As it appears that it will never stop snowing in Ottawa--I had to shovel the driveway yet again today--I thought that I would get serious about trying to do something outdoors. Yesterday I went with my friend Peter, who is an excellent skier, to Gatineau Park for some cross-country skiing. We rented me some nice skis in Old Chelsea and then drove to Camp Fortune, the downhill ski area, and parked the car.
The weather was quite nice, hovering around the freezing mark, and in spite of having been off skis for a decade (and being not so good even then) I did fairly well. The concept of the snowplough turn appears still to be somewhat beyond my grasp and on a number of trails I found the most effective to stop and/or turn was to, well, fall down. This became more regular as we came back and as I got tired my already-marginal ski handling skills degraded. But there was lots of fresh air and nice scenery. I saw many red squirrels and even stood close to a woodpecker near one of the chalets where we stopped for a snack.
Gatineau Park must be one of the finest placed to do x-country in North America. The trails were beautifully-groomed and quite challenging.
As for myself, I have a sore left wrist today but I would like to try again and perhaps get more serious about figuring out how to do those turns.
Happy New Year to everyone!