Sommet Saint-Sauveur - April 18, 2022

What a perfect day on the slopes! The temperature was just right, and the sun was shining. Today I visited Sommet Saint-Sauveur, a ski mountain that holds a special place in my heart. There is just something magical about every visit, and this time was no different. With an early departure at 8am from Gatineau, I arrived at the mountain at 10am. The parking was already starting to fill, despite having only opened at 9am in the morning. Gearing up at the car, and strategically parking close to the Côte 71 chairlift, I started skiing shortly before 11am. I must confess, this is my first visit back to Sommet Saint-Sauveur in around 3 years. The arrival of our child and the pandemic put a temporary pause on my skiing. Having skied at Saint-Sauveur for many, many years (feeling like a second home every weekend), I had impatiently waited for quite some time to return and see what had changed... so that was what I quickly did before heading up for my first run. No doubt, the two biggest chang...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur

Sommet Saint-Sauveur is located 45 minutes north of Montreal and is easily accessed from Autoroute 15. Sommet Saint-Sauveur is often seen as an innovator in the ski industry, with new concepts, new developments and early adoption of new technologies. The mountain has a storied history from the early 1930s when it first opened and is regularly the first mountain to open and the last to close in the Province of Quebec, and on occasion in the east of North America. With 40 trails, fast lifts, several base chalets and additional on-mountain activities, not counting on the legendary night skiing, Sommet Saint-Sauveur hits the mark in many areas. The Mountain and the Ski Trails  The mountain features over 40 trails for all skill levels, served by 8 lifts, which include a detachable six-pack heated chairlift, 3 detachable quad chairlifts, 2 fixed-grip quads (one with loading carpet), a beginner double chair and a magic carpet. The mountain is connected to the Versant Avila, providing add...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - January 1, 2021

Finally, 2021 has arrived! After having spent NYE enjoying a three-course fondue and celebratory drinks, I spent most of the day relaxing at home with plans to catch the last few runs of the day. We enjoyed a late afternoon brunch (or perhaps it was more of a "linner") of mimosas, eggs benedict, bacon, fresh fruit and yogurt to get the evening started out right, and then I got ready to head to the mountain. I knew I'd only have time for a few short runs, which was fine by me after having spent December intentionally staying home as much as possible. I planned to ease gently into the new year, and drove in through Piedmont, passing by all the lifts from Avila to the Sommet Express to scope out the crowds. The lines seemed steady, but not at all busy. The Sommet Express had the longest line of all, and there were only about ten chairs worth of people leading up to the gate if that. After getting ready in the car, I arrived in the practically empty lift line, to be greeted by the SQ! It s...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - October 31, 2020 Opening!

Skison 2020 got its official start on Friday, October 30, 2020 with Sommet Saint-Sauveur's soft launch opening, and while I was not quick enough on the draw to participate, I was all set for Day 2 which delightfully fell on Hallowe'en! As always, Sommet Saint-Sauveur is the first to open in the East, even beating out "longest season in the East" rival Killington this year. As it happens, the state of Vermont has delayed releasing its ski resort opening guidance as covid-19 cases in Vermont have recently seen an uptick, and Killington has tentatively scheduled November 19 for opening. My day started with a hearty brunch from our neighborhood spot Fabergé which gave me lots of time to get ready while waiting for our brunch delivery. I packed up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s, intending to ski on the pair with the best tune and drop the other off at the shop for some fresh wax. I have followed along with interest as other regions announced their operations guidance for mou...

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Sommet Saint Sauveur - November 9, 2019

Skison 2019, day 2! After our late night at Brasserie Harricana, we got a late start to the day, made some breakfast sandwiches (thanks mom for the homemade bread!), and took our time heading up to the mountain, running some errands along the way. We got there around 6, I picked up the skis and board I'd dropped at the atelier mise au point the previous day, and dropped off my older James XX90s for Ptex and a tune. The first stop was the T-Bar for a motivational warm boozy drink. Apparently, Friday night at the T-Bar had been quite busy but Saturday was calm and it was easy to get a seat at the bar. Scott sipped on Griffintown all evening and I started my warmup with an Irish coffee. I headed over to the lift and was hoping that with the fresh wax and sharpen the conditions would be a little more forgiving since most of the coverage is from snowmaking. Although technically Nordique is not open yet (there is still a rope dropped at the top of the run), the park features had been set up ...

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Sommet Saint Sauveur - November 8, 2019: Day 1

The long awaited day has finally arrived, exactly five months to the day that we rode L'Etoile for the last runs of the season. Saint-Sauveur had been teasing an opening for days now, and with Killington's Rime and Reason already in full force as of last Sunday, it was a pretty safe bet that Friday would be the day: TGIF, amirite? The opening was announced for 2PM, however work was a bit too busy for me to get to the mountain until late afternoon. I was finally able to load up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s and my Ride Crush board around 5pm, run a few quick errands and then hit the (very slow) road to get to Saint-Sauveur, arriving around 7pm. Every year at the end of the season I find a home for my GoPasse where I'll be sure to remember it at the start of the next season, so I can reload it online instead of having to go get a new one at customer service. Every year I somehow fail to recall where I stashed it. All of my other passes were in my ski wallet, but not the ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 9, 2019

At the end of the day on June 8th it seemed certain conditions would still be great on the 9th especially with the anticipated high of 30C! I spent much of the day relaxing before heading up to the mountain for late afternoon. This time, I figured I'd just stay on the top section and practice slide turns on what was left of the 70 Ouest top. It was a perfectly beautiful day to take a leisurely hike up the top of La Plagne while enjoying the bright sun and surrounding forest. I spent up until the sun began to sink practicing turns, and took some snaps, and headed home for dinner in the city. Looking down the top pitch of the 70 Ouest - still unbroken with thin coverage with brown sugar. Looking up at the top of the 70 Ouest. Looking down the 70 Ouest on a hazy sunset. Top of 70 Ouest pano just before sunset.

Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 7, 2019

After skiing down the 70 Ouest the night of the 6th, I was pretty sure all our hopes and dreams for a June 8th opening alongside the waterpark opening were dashed: The top pitch of the 70 Ouest had a narrow path remaining between the only break in the trail, and half the bottom pitch was missing entirely, having sadly melted away. To my absolute delight, one of the first posts I saw on my phone that morning was a video posted by the Sommet Saint-Sauveur of their fearless groomer polishing up the trail - as it turns out they had a secret stash of snow, just enough to anticipate opening from 10AM to 1PM on Saturday June 8th! I was determined to make first tracks! However, as we all know I'm not a functional morning person, so decided to drive up and go for a hike and ride down! I figured this was probably the last good opportunity I'd have to get out on my snowboard since I definitely was not going to try and race all the keeners the next day with my beginner boarder experience, and the ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 6, 2019

Following the June 2 "last chair in Quebec" party, I did a couple of hikes to take advantage of the still unbroken trail. On June 6th, I arrived a bit on the later side so instead of hiking up and skiing down, my strategy was to park at the top of the road running along side of La Plagne and hike in to the top of the 70 Ouest, and then take a taxi back to the car from the bottom (typically less than $10). I hiked into the L'Etoile chair to the tune of frogs and crickets (see clip below) and enjoyed a frosty beverage while watching the sunset and moonrise, and then got ready to ski down. Of course in the evening the snow ices up a little and it was a bit crustier than I'd anticipated, but the trail was still fully connected so it made for a nice slow cruise to the base. The only section needing a little help was the last half of the bottom pitch, which was difficult to see in the dark where the ice was meeting the dirt. I took this section especially slow and only managed to bail on my ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 4, 2019

Hiking season has begun! As Saint-Sauveur's lift-serviced operations came to a close on Sunday afternoon, I had grand confidence that the hush-hush whisperings of a surprise June 8th opening would materialize. Never before in recent years had the 70 Ouest and Nordique (top) been open together for the final day of the season. Surely the base would hold another week and maybe even several! To my surprise, I arrived late this afternoon at the mountain to see that most of the bottom of 70 Ouest was just gone! There had been a few patchy spots on Sunday, sure, but it seemed to me the base was much thicker than to melt so quickly away. I guess they got a lot more rain than I thought! As I arrived, I ran into another late skison enthusiast who had just ridden down the 70 Ouest who assured me the snow, although crusty, was holding up on the rest of the hill. Usually, in the spring I hike up with my board but having arrived later in the day and not being too skilled on the air-chilled crust, I ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 1, 2019


Maybe this report should be posted in the Summer Experiences section since it is June 1st! When I heard that Sommet St-Sauveur confirmed their opening for this weekend, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to ski in June. I had never done that before. Last year was close, at May 27th. I left Sherbrooke at 6 and arrived at the mountain at 8:20. I just squeaked through the Turcotte construction just in time as it was down to 1 lane entering on to the Decarie Northbound. The temperature was already 10 degrees by this time with blue skies, a few clouds, and bright sunshine. I noticed that there were about 8 or 10 Atomic Express Quad chairs leftover in the lot. The 70 Ouest, and surprisingly the top of the Nordique was open today. I don't recall ever skiing the Nordique past the end of April on any of my late season trips....

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Sommet St-Sauveur - April 28, 2019


To end the 2018-19 season, a trip to Sommet St-Sauveur was in order today. Leaving Sherbrooke at 6am with overcast skies, I actually drove through some snow by Mont Orford and there was a dusting on the ground. We have not had the best of weekends in the townships lately, and the 4 major areas are now closed. It was a smooth drive through the city and arrived at the mountain a touch before 8:30 to overcast skies and a temperature of +4 degrees. The dismantling of the Atomic Express is in progress as all the chairs are now off the lift line and placed in the lot behind the lift. There were racers training on the Nordique early, and the Etoile lift was spinning not yet open to the public. The lift was opening at 9, so I took my time to get ready and have a nice wind down from the...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - April 9, 2019


SURPRISE!!  It's unexpected powder day! I woke up far too early this morning and saw some fat flakes falling but kind of assumed it was just a tease. The snow continued falling and picked up in intensity. So much so that my partner called me from the office just to tell me how much it was snowing!! I had returned my (compact SUV: snow driving appropriate) rental car the previous night, and was kicking myself for not having checked the weather. Just before noon, I sprang into action and booked myself a compact at the shop down the street, and off I went. I should mention, because renting in Quebec, you normally get winter tires, compacts have served me just fine this winter. Today: not so much. I picked up a Ford Fiesta and the wheels started spinning almost right away. Nevertheless, I hit the road, skis and board packed in this...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - December 31, 2018!


On the second day in January 2019 I went back in time, to review the abundance of photos from our NYE experience at Sommet St-Sauveur! The mountain was offering an NYE dinner at 7pm with limited availability on the second floor of the T-bar, I actually missed out on the opportunity for the $109 per person tickets for that back in November, but then again, I'd rather be skiing at that hour anyways. I called in advance to find out that the first floor of the T-bar was business as usual for skiers, riders, and guests, only with a limited menu and much less seating than usual. The forecast was calling for 15-20cm of snow, but it hadn't started falling by the time we left home. The NYE festivities included skiing til 9pm, indoor and outdoor djs (which was great because if you disliked the track selection of one space, you could move...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - January 1, 2019


After the previous evening's festivities, it took me a bit of effort to rally, but I finally talked myself into braving the dropping temps to head up to Saint-Sauveur, which would make up for my annual skipping of the Coney Island polar bear dip. Our day started with a 5pm brunch of mimosas, bacon, and eggs benedict (back story: Scott made a delicious ham and it is incredible on eggs benny!). After brunch I managed to locate all the items I'd shed the night before and a pair of dry mittens and headed up to the mountain. I arrived just after 8:30pm and while it was still busy enough that there was a wait to get on the Atomic chair, the crowd was thinning as the temperature dropped. Not wanting to spend a lot of time waiting in line, I headed over to Cote 68 and was rewarded with a nearly...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - December 9, 2018


Well it has been some time since my last trip report! This is owing to having dropped my phone and cracked the screen, so it's not as easy to take photos when the snow is falling, risking the phone getting wet! I've actually been to Sommet Saint-Sauveur a few times a week since last month, and had the pleasure of seeing the openings of Nordique, 70 Est, Cote 68, Devaleuse and finally Jay over the last several weeks.The mountain now has 13 runs open during the day and 12 at night, with three chair running during peak hours, along with the magic carpet on the beginner slope. There have been several days with a light dusting of snow to a few inches, and a couple of really cold nights. Tonight, on my last day off work, I made it up for the last few hours of the evening. As luck would have...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Saturday November 10, 2018


This micro trip report is brought to you by a lack of sleep the previous night. Made it to the hill at 3:15 but I didn't read the fine print, closing was at 4pm! Just enough time for a few good runs on this snowy day with 20 cm of freshly fallen sticky powder. This is the first time so far that we had to wait in a line to get on the chair, there were a ton of people out. And while Nordique and the Rockstar park (top) were roped off, it wasn't stopping people from dipping under the line, with many fresh tracks covering the runs - definitely for rock skis. After the lift closed we headed over to Axis Boutique and met some familiar faces from AKAMP. The day was a tease and I'll be back tomorrow to enjoy more of it! Nordique top is significantly improved over last week's...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Sunday November 4, 2018


I had initially planned to go to Saint-Sauveur on Saturday but the anticipated night skiing didn't happen due to the weather. So I headed up on Sunday afternoon, arriving around 3:30 to the beginning of sunset. Some people were still arriving and some were leaving and mentioned it was pretty icy, which wasn't surprising given last week's rain. I got ready and headed to L'Etoile, currently the only running chairlift serving the 70 Ouest. What a difference a week makes - compared to the previous week's coverage of natural snow, the Nordique was almost bare all the way up, with just a few snowy patches remaining. The 70 Ouest itself had corn in some spots but for the most part was thin cover over ice, with some short sections of only ice. Sharp edges were useful here! The snowpark also changed as the pipe was out and only the rail remained, but...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Opening weekend October 27, 2018


Sommet Saint-Sauveur surprised with an early opening Friday, but it wasn't until Saturday evening that I was able to head up, and it seems as though I picked the perfect time! As I started walking to the car with all my gear, heavy and wet flurries were falling from the sky. So much so that I had to turn back to rescue my balcony herbs from certain death! I got on the road just after 6:30 and was cruising along steadily in the storm when I realized how slick the roads were as there were no salt trucks up and running. It ended up being a rather slow drive, and I pulled into the parking lot just after 7:30 for the first night ski of the season. I picked up my Passe Parfait, and headed to l'Etoile for a ride in the falling snow -- it was really coming down! The snowmaking of...

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Sommet St-Sauveur - May 27, 2018


Now the season has come to an end! With the announcement a short time ago that Sommet St. Sauveur was extending their season to May 26-27, I wasn't so sure it was going to happen, but it did! It was pretty much a last minute decision to go as the long range forecast from earlier in the week didn't look too promising, but it changed, like it normally does. So departure from Sherbrooke was scheduled for 6am to be sure that if there were delays, aka the Turcotte Exchange in Montreal, then I would still arrive on time for first runs.It was sunny when I left, but the closer I got to Montreal, it was starting to cloud over. I didn't drive into any rain. I arrived earlier than expected thanks to the little to no traffic on the island of Montreal. Smooth sailing and arrived in the parking lot at...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - May 12, 2018


Finally some real spring skiing. With the sun out and blue skies in abundance, I set out to end my ski season in style at the one and only Sommet Saint-Sauveur, known for being the first to open and last to close in Quebec. Sommet Saint-Sauveur and Killington down in Vermont are the only two mountains still operating lift-serviced skiing, so the experience is without a doubt special and unforgettable.  After nearly a month of not seeing any snow in the city, it is definitely refreshing to arrive at the ski mountain and see plenty of white gold remaining on the slopes. Two trails were open today, the legendary 70 Ouest and the Nordique trails. 70 Ouest was open full width, top to bottom, while Nordique was open until the final pitch at the bottom, where you then had to cross over to 70 Ouest to finish.  Arriving for shortly after...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur Cinco de Mayo 2018!

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The forecast was originally +16 and full sun, but of course things shift. I worried as I drove up that the sprinkles of rain would mean they'd close early, but I was pleased to arrive in the parking lot around 2:30 to one of the busiest afternoons I've seen in about a month! I fact it is the first day in about as long that I had to wait in a line to get on the lift. As everything near the Atomic lift had melted, lift service was via Etoile. I always enjoy the lazy spring rides on the Etoile to the sound of melting water underneath. Conditions were both slush bumps and ice, take your pick, scrape or get stuck. A fresh wax would have been of help that day, for sure. While most of Sauveur was open the previous week (well, all eight remaining runs), this week featured only...

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Surprise trip report: Sommet Saint-Sauveur May 11, 2018!

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I checked my messages first thing when I woke up this morning at 11:30 to discover one from my snowboarding buddy telling me she was stuck at work but that Sauveur was open! I had a few things on my plate today but aimed to get up by 2:30. Of course the work day dragged on with one thing after another, but finally I made it out the door!! After a slow drive up the 15, I pulled into the parking lot, just before 4pm. Already a short day on the mountain, today's strategy: bomb all the runs!!! At this point, only 70 Ouest and part of the very bottom of 70 Est are open along with the top of Nordique, which is doing great with a few sketchy areas (imo it'll be done by Sunday). Unlike last week which was quite sticky and/or icy, the cool air and rain this...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - April 27, 28 and 29!

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Three trip reports rolled into one! Pics to follow since I have yet to download from my phone, but I didn't want this trip report to sit too long! I was delighted to learn that Sommet Sauveur planned to open last Friday, given the weather was supposed to be full sun and +16 or so. I made it up to the mountain by 2:30pm, and met up with some friends around 3 - they had arrived a bit earlier and we eventually synced up. We skied every open run accessible by the Atomic lift, so, Epervier, Tom Barbeau, Red Bird, Jay, Cote 70 Est, Cote 70 Ouest, and Nordic. The Cote 71 lift wasn't running and the highest access point to La Plagne was closed, but truly you could take the time to hike over as all of these hills were still fully covered last Friday. In fact most of Avila...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur 4/20!


I arrived at Sommet Sauveur around 3:30pm. It was warm enough to ski with my jacket open but not warm enough to switch to my spring hoodie. I managed to get runs in on Red Bird, Jay, 70 Est, 70 Ouest and Nordique, and I was surprised at how slushy conditions were for a day where it was still cool and not sunny. They must have gotten a lot of rain! Had it been a really busy day, there would have likely been a lot of soft bumps forming. Mostly the trails were slushy slow snow/corn, with just a few patchy spots starting to form on a few trails. I was delighted to have arrived just after a few friends and we managed to do a super quick run at the end to catch the last chair and take our time down the 70 Ouest. Since the rain prevented them from...

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