Friday, December 14, 2007

Birthday ski in the GAT

Gatineau Park: P19 Lac Philippe to Lac Lusk to Lac Taylor (15 km)
P19 Lac Philippe: N45 37.394 W76 00.546
Lac Lusk: N45 35.100 W76 00.772
Lac Taylor: N45 36.292 W76 02.741

Nothing says happy birthday like a x-c ski in the GAT with a couple of friends and a pint or two. This year's birthday adventure was even more special as we were joined by my father.

Fresh snow on the GAT trail

We arrived at the P19 parking lot shortly after 10 am and after a round of introductions we loaded up the packs, strapped on the skis and headed off in the direction of Lusk cabin.

View from Lusk Lake cabin
View from Lusk cabin
Splitting wood for Lusk woodstove Celebrating my birthday at Lusk cabin

At one point along the side trail to Lusk we were hit with a blast of wet hail. Then right when it seemed that we might be in for a sloppy, icy day of skiing it stopped as suddenly as it had started. The timing was perfect too as we had just arrived at the Lusk cabin where inside we found a roaring woodstove and the volunteer skier that had sparked it up for us.

The volunteer left after he finished his sweeping and wood cutting chores and soon we had the cabin all to ourselves. We relaxed, sung birthday songs, and enjoyed a delicious "Tripper style" lunch. Soon though we were restless again so off we headed back out on the trail to Renaud shelter. It never ceases to amaze me how short the downhill run seems in comparison to the upward climb it takes to reach this cabin. Needless to say it's well worth the effort.

Rounding Taylor Lake

After a short beer break at Renaud (short because we got tired of listening to the one other occupant rant about the poor trail conditions) we headed off towards Taylor Lake to finish the loop back to P19.

Sunny skies in the GAT ! Steep hill

Shortly after rounding Taylor Lake we hit a couple of great downhill runs and then blammo! we arrived in a wash of sunshine at the parking lot. Finally to wrap up an already glorious day in the GAT we all stopped for a roadside poutine before continuing back home to Ottawa.


My birthday wish should now seem obvious to all you blog readers out there... I wished for a repeat the same day next year on my birthday. Cheers.

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