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Mont Saint Sauveur - December 6, 2014


Jake

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Today was a great day to ski at Mont Saint Sauveur. For the first time, it honestly felt like winter and not like fall, in terms of the weather, snow, and amount of terrain open.  I skied from about 9:15 until 1:00, basically non-stop, and managed to do around 25 runs, which is not bad for early December.  After seeing freezing rain in town this morning, I was a bit worried, but these worries proved to be unfounded. By the time I arrived, there was no such precipitation, and some very light flurries. It remained completely overcast for the whole time, but the temperature was more than comfortable, ranging from -3 upon my arrival to -1 when I left.  It was great to ski and not have to worry at all about being cold!

In terms of snow, I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a hard base with a fair amount of ice, but was happy to find out during my first run that there was very little ice, and that my skis were able to sink nicely into the snow.  The mountain has received about 15 cm of fresh snow over the past few days, so that definitely helped soften things up. Given the time of year, however, there were obviously some sections of trails that had very granular snow, particularly on the ones that just opened or received  a top-up of artificial snow. Still, I can happily say that even upon my departure in early afternoon, the ice was limited to small patches on the steepest pitches, such as the bottom of the Nordique and Cote 70.  Overall, I was quite pleased to experience these conditions, especially thinking back to many early-season days when the trails in their entirety were very icy an hour after opening.

Regarding available terrain, skiers and snowboarders today were treated a newly expanded offering, now a total of 11 runs. These runs included the usual early-season suspects: Cote 70 Est and Ouest, Nordique, and the Red Bird, along with other favourites, including the Devaleuse, Cote 68, and Jay. The Silver Park was also available for park enthusiasts, along with the Petit Viking magic carpet area for beginners. Today was the Fleche D'Argent area's first day of operation, and the trail offerings were the Devaleuse and Cote 68. These runs tended to have more granular snow, but they were much quieter than the main area of the hill, allowing for effortless carving and no lift line. In the Atomic Express sector, the Jay was newly available.

There were a fair amount of skiers and snowboarders today, including many, many groups, including ski racing teams, mogul teams, ski-instructor training courses, and patrol groups. Upon my arrival around 9:00, the parking lot to the right of the entrance road, along with the area in front of the main building, were both completely full, which I was quite surprised to see. Thankfully, with all 3 accessible chairlifts open, there was no wait, except for 2 to 3 minutes at the Atomic Express.

Overall, I was very pleased with my ski day, as it far surpassed my expectations, particularly in terms of snow conditions. Mont Saint Sauveur is definitely in winter mode now, and will definitely be opening more terrain soon, particularly in the central area of the mountain. Snowmaking appears to be starting in the Cote 71 area, and Mont Avila is slated to open Friday, most likely with the Express, Jack Rabbit, and possibly more. Don't wait any longer, winter is definitely here!

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Nordique

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Even some moguls were available 

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Nordique: The lake is frozen over, and the village is white - Winter is here!

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Snowmaking is progressing well in the central area, such as here, on the Stadium 

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Jay: lots of groups present today 

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Red Bird

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Devaleuse: Large amounts of snow are ready to be spread for when Mont Avila opens.

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Cote 68, available for the first time this season! 


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Jay, newly opened

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Cote 70 Ouest, the classic: where skiing begins and ends in Quebec  

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Cote 70 Est

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A bit of corn snow, but not in significant enough quantities to worry.

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