After months of anticipation, my 2022-23 ski season had an amazing start at Tremblant! This season, I bought new equipment through my favourite local ski shop, Kunstadt Sports. Additionally, I joined my university ski club, which provided a discount on equipment, as well as half-price lift tickets and transportation to Tremblant! After not skiing any large mountains last season, I was eager to return to Tremblant. I also hoped to finally be able to ski the more difficult runs open, as I had not done so on my last visit due to the differing levels of ski ability in my family. I was quick to sign up for the first bus of the season, which would run on Tremblant’s 4th day of the season. After an early morning bus ride, we pulled into the parking lot. After depositing our gear at the Chalet des Voyageurs, we received our lift tickets, and headed to the gondola.
At the main base, I met up with my friend and old neighbour from Montreal, who is a new Tremblant pass holder. A record breaking (at least in my books) 16 trails were open on opening weekend, in contrast to the 4 last year! Below is the trail map displaying the runs and lifts open:
The forecast was warm and partly sunny, with temperatures reaching 6 degrees at the base, and 2 at the summit. After waiting in a non-existent line, we boarded the gondola and were whisked up to the summit.
Arriving on the summit, we put on our skis and weaved through the horde of people crowding the area. I was initially nervous to see how my new equipment would perform, as I had almost no idea what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed my Elan Wingman 78 C skis, as well as my Atomic Hawk 110S boots. Being both stable and lightweight, they were an amazing step up from the rental equipment I had grown up using. We started by skiing P’tit Bonheur and Beauchemin Haut on the North side, followed by Alpine/Beauvallon and Nansen on the south side. We chose to lap the upper half of the mountain, as on the south side, the Johansen trail was a narrow band that quickly turned to moguls, and the north side run out trail was relatively flat. This kept us mostly on the Lowell-Thomas and TGV chairlifts, which had lines of 0-3 minutes, rare on a weekend for Tremblant!
The snow conditions were amazing for November despite the majority of the snow being man made, the warms temperatures meant slushier, yet still firm, conditions. There was ice on the steeper sections, though it wasn’t as hard as it could have been. The downside to the softer snow was that moguls did form, especially on steep portions, though they were not too intimidating and easy to navigate. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the views as we ate the overpriced food from the Grand Manitou lodge cafeteria:After lunch, we went to ski the only black diamond run open, Taschereau. This run had some amazing views of Lac Tremblant, and wasn’t intimidating. We then ventured to the north side base, and made last chair up the Duncan expressOur last few runs were spent on the south side, enjoying the blue cruisers Alpine and Beauvallon-even checking out the terrain park:
At 3:30pm, the lifts closed, and we made our way down the south side to reach the base village. We took the short green trail Roy Scott to avoid the narrow strip of Johansen that had been covered in large moguls, as no one seemed to even be attempting it! The 'strip' can be seen in the image below:
After reaching the base village, we parted ways, and I boarded the bus for the long ride (in the dark) back to Ottawa. Overall, this was an amazing start to my season, and, even as I write this 3 days later, my legs are still sore! I realize we were incredibly fortunate to have had such great conditions, warm weather, and low crowds for this early in the season, and I can’t wait to return in the new year!