After a grueling 6.5 hour epic 51 kilometer cross-country ski marathon through Gatineau Park in the Outaouais Region of Québec I was glad just to finish. I have no desire to see what place I came in. I know I was not last, but I was far from first or even middle of the pack. It does not matter because everyone gets a medal here.
Read my narrative of my experience in the race here – Gatineau Loppet winter frostbite adventure
GoPro Gatineau Loppet photos
I feel fairly certain I did win one category in the Gatineau Loppet. Thanks to my GoPro camera, digital camera, and iPhone, I took almost 300 photos of the race and two videos. I did not see another contestant taking pictures. Although I do not win anything for such a distinction, I do have the honor of sharing the beautiful Gatineau Park as well as interesting action shots from the race in this photo essay.
About three to five inches of snow fell the night before and the morning of Saturday[s 51 kilometer classic race on top of an accumulation between two to three feet. This made the course slow but the woods beautiful. Since I was going at a slow pace anyway, what is a few more minutes to take pictures of the amazing wintry forest.
Unfortunately, my GoPro camera fogged up during the middle of the race. I bought anti fogger tablets, but when I read the directions the morning of the race I was dejected to find I needed to place it in an oven in order to activate. I usually do not have an oven around when I am on an adventure. By the time I finished the temperature soared to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit, which enabled me to start using the camera again as the casing on the camera was now clear.
The Loppet begins in an open section in Wakefield, which is at the northern end of Gatineau Park. This open area is short lived as after a couple of kilometers the course ducks into the deep woods.
The beautiful woods of Gatineau Park
Once we hit the woods I was really glad I had the GoPro on the one minute time lapse because I would have wanted to stop every two minutes to take pictures. The scenery was gorgeous with huge pine trees covered with snow. I definitely would love to come back and explore this beautiful park in either winter or summer.
The Gatineau Park road and finish
Around the late 20 kilometer mark, the course came out of the woods and on to the Gatineau Park roads. They do not plow the roads inside the park, so they are suitable for skiing and snowshoeing. Although it was still beautiful, the scenery and the trail character waned in my opinion. I kept waiting for the course to go back into the woods, but it did not happen until the very end.
It was an incredible adventure through the beautiful Gatineau Park. Despite the bitter cold, it was still a great race. My trip was in part sponsored by Tourism Quebec and Tourism Outaouais. The thoughts, opinions, photos, and video are my own.
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