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Mont Saint-Sauveur : May 18, 2014

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This morning, while mowing the lawn, picking weeds, and vacuuming the pool, I had a vision. A quick double-check online, some equipment in the car, and one hour later...

No, I was not at Mont Saint Sauveur for the water park. I was there to ski! Yes, that's right, on this 18th of May, the ski season at Mont Saint Sauveur is still alive, offering die-hard skiers one last chance to hit the slopes before the inevitable arrival of summer. They were supposed to close for the season last weekend, but given this long weekend's exceptional weather and their still significant snow base, they are open once again for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The trail selection, given the time of year, was obviously quite small, and was in fact limited to only the Cote 70 Ouest. This may be the only run open, but there is still an impressive amount of snow left.

It was a great day to ski. It was not particularly warm (about 10°C upon my arrival at 10:00), but the blue sky and warm sun made it enjoyable and by my departure at 12:30, it had warmed up to a comfortable 14°. Given the time of year, it was not particularly busy at the hill - there were probably around 80 to 100 people throughout the duration of my visit. The snow conditions were very variable, both in coverage and width, as well as texture. Some parts of the trail were right down to the last layer of snow, and essentially had no base left. Similarly, there were some very narrow passageways, especially at the top of the mountain near the lift exit. 

You know it's late in the season when the lazy river and wading pool appear in the front of the chalet. Mont Saint Sauveur is also in the process of refinishing the facade of the chalet. Will it stay this natural wood colour? Who knows, it was originally this way when the building was built in the 1970s.

Besides the snow on the hill, Winter is clearly gone from the region. An unfrozen lake, trees budding, green grass - Spring is definitely in the air!

Commendably, however, most of the trail was open at full-width or close to it. There were also some sections of the trail with a very large base depth. In the middle of the trail, the snow was at least 6 or 7 feet deep! Concerning the texture, it was not fantastic, but expected for mid-May. Skiers were treated to a firm, icy base with lots of loose slushy snow on top. By the time I left at 12:30, bumps were starting to form on the last pitch, which increased the challenge. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to ski this late in the season, especially considering I had not skied in 5 weeks. This was definitely my last outing of the season, and if you're still interested in going, time is running out very fast!

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