Mont-Sainte-Anne, located about 40 minutes from Quebec City, is a world apart from the rest. The mountain, the views of the St. Lawrence river, the facilities, and the challenge offered by the ski trails are truly ahead of the competition.
The mountain features 71 trails, with 20 trails open for the highest vertical (2050 feet) night skiing in Canada. Signature trails like La Crete offer breathtaking experiences, with views unlike anywhere else. The lifts to are unique, including one of the two bubble quad chairlifts in all of Quebec (the other found at Stoneham). The base of the mountain is well laid out, with the basics, the main lodge and cafeteria, restaurants and bars, and lodging. The Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne hotel is located immediately at the base of the main gondola, giving true ski-in and ski-out luxury.
The Mountain and the Ski Trails
Mont-Sainte-Anne has a north and south side, as well as a small side dedicated to natural skiing (not groomed).
The south side is the main side of the mountain with the highest vertical drop at 2050 feet. Served by several lifts, most notably the Étoile Filante gondola and the Express du Sud bubble quad chairlift. The west half of the Southside has the expert terrain, which provides some of the most challenging terrain east of the Rockies in Canada, many containing bumps and moguls, and others groomed. Classics are La Crete and the S and Super S trails, providing excitement and thrills to experts and hardcore skiers. The expert zone also has its own detachable quad chairlift and a separate chalet near the edge of its summit, providing impressive views of the river and surrounding region.
Moving towards the east of the mountain's south side, the trails become more intermediate and beginner. Some classics include Le Gros Valon, and the Pichard (which even has a sugar shack located halfway down). At the base of the mountain is the ideal beginner zone, consisting of two magic carpets, one of which is the longest in Canada, in a zone separate from all other trails and skiers.
On the north side, accessed by either riding the Gondola or the Express du Sud and Tortue chairlifts, there are more advanced, intermediate and beginner trails. This site has about half the vertical drop of the south side, however, thanks to its orientation, tends to have better snow conditions, and in fact, it is the first and last area of the mountain to open and close each year. The only downside is that the north side offers no night skiing. One trail which is really fun is the Enchanted Forest. It is a glade beginner trail, suitable to most skill levels, reasonably sloped with a fairly long length. A great way to experience your first glades on skis or snowboard.
Night skiing is truly a level above the rest here at Mont-Sainte-Anne. The vertical drop offered is unmatched in Canada, and really makes for an exciting experience. The trails take a good amount of time to descend, and when combined with the views of twinkling lights below and the sheer size of the night skiing terrain available, leave you completely satisfied and definitely exhausted by the time the lifts have shut down for the night.
Located just below the summit of the mountain is the summit chalet, offering meals and drinks throughout the season. During spring skiing, the outdoor terrace is open and always features a fun, warm ambiance with music and BBQ.
The bubble quad on the south side is very unique at Mont-Sainte-Anne and is only 1 of 2 in Quebec (the other located at Stoneham). This lift gives a quick easy ride up the mountain typical of a chairlift but provides the comfort and shelter of a gondola. Wind, snow and the cold are a thing of the past once the bubble comes down to surround you.
Chateau Mont-Sainte-Anne is the full resort hotel located at the base of the mountain by the Gondola. Featuring hotel rooms, suites and condos, a spa and restaurants, as well as meeting rooms and convention space, the Chateau takes ski-in ski-out lodging to the next level with style and comfort. There is even a general store in the lobby, perfect for picking up ready-made meals to heat up in your room or suite.
Mont-Sainte-Anne also features a small little pedestrian village area at the south base, with shops, places to eat and hang out.
Why visit Mont-Sainte-Anne?
No visit to the Quebec City region is complete without a visit to Mont-Sainte-Anne. Here is a mountain that offers an excellent selection of terrain for all skill levels and desires. The mountain stands out thanks to its snow quality and conditions, to the variety of trails, to the well-designed lift network that brings you to the various areas quickly and efficiently, and also works well to keep you where you want to be on the mountain. The snowmaking and grooming are perfect, producing an enjoyable surface to ski on throughout the day. Add to this the perfect lodging options and you can quickly see that Mont-Sainte-Anne is ready to elevate your skiing experience to new heights.