Mont Ste Marie - January 4, 2024

Cold temperatures, a promise of sun and bluebird skies... all the ingredients were in place for the perfect day on the slopes. I woke up to a light dusting of snow that arrived overnight, which left a much-needed coat of white on the rooftops and the grass. I gathered my bags, tossed them in the back of the car and headed up to Mont Ste Marie. This mountain has something special about it. The highest vertical drop in the region at nearly double most others, high-speed lifts, rarely any lift lines, and great trails offering superb views of nearby Lac-Sainte-Marie.  Arriving shortly after 9:30 am, I headed to the chalet which is always nice and spacious. The view of the slopes courtesy of the large windows, really gets you in the mood, even before you start gearing up. As would be the case for nearly my entire visit, the chairlift welcomed me with no lineup each time. The value of all this is tremendous. Nowhere else do you get this much time on the slopes! Today, Mont Ste Marie has...

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Mont Ste Marie - November 30, 2023 (Snapshot)

Mont Ste Marie opened their ski season today with 1 route from top to bottom, composed of 3 trails (Serenade Haut/Bas and Caroline Calvé). Great conditions on the highest vertical drop in the region. Enjoy the snapshot from this visit.

Mont Ste Marie - February 13, 2023


Another great day of skiing at Mont Ste Marie today.  

Mont Ste Marie - January 31, 2023


Last Tuesday, two friends and I made a last minute decision to skip class and head to Mont Ste Marie, as they had never been and I was hoping to return! While initially forecasted to be a cold day, the sunny skies, low wind, and gradual increase in temperature (from -17 to -8C) made the day feel much warmer. We arrived at 10am, and after purchasing our lift tickets, headed straight to the Vanier lift. Having received two recent dumping of snow the previous Thursday and Sunday, conditions were phenomenal, with nearly all trails open! On the Vanier lift, we skiied most of the grooomed open trails, including Serenade, the Serenade glades (which had decent conditions), and Chanson. We then decided to ski Crescendo, a steep, ungroomed mogul run with large wooden jumps, to test our abilities. The fresh snow provided excellent cover, and despite it being a major leg burner,...

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Mont Ste Marie - January 18, 2023


It is mid-week, and wanting to enjoy the slopes with lots of vertical drop but without the lift lines, the choice was clear, a visit to Mont Ste Marie was in order. After checking the trail status online the night before, I woke up early and planned to be out the door at 7:45am. As luck would have it, I ended up leaving a bit later than planned but arrived at the mountain at 9:30am, just 30 minutes past opening. The expansive parking lot was fairly empty, enabling me to park very close to the chalet. A brief time later, my ski boots were on my feet and my skis and poles were in my hands. I headed over to get my lift ticket and proceeded to the Vanier Express detachable quad. As it would be for my first run, and how it would be for every one that followed, I...

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


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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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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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.

Mont Ste Marie - April 7, 2019


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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Mont Ste Marie - February 13, 2019


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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Mont Ste Marie - January 27, 2019


We rolled into Mont Ste Marie just before 10 after a long drive that included being stuck behind plows, big trucks and driving in a white out.  Well the drive was worth it.  MSM with 1200ft vertical across two mountains was 100% open. The resort had about 10cms of fresh light powder and snow would continue to fall on and off all day.  In the morning the snow fell heavy and it was rather windy. So windy that the Cheval Blanc quad was restricted to two a chair. This caused a pretty long line up but by noon the wind died down and we were back to normal.  The conditions were pretty much perfect with consistent light powder covering all the runs.  New features this year included a new racing building at the top of Dustin Cook.  We also checked out the new glades off Carroussel.  This steep section includes some...

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Mont Ste Marie - December 31, 2018


It's the final day of 2018 and wanting to end it in true skiing style, a ski double-header was on the menu. Mont Ste Marie in the morning and Camp Fortune in the afternoon. (Be sure to check out the other report here). Arriving at Mont Ste Marie just before opening at 9am, I was quick to get ready and start the day. Heading up Vanier Mountain, the first trail was Serenade. This intermediate trail definitely has a big mountain feel to it. It really weaves its way down the mountain and you feel yourself being transported to another place. Serenade is surely a Mont Ste Marie classic. Next up was Bellevue, another big mountain type trail. I'm going to stop and clarify for a moment what I mean by big mountain. Mont Ste Marie is the largest ski mountain in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, with generally double the vertical drop of...

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Mont Ste Marie

Mont Ste Marie is a true skier's mountain. Offering double the vertical drop of any ski area in the Outaouais region with over 1200 feet. Bob Sudermann, owner of Mont Ste Marie, often says to "Make it a goal to ski the vertical of Mount Everest in one day at Mont Ste Marie... 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 Mountain and the Ski Trails 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 o...

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Mont Ste Marie - April 8, 2018


We made it up to Mont Ste Marie just after 9am to find beautiful mind-winter conditions in April! The temperature was around -2C and there was little or no wind and the sun was out. The skiing was so good that we stayed till last chair. The runs were nicely groomed fresh snow with no ice, that gave you the confidence to really rip.  Pretty much everything was open with the best runs of the day being Dustin Cook, Formidable and Tornade Bas. I can't think of a year with conditions this good at MSM this late in the season. Usually by now only the Vanier side is open the conditions are slush. Hopefully they will stay open another weekend. Yes its been a cold April but make the best of it people, ski ski ski.... no golf yet.                                                                      Where is everyone? My buddy has some weird skis.  This lunch might slow me down. Where the Klotz are we!...

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Mont Ste Marie - March 24, 2018


Fantastic bluebird day at Mont Ste Marie, the tallest mountain in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. I always love skiing here, whether it is for the high-speed lifts, or the large vertical drop, or even the trails that have that big mountain "Tremblant" feel... Mont Ste Marie never disappoints. I was able to make it out in the afternoon when it was starting to warm up in temperature. Ski conditions were fantastic, with a nice groomed base and virtually no ice. The temperature was a bit on the cool side with some strong winds, a little surprising for weather at the end of March, but it is doing its job at holding the snow in excellent condition. These are no doubt some of the best late March skiing conditions I can remember in a long, long time. Standout trails today were Serenade on Vanier mountain (for the big mountain feel) and Formidable on Cheval Blanc...

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Mont Ste Marie - February 1, 2018


Wow. Lets see 20cm of fresh light snow, warm temperatures and Cheval Blanc was left ungroomed.  I think this may have been one of the best days at MSM ever. I arrived right at the opening, took in the Vanier side for a few runs, then trained over to Cheval when it opened at 9:30. Then I skied beautiful powder for a good 3hours, had lunch and skied another hour or so.   By about 11 most of the powder was chop but since it was so light you could just steam roll over it.  People should remember on big snow days not to turn to much! save the snow.  Dustin Cook was the favorite. The steeps of Formidable and Besty were also great, a nice change from the icy hard pack.  I was surprised by how much snow they got considering Ottawa only got like 5cm and Camp Fortune around 10cm.  The footnote to this great day is when there is...

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Mont Ste Marie - January 22, 2018


I arrived at Mont Ste Marie at 9am just as it was opening. The temperature was about -5C. The day before was like + 5C with spring like conditions and looked pretty busy from the webcam shots. Today was almost the opposite.   Very quiet, pretty much zero lines with fast hard packed conditions. I also discovered a fair amount of crusty icy spots.  Not the best, we need snow, we need lots of snow. The fields below the mountain now have zero snow cover and were full of deer eating the exposed grass.  Mont Ste Marie did manage to have 18 out of their 20 main runs open so they must have been making a lot of snow over the past few weeks. The best runs were Tornade Bas, Serenade, Dustin Cook and Formidable.  Besty was pretty icy and I'm glad my edges were in decent shape.  Overall though you really can't complain, we got a tonne of runs in...

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Mont Ste Marie - March 3rd 2017


I pulled into Mont Ste Marie around 9:30 expecting lots of cars and the place to be busy.  Not so even though its Quebec March Break.  The conditions were surprisingly good as the mountain got 12cms of fresh snow after the rain on Wednesday, if fact it was snowing a little when we arrived. No lift lines and great conditions resulted in a great day of skiing. The temperature was around -12 with a little wind so you had to bundle up but I've skied in far colder conditions. Formidable and a section of Tornado with 12cm of ungroomed snow were our favs of the day.   After we drove over the top (Trans-Outaouais Road) to a cottage on Lac Sam.  Fun Times!  

Mont Ste Marie - February 4th, 2017


Well I finally made it up to Mont Ste Marie. Last year I skied on the closing day and it was blast.  Conditions this time were hard packed with a little dust on crust, not bad but we need some new snow.  I really think Mont Ste Marie is your best bang for your buck, 1200ft vertical, only a hour from Ottawa, short or zero lineups, and high speed lifts.  Also if you buy passes during the summer you can get lift tickets for like $30.  Anyway it was a great day, myself and a buddy skied all day from about 9:30 still last chair.  Everything was open with the exceptions of Crescendo (which we skied anyway), some sections of Toronade, and the glade run Sous-bois( which looked fine).  The Dustin Cook run was busy with racing but we did get on it in the afternoon. Formidable and Betsy were fun...

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Mont Ste Marie - January 2, 2017


Here we are the second day of the New Year 2017. Getting up early on a day off can only mean one thing, it's a ski day. Destination... Mont Ste Marie, for its two mountains, long trails, high speed lifts and highest vertical in the region. Ski conditions were great, firm base with a small layer of powder on top. On the Vanier mountain, all trails except Caroll-Ann and Tornade were open. The best conditions in my opinion were on Bellevue, although Sérénade was a close second. Those trails had nice grooming, and quick lines to carve.  Chanson, the main beginner trail that runs from the top of the mountain to near the bottom was open, however it was clearly marked with a sign indicating Marginal Conditions as it did not have a full snow base to be fully groomed. This resulted in some bumps and moguls, but I'm sure this will change in...

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Mont Ste Marie : December 14, 2014


What an incredible day. My first visit of the season to Mont Ste Marie and it sure did not disappoint, with ski conditions you would expect in January and February. The time was 7am, actually it was more like 6:30am. I woke up with the feeling of being eager and ready to go skiing. After having a nutritious breakfast, and quickly packing my ski gear, I was out the door. Looking forward to the drive up, and once again experiencing the new Highway A-5 extension, which feels like you are driving in the Laurentians, I carefully was taking note of the time spent getting to the mountain. Exiting the highway after 25 minutes of driving in Wakefield, and then continuing on the windy path to the mountain, the entire trip took an hour. Being used to many years of doing the 2 hour drive up to the Laurentians, this was definitely...

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