Saturday, April 6, 2013

April 6 - Last one this season

I figured that trail 50 would be groomed overnight and I would have a nice fast ski.  As it turned out I was partly right.

I parked at p16 and elected to walk down the hill seeing as there was no snow on the bridge.  Skiing from there was ok but there had not been the grooming I was expecting.  There was some grooming that was perhaps done later yesterday starting at 36.  It was icy with some frozen ruts.  It was like that until Herridge.  Then it got great!!!  The grooming was fresh and was really good right to P19.  There is the odd muddy spot but it was easy to get around.

Unfortunately trail 55 did not look like any grooming had been done at all so it was only trail 50 today.  I saw many people cruising the fields and it looked like fun but I hope they didn't do that because they thought the trail was no good.

Perfect temperature, fast, freshly groomed snow and lovely sun.  A great way to end the season.  I put the waxing table away this afternoon.

Thank you to all the folks who I don't know but frequently recognized me out on the trails and always had a friendly smile or nod for me and thank you to those who have sent me emails supporting my trail condition report.  

Tomorrow I will watch Paris-Roubaix then its out on the bike.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

24 March Trail 50 etc

Skating along 50, 55 and 54 today was fantastic today-cold snow and warm sun, at least for a while.  Frankly the grooming was good but not great with a ridge present much of the time and some snowmobile traffic.  Fortunately I was out before there were too many walkers but there were a few.  The best skiing was on 54 up to Lusk.  At the start the snow was quite fast but 2.5 hours later it was starting to slow down particularly in the swamping areas where the moisture is starting to come up.  Still lots of snow.  People who really love to ski do not look forward to the end of the season but when the ending has days like today its ok.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10 - A Tale of Two Cities-The Beginning of the End?

Imagine a great day like today, below zero at night, above zero during the day, stated 38cm snow base and finding NO GROOMING on what is supposed to be a "primary trail".  I don't think Craftsbury, Lake Placid, Mt. Ste. Anne would have such fantastic conditions and decide not to groom on a Sunday morning.  Well this is Gatineau Park and weird things happen here.

I went to P16, arriving at 9:30 for what I figured would be prime skiing.  It started out well with good fresh grooming but the groomer turned left at 36.  There was not grooming in the skate lane.  It was a skied out, icy crude.  So I stopped turned around and drove to P6.  Pity anyone who came here for March Break and went  there-what a disappointment.

So here is the other "city".  Although not fantastic on Ridge the grooming from P6 along the parkways up Penguin was good.  I detoured down 4 to the race course.  This was fantastic.  By this time it was 10:30 and there was only one other set of tracks disturbing the very good grooming.  Burma had seen lots of traffic but was in good shape.  All the way to 24 and back on the parkway conditions were very nice so overall my day of skiing was not ruined.

There were a lot fewer skiers out than I thought there would be and as far as I could tell there was no one looking at passes at P6 or P16 and P5 is now closed and with #50 left ungroomed on a weekend - is this the beginning of the end?

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8

There was fresh grooming on all the trails I was on but this does not mean that the conditions were great.  Here are the details:

All parkways-very good
Penguin/Ridge to Fortune Pkwy-chunks of snow on the edges minimizing skating area-not great
Burma-more chunks, worse than Ridge, not good
Ridge from Burma to #2-chunky-not great
Ridge after #2 to "2km to go sign" on way to Mckinstry-very good, no chunks
(Note: 2nd crash of the year just after the 2km to go sign-large immovable branch sticking out of trail!!!)

Depending on the shade conditions ranged from tough to very nice although I started around 11am and so got stuck with some pretty moist snow.

Still a great day to be out but what with all the chunks, faulty equipment?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mar 4 - fresh grooming everywhere

I didn't get out until later today and I wasn't sure if anything would be groomed to freshen up the trails from the weekend.  On the one hand it was nice to see fresh grooming everywhere except I found that in those areas freshly groomed it was very slow.  Not sure if that was my wax, my weakness or just slow snow?  On the parkways it was firmer and although not fast it was decent.

The race course was great and I was the only one there but it had the slowest snow of the day.  I apologize now for any destruction done to the tracks.  It was unintentional but basically unavoidable on some of those climbs. 

All of the following were freshly groomed today
Champlain and Fortune Parkways
Penguin and Ridge although Ridge was a bit too "ridgy" in some spots
Race Course
1A and 1B
Ridge right to the "2km to go" sign on the way to Mckinstry.

There was not a lot of skiers out today where I was so the trails will still be in great shape Tuesday.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mar 2 - North End of Park

Trail 50 is living up to its reputation as the most inconsistent trail in the park.  Today fortunately it was on the positive side of this inconsistency.  From P16 grooming was excellent until trail 52.  Grooming was slightly more recent past 52 and a touch "ridgy" but still very good.  Between 55 and P19 it was a little more "ridgy" but still a good 7/10.

Trail 55 was also 7/10 but the part of the trail that goes along Lac Taylor was not recently groomed and had some snowshoe traffic.  There is a very good snow sculpture at the last yurt at Lac Taylor.

Trail 54 scored a good 8.5/10.  All in all this part of the park was in very good shape and made for a great day of skiing.

Friday, March 1, 2013

1 March update

I was skating from P6 starting around 2pm.  From a grooming perspective it started very well except the fresh grooming only went about 100m as the groomer had gone down #7.  (For my striding friends 7 looked fantastic).  Turning left on the parkway I headed to Penguin and Ridge.  There was fresh grooming only starting near the Gatineau Parkway.  Ridge did not have fresh grooming.  Fortune Parkway had very good conditions but I was very disappointed with the condition of the grooming on Burma.  From Burma I went to Champlain and back on the parkways.  Champlain Parkway to Fortune was very good but between Fortune and Gatineau Parkway there is no fresh grooming at all.

Basically everything had been groomed since the big dump but seemingly some spots, only one time.  This is not enough given the amount of snow.  Really strange is the fact the NCC sent out an email stating that because of the recent snow they would focus on the parkways.  Well, a big stretch very obviously needs to be groomed while at the same time trail 7 looked great?

Burma and Ridge have many soft spots, large gouges, luge runs etc.  Well I was out I did not see any grooming in progress.  Hopefully they will get to these trails overnight as they need to be compacted badly.