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Sommet Saint Sauveur - November 8, 2019: Day 1


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The long awaited day has finally arrived, exactly five months to the day that we rode L'Etoile for the last runs of the season. Saint-Sauveur had been teasing an opening for days now, and with Killington's Rime and Reason already in full force as of last Sunday, it was a pretty safe bet that Friday would be the day: TGIF, amirite?IMG_2109.thumb.JPG.2fb4eb5ee71bf918389519652006d0a3.JPG

The opening was announced for 2PM, however work was a bit too busy for me to get to the mountain until late afternoon. I was finally able to load up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s and my Ride Crush board around 5pm, run a few quick errands and then hit the (very slow) road to get to Saint-Sauveur, arriving around 7pm. 

Every year at the end of the season I find a home for my GoPasse where I'll be sure to remember it at the start of the next season, so I can reload it online instead of having to go get a new one at customer service. Every year I somehow fail to recall where I stashed it. All of my other passes were in my ski wallet, but not the elusive GoPasse. So on arriving to the mountain, off I went to guest services to procure a new one. I didn't get too far before running into Patrick Corcoran (insta @madpatski), who I had also skied with on closing day, June 8th. He had just finished his turns for the day and we spent some time catching up before another friend turned up who I'd last seen at AKAMP back in July. He too, had just finished for the day but like me, will be back Saturday! After these impromptu catch-ups, I made it to guest services, replaced my GoPasse, and took a moment to browse the Boutique for on-theme gear. Poppin' orange Descente jacket and fuschia Smith Optics goggles, I see you!

Next up was to drive over to the Atelier mise au point and drop my board and the end of season James XX90s for a tune and some much-needed Ptex. The team at the mise au point always does excellent work. Finally, I was ready to get ready to ski! I parked near the l'Etoile lift, spent some time getting ready and selecting tunes for my evening ride, and then headed over to the lift. By now, it was about 8:30, and I was ready to fly. And oh did I fly!

Unlike 2018 where we had wet fluffy flakes falling from the sky opening weekend, nearly everything on the ground this year is from snowmaking. I figured the conditions would be pretty slick with thin coverage, and I was dead on. Having edges in these conditions is essential and some hot wax doesn't hurt either. I flew pretty quickly down my first run of the 70 Ouest, experiencing the benefits of all  the skiing in icy conditions I'd done in the spring.  I toned it down a bit during my next few runs, and then decided to check out Nordique, where they were actively blowing snow. This may not have been the best move, as this snow has a rather unique stick to it, like skiing over duct tape if you haven't recently waxed. The last tune for these skis was late February, however they'd only been skied on a few times after that and were still reasonably slick. The edges were good, but not perfect - I still managed to catch an edge and bail. Oops! I crossed back over to 70 Ouest and moments later, somehow managed to catch the same edge and had to bail again. After that, I figured I shouldn't push my luck and called it a day. Skiing tomorrow on freshly tuned skis will definitely improve the situation considerably. 

I headed back into the city, picked up my partner and we headed to Brasserie Harricana for Day 1 Après-ski. While I usually end up at Helm for après-ski , Harricana and its late night menu make it easy to roll in at 11pm for a delicious dinner:  I got the last of the Triple-aux-cerises alongside their delicious caesar salad, choux de bruxelles and spag sauce maman. Did I mention it was delicious? It's certain we'll be spending a lot of time there this winter!

As I write this it's a snowy Saturday afternoon and I'm just about to start getting ready for Day 2! May this be the next of many good days this season! Here are some pics from the last days of last season and the first day of this season!


Riding l'Etoile exactly five months ago on June 8, 2019: skiing AND waterpark in effect!



The mirage that is AKAMP: so magical it even has a rainbow!


Stoked to run into coach Patrick Corcoran on arrival!


The moon rises over the gun show on Nordique.



Nordique gun show from the base.



On my way to après-ski!



RIP my favourite ski socks ever. I've been looking for a new pair of these for a while now and haven't turned them up anywhere :(

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Wow nice way to begin the season! Great to see Patrick as well, Mr. I'll ski anywhere! Lol. I follow him quite a bit. I'll hold off a bit on heading out and let the glacier get tilled up a bit more. Glad to see you out and about again, and maybe this is the year we may run into each other! Thanks for the opening season's report!

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Sweet report Ocean. Another year, another first to open for Saint-Sauveur. Great to see you made it out on opening day. I've done alot of Day 2s in the past and I think once or twice I did make it up for opening day. Your proximity to the mountain makes me envious, haha.

Looks like Nordique may open soon as well. What is your take on that trail opening?

Any big visible changes this year on the mountain, aside from the new six-pack lift of course. I heard they did improvements in the chalet...

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@Shane tbh I didn't look around too much so if they did more improvements in the chalet I haven't noticed them yet. The guest services/lockers/bathroom area seems the same, as does the bar. 

Nordique still has a rope dropped in front of it but is full of park features so all the park kids are just ducking the line. I think most are coming out through the bottom of 70 Ouest though. Nordique top yesterday was a bit challenging because of my not-so-recently waxed skis and the fresh "snow", from the lift today it looked a little better.

The heated six pack is supposed to open Nov 30, although I wonder if they'll do a soft opening before that or just testing. That being, not sure if the next section to open will be Jay/Red Robin or if they will just hold off on anything other than 70 Est / 70 Ouest / Nordique until then. This week, the mountain is only open til 4pm weekdays so I expect they will focus on building up the base for these runs for at least the next few weeks.

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