

Bare_spot_on_Burma.jpg

This is the only spot on Burma that needs walking and there are very few bare spots. There is enough cover and the few bare spots are obvious enough for decent skis. The trail is getting dirty with branches and leaves though.

That being said it's April 16 and that alone makes it all perfect.

 
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