After what was arguably the worst Christmas and Holiday week for skiing in the region, which featured a perfect cocktail of warm mild weather and endless rain, the cold weather is back.
Camp Fortune today had 6 trails open, which included Sparks, Marshall, Pineault and Allen's Alley. There were no lines at the lifts from opening until lunch and when combined with nearly perfect snow conditions, set everything up nicely for a great Sunday on the slopes.
Arriving shortly before 9am, I quickly proceeded into the chalet to get ready. I still can't get over the changes to the chalet, it feels so vast and features much more space and areas to rest, get ready or sit. Before the recent expansion, there were essentially 2 entrances into the chalet. I can now count at least 5, and they are all extremely well-situated and provide direct access to many of the hotspots within. The exterior is still a work in progress but the new look is very refreshing. The blue paint is gone and a nice natural brownish/wood colour has taken its place, in addition to the new sweeping roof lines on the slope-side facade.
Back to the slopes... the first runs were on Pineault and Allen's Alley, both in very good condition. I then proceeded to ski on Marshall, which is a trail that always surprises me with its large width and open space. The nice rolls in the trail as you descend make for a fun relaxing ride. While riding the chairlift in this sector of the mountain, the snowmaking is operating in full force on Clifford. I would not be surprised to see an opening in the coming days.
Heading back to the Pineault quad to switch over to Skyline, the snow conditions which were already impressive, quickly reached beyond my expectations for this visit. Sparks in many places, especially the lower pitch, are covered with a good inch or two of loose snow on top, definitely not something I planned to see on this visit.
Overall, the ski conditions were fantastic, and a vast contrast to the "Spring Skiing in December" commentary of the past week. There was no ice to speak of, and the snow surface was a firm base with some loose soft/powdery snow on top.
During the visit, snow groomers were working on Bud Clark and Lower Canadian, so they will likely be among the next trails to open on Skyline in the coming days, along with Clifford in the Valley.
The coming week promises great skiing, with temperatures below zero and the return of needed conditions to permit snowmaking to resume. Let us all hope Mother Nature does not throw any more curve balls this season.
All the best in 2024 and Happy Skiing!
Here are some more pictures from today's visit to Camp Fortune.
Pineault and Allen's Alley
Grooming to ready Bud Clark and Lower Canadian for opening