Saturday, December 19, 2015


Wow, hard to realise & admit that I haven't updated my blog since March 2014...

I fought-back against FaceBook but with a daughter in Jamaica (back then) and another one in Dubai (now), it was much easier to keep in touch with FB.  Along with that, it was much easier to post about just about anything with FB, including topics normally reserved for my blog, such as kayak-camping trips, hiking & snowshoeing expeditions.  As a result, easy won over better, and my blog lost out.

What I needed was some "incentive" to update my blog.  I may finally have it (subject to confirmation).  The lack of better suggests may result in Santa delivering a Sunnto Traverse under our Christmas tree with my name on it.  The built-in GPS and recording will hopefully track my adventures in 3-D.  I've heard good things about Sunnto's MovesCount site that will hopefully allow me to share my adventures with blog readers with 3D (or 2D) maps.  Hopefully (I haven't read-up on all the details yet), I'll be able to integrate pictures from my GPS equipped camera into the MovesCount maps.

Stay tuned, keep your fingers crossed, and I may be back in January with more posts on this blog.  I have so many posts that I could add from past adventures since March 2014 that blogging could end up being a full-time job.  Unfortunately I'm not retired yet and that means it could take me a while to fully update my blog.

Thanks for being patient, hopefully I haven't lost too many of my regular followers.

Holiday greetings to all!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snowshoeing Monts-Valin National Park

Seven hours snowshoeing through the peaks comfortably in below -15 degrees Celsius weather (not counting wind chill) wearing:

- Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid shell
- Black Diamond Solution hoodie
- Black Diamond Coefficient hoodie
- Arc'teryx Beta Ar pants
- North Face Arctic Hedgehog boots
- North Face Patrol 35 pach
- MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Snowshoeing Spring 2014 - Gatineau Park

One last snowstorm today gave us great conditions to close out an extended snowshoeing season that started in November.

We headed up to the Lac Philippe area for trail #74 that (surprisingly) we hadn't done yet this year. 

Here are some pictures that we took along the way. 

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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Finally Some Fresh Snow!!!

Officially 18 cm of snow fell on the Ottawa area. The Gatineau Park, being further north of the weather system, got somewhere between 10 to 18 cm.

Got to the trailhead by 9:10, already a half dozen cars in the parking lot by then. Headed up Blanchet to the split at Wolf's Trail.

No one had gone up the left side yet so I ventured onto the virgin powder. Wasn't too long before I started crossing joggers and othe snowshoers. 

This was probably the first time I snowshoed the blanchet/wolf trail in a clockwise fashion. 

As expected, it was a bit easier/quicker than counter-clockwise.  

Took 2:50 start to finish, with a 0:10 break to enjoy the view at the Tawinda lookout. 

That direction was about 0:20 quicker than usual. 

I still prefer the challenging climbs in the counter-clockwise fashion.

Another great day in the park...

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snowshoeing Conditions on Trail #61-61 Gatineau Park

Lots of deep powder available today off the beaten path of Trail #60-61 in Gatineau Park today. 

Temperatures were very mild compared to the deep-freeze we've had recently. 

Unfortunately, the warm spell is bringing a substantial amount of freezing rain and rain, followed by colder and windier conditions. It will take a while before conditions come back to what they were today.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dawn Patrol on Wolf's Trail

'twas the morning after the snowstorm that was to bring at least 15cm (3 in) of fresh new powder.  With overnight temperatures near -20 deg C (-5 deg F), it was destined to be light and fluffy. Alarm clock set at 6am (on the day of rest), headed out to the trailhead before the break of dawn. Maintenance crews hadn't plowed the parking lot yet and I was the first to bust through the massive snowbank blocking the entrance-way. Always nice to be the first one to reach the trail head!

On the trail before sunrise, temperature around -12 C by then (10 F), the gradual climb wore off the chill that submerged the landscape. 

This was the first chance for me to try my new gear consisting of:

- Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid shell
Black Diamond Coefficient Hoody
- Arc'teryx Beta AR pants
- Helly Hansen Warm Pant

I didn't want to overdress and steam up on this 8mk (5 mile) loop with a fair bit of vertical rise, and with 15 lbs of gear in my backpack. Lets just say that if I wasn't moving, I'd be chilling.  With an MEC T3 turtleneck under my hoody, I was comfortable and dry the whole way, lowered the front zip of my shell only during the steepest climbs. Legs felt fine under the surprisingly loud Goretex Pro pants from Arc'teryx. First impressions of the HH Merino/Lifa blend long-john's are very good (comfortable, dry, warm). 

The one new piece of gear that I left at home (but wished I had with me) were my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes. My Atlas 12 shoes have lots of grip but not enough to stop me from slidding on side-slopes and falling down a few times. 

Took picture at the usual spots along the way,   

The infamous creek crossing, without the old log bridge. 

The infamous beaver pond. 

First lookout, shortly after sunrise. 

Next lookout along the way up.

Altitude (uncalibrated) check. 

Lookout with view of the Ottawa river far away.

The infamous bench with a view (reservations recommended). 

Back-side view.

Reaching trail #1 toward the fire tower (but nowhere near there). 

The infamous moutain-top lake/swamp.

And finally, multiple views of the gorgeous Tawinda Lookout.

On the way back, downhill and rehabilitated trail, half the time it takes to walk up the other side of the loop. Crossing trail #1 again, toward Western lookout (but nowhere near there). 

This next picture sums it all up, it was like "walking on a cloud" today on the Wolf/Blanchet loop (trail #62) in Gatineau Park near chelsea QC. 

In the last half-hour of this 3-hour outing, came across the first of three groups on their way up.  One of a few small stream crossings below. 

To rest-up from this little work-out, nothing like heading back home to spend 1+ hour clearing the driveway :-)

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell

This is what the large size looks like on a 6'4" frame.  Underneath, I was wearing only thin marino base layer and Black Diamond Coefficient Hoody.  Picture was taken on the new observation tower at the Mont Morissette regional parc at Blue Sea Lake PQ. 

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