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Yeah, I feel like gnihctib and moaning with the rest of ya, but you all beat me to it, so I'm gonna
give a trip report, not to describe the conditions which are no longer, but to describe an area.

Anyone who read the threads last week knows it was to expensive to get a last minute ticket out
west, that the Chic Chocs were covered in the same ice that we have here, someone said I would
have to drive way far to find good snow,  and  Leigh made an intriguing remark about the
Saguenay Fjord(though he was off by 2-3 hours of winter driving time).

If I couldn't ski enjoyable downhill conditions (and I don't mean "enjoyable" by overly-enthusiastic
VT standards, I still got the west coursing through my veins)  during the 13-days-in-a-row-of-
not-working, I figured I might as well see something new, and maybe get some good dining in as
well.

Amy couldn't get off work till after Tuesday, so that's when we packed the car and headed to
Quebec City, armed with light touring gear, telegear, and a list of vague ideas.

Woke up to 6" of medium-density snow on the car.  Yippeeki-yay!

So do we drive to the Saguenay, or to Grand Jardin National Park?  We didn't know that the
Saguenay had received over 20" of snow, and opted for the somewhat closer GJNP.  The
expectation was to use our Rebounds to tour the ungroomed trails in the park, but we kept the
hope alive that we would find terrain worthy of heavier skis.

Approaching the park, one is greeted by a spectacularly rugged set of hills, which are bisected by
a canyon through which the road travels.  This "Front Range"(what else to call it?) would be of
interest to the climbers on this list.  Some nice granite walls, beautiful boulders, and ice flow after
ice flow.  But this is a ski list, so let me also mention that in this canyon there are also a handful of
beautiful steep and rocky chutes worthy of the Wasatch or Sierra that I would love to visit in times
of deeper snowpack.(Mark your calendars for some springtime long weekend if you're interested
in joining me.)

We continued driving to the trailhead for ungroomed ski trails.  Upon arriving, we realized that the
wind was howling.  This cofirmed that we'd be skiing on easy trails.

Sometime back, we had a discussion on the list about the lack of forest fires in the East.  GJNP is
one area that has had a fairly large fire.  Skiing through the burnt rolling terrain offers beautiful
views and is something I highly reccomend to those of you that enjoy touring.  Definitely a must
do for eastern skiing. There are also some really nice backcountry cabins to stay in on multiday
explorations. This area also holds great promise for tele skiing, espescially on the slopes
overlooking the eastern side of Lac Perreault.  The slopes here are steep widelyspaced conifers
with little brush.  We will return.

On Thursday we didn't feel like driving as far, so we headed just north of Quebec to Jacques
Cartier Provincial Park.  The kayakers on this list should know that this park's main attraction is  a
gorgeous river that  cuts through a steep walled gorge.  In winter, the road through the park is
completely unplowed, and the park seems to be very popular with xc skiers and slowshoers that
stay at cabins several kilometers inside the park.

The highlight of the day came at an unexpected place.  I spied a gravel pit and knew I had to ski it.
Turned out it was covered in shin deep powder, so we went back for another run.  And another.
And another, all lit by brilliant sunshine.  The pit was wide enough that it took me and Amy almost
10 runs before we tracked it out.  As we worked further and further to skiers left, the slope
became increasingly steeper, until the last run included a pitch exceeding 40degrees at the top.
This was a little more than I could stylishly handle  with my low cut leathers and 3-pins on light
skis, and Amy says the faces I made as I lurched down the hill will come out great on the photos
she took.

There were 2 spots that excited us for a return trip here:

One was a mountain that has a snowshoe trail up one side of it.  The backside of this mountain
offers enticements: a beautiful wide open mellow glade descending 3/4 of the hill, or a much
steeper glade that is reminiscent of some of the tough terrain at MRG.(unfortunately this glade is
brushier and needs more snow).

The other interesting spot was down a side road that leads to a private club.   Above this road is
an open glade of several hundred vertical.  This glade is wide enough to easily provide an entire
day's worth of tracks for a small group.

It did not seem like anybody was visiting this park to ski the woods.


I will return.

I'll post photos when I get around to finishing the roll of film.

Back to the whining.

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