This winter’s silver lining? Great skiing!

Herridge Cabin, one of many rustic shelters scattered among ski and snowshoe trails in Gatineau Park. Photo: Lucy Martin

Herridge Cabin, one of many rustic shelters scattered among ski and snowshoe trails in Gatineau Park. Photo: Lucy Martin

With sympathy for the majority of folks who are seriously tired of winter, it has been a fabulous season for skiing. I’m strictly cross country so I can’t speak to downhill conditions. But I imagine those have been good too.

Quebec’s Gatineau Park is a much-loved recreational mecca for Canada’s capital region, only a short hop from Parliament Hill. It’s had good snow since late November – and trail grooming is still going strong.

The National Capital Commission runs Gatineau Park. The NCC sent out this press release on Thursday in regards to what it called “an exceptional season” that’s not over yet:

Canada’s Capital Region — With recent snowfalls, the 2013–2014 cross-country ski season in Gatineau Park will continue until April. The NCC notes this season as being exceptional compared with the previous eight seasons for which records have been kept. This year, the NCC also saw an increase in the number of season passes purchased.

End of season extended: The NCC will continue grooming operations and the ski patrol service until at least Sunday, April 6. After that date, services will be adapted

Renauld Cabin. Photo: Lucy Martin

Renauld Cabin. Photo: Lucy Martin

according to the weather conditions until April 15 — which is well past the March 31 expected end of season used for planning over the past eight years. Grooming operations will not continue past April 15.

The 2013–2014 ski season so far: The season began on November 29, three weeks earlier than the 2012–2013 season. So far, skiers have had 119 days of skiing, while the previous eight seasons had an average of 113 days. More than 6,400 skiers bought a season pass this year, representing an increase of more than 9.5 percent over last year. Sales of daily passes are also up this year.

As summarized and updated by John Warren, in his weekend outdoor reports for the Adirondack region, it’s been a great year for skiing.

Lake Placid’s Jackrabbit Trail is known to listeners through NCPR postcards from Brian Mann. Here’s a summary/report from that location as of 3/27:

Continued cold since Monday mean we still have powder surfaces as of Thursday.  This will change as Friday will be in the 40s with rain, followed by clearing on Saturday and daytime temperatures again in the 40s.  Cooler and sunny on Sunday, then more clouds and chances of snow at night or shower during the day through next Wednesday.  Temperatures will still be below freezing at night, so no significant melting of the snow we have is expected – we just won’t have the nice powder surfaces.  Likely the last weekend for Cascade and Whiteface Club, but Van Hoevenberg and the Paul Smiths VIC will continue to groom.

Summary: The season that seemingly wouldn’t start, now seemingly won’t end.

Of course, the snow will melt. And the gardener in me is quite ready to see some green and start digging again. But my, my, my! What a winter it’s been for skiing!

If you ski or snowshoe, what’s the winter been like for you and where have you found the best conditions?

Skiiers take to a bench to soak up late-March sun near Herridge Cabin. Photo: Lucy Martin

Skiiers take to a bench to soak up late-March sun near Herridge Cabin. Photo: Lucy Martin

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3 Responses to “This winter’s silver lining? Great skiing!”

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  1. Hank says:

    Doesn’t look like skiing, snowshoeing, etc. are coming to an end anytime soon!

  2. oa says:

    It’s a summary/report, not a summery/report. Unless you were making a play on words about a wintry/report.

  3. Lucy Martin says:

    Good catch, oa. And , no, that wasn’t intentional, though it could have been Freudian. (My thoughts have turned to gardening, not skiing.)

    It’s fixed now. Welcome spring and hurry summer.