This Saturday was the fourth in the series of eight Nuit Blanches at Bromont, where you can ski from 8AM til 2AM. We were also graced with a forecast for a reasonable storm that would bring 15 to 20 cm to the townships. The storm was to begin at 5pm, leaving plenty of time during the day to relax and prepare for some serious night skiing in prime conditions. I didn't rush and planned to go after 9pm, giving the snow some time to accumulate on the granular and icy base (which was still recovering from last week's ice storm). After spending the afternoon lounging around the house and getting a few neglected chores completed, I got ready to go, and packed myself a Creemore and deli sandwich snack since there are very few snacking options in Bromont after 2AM and I have reached my quota for tolerance of Tim Horton's already this season.
I headed out about 9:30, and snow had already accumulated on the car so I took some time to clear off the snow and remaining ice from the previous storm before heading out. Of course, I immediately got stuck behind a plow before even leaving the city....and then another one. Once I hit the 10, it was a comfortable place all the way to Bromont with no visible accidents thankfully, despite the blowing snow and low visibility. I rolled into P5 around 11:30pm and started getting ready to go. My snowboarding companion Ilana had already arrived a short time before me. I was ready to hit the Lac du Lac chair just before midnight.
I started out with a few easy runs on the Versant du Lac side - I'd skied seven out of the previous eight days and took some time to warm up properly before heading down the Versant du Village side where I met up with Ilana at the base. We got in about ten nonstop runs down Brome, Bromont, Knowlton, Cowansville, Coupe du Monde, and Bedford, and while we mainly caught the chair for efficiency, we also took advantage of the gondola for a couple of rides where there was no line.
Conditions were excellent all around - there was not a single icy run to be found, although Coupe du Monde still had a few questionable spots in the middle of the steepest pitch, and the wind was blowing snow around at the peak, making the point of departure a bit slick. The snow was accumulating quickly and each run had a new layer on top each time. Surprisingly, Nuit Blanche wasn't as busy on a powder day as we would have expected - it was steady, but not busy, and we rarely had to wait in line. For that reason, there was plenty of untouched terrain to plow through if you stick to the edges and little side trails.
In total, I managed to get in about ten nonstop runs in two hours. It was truly wonderful to surf the freshly accumulated powder with cold but reasonable temperature and no overcrowding. For our final run we took an easy run from Toronto to Halifax to Pittsburgh on the Versant du Lac side. We got back to the car, split the Creemore and I put my sandwich artist skills to work for a delicious ham and cheese on ciabatta snack. The drive back to Montreal was a bit more forgiving, and my partner had prepared a late-late-night snack of lamb tacos with tamarindo tequila jarritos.
It was a bit cold on the lift and far too wet to take my phone out too often, so here are some quick snaps of the night - one of the best evenings of the season so far!
Riding up the chondola about 2/3 of the way to the top! Just look at that beautiful accumulation and it's still coming down hard!
Riding the chondola chair with Ilana, the stoke level is high!
Bromont has just announced their Altitude investment project, with a video highlighting the new summit lodge, as well as the new lift that will be installed to replace the #4 lift on Versant du Village. After earlier discussions that the lift would be a six-passenger chairlift, it is now announced that it will be a 6-passenger chairlift / 8-passenger gondola Hybrid lift. In total, more than $25 million in improvements.
More water slides and zip lines are also shown in the promotional video. Also mentioned are improvements to the main chalet on Versant du Village and to the one on Versant du Lac.
The new waterslide will open in June this year. The new lift will be built by Doppelmayr and open in time for the next ski season 2018-19. The summit chalet will start construction this fall to open the following ski season 2019-20.
Here is the official press release on the announcement.