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  1. School Break in Quebec is now upon us. Abby, Lukas, and I headed off to Mont Orford for a special day of skiing today to start off the week. Certainly a change of scenery from Mont Bellevue these past few weekends. We arrived at the mountain just before 8am to sunny skies. This trip would be Abby & Lukas' second visit at Orford to ski. Once we got dressed, and got their RFID cards it was go time. The Hybrid, Giroux North & East along with the Alfred Desrochers Quad were in operation. The Rapido Triple was not. There was a line up before opening to get first tracks at the Hybrid, which thinned out by the time we were ready to go. The first runs were for the Magic Carpet for Abby & Lukas with a warm up, then over to the Hybrid on the 4km, an Easy trail as the kids are beginners. We had one ride on the chair, and one ride with the Gondola car. The conditions were excellent. Packed machine groomed powder on a firm base. We have had some snow these past few evenings which has helped out. After the 2 runs on the 4km, Abby was ready for a break. They're not used to skiing at such a large mountain yet like Orford. They have been "cutting their teeth" at a much smaller Bellevue. The 4km: After break Abby wanted to stick with the Magic Carpet to practice her turns, so Lukas and I headed of to the Giroux North Quad for a few runs on the Familiale, and the Pente Douce. Conditions were very consistent where ever we went. The line up at the Giroux got to maybe 5 - 7 minutes, but moved smoothly. We met Abby at the fire pit outside to see how she was doing. The Top of the Familiale & the Pente Douce: After check up, she wanted to hang out by the fire pit so Lukas & I headed over to the Alfred Desrochers Quad for a quick ride up and ski the Toussiski. When we were heading over Lukas asked why the station of the lift looked like a barn. I explained to him the was the design that Dopplemayr uses to fit all the components of what makes the lift run like the motor and the hydraulics. There wasn't a line up an access was quick. Up the Alfred Desrochers Quad & Lukas on the Toussiski: We called it at 12:30 to head on home. Overall we had a great day, and great initiation for the kids to Orford. Conditions were great all around where ever we skied. It made for an easy day for me skiing with them, but still the legs felt it by the time we were done. Until next time. A Few More Scenes of the Day: Skiing Above the Clouds:
  2. The 2022-23 season has finally begun. I arrived just before 8:30, and the temperature was already just above 0 degrees with a mostly cloudy sky. Four trails were available today, along the Giroux North quad, and the Magic Carpet. The Familliale, Magog, Jean d'Avignon, Mitaine were the choice of runs. Mother Nature hasn't been great to us to start off the season, but that will probably change for tomorrow. It's supposed to snow....finally. What we skied today was mostly machine made snow. The mountain ops team has done a great job to get what was open! Coverage was really good for the start of the season. The first run of the year was down the Famillale, a nice easy Green run. Coverage was great, and no ice or obstacles to avoid. At the top of Giroux it was a touch foggy, but not socked in. The fog had burned off by 9:30, however the main mountain was still quite foggy. There was a small wait for the quad to open, and then from there it was practically ski down, and on to the lift. Looking Down the Famillale: It was then on to the Magog, an Intermediate trail. Coverage was great as well. There were no early season "golf balls" that you'd normally see. Grooming all round was really well done. Third run was the Jean d'Avignon another Intermediate trail, and again nothing to worry about for early season obstacles. The Magog Looking Down the Trail: (The Trail Does Hang a Right Just Before the Bare Section) The Jean d'Avignon: Something new at Orford. The mountain has introduced an RFID system at all lifts. All daily lift tickets, and seasons passes are all on the system this year. "Paper" tickets are a thing of past. It worked well. I didn't have to get my RFID card reactivated! After a small break at about 10, I managed 4 more runs, 9 in total for the first day not pushing it. I had a really great first day. I left at noon, and the sun was completely out. The mountain ops team did a really great job with what weather we'd been having lately for the start of the season. It's just the beginning! Some More Scenes From the Day:
  3. For what would most likely be my last day of the 2021-22 ski season, I felt that it was appropriate to end it at my home mountain. With the forecast for the next few days of rain and warm temperatures, it was time to take advantage and not wait. I arrived at the mountain early at 8 under a beautiful blue sky and temps already above 0. First ride was up the Alfred Desrochers Quad for a warm up lap on the Toussiski and then over to the bottom of the Super under the Hybride Chair. The coverage was still pretty good since it has been warm and sunny Monday and Tuesday. In the shade the snow was still a bit firm, but once out in the sun it was soft. The brooks were running which made for a nice soothing ride on the chair. The Toussiski, and a view looking up the Maxi and Mont Orford. I caught up with my ski buddy Christian for a run up the Hybride for the 4KM trail. Again coverage was pretty good and was also groomed. Not all trails were groomed so we stayed on those trails. The snow was softening up quite a bit by the first couple of runs. We headed over to Giroux North for a few runs and again coverage was nice. Today was truly a spring skiing day as the snow was like skiing nice soft mashed potatoes. Line ups at the three lifts was non existent. Ski down and basically ski right onto the lift. The 4KM looking out towards Giroux, and a view of Giroux North trails. From here one last ride up the Alfred Desrochers Quad for the Grande Allee to finish off the day. It started getting slushy in places near the bottom of the mountain. I skied until noon with a nice cool down break before leaving at 12:30. It was a super day of skiing with a great ski buddy, and I don't think I can get a better day to end it for the season. All of the visits to Orford this year were just fantastic and the work this year by the grooming crew was great each time I skied here. Good chances are that I will be renewing my pass for 2022-23. Until next season Orford. Here are a few more scenes of the day:
  4. With the long range forecast anouncing warm, and wet weather for the next few days I made it out to Orford today before it gets messy. I arrived at the mountain for 8:15 and the parking lot was filling up fast. The temperature was mild already at just about freezing under partly cloudy skies. Booted up at the car, headed off to the Hybride for first runs until I saw a crowd already waiting. I turned my attention to the Alfred Desrochers Quad and headed that way. I made third chair up for first runs! I ended up making 3 laps here. The conditions were sweet with groomed loose granular over a firm base that was softening up quickly. Warm up run on the Toussiski over to the bottom of the Super then back up the new Quad for the Grande Allee. The Toussiski and Grande Allee: From here it was over to the Giroux North Quad for a run down the Magnum. I then headed over to the Giroux East Quad via the Passe Montagne trail which I have never skied before in all the years skiing at Orford! It's a nice easy way over to Giroux East. Coverage was great but by this time, around 10 it started to get soft kind of like mashed potatoes, spring skiing was in the air. The sun was poking in and out warming things up a bit. The Magnum, the Passe Montagne, and a view up the Sherbrooke Trail: The finish to the morning was a few more runs up the Giroux North Quad, on the Familiale, Magog, and the Pente Douce. A dozen runs made for a great morning of skiing. I skied a bit more aggressively today than usual being that the conditions were nice and soft. The skis were carving nicely into the spring snow. The line ups earlier on were pretty much non-existent. The Hybride was busy around 10:30 or so, and the Giroux North Quad was about 5 minutes. The singles line was a good choice. No waiting at the Giroux East Quad. Another great morning of skiing at Orford, and hoping for maybe one more before the end of the season...........weather permitting. Here are a few more scenes from the day: Here's a little leftover from years gone by. An old t-bar lift line that ends at the junction of the bottom pitch of the Magnum and the Passe Montagne:
  5. Today with the day off I got out to Mont Orford for visit number 2 of the season. I arrived at the mountain at 8:15 and the parking lot P2 was filling up quickly! On a Wednesday! I still managed to get a decent spot so the walk wasn't too bad. It was a fresh -14 degrees under a cloudy sky. While I was booting up at the car, you could hear the wind blowing around the mountain. The wind wasn't bad at the base. The Hybride, The Giroux North & East Quads, and the Alfred Desrochers Quad were in operation today. Normally I would have taken the first run up the Hybride to warm up, but this time I did something different. I rode the new Alfred Desrochers Quad for first run. The ride is quite nice on this new lift compared to the old Double Chair. The first run was down the Tousisski. The wind was blowing a bit up near the top of the ride. The conditions were of groomed packed powder over a firm base. Coverage was really nice. From there I crossed over to the Hybride for the one and only ride to the top. The Tousisski: The ride up the Hybride was slower than usual as there was a strong wind in some places on the way up. With the wind it made for a cold ride but being dressed appropriately, it wasn't too much of an issue. Once at the top, I skied the 4km for my one and only trip to the summit. Here the trail was well covered with more groomed packed powder over a nice firm base. Once I arrived at the bottom, I took a short break to warm up, and to adjust a few things. The cold doesn't normally bother me, but today with the wind it was. I don't think the humidity helped out the situation. Middle part of the 4km Trail: After break it was back out for more, so I headed up the Giroux North Quad to the top and skied the Familiale, and then over to the Slalom for a ride up the Giroux East Quad, Again the summit of Giroux was breezy, but once you skied off the summit, and down the trails, it wasn't as bad. The Familiale, and the Slalom were well covered with more groomed packed powder. At this point the sun decided to make a short appearance, through the cloud cover. I spent quite a bit of time on Giroux North & East, more than I usually do. Then it was time for another break. The Familiale in the 1st pic and the Slalom in the second: After the second warmup break, it was back up he Giroux North to combo the Familiale, the bottom of the 4km, and the underneath the Hybride to ride the Alfred Desrochers Quad for the last leg of the day. This has always been by favourite sector of Orford as it was not always busy, and it was on all natural snow. Now the Alfred Desrochers sector not only has a new lift, it now has snowmaking! I missed out on this sector last season, and with the improvements, it was a pleasant surprise. Here I finished up the morning on the Grande Allee, The Ookpic, and the Tousisski. The last time I skied the Ookpic, it was a few years ago, and it was an ungroomed natural snow bumpy run. Now there is snowmaking, and grooming which makes the trail smooth. The coverage in this sector was really good, and consistent with everything else I skied today. The Grande Allee & the Ookpic: I finished skiing for the day at 12:30 after about a dozen runs. The skiing was really good today, and it felt good to be out. Wait times at any of the lifts were minimal. All the lifties, and the outside attendants were all really friendly, and kept everything moving efficiently as always. Another great morning of skiing was had, and hopefully a few more at Orford before the end of the season. Here are a few more scenes of the day:
  6. The start of my 2021-22 season began today at Mont Orford. I arrived at the mountain at 8:15 to a cloudy sky with some lingering flurries, and the temperature was -8 degrees. The P2 parking lot was quite busy at this time as cars were arriving all at the same time to get the first runs of the day. It had snowed a bit the night before, at least an inch of new snow was on the ground. The Familiale, Magog, Jean-d'Avignon, l'Acces, along with la Mitaine (the Pente Ecole) were opened. The Giroux North Quad was open along with the double Magic Carpet for the Pente Ecole. A total of 5 trails in all. The mountain ops crew has worked really hard to get what was opened considering what we have experienced in the Townships this early season so far. Great job! The line up at the beginning of the day was non-existent. The ride up the chair was nice, not windy at all, however at the top it was blustery. The first run was on the Familiale to warm up. The conditions were really nice. The trail had been groomed with a nice covering of packed powder over a firm base. Very nice for the start of the season. As you skied down from the top, there was no wind like there was at the top. Made for some very nice skiing. I managed to catch up with my ski buddy Christian shortly after for some runs. The Familiale Trail Next run was down the Jean d'Avignon, an Intermediate trail. I figured that I would get this one done quickly before burning the legs out. The conditions here were really nice with some packed powder over a firm base. The trail was opened from top to bottom. This worked the early season legs really well! The Magog was the next to ski, and again the conditions were really nice. Later on during the morning as it was slowly warming up, I noticed a bit of freezing rain was covering my goggles. More like a mist. This did not affect the ski conditions whatsoever. The upper pitch of the Jean d'Avignon Lower section of the Jean d'Avignon The upper section of the Magog After a short break, I was back at it for a few more runs. At this point my legs were screaming to stop so one last run down was made. In all total of 8 runs were done taking my time as I went, being that it was the first day out. The line up at anytime was not long at all, maybe 3 minutes tops as the line was moving well. The lift team was directing traffic very efficiently keeping everyone moving along. By noon I was done. Overall it was a really nice first day out, the conditions were really good. I actually skied longer than I had expected! I thought it would have been a quick end as it has been since last January that I had been on skis. It really felt good to be out today. It helped that it did snow a bit overnight to add to the great work by the Mountain Ops team making snow, and grooming. This is just the start. Next time out, maybe the Hybride, or the new Alfred Desrochers Quad will be ready. We still need some snow of the natural kind along with what is being made. Thank you once again Mont Orford for an excellent start to the season! Here are some additional scenes from the day: An update photo of the new Alfred Desrochers Quad. This is going to be a sweet ride!
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