04 Jan, 2013
Kids and skiing in Ottawa
Do you ski with your family?
I would really like to do more downhill skiing. Some of my happiest memories are skiing with Mark at Tremblant. I LOVE downhill skiing, even though I’m not a very good skier – the lift going up, the swoosh going down, the wind in my face (not too cold of course) the clunk of the ski boots in the chalet après-ski… Sigh. Sadly we lack equipment and funds at the moment so this is not going to be happening any time soon.
For the time being we’ve elected to continue to cross-country ski as a family. Once you have all the equipment it’s practically free. Mark and I both have skis, and we got a great deal on Emma’s at Trailhead last year. They sell of their rentals at end of the season (and last year wasn’t much of a ski season) so Emma got rentals that looked almost new.
We are renting Sarah’s skis this year because of the Embargo and the fact that she’s still growing. It’s a pretty good deal. We rent them for the season (they are brand new stylin’ skis, poles, boots, bindings) and bring them back in the Spring at which point we have the option of buying them outright if we so desire.
We have been out a few times already and I’m really enjoying it. I’m telling you, if you have a spare hour or two, it’s one of the best things you can do with your family. It’s so easy to just pick up and go.
Everyone thoroughly enjoys themselves. The girls have never had a lesson and they seem to be picking it up really well. I think it’s helping them develop some much-needed skills for when we do decide to hit the big slopes: balance, posture, steering, etc.
Also, XC-skiing is a little calmer, which I appreciate. (No watching in terror as your kids speed down a hill.)
We elected to go to Jack Pine Trail the other day (sadly, sans seeds for the birds this time). It was, gorgeous.
The forest always reminds me of a cathedral. There’s light pouring through branches laden with snow. Sun and shadow create colour even in a fairly black and white world: blue snow, golden snow, silver ice, fifty shades of whiteness. The sound of my skis swishing across the trail, the steady rhythm of my breath… it is a meditation, a prayer, a slice of something big.
Looking for a great trail to walk, snowshoe, or ski? This was a good one. Park at P9 on Moodie Drive and follow the signs. It’s free! The trail we tried recently at Shirleys Bay (we parked at P2) was good too, less scenic perhaps but the trail was better groomed and there were fewer walkers mussing it up. :)
There’s great skiing in the Gatineaus too, but it’s a little farther out for us and there’s a fee to ski (small as it is I’m looking to keep it cheap!). We will get there someday too! Right now I’m looking for local trails in the 5km range that have a couple of fun little hills. Know of any?