It is the start of the March Break week in Quebec, and to kick it off a visit to Mont Gleason was in order. I had been in touch a good friend of mine earlier in the week to see if he would be able to join me, and it worked out that he was available. We usually would meet at Gleason once a season to ski however it didn't work out last year. It was great to ski with him today. It was supposed to be a partly sunny day today. When I left Sherbrooke it had cleared out, and the sun was shining. During the hour drive to Gleason it started to cloud over and by the time I got to the mountain it was snowing and the temperature was -12 degrees. Today at Gleason it was free skiing for residents of the MRC of Arthabaska so we were expecting it to be quite busy early. Lifts opened at 9 with the new Dopplemayr Quad first and then the Laurent-Lemire Quad shortly after. All trails, and glades were open. The double chair was loading by a bit after 10:00.
The conditions early were really good. The trails were groomed the night before, and they had a nice blanket of loose powder on top. The first runs were on the Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling, and the Ling that runs under the double chair. Coverage was excellent, and firm underfoot. At first there weren't any line ups at either Quad chair with virtually no waiting. Quite odd being that it was a freebie day for residents of the Arthabaska area.
The Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling, and Ling:
We did a few more runs on the Cascades, and the Cotes a Georges where the coverage there was really good as well. The sun finally made an appearance at around 10:45 - 11:00. There was a bit of a breeze at times but when the sun appeared, I found it pretty comfortable. We alternated between the new Quad, and the Laurent-Lemire Quad in the morning.
The Cascades, and The Cotes a Georges:
By 11:30 it still wasn't as busy as we had expected it to be. The summit chalet was the place to have lunch. A nice French onion soup, and a drink was the meal of choice. After lunch we made the rounds again on the usual trails. It started getting pretty busy by 1:30, and the line up at either Quad was up to 5 minutes or so. Still not bad, but you can tell it was getting busy as the trails were now getting full of people. The addition of the new Quad did make a difference in the sense of wait time. The double chair was running as well, however we didn't take it. By now the conditions were still decent, but you did start to notice some spots that were getting skied off as you can now hear the skis starting to scrape. By 2:30 it was time to pack it in. The decision was made easier by being cut off by a couple of people, and the trails becoming a bit more crowded. The parking lot was full, and people were still coming in as we were on our way out. Gleason does offer night skiing so this would be the afternoon shift arriving on the scene. We had a great day with quite a bit of skiing done. Another pleasant visit to Gleason. I have not been disappointed with any of my visits, and I always look forward to skiing here be it on a solo trip, or with friends. Mont Gleason is a mountain that I do recommend. Until next time Gleason! Merci encore!
Here are a few more scenes from the day: