The hiking coordinator set five main objectives for the summer just past:
- to effect a needed role within the club
- to make sure there was a hike every Sunday
- to explore some of the lesser-used, so-called unmarked trails (or blazed) in Gatineau Park
- to try to attract some new hike leaders
- to help people learn a little more about planning for hikes, and using a map and compass
There has been some progress on most fronts:
- There has been a hike every Sunday
- Trails around Lac Richard, into Lac Cleary, along Meech Creek to the Carbide Mille, and from Kidder Lake to Taylor Lake via Lac Monette were hiked. One of these has never been hiked by the Club previously, and the others haven’t been hiked in recent years.
- Three people who have never led OOC hikes previously led several very successful hikes
- It was observed that there doesn't seem to be much interest in detailed planning to gather distance, elevation, and directional information from maps prior to hikes, and nobody seems to be interested in using a map and compass. This appears to be for two reasons:
- Those who have a real interest in these things use moderately expensive devices that can superimpose GPS info on pre-downloaded maps of the area of interest.
- Those who haven’t such devices either have no interest, or think they need to study extensively and spend a lot of money to be “directionally-safe” in the forest, and also that they can rely on leaders.
However, a compass available for 3-4 dollars at the dollar store, and a free park map, with a little knowledge could prove invaluable in an emergency. It is felt that more attention should be paid by those not leading hikes to where they are and how to get where they want to go in the forest, for safety, if for no other reason.
- The Club enjoyed several outings led by Eden Bromfield, during which a little bit of information about flora and fauna was learned, and a mushroom identification clinic was promoted within the Club by Paul Gallagher. It would be nice if we had more such outings, possibly to learn some of the names of the trees and some geology. Perhaps we can look forward to more of this for next season, and invite people working in these areas to lead educational outings.
One hiker suffered minor injuries during a hike last fall.
The hiking coordinator would like to thank all those who led hikes and saved the day on Monday before the newsletter was sent, by responding to group messages looking for a leader for the next Sunday. This simplified his work considerably and was much appreciated.