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Mont Orford - January 3, 2018


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After the Siberian like deep freeze we just experienced this past week and a bit, and with the announced temperature of -10 or so today, a trip to Mont Orford was the selected destination............. like everyone else had the same idea! I arrived at the mountain at 8:20 in hopes of finding a decent parking spot. There were cars from both directions rolling in and it wasn't about to slow down anytime soon. I did manage to find decent parking before the mad rush. Temperature on arrival was -11. A lot more bearable than the -20 or so with the last outing.

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30/44 trails were open along with 8/17 glade trails were open along with the Hybride six seater/gondola combo lift and the Giroux North Quad. The Alfred-Desrochers double chair and sector was not open. The first runs were up the Hybride to ski the 4km trail and then the Grande Coulée. There was a nice little surprise of 10-15 centimeters of snow that fell during the night before. The trails were groomed but this nice light fluffy carpet covered the corduroy left behind from the snow cats. So basically this turned into a bit of a powder day! With the amount of skiers ahead of me, the Grande Coulée was "bumped" up a bit but with the snow being so fluffy, those bumps were not hard whatsoever. You could ski right through them and you were whisking up the powder behind you. 

The 4km Trail, mid & lower sections:

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The Grande Coulée:

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Then it was on to the Giroux North Quad for a few runs there.The conditions there were the same with the nice fluffy powder on the trails there. The Magnum was closed due to snowmaking, but the other trails were open. Giroux East was closed while snowmaking there was taking place to get that sector open. By this time, 10:30, the line up for the Giroux North Quad was approaching a good 10 minutes, and the traffic was well directed. Single skiers and doubles were being paired up to fill every chair going up.

View of the Giroux North Quad from the Hybride:

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Some of the trails on Giroux North - The Pente Douce:

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The Famillale:

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The Top of the Giroux North Quad/ Magog Trail:

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The last run up the Hybride at 11:00 to take one last run on the 4km trail, the wait in line was now edging to 25 minutes. The wait for the gondola cabins was a little longer as there are 3 or 4 chairs in between each cabin. I am in the middle of the pack here in this photo. There were a ton of skiers behind me.

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I stopped at 12:30 after only 6 runs. The wait times in line ate up a good part of the morning. Even though there were only 6 runs, I covered a fair bit of terrain as one run down Giroux North consisted of skiing on multiple different trails along the way. It started to get a touch icy some high traffic areas but overall the conditions were excellent. There will be another visit or two this season to be had at Mont Orford. 

Here are a few more scenes from the morning:

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In all the times I have been to Orford, today was the busiest of all. They didn't have Giroux East or Alfred-Desrochers open so there was no spread out of the crowd like there usually is. Even during lunch hour it was packed. Normally it would let up a bit, but not today.

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