I got into skiing early, night skiing at Camp Fortune during elementary school. During high school, I had a season pass which caused a few skipped afternoons. I kept up skiing in high school with some straight all camber 210cm rockets when many buddies switched to snowboards during the early days of the sport. After high school though I...
I got into skiing early, night skiing at Camp Fortune during elementary school. During high school, I had a season pass which caused a few skipped afternoons. I kept up skiing in high school with some straight all camber 210cm rockets when many buddies switched to snowboards during the early days of the sport. After high school though I basically stopped downhill skiing. I was based in Toronto for a while then Yellowknife up in the North West Territories where snow machining was the thing to do. Finally, when I moved back to Ottawa I decided to get back into alpine. I love downhill skiing... why had I stopped! Well, I bought some used Fischer Wateas 78's 181cms and got back on the hill. You don't forget how to ski. Anyway, I'm now hooked. Look I'm not some expert free rider or ex-racer but I like to go fast and I'll ski in any condition. I've switched up my skis a couple times now slowly moving to wider skis with more rocker. I've also tried Telemark skiing. I love skiing, I love being outside in winter, I love railing groomers and of course breaking fresh tracks in the powder. See you on the hill.
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Camp Fortune - January 17, 2022


Welcome to the white room. Over 40cms dropped in the Ottawa/Gatineau area on Monday and Camp Fortune got a lot of it. The drive up was a white knuckle ride in my tiny car, but I made it. At one point the snow was coming down at 10cms an hour! What can I really say, the conditions were amazing. Minimal crowds and with heavy snow filling our tracks this would be one of the best days at Fortune in a long long time. This new snow makes up for a rather dry beginning to the season. Fortune even opened up the Swan Dive for a bit, a natural snow double black. I brought my big skis and ripped pow from 9am till 2pm. The snow was light and beautiful. The next couple of weeks are going to be great as we just got another 10cms today (Wednesday, Jan. 19th).  The Valley side is fully open and Skyline just needs to open Heggtveit. I'm pretty sure the Meech runs will open Friday which includes the glade run La Cache. Enjoy it while y...

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Camp Fortune - December 29, 2021


Night mission to Fortune! Night skiing started on Dec. 27th and Camp Fortune has managed to open up most of the trails on Skyline. Considering the lack of snowfall and the up/down temperatures, they should be commended. The drive was quick from Ottawa as most people were still on holidays or still working from home.  When I hit Chelsea, I noticed a massive line of cars leaving Gatineau Park. The line went from the Chelsea stop sign all the way to just past the P8 parking lot. This was a parade of cross country skiers leaving at dusk. Anyway, the road to Skyline has been repaved, and there is now a median at the Skyline parking lot to slow traffic.  When I arrived around 4:30pm, it was the switch over time, so the parking lot was almost full but there was almost no lines for the lift.  Temperatures were mild at around -3 C and the conditions were hard packed with some loose snow on the edges. Sparks, Canadian, Bu...

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Mont Ste Marie - March 17, 2021


Last season my last day of skiing was March 14th, the next day everything closed and went into lockdown. Well, it's March 17th, 2021, and spring skiing is in full effect. The Gatineau and Ottawa area has gone into a bit of an up-down meltdown. The beginning of March looked promising with a decent snowpack. January and February had brought the goods after a slow start. Now it looks like we might not even make it to Easter. So get out and ski! I hit up Mont Ste Marie midweek. The conditions were a carver's delight. All the groomed trails were open and it was a bluebird day with temps rising to around 7C by the afternoon. The grooming team at Mont Ste Marie should be commended for keeping the trails in great shape.  When you look down into the fields below it's brown grass and grazing deer. I was hoping the glades would still have some coverage so I ducked into one-off Carrousel. They were skiable but you're going to wreck your skis.  The snow has m...

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Camp Fortune - February 24, 2021


Wow, a sleeper powder day! What a way to end a workday. The snow started coming down heavy in Gatineau around noon and didn't stop. By the time I got to the Skyline parking lot, there were 10cms already on the ground. This would be the best day of the season so far. Loads of fresh stuff, almost no lines and creamy turns. Goggles were a must and I fought off some fogging issues. The temperature was around zero and the snow was a little wet but not overly heavy. I had no problem sailing through mashed-up powder. Heggtveit was my first run and how nice it was. If you arrive around 4ish hit Hegg first before they close it for the night. Every run on Skyline was perfect. Later we poled our way to the Valley side. So much untouched powder but then the power went out! I feared I would be stuck in the valley with my car on Skyline. After about 10 minutes they got the lifts going again but the trail lights were still off. We arrived at the top of Slalom in darkness...

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Camp Fortune - February 5, 2021

Have they cut down all the bush near the road? The view is a lot better.

Friday morning at Camp Fortune was a great way to end the week.  The snow was coming down hard layering the perfectly groomed runs with 2-4cms of fresh stuff. Even a couple of centimetres has a great physiological effect on your skiing! Once again Camp Fortune has done an amazing job dealing with a very odd season plus low snowfall. All the main runs are open on all three sides of the resort. Only the glades and natural snow runs wait for a couple more snowfalls. I spent most of my time on Skyline and all the runs felt great.  There was little crust under the new snow but nothing a well-tuned ski couldn't handle.  Which reminds me I've been lazy this year and still need to wax! The valley side seemed to have more natural snow and Slalom seemed almost untouched.  I was expecting big line ups but the place was almost empty.  I've been skiing a lot of nights and from 2-4pm it's pretty quiet but then the lines form and it can...

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Camp Fortune - December 20, 2020


I rolled into Camp Fortune around 8:45am on a snowy Sunday. This was my first day of the season and probably my latest start in years. Warm weather in November, little or no snow in December and COVID haven't helped! I was directed to the main parking lot in the valley. Then after suiting up in the parking lot you are screened at a makeshift gate. Have you been out of the country? Are you feeling ill? Have you been around anyone with COVID? etc... After getting passed that it was time to ski. Fortune only had Pineault, Marshall and one of the magic carpets open. The lifts spun just before 9am and the first 4-5 runs were great. The manmade snow was well groomed and the natural snow was now falling harder. Considering what Fortune has had to work with you can't complain that much. By 10am though it was getting busy. Unless you are family or from the same household you have to ride the chair lift as a single. Ski team groups which are still running? were slowing things down majorly. All t...

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Mont Tremblant - March 8, 2020


Sunday and the last day of March Break in Quebec. The time change was painful but the mountain was perfect with all 102 trails open. Temperatures in the morning were around -3c and by the afternoon +3c. Bonus, zero wind. We rolled in around 8:30am and stayed till last chair. The day was that good with perfect groomers or moguls and trees galore. The crazy thing is we though it would be super busy, we were wrong. Most lines were less then a couple minutes. Maybe all the March break holiday people left on Saturday? Anyway the snow was soft enough to hit the trees without fear and everything just felt right. Get up here as the next couple weeks maybe a melt down. On the edge of Expo Haute Tension mogulfest Top of Le Edge Me somewhere The Taiga glade is vast. Wow

Camp Fortune - February 27, 2020


Well, we didn't quite get the snowmageddon that was hyped but the skiing at Camp Fortune was great regardless. 10cms of wet snow had fallen overnight and it would snow heavily all morning bringing the total to close to 25cms by midday. The drive was not great as highway 5 was like a cart track but it was worth the trek. With temperatures around zero, the fresh snow was heavy but you can't complain. I managed to get fresh lines for a few runs on Heggtveit and Craigsmarc before moving to Meech and getting the first run after the Ski Patrol on the La Cache glade. After several powder-filled runs on the Meech side, I moved to the valley. The valley was quiet with the trick park closed off as well as Allen's Ally for a race. Slalom and Duffy had loads of fresh snow though. Back on Skyline things were clumping up fast but my legs were pretty much done by noon anyway. On a sad note just after lunch Fortune had to close because of power issues. Yesterday they were closed for a few hours in the...

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Mont Ste Marie - January 26, 2020


What a difference a couple of weeks and a couple of big snowfalls make. Mont Ste Marie was in peak "Winter Wonderland" mode on Sunday. Over 10cms had fallen overnight and the snow would come down heavy the rest of the day. The 1200ft vertical mountain was 100% open including all the glades. The drive up was a little greasy and we got stuck behind a fleet of plows up oh boy was it worth it. The steeps were deep and the glades were fresh. What else can I say we got soaked and our legs were burned but we stayed till the last chair. Get it while it's good! Dustin Cook is snowed in. Carousel Sous-bois Going into Deep Purple Betsy, I think.

Camp Fortune - January 19, 2020


17cms of blower came in sideways Saturday night. The result was fantastic skiing Sunday at Camp Fortune. We managed to dig out and make it to the Skyline before 9am. Camp Fortune had groomed on Saturday night so there was a nice layer of light powder on top of a firm base. Conditions of course were excellent. Smooth and smeary. After a bunch of runs on Skyline, we skated over to the valley and then hit the runs on Meech at 10ish. The new glade was open off Paradis called La Cache Sous-Bois. The glade runs from the right side of Paradis down and under the lift exiting North American. The run has a great pitch after the initial flat entrance with two main lines, one steeper and exiting farther up the hill. We spent most of the morning on La Cache before heading back to Skyline. The runs in the valley were also perfect but the place started to get busy with ski schools around 11am. In fact, the entire parking lot in the valley looked full by noon. Skyline still had lots of spots though. H...

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Mont Tremblant - January 4, 2020


Soft turns and fog was name of the game on Friday. We rolled into Tremblant around 9am after a easy two hour drive from Ottawa. The place was busy with almost all the parking lots at capacity. The temperature was around zero and with no wind the top third of the mountain was a total white out. First off the lineup at the gondola was insane because the lift was not moving. We quickly moved over to the Flying Mile and then skied down to TGV to get to the top. The gondola started back up soon after. With 93 trails open there was plenty of options. We started with Laurentienne on the Soleil side. The snow was nice and soft. Tremblant had gotten about 25cms over the week. Options were soft groomers or natural bump runs. The forgiving moguls on Jasey-Jay Anderson were really nice. The fog was a bit of a bummer as you really couldn't rip the steep top pitches as the visibility was very limited. Maybe if we knew the mountain better it wouldn't have mattered. Regardless warm weather and no wind...

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Camp Fortune - January 1, 2020


The new year at Camp Fortune rolled in with 25cms of snow over 24hrs. Fortune must have groomed after the snowfall as everything was perfect corduroy. Skyline is open with Bud Clark, Canadian, Chute , and Sparks. Heggtveit was getting setup for snowmaking once the temperatures drop. The ropes have not dropped yet on Swan Dive or the glades, maybe after another good snow fall. Conditions were great and the lines were small. I managed to get second chair after waiting with a small line of early risers. Every trail in the Valley is open with the exception of the T-bar runs. The Meech lift runs were also open. The temperatures were hovering around zero and light snow began to fall around 10am. Lots of snow on the crossover trail of Humdinger as Fortune made/pushed snow across the trail this year. Overall a great start to the new year.  

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Camp Fortune - December 15, 2019


Quick update on conditions at Camp Fortune. Saturday was grim, cold rain all day but as the sun went down we had a switch over. The snow started around 6pm in Chelsea and 8pm in Ottawa. The result 12cms at Camp Fortune! Instant winter wonderland with the sticky stuff clinging to trees and chair lifts. Note to self I need better ski pants. Anyways, Fortune had 5 runs open in the Valley on Sunday. The conditions were good on Marshall and Clifford, hard-packed groomers with some fresh on top. Pineault had lots of park rails and jumps setup but the wind was blowing unpleasantly uphill. Now that the cold weather is back Slalom and Skyline should be open by the weekend. Slalom has loads of snow whales all over it. Skyline is pretty much ready with Canadian, Sparks and Bud Clark already groomed. A couple more snowfalls and the place should be hopping for Christmas break. Enjoy. 

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Mont Tremblant - December 7th/8th, 2019


Wow, what a killer weekend at Mont Tremblant! I drove up late Friday to meet some buddies from Toronto who had a hotel room a few minutes from the resort. Our expectations were not high as it was early season and there was the 24hr relay race on the south side. Tremblant brought the goods though. They had just gotten 10cms and on Saturday they opened up "Le Edge" for the first time this season as well as the runs off the Expo Express Quad. We had powder skiing on December 6th! along with 49 open runs on Saturday and 53 on Sunday. The temperatures were hovering around -15c in the morning and -8c in the afternoon. Lots of snowmaking was happening. Anyway, after railing some groomers on the North Side we got in a couple of powder runs going down Fuddle Duddle and Windigo then hit Le Edge for more all-natural tree runs. We stayed on the Edge side for a while before heading back to the south side for some afternoon groomer action. Sunday was a repeat with lots of powder stashes left in the ...

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Camp Fortune - November 16, 2019


Opening day at Camp Fortune was a crisp (-12c) bluebird day. This is the 100th season! and people are pumped. Two runs, Pineault and Allen's Ally were open and the conditions were great. The trails are covered in perfect machine made corduroy with about 20cms of natural snow along the edges. There are also a few rails and small jumps setup for the park kids. I arrived a little after 9 missing first chair. I stayed for a few hours and got a bunch of runs in before the place started to get busy. People are very eager. A great first day to a very early start. Snowmaking has moved to Clifford and hopefully by next weekend both Clifford and Marshall may be open.   I bought some swag!  

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Camp Fortune - April 21, 2019

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Yes Camp Fortune is closed for the season but there is still loads of snow on the hills even after the rainfest of the last couple days.  Since I missed the last official weekend I figured I better get my fix. Taking my snowshoe skis which have a built in skin under foot I climbed Sparks on the Skyline line side.  The main runs still have plenty of snow and even the north facing glades are skiable. I skinned to the top of Pineault then went down Paradis on the Meech side.  A quarter of the way down I ducked into the new but unnamed glade that feeds down under the lift and onto North American.  The trees were skiable and the snow was soft though there was loads of debris.  I then climbed up North American back up to Sparks via the Meech Crossing.  The final run was a quick blast down...

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Mont Ste Marie - April 7, 2019

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Made it up to Mont Ste Marie for one last spring rip.  The hour drive north from Ottawa was an easy one, though many fields were full of deer.  The coverage on the two mountains is still impressive with all of the 20 groomed trails still open.  Even the off-piste runs had good coverage but they were mostly closed. The snow was just to sticky in the glades.  The groomed trails ripped though.  The snow was soft and fast in the morning then became your typical spring skiing conditions in the afternoon.  I missed the sun of Saturday but with no wind and temperatures just over zero I couldn't complain.  Dustin Cook and Formidable were the best bets on the Cheval Blanc side. On Vanier Serenade and Tornade were great cruisers.  We ducked into the glades on Carroussel but the snow was so sticky that you had to hop turn to get through the trees, not recommended.  Had lunch...

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Sommet Edelweiss - March 31, 2019

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Well this weekend was almost a mirror of last weekend.  Ottawa got mostly rain while the hills north of Gatineau got mostly snow.  Camp Fortune got only 5cms but Mont Ste Marie got 25cms over two days! On Sunday, I made it as far Edelweiss as the roads were not great.  They got 10cms of fresh snow overnight  with only a couple trails groomed in the morning.  I arrived at 9 to find out there would be a delay on the start.  The high-speed quad could not run because of ice build up on the wires. They were trying to get the Streif quad going.  I guess they hadn’t run the Streif in a few days as the seats were covered in a thick layer of snow and ice. This meant they had to slowly clean off each seat which took almost an hour!  Inside they had the café open for...

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Mont Tremblant - March 22, 2019

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Well I had an airmiles ticket for Tremblant burning in my pocket and figured Friday would be the day.  The weather was looking a little suspect but while it rained in Ottawa, Tremblant got 15cms over night.  Heading out in the morning it was raining pretty hard but just after the turn off north on highway 323 it turned to snow and would snow for the rest of the day.  We arrived just past 9 after a easy drive.  What luck 15cms of semi-dense powder, no lines, no wind and temperatures around zero!  We did some north side trails before hitting the Edge for its 9:30 opening.  Conditions were amazing, so soft, so fun.  Later in the day things would get a little more sticky as the temps rose especially on the bottom half of the trails.  All 102 runs were open and we got our fill.   The new Lowell Thomas Express Quad is fast. The Edge...

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Camp Fortune - March 13, 2019

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Wow bonus powder day. I went up to Fortune right after work and it was snowing a little. By 4pm though it was a white out and would snow heavy for over three hours dropping 10cms. Every run was refreshed. We may be at peak snow pack.  This may have been my best night ski in a long while.  Conditions we perfect, everything was open and zero crowds. Hero snow, enough said. You better have googles. Hegg was open till 7pm Tree paths/runs between Sparks and Bud Clark Top of Heggtveit This may have been a mistake. Chilly Poutine! Killer night

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Mont Chilly - March 10, 2019

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For some crazy reason we decided to pack three adults into a Nissan Micra with all our ski gear and a BBQ then drive through a snow storm to Mont Chilly in the Pontiac. Taking the Ontario side we crossed the Ottawa River at the Chenaux generating station.  We arrived at Mont Chilly around 10:30 and they were just firing up the T-bar which is powered by an old tractor engine.  Snow would fall on and off all day resulting in a little over 10cms of new snow. Mont Chilly does not make any snow so all the runs have a natural base.  Conditions were good with about 5-10cms of fresh snow over a firm but deep base.  All the trails were open including #5 which is a steep wide glade west of the double black bump run of #4.  The black glade off #3 was setup with a snow cross/slalom course made...

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Camp Fortune - March 1, 2019

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Another beautiful day at Camp Fortune.  Full sun, zero wind and a temperature around -5c. Conditions are loose granular over a hard base. Fortune has done a great job of dealing with the rain then flash freeze of last Sunday.  The groomers are fast and smooth. By the afternoon some on the steeper runs on Skyline were getting scrapped down to the base but the Valley and the Meech trails were still very natural and softish.  The non-groomed runs and glades are still closed and the snow is cement like.  We either need a warm up or more snow, lets hope for both.  The next two weeks will be perfect for March break though as the snow pack is still impressive.  Ski on!

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Mont Cascades - February 23, 2019

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I got in a quick morning ski at Mont Cascades which is about 20mins from downtown Ottawa on the east side of the Gatineau River.  The weather was perfect with a high around zero and the sun coming out around 10am.  All the main trails were perfectly groomed with soft snow under your skis.  Fun Run, Crazy Creek, Detour and the Facade were left natural with loose snow and moguls.  Cascades was busy, its a top to bottom park trail with jumps, rails and a twisty ski cross like section.  Exhibition had race training on it but there was still space to blast down the middle under the old triple chair. Exhibition, Promenade, Gratton, Fun Run, Facade and the Cascades were my picks of the day. Today was the day to be out skiing with the perfect combo of conditions and weather.  The top of Hogan with Camp Fortune in the background.  The Gatineau river  Facade Exhibition

Camp Fortune - February 19, 2019

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Well, all the snow from the storm last Tuesday/Wednesday has held up great at Camp Fortune. The conditions are killer with nicely groomed snow, perfect for high angle carving at high speed.  We arrived in time to get a bunch of runs on Heggtviet and Duffy before the sun went down just before 6.  The bumps and cliff drops on Duffy were super fun. Hegg you could just rail on.  Swan Dive was a little more of a technical ski as the bumps were huge and rather unforgiving. Pretty much all the other groomed trails were in excellent shape with the exception Bud Clark which was getting a little scrapped down to the base at the top section.  Overall another great night of skiing with a full moon adding to the ambiance.  Oh and the Boreale IPA du Nord-Est at the bar is super tasty. Swan Dive. Duffy in the sun.

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Mont Ste Marie - February 13, 2019

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Welcome to the white room. 35cms of fresh light powder had fallen over night and it was still snowing when we arrived at Mont Ste Marie.  Only a single run was groomed everything else was left as virgin powder.  Total nirvana.  The temperatures were mild at around -5c and hardly anyone had made the hour drive up from Ottawa. In fact the lifts started a little late because there was so much snow to shovel out from the entrances and exits of the quads.  The new glades are killer and add so much to the terrain. Deep Purple and Vertigo fall through a steep pine forest before exiting at the bottom of Crescendo.  You enter the three runs (also the old Klotz trail) from the left of Formidable. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the tale. My legs were jello by last chair.  The best day of the year so...

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