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Ski Vorlage - January 27, 2022


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After last week's snowfall, and having a few days off from work, it was high time to make a return to the slopes. With the variety of trails offered, I made the choice of visiting Ski Vorlage, a mountain I always love visiting.

All of the main trails are open, with the exception of Carnaval, Chien Chaud, La Chute and Headwall.

The conditions at the moment are absolutely fantastic. Perfect snow coverage and a nice soft top layer of nicely groomed snow. We have definitely been fortunate with the natural snow this January, as well as the cold weather. 

While the morning started off being fairly cold, I arrived at 11:30 am and took advantage of the Weekday 4Hr rate of $36 + tax. Vorlage now has RFID gates installed at the chairlifts, so once you have your lift ticket reloadable card, future visits can be paid (or reloaded) from their website and you can then head directly to the lifts to start your day. Of course, I had to show vaccine proof but once that is noted down on your account, you won't need to do so again for future visits. Another nice advantage with the new lift ticket system is that the 4-hour block only starts when you first pass through the gates at the lift, and not at the time of purchase or pick up, meaning you really do get the full 4 hours. Everything went very smoothly. You purchase your lift ticket in advance on Vorlage's website at www.skivorlage.com and with your receipt in one hand, and your vaccine passport and ID in the other, you proceed to the ticket window at the rentals building to pick up your RFID card. Beyond this, all the staff, including the lift attendants, were wearing face masks.

I started skiing at 11:45 am, took a 15-minute lunch break in the car at 2:15 pm, and was quickly back on the slopes to finish off at 3:45 pm, 4 hours after I started. The pandemic has us all stressed but a nice day out on the slopes can do wonders to relax and unwind. It seriously did take my mind away from everything else.

All the trails were in great condition. Standouts during my visit were Snow Dance and North Slope, of which my family and I had hiked twice in the fall. Cote-des-Neiges was also fun and the bottom pitch was left a little more natural, in the form of small bumps from the passage of skiers. 

Birch Valley and Look Out, two classic intermediate trails were great to gain some speed and work on my carving technique. 

I even took some time to ski the beginner area of the mountain, on the three trails offered there, La Pente Douce and Upper and Lower Sun Dance. This collection of trails is really something unique at Vorlage. Many other mountains have their beginner offering right in the main mountain, which can make things more intimidating or challenging. At Vorlage, the beginner trails are in an area all to their own, separate from everything else. La Pente Douce is a smooth and slow-flowing trail with a slight pitch from top to bottom that wraps around as it descends. Once you master this trail, you would head over to Sun Dance, which I would place between the main intermediate trails and La Pente Douce. Sun Dance has two ways to come down, the Upper Sun Dance is steeper to drop into the lower section, while the main Sun Dance wraps around in a smooth trail, offering a nice progression from La Pente Douce. There were several novices on the slopes during my visit and all were having a good time in safety.

Overall, a great visit to Ski Vorlage. Conditions are at their absolute best. With the likely opening of Carnaval and La Chute in the coming days, now is the time to do some skiing. If you feel stressed with the current reality, a few hours on the slopes can do wonders, ease your tension and take you to a calm place, in the mountain and surrounded by nature.

For the latest ski conditions and trail status, visit : https://skivorlage.com/snow-conditions/

Heading up the blue Snow Dance chairlift
North Slope
La Chute (Likely to open very soon).
Carnaval (Also opening very soon).
The summit! Snow Dance.
The bottom final pitch of North Slope
The legendary North Slope T-Bar. It did not appear to have any T-Bars mounted to the cable, so I am unsure of its status. The upper part of Cream Puff had some piles of snow and that area is only accessible via the T-Bar so very likely it will open once that snowmaking is completed.
Heading over to the far end of Vorlage to ride the green Birch Valley chairlift. You can see Look Out on the left.
Top of Look Out and the village of Wakefield in the distance.
Lower half of Look Out.
Top of Birch Valley. The start of Golden Trail is up to the left.
Birch Valley. An excellent constant pitch intermediate trail, perfect for learning and improving your technique.
Golden Trail. Narrow but fun!
Arcade. Passing underneath the Birch Valley chairlift, and former home to the Look Out T-Bar, many years ago.
Heading up La Pente Douce chairlift
This dedicated beginner area is completely separate from the rest of Vorlage, making it an excellent area to learn and practice in safety with a great progression as you advance. You also get a nice view of the main sections of the mountain from the main part of Sun Dance as shown here
La Pente Douce
As I always say, this trail is a standout in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, no other ski area has a trail so ideally suited to learning and beginners as Vorlage does in La Pente Douce.
The panoramic effect distorts the trail slightly but it is very smooth and not intimidating in any way. Very much a slight constant pitch from top to bottom.
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