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  1. After looking at the long range forecast for New Year's weekend being wet, or supposed to be wet, I took the chance in heading off to Mont Gleason today. Last night was clear with the stars out. This morning I woke up to flurries and about 5 centimetres on the car. I had booked my lift ticket online via the maneige.com site using my Passe Partout discount card last night. The drive wasn't great, however once skis touched down coming off the lift, it was a different story. I arrived at the mountain just before 9am to flurries and temperature of about -7 degrees. 9 of the 20 trails were advertised as open. The Mylene Laroche Quad was open. Conditions were an unexpected surprise. Groomed man made snow, and packed powder with about 5-7 centimetres of what fell overnight was the menu of the day. I didn't run into any ice or scraping anywhere. It was that good! The first run was on the Cascades which is under the Quad. Then it was on to the Gaudreau, a nice easy trail, then the Ling with runs under the double chair. The Cascades, Gaudreau & Ling Trails: It was an unexpected powder day! Well powder day, not like a huge dump of snow, but 5-7 centimetres nonetheless made the conditions great. There wasn't really any lineup for the lift so basically ski down, and ski on the lift after your ticket was scanned by the attendant on hand. The wait got to about 2 minutes at most with the time was there. Just before 10:30 the Laurent Lemaire Quad was loading which made lineups pretty much non-existent. After a couple of laps on the Laurent Lemaire, the Cote a Georges was well covered, and with more of The Cascades, it was time for a break at the summit chalet. The Cote a Georges Trail: Break time Inside the Summit Chalet: I ended the day at 12:30 with a solid dozen or more runs.......I lost count because I was having a great time. For the type of weather we've been having lately, today was a pleasant surprise. I was telling myself, just one more run, as I was not pushing myself but that one more run turned into another, and another............. After discovering Mont Gleason in 2015-16 or so, I always try to make at least one trip here. It's definitely a must visit. Always a great time, and a very good French onion soup at the Summit Chalet, but this time unfortunately I did not have one. Next time for sure. More Scenes From the Day:
  2. With the day off today, I managed to get away to Mont Gleason for the morning. I arrived at the mountain at 8:45 with the temperature of -9 degrees, and no wind. It was supposed to be a partly sunny day, however it ended up being cloudy. Oh, there was about 10 minutes of sunshine that did manage to poke through! I purchased my ticket online last night as this is the only way to reserve your place if you do not have a seasons pass. You get your confirmation via email with a QR code. Upon arrival at the mountain you are required to pick up your lift ticket at an outside ticket window by showing your confirmation QR code. You are also required to show your Vaccine Passport, and one piece of photo ID to complete the pick up. A 3 step process that is very easy to complete. I was on the lift at 9:05. 8 of 20 trails were open, no glades yet as it is still pretty thin in the woods. The conditions were great with groomed machine made snow over a firm base with a light cover of natural snow that fell overnight to throw into the mix. Both Quad lifts were running along with the Learning Area Magic Carpet. What was open today was well covered. The first runs of the morning were down the Cascades Trail, and the Cote a Georges. A good combination to warm up first thing. It was pretty quiet early on, and absolutely no wait at the Mylene Laroche Quad. This is the Dopplemayr Quad that was installed a couple of seasons ago. The other fixed grip lift, the Laurent Lemire Quad was started up about 9:30 or so. It was pretty much ski down and right onto the lift after your lift ticket was scanned. The Cascades Trail: From here it was on to the Gaudreau, a nice long easy trail, and then onto the MRC Arthabaska, a Black Diamond run, and then the Ling another Black Diamond run which runs under the double chair. Coverage on these trails were great along with the other trails as well. The Mountain Ops team has done a great job on the snowmaking to provide excellent conditions, and super coverage. The Top of the Ling: When the new Quad was installed a couple of seasons ago, the old t-bars were removed which created a new run along with a route for uphill skiers to use for their ascents appropriately call the T-Bar rated as an Intermediate trail. This is a nice short run that connects back onto the bottom of the Cascades. There was one ride up the Laurent Lemire Quad. I stuck pretty much to the Mylene Laroche Quad for riding. The T-Bar Trail: The day ended at just after 12:00, and about 12 runs as I had only purchased a 4 hour block ticket. The conditions were great, and no wait in line for either Quad lift. There was only one time where there was a bit of a line up of about only 2-3 minutes max. It was pretty much ski down, and ski onto the lift after a ticket scan. Everyone was well spaced out with plenty of room to ski, and with both Quads running, this helped out a lot. Mont Gleason is one of my "go to" places to ski at least once a season. I missed out last year skiing here, and today reminded me of why this is a "go to" place. The conditions are always excellent here, and never disappoints. Excellent morning, and I hope to be back later in the season once everything is open. Here are a few more scenes from the morning:
  3. Five and a half months after the end of last season, the 2019-20 season began today with a trip to Mont Gleason. A buddy of mine contacted me to see if I was interested in going, and we decided that today worked with our schedules. So road trip it was. It was Gleason's opening weekend, as they had opened yesterday. We arrived at the mountain around 9:15 to cloudy skies, but looking out in the distance you could see blue skies. They did not make it our way, as it looked like we were on the edge of a weather system coming in. The temperature was a mild -3 degrees. Two trails were available the Gaudeau and the Cascades served by the Laurent-Lemire Quad chair. The coverage was really good for early season. Groomed granular over a firm base. The first runs to start the season were down the Gaudreau, a nice easy beginner trail. It made for a good warm up. Then we hit the Cascades, where this year the trail was widened at the top to accommodate the new Quad chair. With this change, the contour of the trail is quite different with a few different interesting lines that one could take now than what was there before. The Gaudreau: The Cascades with the new widened upper section: The Lower Section of the Cascades: By early afternoon the temperature had warmed up a bit and the snow had started to transition into a spring like granular which was nice and soft. The line up at the quad was non existent, however there was still a good crowd for opening weekend. The new Quad is not scheduled to officially open for another couple of weeks, but was spinning, and going through the paces. Another new feature this year are a few parking spots reserved for those with electric vehicles. We stopped for lunch at noon, and we went back out for a few more runs and called it for the day as my early season legs were letting me know it was time for the celebratory beer in the Wiski Pub. Today was a great start to the new season with that being at Gleason rather than St-Sauveur or Mont Orford. It would mark the first time the season started here. An excellent choice it was! Thank you Mont Gleason for the early start. Here are a few more scenes from the day:
  4. Wow what a beautiful day! Today's plan was Mont Gleason. This mountain is located in the town of Warwick about 1 hour from Sherbrooke. I left this morning at 7:30 to be there early enough for decent parking and to beat the rush to get some early runs in. Gleason has 5 lifts in all, 1 fixed grip Quad, 1 double chair, 2 t-bars serving 20 trails, and a Magic Carpet for the learning zone for beginners. I met up with a friend of mine with whom I skied with at Whaleback a month ago. We hit the Quad lift a few minutes before opening at 9:00. This is usually the first lift to open and the double follows soon after usually by 10:30, but today was different. We expected this to be a busy day with the great weather and with the snow we received lately. The double chair opened early in anticipation of a large crowd. The wait at first was short and sweet but by 10:00 it got busy. Even both t-bars were pressed into service by around 10:30 or so. Of the times previous that I had skied here, the t-bars were not in operation. They were even busy and had a fairly decent crowd riding. The wait in line for the Quad at this point was about 10 minutes, so we decided to hit the singles line. That worked out well as we waited no more than 5 minutes. The first trails skied were the MRC Arthabaska, Ling, and Cascades. The coverage was fantastic, groomed packed powder over a nice firm yet forgiving base. All trails were open but the glades had coverage but nothing firm underneath and the chances of hitting something were fairly high so we stayed out. The Cascades Trail: We then moved over to the Double Chair for a few rides and skied a bit on that side of the mountain, where there a two snow parks with modules set up. One upper section and another lower section. The Ling: Middle section and the Upper section. A nice little feature at Gleason is their summit chalet where one can go in an warm up to a nice cozy fire or to have a bite to eat. I have had lunch here a few times in the past and food has been really good. As the day progressed it warmed up nicely to a few degrees above Zero. Warm enough to the point where I removed my head and neck warmer and opened the vents in my helmet. The conditions held up really well and softened up a little, but not to the point where it turns to mashed potatoes that we usually see for spring skiing. It did bump up a bit on some trails but they were nice and soft. We had a marathon day skiing for 6 hours no breaks and finished our day at 3:00. I have to say this was one of the best ski days I have had in a long time. When we departed afterwards, the lines at both chairlifts were still going strong. Normally on Sunday, the lifts close at 4 pm. When we were in the chalet getting ready to leave, there were notices posted that they had extended the day to 4:30. By the looks of the number of people here today, this was probably one of their best days of the year. This was a great decision to come here today. Here are some more scenes from the day:
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