Christmas Day Moonlit Snowshoe / XC Ski and Cabin Potluck / Singalong

Join me for a Christmas Day cabin potluck and singalong at Healey cabin in the Gatineau Park.  If you have the song book "Rise Up Singing" or play a musical instrument please bring them:

This event is cross-posted on the Ottawa Social Meetup site and the Backpacking Meetup site.  You are welcome to sign up on either website and if one site is full you can sign up on the other - but please don't sign up on both.

I am prepared to lead people snowshoeing / hiking to the cabin, though I will need a volunteer who is familiar with the ski trails to lead the classic skiers to the cabin. If there is enough interest in skate skiing to the cabin and someone is willing to lead the group, skate skiers would be welcome too

Car Pooling and Destination: Departing from next to the statue at the Supreme Court of Canada (B) at 4:10PM, we will arrive at the Pine Road access road about 4:30PM where you will park at P16 (B) if you are XC skiing or P15 (C) if you are snowshoeing. Please click on this text to see a map to the destinations.

The snowshoe trail is physically demanding though not technically challenging; so if you are in good enough shape for a demanding hike you are capable of snowshoeing this trail. It will take 60-90 minutes to snowshoe into the cabin depending on how fast we snowshoe.

The ski trail is for xc skiers who are reasonably comfortable with hills. This trail is groomed for skate skiing so it is pretty wide, though there is one particularly challenging hill at the start of the trail. It will take about 45 minutes to ski from P16 to Healey cabin.

Please keep in mind that although it will still be light when we arrive at the parking lots, it will be dark by the time we get to the cabin and dark on the way back. Please bring candles for the cabin and a light for the trail. I have navigated both trails in the dark, though I recommend bringing a light in case you are not comfortable navigating them in the dark.

There is only a woodstove and picnic tables in the cabin.  The wood stove only has one temperature - very hot.  Cooking something on the woodstove is not recommended, though heating it up upon arrival will work if you are careful not to burn what you are heating.

Please note that this activity is weather and interest dependent. I will be posting an update to confirm that this activity is on by 3PM on Christmas Day.

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  • Alexis

    Thanks everybody for a pleasant Christmas hike!

    December 25

  • Joe


    my christmas dinner just got bumped up so we won't be eating till later. Do you think i could snowshoe up and join you guys later? i'm a decent snowshoer, i reckon it'll take me about a hour to get up there. Do you know what time you're thinking of leaving to treck back? If i'd have an hour or so with you at the cabin then it'd be worth it :)

    cheers Joe

    December 24

    • Andrew (AJ)

      Joe, I would not recommend snowshoeing alone or if you are unfamiliar with the route from P15 to Healey cabin. If you were to get lost or fall and hurt yourself you could be stuck out there for quite a while.

      December 24

  • Carole Anne Love

    I would love to, unfortunately I am working a 12hour night tonight. 7:30pm to 7:30 am. Have a great time. Merry Christmas everyone!

    December 24

    • Andrew (AJ)

      Obviously if you have plans for Christmas day then you might be a little tired for this outing, though if you can get some sleep after your shift then there is nothing to prevent you from meeting as at 4PM Christmas Day.

      December 24

  • Andrew (AJ)

    Here are some suggestions for the potluck.
    - Bring foods that pack easily.
    - Foods that are easily warmed up on the wood stove are more appreciated the colder it gets.
    - I would also suggest avoiding foods that require bowls or other special equipment (like soups) unless you are planning on bringing them. Most people will only bring plates and cutlery. They may not bring bowls or cups.

    If you have something in mind that you would like to bring or would like to team up with someone on a particular food you may want to comment on this post.

    Please note that there are always leftovers at a potluck so please be prepared to bring back any of the food that you have brought that hasn't been eaten.

    December 14

    • Andrew (AJ)

      Here is a short list of ideas:

      Appetizers: i.e. crackers and cheese, sausage rolls, cheese fondu, finger foods, etc.

      Main Dish: i.e. Stew, Chilli, Casserole, Slices of Turkey with cranberry sauce, etc.

      Side Dish: i.e. Salad, Mashed Potatos, Sweet Potatos, Roast Potatos, etc.

      Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Christmas Cake, etc.

      December 14

  • Andrew (AJ)

    As the intent behind this event is to eat and sing together, please do not bring dogs or other pets so that we are not distracted from the intended activities.

    Thank you.


    December 12

  • Alexis

    Hi Andrew: Would love to do this but I don't have skis or snowshoes yet, does this mean I'm out?

    December 12

    • Andrew (AJ)

      Unless we get a large snowfall between Dec. 22nd and Dec. 25th the snow should be packed hard enough for us to hike in to the cabin from P15.

      December 12

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