This year I managed to book the ACC's Wendy Thompson hut over Easter. That in it self is a bit of a feat. To insure that we could get the spots, I was ready by the computer as reservations opened exactly 6 months before Easter. At that point I didn't have a plan or a crew, but at I had 16 cabin spots - ready to get filled with families.
It wasn't hard to find three other families to join us. We met up at the parking lot Friday morning - all stoked that the forecasted rain had already stopped. What we didn't know was that it had just been moved until later in the day. The logging road starts a few hundred meters down the highway from the winter pullout, and we didn't know about the connector trail (until we found it on the way back down). Not wanting to walk along the highway with 5 little kids we opted for a bush ski to the logging road. This had mixed success - some kids made it through the trees no problem, some struggled a bit, and F had a full on meltdown. She was very unhappy about the wet branches that were going to get her "soaked" - little did she know about the slush rain to come. Eventually Christian carried her the rest of the way to the logging road, which is what caused the full on meltdown. Luckily she recovered quickly when she found the first of many Easter Eggs enroute.
The two km of logging road was all good and fun. The smaller kids could easily be towed, and with everyone following the road the Easter bunny could hide eggs were she was sure they would found. The terrain became a bit trickier as we entered the forest, but still manageable for all. It did start to rain though, so the moods were quickly deteriorating. As we got closer to the headwall the skiing became more tricky (at least on our chosen route), which cause some frustrations from F as the towing became more difficult. Eventually the towing became near-impossible with steep terrain and fallen logs everywhere. At this point it was raining pretty good, and we were not popular parents. F was cold but refused to put on her mittens, declared it to be the worst Eater ever, and said that she would never go skiing again. Christian started carrying F on his shoulders, first as a double carry but once the fallen logs cleared up in addition to his big pack. On the first step with the double-load the heel riser on his binding collapsed under the weight. Once F saw that Christian could actually carry her in addition to the stuff and her survival seemed certain she perked right up and began happily chatting away despite the rain. Christian and F discovered a "rest" pose whereby F would stand up on Christian's arms, supported directly by his ski poles, to take the weight off his shoulders temporarily. The skiing got easier, the rain turned to snow and soon after stopped, and the easter bunny again had the mental capacity to leave some treats around. We arrived at the cabin about 7 hours after leaving the cars, everyone now in a good mood. I was pretty tired though - I am always surprised at how much energy the first trimester of pregnancy sucks out of you. Lets just say I haven't been so happy to see a cabin since we went to Tenquille three years ago.
The following day we woke up, after a surprisingly calm night, to a blue bird day. Sandra, Norico and I decided to go for a little ski to the lakes just above the cabin, leaving the dads to look after the kids. When we got back Christian took his home-made carbon fibre telemark boot prototype out for it's maiden test-ski. It didn't last long, and he had to wrap the toe back on using his climbing skins to ski back to the cabin. Later Scott and Christian went for a ski towards Mt. Marriott. The kids spent the whole day playing. They played in the cabin loft, built snow castles, and went on adventures. The two older boys built a snow cave with several entrances. We had another egg hunt, this time combined with beacon searches. At some point while hiking through the deep snow in booties and pants roll all the way up to the top of her thighs, F declared it too be the best Easter ever. What a difference a day makes. After dinner we managed to fit in a few toboggan runs before bedtime.
On our last day we had a relaxing morning before packing up. I think everyone was a bit apprehensive about the upcoming ski down. It started out great. The ski down to the lake was great fun for everyone. The bigger kids just zoomed through the sparse trees. N really enjoyed the ride in the backpack. When Christian went over bumps and zoomed down the hill she would laugh and woo. As soon as he stopped, she always had the same request: "More bumpies, please".
The head wall didn't cause any major difficulties, and all kids skied down it themselves. Carrying the giant backpack with most of our family's gear, I could not keep up to them. F did get pretty mentally exhausted from the steep icy skiing, so once she hit the mellower skiing she decided to walk for a little while. Her spirits were still high though. Once we got to the logging road it was all smooth sailing, and the kids had fun trying to skate ski like the adults. We found the connector trail leading from the road to the cars, but didn't dare send the kids down it, as we wanted to make sure that we ended the trip on a high note. Christian picked up our car and met us at the end of the road.
Later F reluctantly agreed that the stay at the cabin had been so good that it was worth the struggles of getting there. She might not be quite ready for type 2 fun just yet.
Say Nuth Khaw Yum
Discovery Islands Bike loop
East Coast Trail
Recent tips and thought
Pandemic pondering and wandering
Tweaking our haul-a-day
Making kids crampons
Digging a snowcave
Make a kid towing harness