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Mont Chilly - February 22, 2015


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Lots of natural snow, amazing slopes and a consistent fall-line, this is Mont Chilly, located 1 hour and 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa/Gatineau, in the Pontiac region of Quebec.
I had never before visited this mountain, but I came away thoroughly impressed, and eager to return. I set out, knowing I was going to experience something new, but had no idea it would become one of my best ski days in a very long time. I haven't been out right after a good snow storm for a long while, so skiing in prestine natural snow on a new mountain was a great change of pace.
The natural snow, the powder, the glades, the pitches of the trails, everything spoke to me. It is without a doubt, the last best kept secret of the region. From the mountain itself, to the lodge and family that operates it, to the people that come to ski and visit and know everyone by name, it is a venerable time capsule of skiing at its best and truest.
Let’s start from the beginning. I arrived at the mountain in time for the 10am opening. The mountain only operates on weekends, except for certain weekdays during the holidays. After a good snow storm on Saturday, I knew the slopes would be in great shape. In the parking lot, I was greeted by the friendly dogs of the mountain, making sure everyone arriving had a smile on their face. Heading into the cozy lodge, I strapped on my boots and head out ready to the mountain’s homemade T-Bar, built in the mid-60s. Very shortly after, the lift’s engine sputtered to life and the ride up the approximately 450 feet of vertical began. You quickly notice that the mountain has a constant slope to it, there is no flat run outs anywhere.
Arriving at the top, I am faced with 4 trails to choose from, ranging from beginner to a truly intimidating double diamond expert trail.
The beginner trail, also known as #1, is a groomed slope that has several rolls and turns and winds its way down the mountain.

The intermediate trail, #2, is a gladed trail, offering several ways to go down, and proving to be one of my favorites.

The advanced trail, #3 offers a constant pitch with a few turns and nice drops. To the side is #3A, a gladed version of the main trail, with several great drops and tree lines to enjoy.

The expert trail, #4…. Well I didn’t venture there, as the lower half, visible from the base wasn’t something I wanted to experience this visit. It offers quite the drop and challenge, definitely a true black double diamond. I did see several people eagerly head down.

I could not find any ice or hard spots on the trails, no doubt thanks to the mountain being covered only by natural snow. I found myself doing ‘first tracks’ for much of the morning. There may only be 4 numbered trails, but the amount of alternative routes to take, and size of the trails themselves gives you many options, to enjoy and discover.
The lodge at the base offers a snack bar, offering the standard ski lunches of hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. The large windows give you a good view of the slopes beyond as you rest up.
You would be forgiven if you found yourself thinking you were at Sutton or Mont-Sainte-Anne when at the summit. The trails and the snow quality are definitely what make Mont Chilly unique in this region of Quebec. It is mainly frequented by locals and loyal fans, so there are no crowds, and no lines at the lift. At $20 for a lift ticket, you’d be hard pressed to find this kind of experience elsewhere at such a value.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and as is always the case, ski days are never long enough. I leave Mont Chilly, eager to return again, and continue my discovery of this hidden secret.

Learn more about Mont Chilly by visiting their site by clicking here : www.montchilly.ca


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    • By Gordo
      For some crazy reason we decided to pack three adults into a Nissan Micra with all our ski gear and a BBQ then drive through a snow storm to Mont Chilly in the Pontiac.
      Taking the Ontario side we crossed the Ottawa River at the Chenaux generating station.  We arrived at Mont Chilly around 10:30 and they were just firing up the T-bar which is powered by an old tractor engine.  Snow would fall on and off all day resulting in a little over 10cms of new snow.
      Mont Chilly does not make any snow so all the runs have a natural base.  Conditions were good with about 5-10cms of fresh snow over a firm but deep base.  All the trails were open including #5 which is a steep wide glade west of the double black bump run of #4.  The black glade off #3 was setup with a snow cross/slalom course made of old ski poles.
      As always the skiing was great. At around 1 we BBQ up some sausage in the parking lot even though the wind was picking up.  Around 2 the snow stopped for a bit and it warmed up above zero.  You can get in a lot of runs at Mont Chilly as the T-bar is fast and the vertical is just over 400ft.  The terrain is diverse for its small foot print and there are lots of natural features to pop off. Since many of the trails connect or link every run can be a little different.  Lift ticket are $25, cash only.  Ski like its 1967 again!  
      I heard that the hill will be open this Tuesday-Wednesday (March 12-13th), next weekend (March 16th-17th) and next Monday (March 18th).  Always call ahead though or check their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MontChilly/

      Old school homemade T-bar action

      At the top

      The top of #5

      Looking down through the hardwoods of #5

      Bump time #4

      The land of lost poles.

    • By Gordo
      The plan was Mont Chilly. This time we drove on the Ontario side most of the way crossing some dams on the Ottawa river to link back to the 148 in the Pontiac. The trip took just over an hour and half. Mont Chilly is a micro retro resort with a single t-bar. The place is like a mini Mad River Glenn with no snow making, steep fall lines and glades. The day started off grey at about -4 but the sun came out mid day and we got to about 1 or 2c.  Great skiing was had and considering the terrible February I was surprised by how much snow was on the runs.  The surface started off a little firm and crusty in spots but soon warmed up. Some powder could still be found in the #5 glade from the storm on Wednesday-Thursday.  Of note the lift ticket prices went up to $25 this year and remember the place is cash only. They also started a customer appreciation program so after 5 visits the six is free  Rentals are $20.  Everyone should check out Chilly at least once a season! 

      #3 looking down to the lodge. 

      #2 I think

      Retro boot rentals, back loading.

      The steep #4

      Lower section of #4

      #5 and some powder.

      Taking a break. 

      Where's Waldo


      Another run at #4

      Chilly dog.

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