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Snowshoeing - Mont Cascades


Shane

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It was a beautiful Sunday morning at Mont Cascades. After several days that brought some fresh snow, the trails were all covered nicely with fresh powder and a soft but firm base.

The trails at Mont Cascades are suitable for all skill levels and difficulties and are free to access. There is a parking lot located right at the trail entrance.

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Almost all trails lead you to the summit via the backside of the mountain. The #5 trail is the most direct route but is the steepest to travel. For today's visit, we took a combination of the #2-3 trails, and then the #4 trail to the summit area. This route is on average easy to intermediate but provides a nice scenic trek through the forest. As you near the summit, you are treated to views of the Gatineau River and the surrounding region.

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The trip up to near the summit and back to the parking is approximately 3.5 kilometres, with a vertical of 90 metres. We did not venture to the absolute top on this visit due to coming poor weather (freezing rain). To give you an idea, continuing to the top would add an additional 40 metres of vertical to the trip for an approximate total of 130 metres.

Mont Cascades is a great location to hike and enjoy. The trails are easy to follow and are quite enjoyable to explore. The views along the way make you want to press forward and continue on.

There are two trails (the yellow and grey) that start from the World Cup side of the mountain and head towards the summit. Something we will try on our next visit...

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We thought it would be a relatively cold day to go snowshoeing as the temperature was being advertised as -16'c with the windchill. Yes, in the open area of the parking you could feel the fridged wind, but once you enter into the forest and as you ascend the mountain, you no longer feel the cold, and actually end up removing some layers, notably the neck warmer. Don't let cold weather fool you into not going out to snowshoe, you'd be missing out on a great experience.

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The quiet sounds of nature and snow. Surprisingly there was an area filled with birds up above in the trees, as you will hear in the below video clips.

 

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Hi Gordo, yes it is quite nice. The easier trails are quite enjoyable, and the steeper ones (that we had done in the past, like the #5) are a good challenge. Overall a great place to hike and discover. The parking being ample and right at the trail entrance, as well as the ski lodge nearby for a break or lunch are also appreciated. The trail start is located to the right of the Magic Carpet beginner area, just follow the parking lot all the way to the back right corner. Enjoy and happy trails!

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  • Similar Content

    • By Gordo
      I got in a quick morning ski at Mont Cascades which is about 20mins from downtown Ottawa on the east side of the Gatineau River.  The weather was perfect with a high around zero and the sun coming out around 10am.  All the main trails were perfectly groomed with soft snow under your skis.  Fun Run, Crazy Creek, Detour and the Facade were left natural with loose snow and moguls.  Cascades was busy, its a top to bottom park trail with jumps, rails and a twisty ski cross like section.  Exhibition had race training on it but there was still space to blast down the middle under the old triple chair. Exhibition, Promenade, Gratton, Fun Run, Facade and the Cascades were my picks of the day. Today was the day to be out skiing with the perfect combo of conditions and weather. 

      The top of Hogan with Camp Fortune in the background. 

      The Gatineau river 



      Facade

      Exhibition


    • By Shane
      Another perfect day for spring skiing, today at Mont Cascades. The weather was once again cool but without the strong winds from yesterday. I arrived ready to hit the slopes at 11am and already the snow had begun to soften.
      Nearly all trails were open with a few exceptions (Gratton and two of the cross-over trails between the East Quad and the main side). It honestly felt more like skiing in the winter than the spring.
      Standout trails this visit were Hogan (which I chose to enjoy over and over), as well as Alouette and Interlude.
      With no lines at the lifts, it was refreshing to run lap after lap, enjoying the fantastic snow. After lunch, there was actually a few snow flurries that were falling, a little sign that one last snow storm may still be on the way, let's hope it won't be too late. 
      Mont Cascades has seen several improvements over the past years, including the new East Quad and the longest magic carpet in the region. The maintenance and care put into the facilities and infrastructure is very commendable as everything is in excellent condition. The chalet at Mont Cascades is perhaps one of the most inviting in the region, due to its look, style and views afforded from the windows. I was happy to see that the picnic-style tables in the chalet, which to me are a little too common in the Quebec ski industry, have been replaced with conventional tables and seats, a detail that does not go unnoticed and no doubt will be very appreciated by all.
      Overall, a perfect day out on the slopes. Sadly... the coming 20-30mm of rain over the next two days will no doubt do some damage to the snow, and so it remains to be seen if Mont Cascades will be able to continue the ski season next weekend or if the last chair was today. If today was the end, then the season went out with a bang, you couldn't have asked for a better day spring skiing on the slopes. The inviting chalet, the warm atmosphere and ambiance and the excellent line up of trails and terrain always win out at Mont Cascades. Well done!
      Here are some pictures of the day.
      Happy Skiing!
      Hogan.


      East Quad.

      The new Viking magic carpet.

      Inside the Chalet.


      Competition and Exhibition.



      Top of Alouette and Interlude.

      Express.

      Facade.

      Views of the Gatineau river.


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