Today was the day for a neat ski / hike idea that I'd been thinking of for a while. Hike up to the fire tower at Luskville (probably the most 'mountainy' hike in the Ottawa area, and then cross-country ski all the way back down along the ridge road to its start at P3, not far from downtown. It would be a fairly long ski, at 30km, with an extra 2.5 km of steep hiking at the start.
Roland, Jenn and Caroline joined me on this local adventure. We left a couple of cars at the endpoint at P3 in downtown Gatineau, and then drove for a long, long while (or so it seemed, since we realized we'd have to ski back all this way) to the start point at Lusk falls.
Getting ready near Lusk Falls
We chose to forego snowshoes, since the trail was reasonably trodden, the hiking distance was short, and we didn't feel like lugging snowshoes on our backs for the 30km ski. The trail up to the fire tower from Lusk falls is steep - about 750 feet of vertical ascent in less than 2km. Well, steep for Ottawa, that is!
At the Lusk Falls trailhead
continuing hike to fire tower
Starting off on groomed trail
We hit the ski trail shortly after 1pm, and started our ski. The trails were freshly groomed and the snow conditions great. The air temperature was just below freezing. We stopped at McKinstry hut, and then again at the nice little bench-lookout along trail 1 (the main xc ski trail - aka ridge road).