Gatineau Park: P10 to Huron (17 km)
P10: N45 31.141 W75 51.234
Huron: N45 30.336 W75 53.999
After a couple of years of talking about a moonlight ski in the GAT the day had final come to slap on the boards and git-r-done. Conditions were perfect - especially given the forecast for rain and highs reaching 9°C for the rest of the week. Didn't that damn gopher see his shadow last week?
Mike left work early and managed to hit the near empty P10 parking lot around 3:30 pm where we made a quick call to Kenmore who was already out enjoying the trails. The plan was to meet him somewhere along our way to Keogan.
While Mike and I were gearing up and I couldn't help but notice that my pack was a little light having forgot my tinfoil wrapped sandwiches back in the office fridge (arg!). Luckily I'd brought some Red Pepper and Black Bean soup, snacks, and of course beer... and even more lucky to have a couple of mates that didn't mind sharing a bit of their grub with a starving bear.
Shilly Shally pitstop
After meeting up with Kenmore we arrived at the Keogan/Huron junction and decided it was a little early to hit a cabin and start cooking. So off to Huron we skied but not before stopping for a pint at an empty, fire-warmed Shilly Shally.
Our first cabin behind us, we quickened our pace to catch the sunset from the Huron Lookout. It was nice but the smattering of clouds kept it from being spectacular. From here it was back down to Huron for supper.
Again we were surprised to have the cabin all to ourselves. We quickly set up a makeshift kitchen and starting some semi-serious gourmet cooking (more like food warming but that doesn't sound nearly as appetizing). Chili, soup, sandwiches, baguettes, fresh cheese, and even some chocolate for dessert... or was that the Blackberry Wheat Ale?
Supper at Huron Hut
At some point between the end of supper and nap time another group of amateur outdoor chefs rolled into the cabin. They had bottles of wine, a pot of apricot curried lamb and containers full of various desserts. Apparently they are a regular night crew here today to help celebrate a friend's birthday. Impressive. Seems to me I should find me some female friends like this to ski with, and to carry my pots and pans, and my beer, and... yeah, snap out of it and be careful what I wish for. Besides, I certainly couldn't complain on this night after forgetting my sandwiches at work and eating half my buddies' food.
The ski back to P10 was a sweet ride thanks to the icy tracks. A pole here and a pole there and before I knew it we were barreling down the Khyber Pass (that's from the days when trails had real names and not just numbers reminding you of Bob Seger songs) and onto the parkway. And with the glow of a full moon lighting the way, all headlamps remained off.
And finally a few night shots...
A great night and definitely a plan worth repeating. Now all I have to hope for is more winter.