Jump to content

Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Opening weekend October 27, 2018


Ocean

Recommended Posts

Sommet Saint-Sauveur surprised with an early opening Friday, but it wasn't until Saturday evening that I was able to head up, and it seems as though I picked the perfect time! As I started walking to the car with all my gear, heavy and wet flurries were falling from the sky. So much so that I had to turn back to rescue my balcony herbs from certain death! I got on the road just after 6:30 and was cruising along steadily in the storm when I realized how slick the roads were as there were no salt trucks up and running. It ended up being a rather slow drive, and I pulled into the parking lot just after 7:30 for the first night ski of the season. I picked up my Passe Parfait, and headed to l'Etoile for a ride in the falling snow -- it was really coming down!

The snowmaking of the previous week has made a nice solid base, and the amount of snow coming down kept a fresh layer of powder on the 70 Ouest, the only run currently open. I thought for sure my skis would stick to the heavy, wet, snow but it was just cold enough that conditions were slick. The coverage was pretty consistent with a few icy spots just under the surface, and I was thrilled to arrive at the bottom pitch to see the moguls that had already formed from just a day of skiing! 

On my last run, I took my time and the snow started to taper off. As I arrived at the bottom, I kept going, and going...suddenly realizing I'd almost made it to the parking lot. And that the the snow was just thinly covering the concrete on the path beneath with my skis just grazing it.

It was a short and sweet night, but a good one - the first powder of the year! I headed home for a delicious apres-ski of homemade mac n cheese & jerk chicken, and to get ready to do it all again on Sunday!Sno.thumb.jpg.944b628d3dfec7e7c2b62f78ecc5a29b.jpg  

Lift.jpg

Riding up l'Etoile, just look at that powder!

Lift2.jpg

Second ride up l'Etoile, you can see the thin coverage on  bottom. I don't think they've been making snow on this one, it looks like natural coverage but is coming along nicely tonight.

Lift3.jpg

Nordique near the top.

slope.jpg

The Snoprk already has two features set up, a box and a pipe. 

Jump.jpg

I caught this guy as he went over the box.

Sno.jpg

Look at those moguls and that snow coming down!!

lodge.jpg

Last run of the evening, and the snow is tapering off.

slope2.jpg

Looking back up the 70 Ouest from the bottom!

parking.jpg

I glided towards the parking lot until things got scrapey! 

It was a quick night but the perfect first night skiing of the season!

slope2.jpgSno.jpglodge.jpg

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Ocean said:

Sno.jpg

Look at those moguls and that snow coming down!!

This photo just makes me flip out! How much snow is there on the trail??? It's just insane.

What an amazing night out on the slopes you must have had. Clearly you couldn't ask for more, and on October 27th to boot. Wow!

Sommet Saint-Sauveur really comes alive with the night skiing and the ambiance. The view and village at night make it a very special place indeed.

Surprising how much snow there already is, and it seems like the natural stuff coming down really covered everything nicely.

A great start the ski season, can't wait to see what comes next! If the weather holds it will be epic.

Link to comment

You've got a great jump on the new season. 2 October outings. My season won't start until at least mid November. It pretty much rained all weekend out in the lower elevations of the Townships, and you had a nice little dump of snow to ski in. Great report and the photos are sweet. Looks like a mid winter storm and the conditions to go with it.  Can't wait to get out on the slopes myself. I may switch it up this year and start the season elsewhere. It had been St. Sauveur for the past 3. 

Link to comment

@Shane right?? It's deceiving though. The base is actually not thick yes and you can see it along the edges, and among the moguls there are some spots where the tall grass is visibly sticking out. No rocks though (Killington had a lot of small rocks, but had mostly marked spots with thin coverage). I hadn't really taken a look at the base on my first ride up and was totally stunned and delighted to see these moguls though! Overall conditions were better than Killington's second day, but that is probably having to do more with the temperature and also the fact they actually got 4cm of snow! And, it wasn't even too cold, I just wore my light jacket. I probably skied for less than an hour but it was all I was ready for anyways.

@Paul yeah I'm stoked! I guess the next opening for me will probably be Bromont since I got the option Nord-Est on my Passe Parfait (pay an extra $50 and get access to Bromont daily after 4pm!). 

After marathoning through The Glitch last night, and going to bed late, I woke up a bit too late to make it up in good time today, but I figure conditions will be icier anyways because the snow was so wet last night. They do not expect to be open during the week, unfortunately, as the temperature is apparently rising.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Ocean
      Finally, 2021 has arrived! After having spent NYE enjoying a three course fondue and celebratory drinks, I spent most of the day relaxing at home with plans to catch the last few runs of the day. We enjoyed a late afternoon brunch (or perhaps it was more of a "linner") of mimosas, eggs benedict, bacon, fresh fruit and yogurt to get the evening started out right, and then I got ready to head to the mountain.
      I knew I'd only have time for a few short runs, which was fine by me after having spent December intentionally staying home as much as possible. I planned to ease gently into the new year, and drove in through Piedmont, passing by all the lifts from Avila to the Sommet Express to scope out the crowds. The lines seemed steady, but not at all busy. The Sommet Express had the longest line of all, and there were only about ten chairs worth of people leading up to the gate, if that.
      After getting ready in the car, I arrived in the practically empty lift line, to be greeted by the SQ! It seems that either an inspection was going on, or that the SQ presence is there to support the measures of masking, distancing, and riding only with your household. It appeared they had taken over the usual snow patrol role of managing the line, although by the time I had arrived it seems like there was not much for them to do. 

      It's still just warm enough to wear the blue medical mask!
      I ended up doing only two runs: one farewell to 2020, and one welcome to 2021. Conditions were absolutely perfect - no ice, and the snowpack was almost of the cold weather creaky variety. I almost made it for a third run but took my time coming down and just missed the cut. That was ok though - this was just a warmup for the 2021 skison.
      During the last two runs of the day, I had the mountain mostly to myself! Riding the Sommet Express overlooking 70 Est.
      I arrived home to a surprise après-ski snack: my partner had found a place that delivered Montreal steamies, so that I could properly celebrate the first après-ski of the year!
      Arrived home to this delicious steamie from Restaurant Burger Bros alongside Distillerie de Montréal Rosement l'Après Ski rum and coke!
      The snow began falling just as I arrived home - a great sign to kick off the new year. 
    • By Ocean
      Skison 2020 got its official start on Friday, October 30, 2020 with Sommet Saint-Sauveur's soft launch opening, and while I was not quick enough on the draw to participate, I was all set for Day 2 which delightfully fell on Hallowe'en! As always, Sommet Saint-Sauveur is the first to open in the East, even beating out "longest season in the East" rival Killington this year. As it happens, the state of Vermont has delayed releasing its ski resort opening guidance as covid-19 cases in Vermont have recently seen an uptick, and Killington has tentatively scheduled November 19 for opening. 
      My day started with a hearty brunch from our neighborhood spot Fabergé which gave me lots of time to get ready while waiting for our brunch delivery. I packed up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s, intending to ski on the pair with the best tune and drop the other off at the shop for some fresh wax. 
      I have followed along with interest as other regions announced their operations guidance for mountains and skiers, and one resort asks that skiers and riders participate in keeping our mountain communities safe by self-monitoring for symptoms. As such, this season I'll be checking my vitals with a thermometer and pulse oximeter before leaving home. Covid-19 prevention is a shared responsibility, and is especially critical if you are travelling from a red zone to another zone (which is not recommended, but is not forbidden). I have also packed in my ski bag a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and medical masks, in addition to the required double layer ski mask per the ASSQ directives.

      My pulse is just slightly high because STOKE!!!

      ...and I remain as cool as a cucumber.
      I arrived at the mountain by 3:30pm and while the parking lot was much fuller than I anticipated, I was able to easily find a good spot close to the lift. Before getting ready, my first stop was straight to the ticket counter to be sure that my passcard was activated. Saint-Sauveur has moved their guest services reception outdoors to the right of the main entrance so that guests can avoid going into the lodge unless it is necessary, and they have also added a greeter station at the entrance where you can sanitize your hands before entry, much like they have in the summer during waterpark season. 
      At the time of my arrival, the line for L'Etoile extended from the lift halfway to the edge of the 70 Ouest run. The line was divided into two lines with at least two meters of distance between each line, and skiers and riders were pretty good about keeping two meters of distance from one another - I only had to tell one teenager to back off my skis. The lines merge at a 90 degree angle to the loading area, and was managed by allowing alternating groups of ten or so to move into the loading area. I would estimate that I waited about 15 minutes to get on a chair from the time I entered the line. A friend who arrived earlier in the day mentioned that the line was 30 minutes long just one hour before I arrived, so he spent the time in line stretching and warming up while his buddy hiked up the bottom section multiple times instead of waiting it out.

      Gnarly the Gnarwhal obligatory selfie with the Day 1 sign, even though technically it is Sommet Saint-Sauveur's Day 2.
      Another ski blog, the Ski Octopus, posted a rather fear-mongering commentary about the length of the line and number of people, perhaps without considering that Sommet Saint-Sauveur already has a whole summer of waterpark and mountain bike chairlift line management behind them and closed their season with success and no outbreaks (to the best of their knowledge). As someone whose goal it is to promote skiing in the East regardless of conditions, I would suggest that such reporting and complaining about these conditions is not doing any of us, the resorts, or the ASSQ a favour -- keep in mind it only took a few similar reports to shut down Cervinia in Italy immediately following their first weekend, and it sounds like Cervinia was not prepared for the crowds they received while Sommet Saint-Sauveur implemented a number of strategies for crowd control and flow. Instead, I really want to highlight that Sommet Saint-Sauveur's strategies, while increasing wait times (as can be expected), did a great job of keeping adequate space between people in the lineup and that really such lines are not any different than the lines we see at IKEA and CostCo (standing outdoors two meters apart for a length of time with strangers). In fact, I think the spacing between the two lines was better than I have experienced at my local Home Depot and IKEA. We can absolutely expect long lines during peak hours this season, and the more we approach the whole experience with a positive attitude, the more we will enjoy our season, and focusing on constructive criticism will improve safety for everyone.

      Riding L'Etoile to my first run of the skison!

      At the top of the mountain, skiers and riders were doing a great job of keeping space between one another, and the run was not crowded.
      Conditions for the day are what we early season skiers come to expect: some good, fluffy coverage over patches of ice and granular snow. If you've skied the 70 Ouest enough, you know to stick to the edges to find the best snow. The top section was the best, with the middle being its usual scraped over icefest, and the bottom pitch had much better coverage than I had expected! As you descend the bottom pitch, you now have to veer to the right to get into the line, they have erected a snow fence along the bottom of the run in order to make room for the socially distanced line (for anyone not familiar, you'd normally cut sharp left to get back to the lift).

      Here you can see the fence which helps direct skiers to the right into the line.
      After my first four runs, my snowboarding buddy Ilana finally showed up with a new board in tow. She had used her legendary rock board for a few runs the previous day and finally concluded it was time for a new board appropriate for Eastern conditions. 

      Ilana and her new Libtech!
      We got in a few end of day chairlift rides together, with each of us at one end of the chair as required by the ASSQ regulations which require that skiers/riders living at different addresses must either ride solo or with 2 meters between them. At the end of the day, we took some socially distanced selfies, which allow us to be together while keeping two meters apart.

      End of day selfie with Tigger!

      ...and reverse! You can see the last skiers of the day making their way down. We missed last chair but just moments.
      Unlike other years (due to covid, of course), there is no après-ski on site in 2020, and it appears the MSS staff are doing a good job of sweeping people offsite at the end of the day. Lucky for me, we have a fully loaded bar at home and my partner Scott had dashed out to the dépanneur before my departure to grab two apres-ski Sapporos for my return so I was all set. I stopped on the way home to pick up some of Harbin Dumpling's wonton soup for an après-ski snack, and when I parked my car in the conveniently available parking spot right in front of our building, I was delighted to immediately fall into a roving Hallowe'en dance party - my very own personal après-ski party delivered right to my doorstep! 

      Random neighborhood dj busting it out in the background at his mobile party!

      Meet my fiancé Scott who is literally a bear: here he is sporting his Red Panda look!

      It's almost as if the mobile disco was my own personal après-ski!
      We capped off the night with La Capital Tacos and mango jarritos (Jarritos Mexican pop with tequila and chili flakes rim) and a little Hallowe'en party for two festivities. I could not have asked for a better kickoff to the Skison! 

      Jarritos were enjoyed
       
×
×
  • Create New...