It is not often that you get perfect snow conditions, but my wife Lia and I did when in the winter of 2008/2009 we headed to Eastern Canada to ski hut to hut in the mountains of Gaspe, Quebec.

It had snowed a lot prior to our arrival, but had then thawed, leaving roads and more importantly the ski trails sheets of ice.  Donning climbing skins we made slow progress on the climbs on that first day.  Against Liz’s better judgement, once at the top I ripped off the skins determined to get a good ski in.  It ended badly.  No matter how good the metal edges are, steep sheet ice is unforgiving, especially when you are carrying a fully loaded pack.  With a light dusting of fresh snow overnight, it was manageable day 2.  Then it snowed.  And it did not stop.

A few years earlier, we had hiked the trails around here and the snow was now at the very top of the hiking signs, at least 6 feet above the ground.  We skied over the tops of trees, waded through deep powder and loved every minute of it!  With mid-winter light fading by 4:00 p.m., the huts were a sanctuary against the -30 C weather outside.

Our final descent back to the car was a blast and seeing a moose run ahead down the road ahead of us when leaving the mountains, capped off a fantastic trip!