Monday, April 21, 2008

3rd Annual Luskville Falls Hike

Photo by Kenmore.

Gatineau Park: Luskville Falls and fire tower (5.8 km)
Parking Luskville: N45 31.965 W75 59.840
Fire tower: N45 32.669 W75 59.753

I was going through some spring photos the other day and noticed that for the last two years we have kicked off the hiking season with a trek up Luskville Falls. I also noticed that it just so happens that the day has landed on April 21st. Not needing any more of an excuse to take a day off for a hike in the GAT, I emailed the regulars and we all agreed to go for it.

Fire tower
Luskville Falls Nature's staircase
Gatineau deer

As luck would have it, this was another summer-like April 21st with temperatures reaching a high of 25°C. Add to that, no stinking black flies and a ton of melting snow providing us with a pounding 2km cascade of water and you have a recipe for a day in heaven. What more could one ask for? (scroll down to find the answer to that one)

Looking back
Photo by Kenmore.

Upon reaching the top we pulled up to our usual resting spot and broke out some lunch and beverages. First round was on Kenmore with a nice selection of Saranac Brewery and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery ales.

April 21st hiking crew
Photo by Zartimus.

Lunch was followed by the annual crossing of the falls and trek up to the fire tower. The view from here is truly breathtaking.

Cheers from on top of the fire tower

At the base of the tower we soaked up some more rays and we even took a moment to build a small icebox using the remains of the frozen x-c ski trail to chill our Grolsch. Sweet.

Nature's icebox

All in all it was time well spent. And until next April 21st feel free to read up on the other blogs marking this annual event, April 21, 2006 and April 21, 2007.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Last ski of the season in Gatineau Park


Gatineau Park: P19 Lac Philippe to Lac Lusk (12 km)
P19 Lac Philippe: N45 37.394 W76 00.546
Lac Lusk: N45 35.100 W76 00.772

With 20 degree weather in the forecast for later this week today was definitely looking like my last opportunity to x-c ski. Today was to reach 8°C but with the magic of Universal Klister I was able to get some grip on this wet and slippery snow.

This ski season has been more than adequate. Checking my blog, the season ran from December 7th to April 14th. Sweet.


Today's goal was to make it to Lusk Cabin and enjoy some rays. I had to cross 2 or 3 patches of pavement but nothing that actually required me to remove my skis. Rather than the usual winter silence, today was marked with chirping birds and raging creeks. You could practically hear the snow melting and the spring flowers blooming.

Squirrel enters stealth mode
Lusk Cabin Cheers to an awesome ski season

One of the best things about the day was the solitude. Although there were 4 other cars in the parking lot, I didn't spot one other person on the trails the entire day. Lusk Cabin was all mine. Rather than heading inside and warming up a sandwich on the already lit woodstove, I opted to stay outside on the porch in the sun and enjoy my lunch and a Grolsch. At one point I was sprawled out on the stairs in just a t-shirt contemplating a nap. Alas, I decided to pack up and head back home. As they say, all good things must come to an end.

Lusk Cabin approach

Next week I'll be heading up Luskville Falls. I suspect the water will be crashing down and that there will be some splashes of snow here and there. Stay tuned.