Camp Fortune - January 22, 2024 (Snapshot)


I had initially started to write a longer report for this trip last week, though unfortunately my phone crashed and the draft was not saved, so here's a little snapshot from the night: My father had yet to ski this season, so we decided to head to Camp Fortune for some night skiing. Temperatures were very nice, around -2C, and a few centimeters of snow were forecasted. To our surprise, the hill ended up receiving around 3 inches of fresh powder, making for some amazing skiing conditions. All runs were open except for Heggtveit, which at the time had large mounds from recent snowmaking (it has since opened).  Here are some photos from the night: 

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Camp Fortune - January 17, 2024


It was a cold day, especially in the morning. With temperatures at -20'c and a "feels like" several degrees colder, the app on the phone made it seem worse than it was. Of course, it was cold, but nothing that couldn't be handled by dressing properly for the occasion. Arriving for opening and parking on Skyline, I got ready quickly inside the cozy chalet and headed to the slopes. The conditions were fantastic, very nicely groomed, with no ice, a firm base and a soft surface. It was perfect.  The real purpose of the visit was to ski on the elusive Meech side of the mountain, which is only open Wednesday to Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday), as well as only open 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. For many people, it is a part of the mountain they rarely if ever visit, but the trails are so worth experiencing. They make up the longest descents on the mountain, with Paradis at nearly a mile in length. The views and scenery from the Meech quad on the ride back up are equally enjoyable. Halfway up on...

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Camp Fortune - December 31, 2023


After what was arguably the worst Christmas and Holiday week for skiing in the region, which featured a perfect cocktail of warm mild weather and endless rain, the cold weather is back. Camp Fortune today had 6 trails open, which included Sparks, Marshall, Pineault and Allen's Alley. There were no lines at the lifts from opening until lunch and when combined with nearly perfect snow conditions, set everything up nicely for a great Sunday on the slopes.  Arriving shortly before 9am, I quickly proceeded into the chalet to get ready. I still can't get over the changes to the chalet, it feels so vast and features much more space and areas to rest, get ready or sit.  Before the recent expansion, there were essentially 2 entrances into the chalet. I can now count at least 5, and they are all extremely well-situated and provide direct access to many of the hotspots within. The exterior is still a work in progress but the new look is very refreshing. The blue paint is gone and a nice...

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Camp Fortune - November 30, 2023


Opening day at Camp Fortune marked an exciting beginning for the winter season. With both Pineault and Allen's Alley trails available right from the start, the day saw a strong debut, a refreshing change from past instances when only Pineault was accessible. The snow coverage was exceptional, and the trails were open at their full width, impeccably groomed with a firm base and a layer of soft snow on top. Arriving just after noon proved advantageous, given that the mountain had opened at noon on this special day. Despite a decent turnout, facilitated by a school strike and remote work, the chairlift lines were surprisingly minimal. The initially cloudy sky gave way to sunshine and blue skies around 2 pm, adding to the overall delight of the day. Exploring the new phase of chalet expansion and renovations revealed exciting changes. Customer service, once situated between the main sections of the chalet, now occupies a dedicated area one level down, offering a more streamlined experience...

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Camp Fortune - April 15, 2023 (Closing Weekend)

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On Saturday May 15, 2023, my sister and so joined a group of friends for one last use of our night ski passes on Camp Fortune’s closing weekend. The weather was sunny, with the day’s warmest temp being a peachy 23C! Every run off the Skyline quad was open. To honour their passholders, the resort offered free skiing to all types of season passes, so we could not pass up another chance to use our night passes.  We arrived at 9am, and planned to ski up until the 3pm closing time. For the first hour or so before my friends arrived, my sister and I enjoyed a few laps on Heggtveit, Bud Clark, and Sparks. The snow was still freshly groomed and barely mogulled, and despite being slushy, it was pretty fast!  Between 10-11am, my friends arrived, and we spent the rest of the day enjoying the slushy snow and gorgeous...

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Camp Fortune - March 21, 2023

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  With night skiing slated to end on March 22, I decided to take my sister on a birthday ski trip for our last night ski of the season. We arrived at 3pm, and immediately headed to Heggtveit to improve our confidence on steep runs, as we had both finally conquered Ottawa’s steepest trail this year!   We then headed to the Valley sector, skiing the glades off Marshal and Slalom one last time for the season: While the Meech Glades (which are usually closed during night ski pass hours) are my favourite on the hill, a more recent favourite has been Duffy, which is also seldom open, in contrast with the above Marshall glades which are all open much more frequently. We decided to ski Duffy a few times, enjoying the spring snow conditions and deep snowbase: I particularly love this natural “chute” through the rocks, as it makes the...

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Camp Fortune - February 11, 2023

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Two Saturdays ago, I headed up to camp fortune for a fun evening of night skiing. Conditions were on the icier side, with the long cruisers on Meech being opened-which are some of my favourite runs on the hill!After 4 years of chickening-out, I finally decided to ski Heggtveit with my friend. While extremely icy and much steeper than I imagined, there were some small patches of soft snow. Nevertheless, the adrenaline was definitely flowing!We spent the rest of the evening alternating between Skyline and the Valley sides, enjoying a beautiful sunset.  We were also able to try out the newly-built large park features, and captured the following images on my friend’s GoPro:

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Camp Fortune - January 26, 2023

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Last Thursday, last minute family plans were made for a quick afternoon/evening ski at Camp Fortune. A storm had passed over the region the night before, dumping 25cm of fresh powder, and the hill had announced that the Meech glades (La Cache) would be open for their first day of the 2023 season! The meech glades are my favourite run at fortune, and despite the fact that they close at 4pm, and my night pass starts at 3pm, my sister and I were still able to make two leg-burning runs! The untouched snow was over three feet deep in some places, and each run through the glades took us a minimum of 8 minutes! It was similar to our last time skiing the Meech glades in powder conditions, from March 2022! After making the last runs from 3:30-4, we headed to the skyline side to enjoy the choppy powder conditions on every...

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Mont Ste Marie (and Camp Fortune) - January 17, 2023

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After wanting to ski at Mont Ste Marie for the past three seasons, the opportunity finally came 2 days ago! I headed to the hill and arrived at 10am, and picked up my student day pass for only 49$! Both the Vanier and Cheval Blanc high speed lifts were running, with most terrain open on the Vanier side, and Dustin Cook and Frank Pouliotte on Cheval. Temperatures were in the range of -10 to -5 C, with a mixture of sun and clouds forecasted. I spent my first few runs on the Vanier side, enjoying the low crowds, fast lift, and amazing groomed snow on the Serenade and Bellevue runs! After the warm up, I boarded the shuttle to the more difficult Cheval Blanc side. The signature dustin cook run was mostly open (due to some snowmaking still in progress), and it made for a fast and steep descent! After a few...

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Camp Fortune - January 6, 2023

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Last Friday, some friends and I decided to head to Camp Fortune one last time before the Christmas break was over, and school and work made life busier! We arrived at 3pm, and after getting dressed in the lodge, we headed to the Skyline lift. Temperatures were hovering at around 0 C, but surprisingly, the snow was not as soft and mogulled as our previous outings in similar weather. Rather, the snow conditions were on the harder and uneven side, though still significantly better than skiing large moguls. Additionally, there was not a single patch of ice to be found! Due to large lines on the main (Valley) side of the hill, our group stuck mostly to Skyline, skiing the runs Sparks and Bud Clark. The poor visibility caused by fog and clouds made for some amazing photos. On our third run, we had gotten 30 seconds into the chairlift ride...

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Camp Fortune - December 28, 2022

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Last Wednesday, a seemingly unannounced storm dumped 15cm of snow in the day’s early hours. With legs still sore from the night before, a smaller group of the crowd from the previous night decided to drive up and enjoy the fresh snow, in addition to a new black diamond run being open on Skyline (Bud Clark to Canadian). We arrived at 3:30, parking this time at Skyline, and headed straight to the lift. There was a heavy fog and light rain/snow in the air, which made for a cool picture just as the lights switched on   Despite the warm weather and recent snowfall, the fresh snow had fallen after grooming, making conditions were extremely mogully and icy! Compounded with a larger crowd turnout than the evening prior, and this created a slightly unsafe atmosphere with people speeding down trails, and people having fallen in the middle of them! However, the...

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Camp Fortune - December 27, 2022

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After months of anticipation since buying my Camp Fortune night ski pass in July, I was finally able to use it! Tuesday, December 27th was set to be the first night of night skiing, and a group of friends and I decided to hit the slopes. In addition to having three green runs off the Pineault and Clifford chairs, a blue trail (Sparks to Skyway) had just opened on the Skyline sector! We arrived to a fairly full parking lot, and long lift lines on the Pineault Quad. However, the Clifford quad had minimal lines, so we spent the start of the evening skiing there. Conditions were packed powder, making for some great turns. The Marshall glades were decently covered, and I (cautiously) gave them a try, though it was still thinner than I would have liked!  We then headed to Skyline to meet up with a few more friends, and...

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Camp Fortune-March 12, 2022


After what likely was the last powder dump of the season (10cms), we spontaneously decided on a quick 4 hour trip to Camp Fortune, before leaving on a little March break trip to the Laurentians the following day. For a Saturday, the resort was surprisingly quiet upon arrival. We booted up in the car, and immediately headed to my favourite area: Meech!  After 2 laps on Paradis, I decided to attempt Heggtveit on the Skyline side, though (as usual) my confidence plummeted upon the sight of its steep pitch. Despite the decent snow conditions, Hegg remained icy and mogully (it was -10 outside), and I decided to do a single black (Bud Clark to Canadian)  instead and delay my first attempt of the infamously steep double black run another season;).   After eating some lunch, I returned to Meech to ski the La Cache glades, knowing full well that it might be my last glade experience this season.   This was my first time in the Meech glades, and I...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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