On a cool, overcast day with snow flurries in the Park, Ken chose a Winter Triathlon in Ottawa*, Helen dropped me and Sue off at Wakefield for a ski into Lusk Cabin, whilst she took the short (12 km there and back) route from Philippe, to which point we all returned after a convivial lunch in the overheated cabin.
Lusk Cabin is one of very few in the park that allows overnight stays. It’s a small cabin with six bunk beds that can be booked for exclusive overnight use between the hours of 4 pm and 10 am the next morning. Otherwise it is open to day visitors. Somebody had got the fire going well today and the small cabin was really hot compared with the outside temperature of about minus 8°C. The heating elements in my mitts weren’t needed today – it was too warm for them.
It’s a lovely 3 km ski into Lusk along trail 54. We’ve excelled ourselves this year by covering the vast majority of the easier trails in Gatineau Park, thanks to the benign conditions. In some years the trails have become rather icy and that has inhibited our itinerary. But not this year, when perhaps we should have tried a few more of the ungroomed ‘black diamond’ trails. Never mind, we would have fallen over a lot on those trails!
For the record: P17 (Wakefield) > #53 > #51 > P19 (Philippe) > #50 > #55 > #54 > Lusk Cabin (lunch) > #54 > #55 > #50 > P19 = 17.6 km, 353 metres ascent, taking 2 hours 46 mins (2.10 moving time)
* Ken came home in 90th position out of 197 participants. 1 hour 33 minutes for the 8 km skate, 8 km skate ski, and 5 km run (on which he found the use of yaktrax crampons improved his performance – a creditable 27 minutes for the 5 km). [Winner took 59 minutes!]