The whole reason why I is am doing this ski challenge became reinforced Sunday as I drove happily by P7a/7b looking for just plain old P7. It turns out that 7a/7b is P7. I’m sure other skiers were wondering what I was doing as I pulled into 7b only to leave it less than 30 seconds later. My search for the non-existant P7 proved that I still have a long ways to go until I “know the park”. On that note, I am still flirting with the familiar. I’ve skied from P7 before. I want to get to some of the northern trail heads, or even out to Wakefield, but with Rob and Max at home, I’m limited with the time I can be away. I am planning on heading out to some of the more “exotic” trailheads when Max and my husband Rob can join me. Our Chariot Ski Pull should be arriving any day I hope! WIth the cold weather coming this weekend though, I am hoping to go out to some of the Classic Only Trail Heads.
Date Skied: January 8, 2012
Gatineau Loppet Training Update:
This was my longest ski yet, and it was great to get almost 20 km under my belt. The conditions were super icy, so I’m happy that we are finally getting a little snow before this coming weekend! Despite crowded and icy trails, the weather was gorgeous, the sky was blue, and the park was beautiful. Yah I know…20km and I’m bragging…I have a terribly long way to go before I even get close to the 50km I need to tackle for the loppet!
P7a/b is located at the intersection of Kingsmere and Swamp Road.
There is a fairly steep hill that starts probably 500m into the trail. I would caution bringing beginners down this hill, as it tends to be crowded, very icy and the right hand turn coming down is pretty sharp. I really enjoy skiing from this trailhead though. The beginning of the trail takes you through some beautiful woods, and once you’re on P1 its a really nice trail! I find trail 4 is also a nice escape from this crowds with some fun little hills.
For those who like: winding, but still crowded skis through the woods, a challenging hill, skiing to a cabin, stopping by Chelsea for a bite to eat on their way home, Classic and Skate Options.
Don’t Ski here if: you want the trails all to yourself, its your first time out skiing (the hill could be a challenge!), you hate hills.
P7 is located at the intersection of Kingsmere and Chemin Swamp. Its in the middle/south part of the park. There are two parking lots (7a and 7b…don’t make my mistake, there is no 7), and although they can be quite busy, I’ve never had a problem actually getting a spot.
Here are directions from down town Ottawa:
I find P7 to be a really pretty place to ski from, and I love the initial start through the woods. The hill can be a bit of a challenge, especially to new skiers, and I am always on my guard for people zooming down the hill when you are headed up or vice versa. There are some fairly good route options from P7, but you’ll pretty much have to do some back-tracking. Trails 30/1/4/14/1/ to Keagon, and back would make a nice 8-9km loop! You can also continue on trail 1, or turn towards the parkways for more skiing.
I had a little stop over to look at the biathlon range and reminisce about the good ole’ days.
Elevation and other Details:
The long hill on trail 30 is usually pretty icy, and the turn near the top can be pretty hard to navigate. I’d be a little nervous about skiing it with the Chariot. Otherwise, trail 1 is great, but often pretty busy as one of the major thoroughfares of the park.