Ski Reports

Mont Ste Marie - February 13, 2023


Another great day of skiing at Mont Ste Marie today.  

Camp Fortune - March 21, 2023


  With night skiing slated to end on March 22, I decided to take my sister on a birthday ski trip for our last night ski of the season. We arrived at 3pm, and immediately headed to Heggtveit to improve our confidence on steep runs, as we had both finally conquered Ottawa’s steepest trail this year!   We then headed to the Valley sector, skiing the glades off Marshal and Slalom one last time for the season: While the Meech Glades (which are usually closed during night ski pass hours) are my favourite on the hill, a more recent favourite has been Duffy, which is also seldom open, in contrast with the above Marshall glades which are all open much more frequently. We decided to ski Duffy a few times, enjoying the spring snow conditions and deep snowbase: I particularly love this natural “chute” through the rocks, as it makes the...

Owl's Head - April 7, 2023


For what might be the closer to the 2022-23 season, Lukas and I headed off to Owl's Head today for his first visit there. He's heard of the stories of my working there way back when, so it was his time to experience the mountain for himself. We left early, and arrived just before 8. There were a few cars already in the lot when we got there. It was partly sunny, and mild but wow the wind was howling! I wasn't expecting to be windy. We got ready, picked up Lukas' RFID card, and headed outside to get ready for the morning. The schedule was for the Summit Quad, Family Quad, and the Panorama to spin today. I ran into my buddy Adam who works at the mountain, and let me know that the Summit Quad was on wind hold. It was blustery at the base of the mountain, and...

Sunshine Village - February 25, 2023


On our 4th and final day of skiing in Banff, we enjoyed one last Rocky Mountain ski experience at Sunshine Village Resort. We awoke at 7am, seeing some beautiful sunrise views from our hotel room window: We then got dressed and boarder our 8am shuttle to the resort. Temperatures were expected to range from -15 to -20C, fortunately (and unfortunately) our warmest day of skiing of the trip!    Since it was a Saturday, we did expect more crowds; however, the base-to-village gondola lineup took no more than 5 minutes: All lifts were open, meaning that we could finally experience the resort’s expert terrain which was closed on our last visit three days prior. I have attached the trail map for reference below: Unfortunately, the high base elevation meant that winds were blowing snow from the surrounding peaks and valley into the air, creating a sort of haze similar to our...

Mont Orford - March 29, 2023


Today was parent volunteer day for my son Lukas' ski outing for school, and of course I couldn't pass on this opportunity to go with them. We met at his school for us to board the bus to head out. We arrived at Orford just a little after 9:30 to a bluebird sky, and mild temperatures. There was a good group of students that came along for the trip with a few teachers, and parent volunteers. We got settled in the chalet in our area, and got ready to go. After helping some of the students for their rentals, and their boot fitting, it was time to meet up with the group instructors. Once everyone was grouped up, it was pretty much free time for us to enjoy the morning. By then it was about 10:15. I met up with my long time best friend Christian, and spent the morning skiing....

Mont Bellevue - March 25, 2023


Back to skiing it was, since the trip to New Hampshire (Black Mountain) earlier in the month. Took a bit of a break. Today was at Mont Bellevue for what is to be their last weekend of the 2022-23 season. Tomorrow is supposed the last day. We arrived at the hill at 8:30 to a few cars in the parking lot, and were the first skis on the rack. The morning had started out sunny, but progressively was clouding over as the morning went along. Lots of space in the chalet to get ready as it wasn't crowded, and to print our tickets from the portable kiosk they have there. A simple scan of the bar code from the e-ticket that's emailed to you when you purchase online. It had been mild, and rained a bit during the week. Coverage was still pretty decent considering, and conditions were machine groomed granular...

Lake Louise - February 24, 2023


On our third day of skiing in Banff, we headed to Lake Louise for what was likely my favourite day of the trip. The previous night, we welcomed our 4th and final trip member, who would be joining us for the last two days of skiing. We woke up to a cold, but bluebird day in Banff, and boarded our 8am SkiBig3 shuttle to Lake Louise, a 45 minute ride. The trail map is listed below for reference: For the first time on the trip, the skies were fully clear, allowing us to finally see the mountaintops unobstructed by the fog and clouds.  The majestic Castle Mountain at sunrise:  Unfortunately for us, temperatures had changed to be colder than forecasted, with the early morning hours coming in at a brisk -31 (without the wind chill). Thus, the mountain once again offered discounted tickets and free hot drinks, in expectation of lift...

Lake Louise - February 23, 2023


On our second day in Banff, we planned to head to Lake Louise, which boasts 3250 vertical feet, 9 lifts, and Canada’s second-largest area! While temperatures that day would be similar to the (brutal) previous day, it was worth noting the effect caused by elevation. Lake Louise’s upper mountain is at a similar elevation to Sunshine Village’s base area! This meant that the base area would be 5-10 degrees warmer than the summit. Nevertheless, a cold warning was still in effect, with the mountain offering discounted tickets, and free hot drinks, to accommodate for the lift delays.  At 8am, we boarded the Lake Louise Shuttle, and enjoyed some amazing views on our 45 minute ride there! We arrive a little before 9am, and since the lifts did not plan on opening until 10am, we decided to give our skis a much-needed wax (due to the extreme cold causing the snow to be less...

Sunshine Village - February 22, 2023


Over my university break week, a few friends and I headed to Banff, Alberta; our first time being and skiing out west! Three of us arrived on a Tuesday, with the other friend arriving on Thursday, before we all departed that Sunday. After having wanted to visit the Canadian Rockies since I was 9 (one decade ago!), this trip was a ‘bucket list’ type of experience for me! Fortunately, the week we chose benefited from some of the best snow conditions of the year, as 50-80cm (depending on the location), had fallen on the region two days before we landed, giving what the locals said were good conditions after a long snow drought. Unfortunately, extreme cold temperatures followed the snow, meaning that for three out of our 4 ski days, temperatures were in the -20s, 30s, and even 40s once the wind chill was factored in…  Despite the high prices of...

Mont Chilly - March 5, 2023


In the Pontiac region of Western Quebec is a ski hill called Mont Chilly. It had been a couple years since I've skied the 430ft vertical hill near Fort-Coulonge.  Not much has changed, in fact not much has changed since the 1960's. The hill is accessed via a single T-bar. There are roughly 5 trails with alternate branches. A mix of groomers, glades and steep bump runs.  The last two months have been kind snow wise and the base was great, with a bit of powder left from the 20cm storm the day before.  The T-bar started moving at 10am and the sun came out. We were down to base layers and no gloves an hour later as the temperature got above zero. Laid back and rewarding as always I'll be coming back to Chilly.  Adult lift tickets are $35 (cash only), the hill is open on weekends only (10-4pm) unless...

Black Mountain, NH - March 2, 2023


With school break in full swing, we spent a few days in North Conway, NH with the kids. The last time below the border for me skiing was February of 2019, or anyone in the family for that matter since we had gone down to the USA. I had thought of a few places that I would maybe ski, and ended up choosing Black Mountain. I had been here in March 2016 where they did not have much snow that year, and what they had gotten soon melted days later. This time there was snow! In the days prior to my arrival they received 18 - 24 inches, and the night before my visit another 6 or so inches. Black Mountain is about 25 minutes from North Conway, in the town of Jackson. I arrived just at 9 am and I was actually the third car in the parking lot! I...

Mont Orford - February 27, 2023


School Break in Quebec is now upon us. Abby, Lukas, and I headed off to Mont Orford for a special day of skiing today to start off the week. Certainly a change of scenery from Mont Bellevue these past few weekends. We arrived at the mountain just before 8am to sunny skies. This trip would be Abby & Lukas' second visit at Orford to ski. Once we got dressed, and got their RFID cards it was go time. The Hybrid, Giroux North & East along with the Alfred Desrochers Quad were in operation. The Rapido Triple was not.  There was a line up before opening to get first tracks at the Hybrid, which thinned out by the time we were ready to go. The first runs were for the Magic Carpet for Abby & Lukas with a warm up, then over to the Hybrid on the 4km, an Easy trail as...

Camp Fortune - February 11, 2023


Two Saturdays ago, I headed up to camp fortune for a fun evening of night skiing. Conditions were on the icier side, with the long cruisers on Meech being opened-which are some of my favourite runs on the hill!After 4 years of chickening-out, I finally decided to ski Heggtveit with my friend. While extremely icy and much steeper than I imagined, there were some small patches of soft snow. Nevertheless, the adrenaline was definitely flowing!We spent the rest of the evening alternating between Skyline and the Valley sides, enjoying a beautiful sunset.  We were also able to try out the newly-built large park features, and captured the following images on my friend’s GoPro:

Mont Bellevue - February 18, 2023


Off with the kids again to Mont Bellevue. Seems like this is getting to be a weekly outing now. I don't mind as skiing here is quite affordable. It's also a great activity to get them out of the house for some exercise, and fresh air. We arrived at the hill just after 8:30 just before everyone arrived, to get a decent spot to get ready in the chalet, and to get a spot to place our bags. It was a fresh -18 degrees to start the day but it quickly warmed up. The Quad and the Magic Carpet were in operation. The Poma is down for the season unfortunately. The conditions were fast as we had some freezing rain Friday during the day with a light dusting of snow on top. The trails were of groomed granular snow over a firm base. They did a great job of grooming this...

Mont Ste Marie - January 31, 2023


Last Tuesday, two friends and I made a last minute decision to skip class and head to Mont Ste Marie, as they had never been and I was hoping to return! While initially forecasted to be a cold day, the sunny skies, low wind, and gradual increase in temperature (from -17 to -8C) made the day feel much warmer. We arrived at 10am, and after purchasing our lift tickets, headed straight to the Vanier lift. Having received two recent dumping of snow the previous Thursday and Sunday, conditions were phenomenal, with nearly all trails open! On the Vanier lift, we skiied most of the grooomed open trails, including Serenade, the Serenade glades (which had decent conditions), and Chanson. We then decided to ski Crescendo, a steep, ungroomed mogul run with large wooden jumps, to test our abilities. The fresh snow provided excellent cover, and despite it being a major leg burner,...

Owl's Head - February 7, 2023


I received a text Monday from my friend Adam wondering what I was up to on Tuesday. Normally I'd be in the office however it had been quiet on the phone. So I asked for Tuesday away, and it was no problem for a ski day. Thank you for my colleague Brady for covering the phones on this day. So Owl's Head was the choix du jour for the day. I picked Adam up, and off we went. We arrived at the mountain at roughly 8:30 to a bright blue sky. Temperature was a fresh -12 degrees. We got ready in the chalet, and picked up our passes. All four Quad chairs were in operation with 48 of 50 trails available. It had been awhile since I'd been last, and was overdue. First run up was on the Summit Quad and one Lilly's Leap to warm up, and then headed down...

Mont Bellevue - February 2, 2023


Mont Bellevue - some scenes from last night February 2, 2023. Great little community hill in the heart of Sherbrooke, QC

Camp Fortune - January 26, 2023


Last Thursday, last minute family plans were made for a quick afternoon/evening ski at Camp Fortune. A storm had passed over the region the night before, dumping 25cm of fresh powder, and the hill had announced that the Meech glades (La Cache) would be open for their first day of the 2023 season! The meech glades are my favourite run at fortune, and despite the fact that they close at 4pm, and my night pass starts at 3pm, my sister and I were still able to make two leg-burning runs! The untouched snow was over three feet deep in some places, and each run through the glades took us a minimum of 8 minutes! It was similar to our last time skiing the Meech glades in powder conditions, from March 2022! After making the last runs from 3:30-4, we headed to the skyline side to enjoy the choppy powder conditions on every...

Mont Orford - January 25, 2023


Taking the day off work, Mont Orford was the "office" of choice for the morning. I arrived at about 8:15 and the parking lot was already filling up. The temperature was a fresh -18 degrees under partly sunny skies which cleared out during the morning. 26 of 43 trails were open with the Hybride, Giroux North, and Alfred Desrochers Quad in operation.  I started the day off with the a couple of runs up the Hybride to ski the Trois Ruisseaux, and Maxi trails to get fresh tracks early. The conditions were great with a groomed packed powder over a firm base. I got the tough stuff out of the way first. A great warm up to begin the day.   The Trois Ruisseaux & Maxi: Once the tough stuff was done, I made my way over to the Alfred Desrochers Quad. This is my favourite sector of the mountain especially...

Mont Bellevue - January 21, 2023


Back at Bellevue with the kids! They had been wanting to go again, and asking multiple times this past week so off we went. I had booked another 2-hour block online last night along with rentals for my son. We had gone last night to a shop in Sherbrooke that I get my skis done, and they were having a moving sale so we went to check it out. We walked with a new pair of skis, and boots for my daughter. She was pretty happy, and couldn't wait to try out her new stuff.  We arrived at the hill for 8:30 to mainly cloudy skies with the sun trying to poke through. It was fairly mild, just at about -5 degrees. What a difference a couple of weeks make! We did get some snow throughout the week and a bit but not the dump we desperately need. 5 of the...

Mont Ste Marie (and Camp Fortune) - January 17, 2023


After wanting to ski at Mont Ste Marie for the past three seasons, the opportunity finally came 2 days ago! I headed to the hill and arrived at 10am, and picked up my student day pass for only 49$! Both the Vanier and Cheval Blanc high speed lifts were running, with most terrain open on the Vanier side, and Dustin Cook and Frank Pouliotte on Cheval. Temperatures were in the range of -10 to -5 C, with a mixture of sun and clouds forecasted. I spent my first few runs on the Vanier side, enjoying the low crowds, fast lift, and amazing groomed snow on the Serenade and Bellevue runs! After the warm up, I boarded the shuttle to the more difficult Cheval Blanc side. The signature dustin cook run was mostly open (due to some snowmaking still in progress), and it made for a fast and steep descent! After a few...

Mont Ste Marie - January 18, 2023


It is mid-week, and wanting to enjoy the slopes with lots of vertical drop but without the lift lines, the choice was clear, a visit to Mont Ste Marie was in order. After checking the trail status online the night before, I woke up early and planned to be out the door at 7:45am. As luck would have it, I ended up leaving a bit later than planned but arrived at the mountain at 9:30am, just 30 minutes past opening. The expansive parking lot was fairly empty, enabling me to park very close to the chalet. A brief time later, my ski boots were on my feet and my skis and poles were in my hands. I headed over to get my lift ticket and proceeded to the Vanier Express detachable quad. As it would be for my first run, and how it would be for every one that followed, I...

Mont Tremblant - January 8, 2023


Last Sunday, I headed to Tremblant with the Carleton University Ski Club, making use of the 50$ lift tickets and inexpensive bus transportation for my last ski day of the Christmas break. With the warm temperatures and amazing snowfall brought by December, I had done most of my skiing in +0 Celsius weather-however, this day at Tremblant would be an exception. The temperatures were forecasted to range from -11 to -20, depending on the wind chill and elevation, so I knew temperatures would be unpleasant! I arrived at 9:30am, where it was clear that snowmaking was in full swing.  The mountain had warned that conditions and visibility would be impaired due to the low temperatures being utilized for snowmaking, in addition to the closing of the Soleil side (2 runs), due to a power outage. Nevertheless, they planned on having 60 of their 100 runs open, and every lift except their...

Camp Fortune - January 6, 2023


Last Friday, some friends and I decided to head to Camp Fortune one last time before the Christmas break was over, and school and work made life busier! We arrived at 3pm, and after getting dressed in the lodge, we headed to the Skyline lift. Temperatures were hovering at around 0 C, but surprisingly, the snow was not as soft and mogulled as our previous outings in similar weather. Rather, the snow conditions were on the harder and uneven side, though still significantly better than skiing large moguls. Additionally, there was not a single patch of ice to be found! Due to large lines on the main (Valley) side of the hill, our group stuck mostly to Skyline, skiing the runs Sparks and Bud Clark. The poor visibility caused by fog and clouds made for some amazing photos. On our third run, we had gotten 30 seconds into the chairlift ride...

Mont Bellevue - January 7, 2023


Today's visit was to Mont Bellevue, our local ski hill in the heart of the city of Sherbrooke. The weather has been absolutely horrible as of late with very little snow, and what snow that has fallen, has since melted with warm temperatures and rain. We are in desperate need of a good old fashioned dump of snow. 4 of the 10 trails at Bellevue were opened with the Magic Carpet, and the Quad. The Poma has been closed for the season, and won't be operating. I haven't heard the reason why for the closure. Today was a family day for skiing as my daughter, and son were asking to go. So Bellevue was it. It is a great hill for beginners to "cut their skis" on as most of the terrain here is easy.  We arrived at 8:45 to get the kids set up for their rental skis, and boots....