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  1. 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:
  2. 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 run. By 6pm, we headed back to the Valley side to ski our last few runs, where we wound plenty of powder pockets on the sides of the trails!We headed home at 7pm, and for only 4 hours of skiing, our legs were exhausted from the fresh powder conditions! The timing for the Meech glades was perfect, as they were closed due to a power outage last Saturday, and are in-general only open from Wednesday-Sunday, so I might not be able to ski them in such perfect conditions again for at least the next few weeks!
  3. 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 when the lights switched off, followed by the lift! Immediately, I feared the worst, though an announcement came on saying that it was NOT a power outage, but rather a circuit overload! After a few minutes, the lift started to spin again, with the lights taking another 10 minutes to fully warm/fire up. This meant that one run was skied in near darkness with poor visibility, an interesting experience and a foreshadowing of the conditions at Tremblant a few days later! (It was darker than the following photo may appear!)Once the night fell, the glow of the lights against the backdrop of the white frost/snow/ice covered trees made for some stunning scenery, in addition to the snow that started to fall from the sky.We took advantage of the low crowds on Skyline, and skied until closing! Overall a great night with some amazing conditions.
  4. 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 moguls were still fairly soft, and definitely added a fun and challenging aspect to the evening. After skiing a few runs on skyline, we headed to the main lodge for some food, where we discovered that another trail, Slalom, had opened spontaneously! We immediately headed there, and were blown away at how amazing conditions were. (Slalom is center in the photo)The posted sign said ungroomed snow, yet the many moguls on the trail were freshly formed, and were extremely soft and skiable (significantly more mouldable than compared to the other moguls on skyline!). Additionally, there were patches of fresh powder on the sides and on top of the trail, making this run our favourite of the night. I also chose to hike a few minutes higher, and benefit from some fresh powder turns above the trails main entrance:After many leg burning laps on the soft moguls of Slalom, we headed back to Skyline, but found that conditions there had further deteriorated, particularly on the black run. The first and steepest pitch of Bud Clark had become pure ice, with massive moguls awaiting at the bottom, in addition to the other pitches containing a medley of large ice sheets and large moguls. In our last run, all members of our group fell in different sections of the trail, leading us to call it a night before closing to avoid the chance of injury. All in all, we had a great time for our second night at Fortune, and looked forward to returning in the new year!
  5. 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 we’re surprised with the excellent conditions of the one trail. There was tons of fresh snow, little ice, and many side jumps off the trail. It was nice to ski a run that took longer than 30 seconds, as was the case for the other terrain open. Lines on skyline started long (5 minutes), but as the night went on, they decreased. It looked like a black diamond trail was groomed and would open the following day, in addition to ongoing snowmaking on the other runs. As always, the view of the Ottawa-Gatineau skyline from the chairlift is quite memorable. We wrapped up our fun evening of night skiing with some food and drinks in the picturesque town of Chelsea.
  6. 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 was honestly blown away. The trees were well-spaced, with a large variety of lines, giving the skier a choice of how steep of a route they want to take. The fresh snow was the icing on the cake, and I especially loved how long the glades went on for. If you ski it slowly and carefully (as I did), it could take up to 8 minutes to get through! After skiing the glades twice, I skied the other trail in the Meech zone, Nord Americain. The lines at Meech started to get fairly long (10 minutes), so we decided to finish our 4 hour ticket off on the Valley side. On the much quieter Valley side, I also checked out the glades next to Marshall. While shorter and (in some spots) steeper than the La Cache glades, they were still a blast to ski. We finished our day by skiing Slalom. Due to the exceptional snow conditions, as well as my recent confidence in gladded terrain (see my previous post from Pakenham), I had an amazing time in the trees at Fortune, easily the best this season. I cannot wait to return after another snowstorm next season! Cheers
  7. 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 you can.
  8. 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, Bud Clark and the Chute were open. Before entering, your pass was checked for COVID vaccination validation. A buddy of mine hadn't gotten his season pass validated yet so he had to go over to the Valley side to validate. Apparently it was a bit of a gong show with a line of 40 people outside not knowing or wanting to go inside to the other cash. It took him an hour. We finally met up and the skiing was decent, fast and refreshing. The day skiers had scrapped things up a bit but if you stayed along the side of the runs, you could push lots of snow around. Otherwise just GS down the middle. The place got busy around 6pm but died down again at 8pm. The lift lines needed a little wrangling as there were only two wide lines for 4 each. So single people got singled out with people afraid to ride with them. This slowed things down. Regardless it was a beautiful night of skiing and I'll be back soon.
  9. Here's a cool archival film that Camp Fortune found at Library and Archives Canada. Skiing around Ottawa in 1926. Seems so civilized that people would take the train to the ski hill.
  10. In going through some old family videos of days gone by, I came across a recording of a ski day at Camp Fortune back on March 24, 1988. You can clearly make out and recognize the Pineault ski trail as well as the Triple Chairlift. You can also see the Clifford Quad and related trails in the distance. This video is now over 30 years old. Please reply below and share with us your comments, what you have spotted that has changed from 1988 to 2018, as well as what has stayed the same. (There are several things for both). Enjoy!
  11. The Spring Season began exactly one month ago, and yet today was the first day of skiing for me that actually felt very much like spring. While people may be disappointed with the late start, it has also permitted ski mountains to stretch their season even longer than average. Camp Fortune is usually first to open and last to close in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, but this year all the main trails on Skyline are open, with full snow coverage. The biggest contrast I can make to past years is that by now they would have already been closed, so very exciting turn of events indeed. Being an early bird and personally preferring firmer snow conditions, I arrived to ski for opening at 9am. The parking already had more cars than I was expecting at that time... I guess the great news that spring skiing had arrived was heard loud and clear. Ski conditions today, excellent. As previously mentioned, the snow coverage was complete on all open trails. The base was hard with little to no ice. As the sun warmed up the snow, the surface softened out very quickly, allowing some bumps and moguls to form on the trails, the typical trademark signature of spring skiing. As far as lift lines, almost every run was ski on without stopping. Open trails were Heggtveit, Chute, Upper and Lower Canadien, Bud Clark and Sparks, served by the Skyline quad. An outdoor BBQ was set up between the Skyline Lodge and the quad chairlift. Heggtveit. After 10 runs, it was time to call it a day. Leaving by 11am, the snow was really softening out and the classic watery spray that results from the carving of skis was in the air. With the even warmer temperatures in the afternoon, I can only imagine that the skiing got even better as the day progressed. What a phenomenal day to ski, I just loved every moment of it. Blue skies, warm weather, perfect spring snow... Camp Fortune is spoiling us with the goods! Camp Fortune will be open once again tomorrow (Sunday) from 9am-4pm. Tickets are only $25/ day or $20 for 4 hrs for adults and $20/day or $15/4 hrs for kids. Sunday will also be a retro ski day, so bring out your fluorescent and bright coloured ski outfits and rock the slopes like it's still the 80's. What a great way to end the ski season in the region. You definitely owe it to yourself to come out and enjoy the great ski conditions before they come to an end, you are sure to be amazed. Here are some more pictures from today. Heggtveit. Upper Canadien. Bud Clark. Lower Canadien. #HappySkier Happy skiing!
  12. Looks like the ski season may get into mid April. This is from Mont Ste Marie's facebook site (April 4th): SNOW REPORT (Lots of Snow April 6th-8th) We received 10-15cm last night at the base of the mountain and over 20cm at the summit of Mont Ste-Marie. This is setting up to be the best skiing of the season when we re-open this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All runs will be open with perfect ski conditions groomed to perfection. They also mention that they will be open the April 13-15th weekend. and todays webcam, another 5cms is expected on Friday. Tremblant got 16cms over night.
  13. Sounds like the Pineault quad just broke down. Bad timing for sure. People had to be rope rescued. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/camp-fortune-chairlift-break-down-1.4571116
  14. The Quebec government has announced investments of $1.3 million at Camp Fortune. Great news! This investment will help realize Camp Fortune's four-season development projects. The project includes the purchase of snow guns and increasing snowmaking capacity to allow for a longer ski season. Also mentioned is the expansion of the chalet. A second phase will permit a renovation and expansion of the aerial adventure, which would also add a two-lane zip line linking the three peaks of the ski mountain. More details can be found on the press release (French only) : https://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/programme-de-soutien-aux-strategies-de-developpement-touristique---tourisme-hivernal---le-gouvernement-du-quebec-accorde-plus-de-13-million-de-dollars-au-camp-fortune-pour-bonifier-le-tourisme-hivernal-dans-la-674977463.html As more details come out, they will be shared here.
  15. Killer conditions up at Camp Fortune right now. I was up on Wednesday. North America and Swan Dive (natural snow runs) are now open. Also there is a bump run on the left side of Clifford.
  16. Audio link below: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/canadian-anne-heggtveit-wins-slalom-gold-in-1960 The Story - From CBC.ca It doesn't take long for CBC Radio to get a reaction from Anne Heggtveit after the 21-year-old wins the slalom event at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, Cal. The Ottawa-born skier is still battling for breath when the microphone is put in front of her. "We had two hours to study the course yesterday afternoon, and I think I was the only girl ... who didn't go up and study it," she says in this interview. "Instead I went to bed early last night and had a good night's sleep." Did You know? Anne Heggtveit was born on Jan. 11, 1939. Her father, Halvor Heggtveit, a Canadian cross-country champion, encouraged her to ski from a young age. In winning the gold medal, Heggtveit earned the FIS (International Ski Federation) gold medal for slalom. She also won an FIS gold medal for the alpine combined events (she was 12th in the downhill and 12th in giant slalom). She was the first non-European to earn the awards. Heggtveit won her Olympic run by the largest margin ever recorded for a women's Olympic or world slalom competition. She beat silver medallist Betsy Snite of the U.S. by 3.3 seconds. Bronze medal winner Barbi Henneberger of Germany was a full seven seconds off the pace. Heggtveit placed first in the first of two runs and was second in the second run. On Feb. 7, 1959 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Heggtveit became the first North American to earn the Arlberg-Kandahar Trophy, the most prestigious award in alpine skiing, given to the winner of the combined slalom and downhill events. She won the award in the midst of traumatic circumstances. As she writes in a 2002 edition of "Skiing Heritage": "In the morning our fellow Canadian John Semmelink was killed running the men's downhill - right before the women's downhill was about to begin. I heard the news just prior to my run in the slalom. But I managed to take second in the slalom. Together with my previous third place in the downhill that gave me the coveted combined Arlberg Kandahar title." Despite suffering various injuries between 1955 and 1957, she still earned a spot on Canada's team at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. In 1954, 15-year-old Heggtveit became the youngest winner of the Holmenkollen giant slalom event in Norway. The first race Heggtveit won was at the age of seven, taking the women's senior slalom and combined events at Wakefield, Que. in Jan. 1947. Heggtveit is a member of the Order of Canada. She was awarded the Lou March Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year in 1960. She was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame that same year. She made the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of the first inductees into Canada's Ski Hall of Fame in 1982. A ski run at the Camp Fortune Ski Resort outside of Ottawa is named in her honour. Though the broadcast date for this report was Dec. 31, 1960, Heggtveit actually won her event on Feb. 26, 1960.
  17. Here are a couple Camp Fortune pictures from 1960 that I found on the Library and Archives Canada site. Not to much has changed.
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