- Written by Shane
ENCORE the only place to ski in Quebec. ENCORE the only ski resort to guarantee the spring skiing experience. Mont Saint-Sauveur is always striving to offer an exceptional experience on the slopes, even long after all the other resorts have closed for the season. Skiing definitely lives on this mountain. From its rich pioneering history of starting the Quebec ski industry, to its implementation of new and innovative ideas, and to the multitude of opportunities it offers skiers while enjoying their favorite sport, Mont Saint-Sauveur is a world class operation.
This is the second to last weekend of operation and yet the amount of snow remaining on the two open trails is incredible. 70 West was completely open full width, with sizable amounts of snow still in reserve. Nordique, open almost full width, was starting to thin out.
The snow surface was amazing, soft, forgiving, and smooth. These were truly the best Spring season conditions that I experienced during the past several years.
This time of year is famous for the sun and heat, which helps to change things up on the slopes. Gone are the heavy ski jackets, the snow pants, the gloves and neck warmers. Instead, you'll find plenty of skiers, outfitted with t-shirts and shorts, myself included. There is nothing like feeling the wind or the spray of the snow as you swoosh and glide over it. It is, in a word, refreshing!
Also equally famous are the moguls on the bottom of the 70 West trail. Very popular, this is often the biggest highlight for many skiers, to enjoy the soft bumps of the mountain and feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate turn after turn.
Whether the beginning or the end of the season at Mont Saint-Sauveur you are always guaranteed to see a familiar face, as skiers from all across the province assemble to enjoy their last runs down the lift-serviced slopes together.
Mont Saint-Sauveur should reopen (weather permitting) for one last weekend of skiing on May 11 and 12th, but this will be my final ski report of the season. My season started on these slopes back in November and once again ended at the very same location.
I would like to thank the whole team at Mont Saint-Sauveur for once again offering a great ski season and experience right until the last possible bit of snow melts. See you next November on the slopes, where it always begins first... Mont Saint-Sauveur!
- Written by Shane
This year has been regarded by the Quebec ski industry as the best out of the last 5 years. With this many trails open, all with complete snow coverage, we were truly lucky and rewarded for the past few years of poor conditions that the snow worshipers had to endure.
Waking up this morning, I was left speechless after looking out of the window. I was unable to determine whether it was raining, snowing or a mixture of both. One thing was certain, it didn't look overly promising. As the minutes passed by, the 'unknown precipitation' as I will call it, turned into a light snow, and finished off entirely around 9:30am.
Arriving at the Skyline base area at 8:30am, there were few cars in the parking lot, although the mountain was only opening at 9am. Those who had arrived bright and early, were eager to enjoy the last of the spring skiing in the region.
Socks on, boots locked, helmet in place... ready to tackle the slopes. On my first run, I tried Bud Clark, a black diamond trail. I quickly noticed the 'corduroy' or excellent grooming and smooth surface, very impressive for this time of year. Gliding down the slopes, gazing off in the distance towards the Gatineau mountain range. Over the next couple hours, I tried all the trails, with my favorites being Bud Clark and Sparks, which is a long intermediate trail. The trails on Skyline range from intermediate to double diamond, as you move from the right to the left side of this mountain.
As the hours passed, the sun grew in intensity and helped soften out the snow, creating a new skiing experience, different from the morning. The contrast proved to be an exciting Spring skiing experience. Mornings are usually freshly groomed, the surfaces are frozen and hard, and generally give a similar experience as on a typical winter day. Mid-day around lunch, the snow had begun to soften due to the intensity of the sun, and I found myself sliding or gliding down the mountain.
Everyone present today had a great time, from the smiles on the ski patrols, wishing each other a great summer, to the friends and family, enjoying one last time out. Skiing is definitely best enjoyed with friends and family.
Camp Fortune opened for skiing this year on November 17, making it the second ski resort in Quebec to offer skiing. It ended its season by being the last to close in the Ottawa / Gatineau region, at least one week later than the other resorts.
I would like to thank Bob and Peter Sudermann, as well as the whole team at Camp Fortune for putting together another perfect ski season, one I am sure has created lasting memories, and unforgettable moments for many.
Don't miss out, Camp Fortune is offering great deals on next year's season passes until April 30th, so be sure to check their website for all the details by Clicking Here.
- Written by Shane
Mont Ste Marie is a true ski mountain resort. Offering double the vertical drop of any ski area in the Outaouais region with over 1200 feet.
Bob Sudermann, owner of Mont Ste Marie, said it best in an interview with SlopeEdge, "Make it a goal to ski the vertical of Mount Everest in one day, at Mont Ste Marie that's 28 runs". Thanks to the two high speed detachable quads, you definitely can accomplish this feat. Lift lines are virtually non existent.
Mont Ste Marie offers some of the best expert terrain in the region, with trails such as Betsy and Formidable, both double diamond walls. They are equally impressive to see as they are to ski. Most trails afford great views and vistas of the surrounding region, even allowing a glimpse on a clear day of Mont Tremblant off in the far distance.
The resort is comprised of two mountains, Vanier and Cheval Blanc. They are connected by ski trails, as well as a small tram that goes from the base of Vanier to near the base of Cheval Blanc.
Vanier mountain offers primarily beginner and intermediate terrain. At the base of this mountain is a ski-cross course, appropriate for most skill levels. It is complete with banked turns, bumps and jumps, allowing many to experience for themselves the thrill of this new Olympic sport.
Cheval Blanc has intermediate and expert terrain, including the signature trail of the resort, Outaouais. From the top of Cheval Blanc, you can go off to the side from the top of the chairlift, to a little clearing in the trees, where you can again take in the impressive views offered by the summit, as well as see the neighboring Vanier mountain.
The main chalet at the base of the mountain is spacious and fully featured. Complete with a bar/resto, a cafeteria, the rentals and boutique; it offers all the essentials for a great experience. During special events or simply to enjoy the sun, the large outdoor terrace gives you front row seats to enjoy the action on the slopes.
Ski conditions are very good, and were during my visit this Sunday, as a light snow was falling, giving a fresh surface to enjoy.
For the more adventurous skiers, powder seekers, a new development on the south side of the mountain is for you. The Versant Sudermann, is an all natural ski trail, offering a vertical of over 1300 feet, with natural pristine snow conditions. This trail provides amazing views during your entire descent. This side is only open on select days, when the ski conditions are perfect. It is reached from the top of Vanier mountain. Once at the bottom, you won't find a chairlift, instead a shuttle bus will bring you back to the main side of the mountain. All of this combines to ensure great conditions that last.
Overall, it really can't be stressed enough that Mont Ste Marie is a true ski resort mountain. The terrain, the views, the advantages you will have visiting here, all make it the perfect choice to experience skiing at its best, unhampered by the common frustrations found elsewhere.
- Written by Shane
Ski Vorlage is located in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec, about 30 minutes away from downtown Ottawa. This ski resort is the most family friendly ski area in the Gatineau mountains. Just visit the mountain and you will see the difference. You will find plenty of young families, kids, and adults, who want to enjoy the sport of skiing.
Ski Vorlage has a vertical drop of 140 metres, spread over 17 trails. The mountain has 3 double chairlifts, a t-bar and a handle tow.
You will find a good variety of trails, from beginner to expert, although the majority of the trails are aimed at beginners and intermediates.
At this point, you can progress to the Blue or Green chairlifts. Trails such as Birch Valley, Look Out, or Cote des Neiges are nice smooth intermediate trails. The best views in my opinion are from the top of Look Out as well as Snow Dance, as you head down, giving you a view of the Wakefield village below. Many trails have lots of turns, and rolls, making them quite interesting.
The Golden Trail, which is accessed from the top of Birch Valley, is another nice intermediate, narrow with some rolls, leading you to the final steep pitch of Cream Puff. There is even a small glade trail, Maple Run, allowing you a peek into the excitement of skiing between the trees.
More advanced skiers will enjoy Chien Chaud, a narrow trail with several steeper pitches. Carnaval and Chute, seen on the ride up the Blue chairlift, are two trails to master, leaving Headwall as the ultimate goal to conquer.
I definitely recommend Vorlage especially to young families with kids, looking for a positive and safe environment to learn and enjoy skiing. It has the perfect beginner terrain for new skiers/snowboarders, as well as intermediate and advanced terrain to be enjoyed time and time again. Come ski the difference, at Vorlage!
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