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Mont Orford - March 31, 2018

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Today's choice of destination was Mont Orford. What a beautiful bluebird sky! I arrived at Orford at 8:15 and the temperature was just below 0 but felt warmer in the bright sun. Spring was definitely in the air today. Parking was pretty decent and the walk was not long to the chalet. Crossing the foot bridge from the parking lot to the chalet, the brook was flowing with a strong current, and the sound of spring welcomed you to the mountain. The Hybride, Giroux North and East Quads, and even the double chair on Alfred Desrochers was in operation. The coverage was still pretty decent with a few typical spring icy patches starting to appear, along with some bare patches on Alfred Desrochers. The start of the day was on groomed granular snow on a firm base but that quickly softened up as the morning progressed. There is still snow in the woods but not all of the glade runs were open. 

The bottom of the Maxi with the Rapido Triple chair:


The first runs were up the Hybride, and down the Trois-Russeaux, Grande Coulee, and the long easy cruiser, the 4km. At this time the snow was mostly groomed granular and the base was still firm, but in places you could tell it was starting to soften up. 

The Trois Ruisseaux:


Grand Coulee:


The middle part of the 4km:


The next sector to ski was Alfred Desrochers. Here there is no snowmaking and the skiing is on natural snow. The coverage here was still pretty good, with one section that needed your attention as it was getting pretty thin on this one pitch. The rest was fantastic! Here it was classic spring skiing at its best. There are multiple brooks running through and they were starting to open up. The sound of the water rushing down the mountain was quite soothing as you rode up the chair. 

The Grande Allee:


The Toussiski:


From here it was on to Giroux North and East. The snow on the Slalom was by now soft and definitely spring like. Coverage on Giroux East was still pretty decent. No bare spots, just the typical spring ice patch. The Sherbrooke was well covered and spring like.

The Slalom: Giroux East


The Sherbrooke: Giroux East


The Magnum: Giroux North


The day was excellent. The wait at the Hybride by late morning was not more than 5 minutes. There was pretty much no waiting in the singles line at Giroux North, with no wait on Giroux East. There was zero wait at the Alfred Desrochers double. I skied from opening at 8:30 until 12:30 taking my time and enjoying the scenery along with the terrific spring skiing. I finished the day skiing Alfred Desrochers for the last hour. The ride is a bit long but actually relaxing with the sounds of spring rushing down the mountain below the lift. The sound of a rushing brook while riding up was quite soothing. I find that this area of the mountain is one of my favorites and I find myself often heading over to this section to get away from the crowds. By the time I left the temperature was +6 degrees with a light breeze that felt nice riding up the lift. An Easter Saturday morning well spent. 

Here are a few other scenes from the morning:

An open brook in the Alfred Desrochers sector:




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Amazing report Paul. The snow seems to be holding on quite well at Orford, and especially the Alfred Desrochers sector. I agree the sound of the rushing water is synonymous with spring skiing, very soothing but a sad reminder that the ski season is quickly coming to an end.

The Trois Ruisseaux trail is definitely stunning. That's one trail that really impressed during my visit in January, especially near the beginning as you pass under the Rapido and Hybride, it has this funneling feel as you descend. Very impressive. 

Any news when Orford will be closing?

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Not 100% on when the closing date is yet, haven't checked yet to be honest. The forecast for mid week is not promising with all the rain they are predicting. Hopefully it holds up one more weekend. With a good wash of rain Alfred Desrochers would be finished for sure.

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