Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Snowshoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snowshoes. Show all posts

Friday, 7 February 2020

Friday 7 February 2020 - Snowshoeing to Healey Cabin

After an overnight dump of snow, and with no fresh grooming of the ski trails, we decided to drive to a new venue - P15 (Cross Loop Road) on the way to Wakefield. 

There's no skiing from here, but a snowshoe trail leads in less than 5 km to Healey Cabin. This is route 70, and we took it on a cool morning with a biting wind and snow flurries. Once in the shelter of the forest, the four of us soon warmed up and enjoyed the walk through fresh snow to the cabin.

Ken's snowshoe straps encountered a mass failure, leaving him plodding for the rest of the day in his boots. Luckily the compacted snow was manageable, if not as pleasant without the proper footwear.

A large party of schoolchildren was leaving Healey as we arrived. Just as well - we needed their space. We lunched in front of the large windows, admiring the Juncos and Blue Jays attacking the feeder. A lone Cardinal bird added a small splash of bright red to the scene.

On the return journey, Helen retraced our steps along #70 - a 9 km 'there and back'. Sue, Ken and I took the #71 loop after a while. A thin trail with lots of undulations. We met two ladies at the bottom of a hill, but otherwise the path was deserted. En route we passed an emergency shelter that I recognised from last year's Fat Bike ride from Wakefield - so we've 'linked' those routes.

By the time we got back to the car at 2.30, the three of us had covered about 13 km, mostly in continuing snow flurries at around minus 10°C.

The large pot of tea back at home was most welcome.

Helen has been catering wonderfully, but last night she was given a break whilst Sue cooked moussaka, and tonight it'll be fish and chips at the pub around the corner. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Snow Day

The predicted snow arrived. About a foot of it. Not a good idea to go out in the car, so we've enjoyed a rest day with a little wander in our snowshoes by the Rideau River.

The walk was slow going as even with snowshoes we were effectively post holing to the depth of a foot, down to where a path had previously been trodden. Either side of that the snow was much deeper. 

Various small birds were chattering away on this warmer day (only about minus 5°C), but it was a pair of Piliated Woodpeckers that caught our attention. These are crow sized birds, much bigger than the Hairy and Downy varieties that we see on the feeders in Gatineau Park. Unfortunately I didn't have my decent camera with me, so no Piliated picture, but I have included a picture of a Downy Woodpecker taken by Sue the other day. It's about the size of a greenfinch.

Later, Ken went out on some errands and found Ottawa to be empty. Most folk have stayed at home today. There's a misconception that whilst the UK struggles with any snow at all, places like this carry on as normal in snowstorms. That's not the case. Driving is easier here as the roads are ploughed, and winter tyres are the norm. But heavy snow like today's brings many activities to a halt, and those with any sense stay at home.

Today's second picture shows our driveway after the road was ploughed (by the city plough) and the driveway was cleared soon afterwards by a private contractor who follows behind the city plough and clears all the snow for a separate annual fee for those who want that service. Otherwise you have to clear the ploughed snow as well as that in your driveway before you can get out.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Snowshoes on The Wolf Trail

We've brought our snowshoes so we may as well use them!

Susan and Roy planned this excursion, and Sue, Ken and I decided to tag along for a pleasant morning, mainly in the woodland of Gatineau Park. 

The #62 trail is about 8.5km in length, starting from P13 at the very end of Meech Lake. It rises about 300 metres from the lake, generating good views from the vicinity of Ridge Road (#1) over the frozen expanses of the Ottawa River.

Beyond the high point of the walk is a short 'there and back' to a viewpoint. Today that was frozen over in the form of an ice cap surrounded by precipices.  Just as well that our snowshoes are equipped with on-board crampons.

Today's pictures are shown in the order they were taken, starting with the car park in a snow storm and culminating with my four companions on the frozen ice cap.

It was quite warm, just below freezing, today and skiing conditions wouldn't have matched yesterday's superlatives. So snow shoeing was a good option. Our two and a half hour walk finished at 1pm, when we adjourned to Palmier café in Chelsea for a well earned lunch.

We'd not been to P13 before, as there are no ski trails that start from there, so it was new ground at the end of a rough road. The Wolf Trail used to be a ski trail - Ken has skied it in the past - but the authorities now seem it to be too difficult for skiers, though it's easy on snow shoes. Indeed, there were a few runners out today, managing fine with trail shoes and yaktrak crampons. Thanks to snowshoers like us, the track was well compacted. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Wednesday 1 February 2017 – Another Outing from P7, and some Snowshoe Running at Night

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Susan left early for a week in Kelowna, Ken went to work, and Helen fancied a rest. So Sue and I enjoyed the short ski enumerated below.

The weather was superb, and whilst it hadn’t benefited from any recent grooming, trail 3 – The Burma Road – was a lovely route to ski on today. The final descent was fast, and with a large group of people blocking my planned exit, a hasty readjustment failed to halt my progress into the woods. First ‘fall’ of the trip.

That was after herring boning up some hills like the one shown below.

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Lunch was taken at Keogan Cabin, home of icicles and (today only, I hope) toothache.

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For the record: P7 (Kingsmere) > #30 > #1 > Huron Cabin (elevenses) > #1 > #3 > Fortune Parkway > Keogan Cabin (lunch) > #1 > #14 > #4 > #1 > #30 > P7 = 17.8 km, 325 metres ascent, taking 3 hours 28 mins (2.36 moving time).

There’s a group of about thirty crazy Ottawa folk who go out snowshoe running on Wednesday nights. I wonder how many of them prepare by way of a meal of beans on toast? At least two. I might have known Lester would be there as well. Here he is pictured with Ken wearing some lightweight running snowshoes. Luckily a spare pair was available for me, so my full size shoes could be left in the car.

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It was actually great fun and very good exercise, albeit we only covered about 5 km in the hour of activity. The somewhat convoluted route is shown below. These were mostly not snowshoe trails until we created them tonight in the undulating woodland near the Visitor Centre in Chelsea.

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You might be able to find the Visitor Centre on the winter trails map shown below (click on it to enlarge), which for anyone interested is available on the Gatineau Park website.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

TGO Challenge training in the Vorarlberg - The Movie

I've had another skirmish with Windows Movie Maker....

Not entirely successful or satisfactory, I have to say.  I find the timeline hard to work with and I failed completely to work out how to apply a soundtrack.

It may have been better to add titles to the clips rather than insert them between the images, but never mind.

It'll take you all of 6 minutes to view this experiment, but I won't tell you how long it took me to reduce it to that from 8 minutes.  You may have to speed read some of the captions.

Would a simple upload to Flickr or similar have been better?
The jury's out...

Monday, 16 February 2009

New Shoes

1601park This is possibly our final 'Canadian' post for this year, subject to occasional contributions from Summitboy, our Ottawa correspondent.  It shows Sue, exactly a week ago, on a final stroll around 'Woodroffe Park' before we embarked on a smooth journey back to the warm green gloom of Timperley.

The week's blogging efforts all went into the previous post, which is intended as a resource for anyone wondering about what the CSM is like to take part in.

Last time we left Canada, two years ago, I made the impulse purchase of a new pair of shoes at the airport.  I'd been admiring the very light footwear during the course of our visit, and I hadn't seen it in the UK.  Ideal for river crossings, I thought.  There was, at Ottawa airport, a choice of one colour.  Orange.  That's how I came to acquire the orange crocs that feature in my 'profile' photo with the Callum Hord tent.

This year we eschewed the snowshoeing tracks, partly due to the minor hassle of hiring snowshoes.  It would be good to do a bit of snowshoeing without having to resort to hire shops.

Bushtukah, and some money that I didn't have but was nevertheless burning a hole in my pocket, provided the solution.1602sueshoes  1603martinshoes
New shoes!  Very smart!  Sue's laces are particularly striking...

We brought them home, with the vague intention of using them in Scotland.  It seems they are similar dimensions to those being debated on Chris Townsend's pages (6 February 2009), so they may be too small to deal well with deep, fresh snow.  But we hope they may work where the snow has consolidated a bit, and we know they will perform well when they return to Canada.

They may also come in handy for our forthcoming visit to the TGO Challenge High Altitude Training Camp.

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