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The Quad - Introduce yourself on SlopeEdge


Shane

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Everyone has a story of their love for the outdoors, skiing or mountain life.

 

Here's mine...

I came into this world, a 5-year-old, skiing the hills and bumps of Camp Fortune, in Gatineau, Quebec. (I did have a life before age 5, but that part of my memory is always in a blizzard :D). Metal head I was called back in the day, thanks to my bright red helmet, that donned my head on each visit.

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Learning the basics with my mother (a.k.a. Ski Mommy) and father, I quickly became proficient on the slopes of Allen’s Alley, Pineault, Marshall and Clifford. Funny enough, my most prominent memories are of the endless lift lines at the bottom, where I seemed to have a tendency of running off. To me, that is a sign that I didn’t like the sport, but my parents remind me that I was just too impatient to wait and wanted to stay in motion.

Around this time, the main lodge of Camp Fortune had been previously destroyed by fire, and thus only a small chalet, the Alexander Lodge, was available. As space was short, we would often have our peanut butter sandwiches sitting in my parent’s Pontiac 6000 stationwagon. Listening to old classics on the radio and cassettes, I can still hear Rick Astley signing his famous songs to this day…

This routine lasted two years, and when the time came to admit I had conquered the offerings of Camp Fortune, we moved to Ski Vorlage, the birthplace of my mother’s skiing addiction. Around this time, my little sister Chloe started to join us on the slopes. Having a great time on the classic trails of Cote des Neiges, Birch Valley, Lookout and North Slope, my interest in the sport was quickly growing. I will never forget an endless night with my father, as we both raced down the slopes and hit 40 runs in one day. Nothing like skiing in a heavy snowfall on Carnaval or Headwall at Vorlage.

Years later, I would then experience Edelweiss Valley, with my then best friend Kevin and his father, every Saturday. The trails here were longer, and the mountain was slightly taller than the others. These were the holy days of heavy snowfalls every weekend, and seemingly every day as well. Memories of skiing those snowy slopes with a snowfall, heavy enough to limit visibility to just a few hundred metres. Skiing Yodeler as it once was, a fun intermediate trail (years before snow parks took off). It was also here at Edelweiss that I first discovered Detachable Chairlift technology, a quick and smooth ride to the mountain top, with the convenience of easy and relaxed boarding at the bottom and top. Contrast this to the adjacent double chairlift, notorious for its incredible and seriously ridiculous swinging experienced on the way up.

The fantasy here lasted several years, until Mont Saint-Sauveur International came and bought Edelweiss, adding it to their family of mountains. It only took a poster of their summer waterpark to get me intrigued. That summer, we went to visit the water slides and the following winter I discovered this mountain for the first time. It was big and vast. I just graduated into the big leagues. It was here that my passion for the sport really grew. Exploring the many trails, trying out the glades, this was my paradise.

A few years later, I would also experience Mont Tremblant. This mountain is just incredible. The largest resort in the province, and among the highest. The resort village, located at the bottom of the South Side reminded me of Disney World, with all the colourful roofs, the boutiques, restaurants and streets. Taking a few runs down the mountain quickly made my legs sore, as the trails here were several times longer than anything else I had previously experienced.

As the years past, I then began to explore more of the wonderful ski resorts in the province of Quebec. From Sutton to Owl’s Head to Bromont to Mont-Sainte-Anne to Val St-Come, and more. While I continue to venture out farther from home to discover new ski resorts and mountains, I always remember how I started, and always will hold close those places, still special to me.

Now, with a blue helmet, I continue to look forward to my time skiing, and always let my excitement get the best of me as each weekend approaches and I make my way to the snow covered slopes for a day filled with adrenaline and memories that last a lifetime.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good day,

The end of last winter was my first time trying downhill but, I think it was in one of the best places to begin.

In Lake Louise (Alberta), I was given a snowboard by a friend I used to spend every day with. Kevin was a good snowboarder who was kind enough to show me the basics.

Unfortunately, It was a couple weeks before the end of the season, so I don't have much practice.

I am really looking forward to the next season so I can begin my real training.

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  • 1 month later...

Feb 2014 was the year that I decided to start skiing. All my sports had been during the summer ( moutain biking, trail/road running, spartan races etc) so i needed something to keep active during winter I needed a sport that would fill my need for adrenaline  and I found it with skiing !!! My wife was happy since she stop skiing in her tanage year she would have a partner now to go. Last year we decided to make this a family affair and sign up our 4 years old in private lesson and put our 2y on skis since he wanted to go after seeing his older brother. Now they are 3 and 5 both signed up for lesson this season at Edelweiss... 

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Welcome Stef, and thanks for introducing yourself. Hope you and your family and kids have a great winter on the slopes. 

Edelweiss is a great mountain to learn with young kids. The trails get more difficult as you move from left to right across the mountain. As well, all the trails end at the same place, so great to meet up or keep track of everyone if you split up during the day. Let us know how things go! Have fun.

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I started skiing in 1982 after spending my winters playing hockey until the peewee level.  My last season in house league included one win for the WHOLE SEASON and it was an exhibition game.  I lost interest after that terrible season and my sister convinced me to take up skiing.  My first time skiing was on the bunny hill with the T-Bar at Mont Cascades after we tried to get into Edelweiss but they were out of kids rentals for that day.   I had that one day's lesson and then took it upon myself to ski with friends and never looked back.

My go to resort is now Bromont as my wife is from the Eastern Townships and they have a  great deal where you can get either 2x 8 hour passes for $45 or a seasons pass including mountain biking and water park for $199 (non Quebec residents only!)   Its not the highest mountain but better than anything close to Ottawa and has a TON of terrain on all the different sides of the area -- 111 Runs!

I have twin 6 year old girls whom I will be taking out skiing with lessons for the first time this winter.  We are probably going to go to Calabogie as they have some good deals especially when I have to pay x2!  :-)

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Welcome bbud, thanks for sharing your skiing story with us. The deal at Bromont for non-Quebec residents is definitely a strong one, and one of the best offers for a mountain of that size. Calabogie is a great mountain for beginners and very family friendly. Best of luck introducing your girls to your passion. Let us know how it goes!

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 month later...

I learned to ski on a school trip to Moleson, Switzerland in 1987 when I was 8, dad was a downhill skiier but mom only did cross-country which is why for the kid of a skier, I got started late - our family trips would always be cross country in the Alps in Austria and Switzerland (I lived in West Germany at that time). When I came back to Ottawa, dad got a pass for us at Vorlage through the RCAF ski club, and I also got to ski Edelweiss through my school. I became a reasonably good skier til around age 16 with my K2 straight skis and rear entry boots (which I still have today). Then in 1994 we moved to Winnnipeg. We had one school trip to a tiny bump in Ontario that was smaller than Camp Fortune, and that was all the skiing I did until 2001 - even after moving back in 1996, I couldn't afford it as I was now 18 and you know, paying for my own extra curriculars. In January 2001 my friend Steph hosted the drum & bass group Bad Company (Danny Fresh & Mickey Vegas) - they wanted to learn how to ski and ride while in Canada, so we took them to Camp Fortune, and I taught Danny Fresh how to ski (so it's a good thing skiing is a lot like riding a bike!). Of course, I was a student at the time so again the cost of regular skiing was prohibitive. In 2010 after working on my MA at York U, I decided for some random reason that I wanted to pick up skiing again. So I grabbed my Munari (tech + colours!) rear entry boots and my K2s and hit Camp Fortune with a friend who skied regularly. That year, I only went a few times. In April of that year though, I was travelling on the west coast and decided why not check out Tahoe...I went to Squaw Valley and learned the hard way to never ever rent boots, but still had a spectacular time. The following year I got a pass for Camp Fortune and skied a lot more regularly! As for the orange hair, on one occasion I had an AM flight back from a party in NYC and crossed the border still decked out in my costume. It was -25 that day and keeping the wig on just seemed practical....and it was soooo amazingly warm and fun I just kept doing it! Plus it keeps my real hair which is super fine, nice and soft and not dried out and frazzled from the cold. Sometimes I go pink but  mostly orange. That same year I started investing in a new ski kit...first of all a coat and snowpants, and various accessories. I should mention that I participate in an NYC based art collective and our theme colours are pink and orange, aka pornJ, so my entire kit runs along this theme. I also went back to Squaw Valley that year in April, still with my K2s and Munari boots. In 2012 I got a little braver and went to Tremblant and Whiteface (I'd been once at 15). I remembered promptly why we always called it Iceface. I went to Whistler for the first time ever....yeah skiing a powder day on those K2s...not a great experience. But I went back twice more the same season and it was great in the spring. I also learned for the first time about gaper day, and was thrilled to unite my loves of skiing and costuming. Finally in 2013 I started looking for new skis and wound up with a gorgeous (pink and orange) pair of Kastle James XX90 twin tips, which for having missed the entire parabolic generation of skis, were a good transition for me! This was the last year I was able to make it to Squaw Valley - during Snowfest, which was more like rainfest that year - then the exchange rate made it no longe feasible to travel to the US as much. That summer I updated my boots with some orange Nordicas and also invested in a Ride Crush bright orange board (and I am still a baby beginner at that!). I've since updated the boots to a fushia Lange and I really hate them so new boots are next on the agenda. That same year I discovered that Killington is open til the end of May and so since 2013 I tend to hold passes at Camp Fortune (when in Ottawa), Sommet Sauveur, Bromont (not this season tho) and a Latitude or Sublime pass at Tremblant. I made it to Sugarbush in 2015, along with Mont Saint Anne, and still have yet to explore Le Massif, Jay Peak, Stowe, and a number of resorts in the townships. I definitely don't ski for sport but can keep up on the black diamonds. Superstar at Killington has taught me about moguls! I try and ski at least three times a week (although tonight I am slacking). Mostly I'm at Sauveur so if you happen to see me, stop and say hello!

 

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