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Hello. Despite the somewhat fanciful, romance-novelesque title graphic, this is a very simple little presentation. A presentation covering a short, last-minute hike among friends in the hills of Gatineau Park, just outside of Ottawa, Canada. And, as you will see, a presentation highlighting my good friend Roland Hanel. Why the highlight theme? No good reason, really. I suppose that as we were talking on the trail, I snapped a lot of pictures, many of them somewhat offbeat shots that included Roland. So... why not center a presentation around that?

So, let's get started. November 2011 turned out to be an exceptionally dry and warm month for the Ottawa Region. Where we usually have endless dreary days of cold rain, we had many bright, temperate days of sun. When one particularly fine day fell on a Sunday, a few of us decided to hike one of the nicer trails in Gatineau Park, known as the Wolf Trail. Our crack hike team included myself, Jenn, Bob, and, of course, today's star, Roland.

As a bonus to us all, Roland was sporting the beginning of his 'Mo-vember' moustache.
Hanel, P12
Parking lot P12 (one of many designated and numbered parking lots around Gatineau Park) is the traditional starting point for the Wolf Trail. From here a main access route heads south up into the highlands of the park. A short distance up this main access trail, one reaches the junction with the northern end of the Wolf Trail.
Hanel, Crisp November Day
It was a wonderfully clear and calm day. Particularly nice for this time of year in the Ottawa area. Since the first part of the Wolf Trail hike is mostly uphill, we were soon shedding layers right down to a t-shirt.

The Wolf Trail was extremely crowded - the result of a combination of it being close to a nearby major metropolitan area, the beautiful weather, and because it is one of the better hiking trails in a park that does not have that many trails.

Our foursome gravitated into two conversational groups: Jenn and Bob, and myself and Roland.
Hanel, Shirtsleeve Weather
Hanel, Leading Crossing
Hanel, Trailing
Hanel, In Formation
Hanel, Warmed Up
Hanel, Scanning
After a short while at a brisk hiking pace, we reached the beginning of the steeper section of the Wolf Trail. This steeper section leads up onto the 'ridge' portion of the trail. It is, strictly speaking, not a ridge, but rather the edge of an area of highland. The trail skirts along the edge of this highland, with pretty views east and south over lower Gatineau Park and -- further in the distance -- the Ottawa Valley.

As you can see from the pictures, I made sure to capture much of Roland's impressive hiking. I am glad that I did, for rarely has such composure been seen in the wilderness.
Wolf Trail, Ridgetop
Hanel, Rescue-man
Uplands Pond
Maintaining a blistering average hiking speed of over 3.5km/hr, we soon completed the 'ridge' section of the Wolf Trail, and started to descend towards the southern end of the Wolf Trail at the edge of the Eardley Escarpment. There is an excellent lookout on a short spur trail along this section, and it is at this point where we made our brief snack stop. The lookout provides a panoramic view of the Ottawa Valley and the Ottawa River.
Hanel, at Lookout
Eardley Escarpment Lookout
Off-trail Pond
The Wolf Trail is usually hiked as a loop in conjunction with some other access trails. However, today we decided that we wished to double our Wolf Trail experience, so we decided to return via a back-track along the way we came. (Note: if you are interested in seeing a hike description of the Wolf Trail done as a loop, click here).

The adventurous Roland decided that a little off-trail excursion would up the huh-factor of our day. He therefore boldly charted a short diversion to an un-named pond not far off our route. A steady routefinding hand then brought us safely back onto the Wolf Trail precisely at the time and place to merge us back into formation with Bob and Jenn.

Amazing. Roland is un-lostable. Like a wolf. Yea verily, like a wolf on the Wolf Trail (note: please now refer once again to the title banner in order to receive the full import of it).
Wolf Trail Ridgeline
The Gatineau Hills
Leaving adventure behind -- but still stepping forward smartly and with verve -- we arrived back at the P12 parking lot trailhead only two hours and thirty-six minutes after starting out.

End transmission.
Interactive Trackmap - Wolf Trail Hike - click map to expand

Wolf Trail - Hike Data (non loop)
Start Time:
11:10AM
Start Elevation:
623ft (190m) *
End Time:
1:46PM
Max Elevation:
1323ft (403m) *
Duration:
2h36m
Min Elevation:
612ft (187m) *
Distance:
9.41 km (5.85 mi)
End Elevation:
613ft (187m) *
Average Speed:
3.6 km/hr (2.2 mph)
* : +/- 75 feet
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