After skiing down the 70 Ouest the night of the 6th, I was pretty sure all our hopes and dreams for a June 8th opening alongside the waterpark opening were dashed: The top pitch of the 70 Ouest had a narrow path remaining between the only break in the trail, and half the bottom pitch was missing entirely, having sadly melted away. To my absolute delight, one of the first posts I saw on my phone that morning was a video posted by the Sommet Saint-Sauveur of their fearless groomer polishing up the trail - as it turns out they had a secret stash of snow, just enough to anticipate opening from 10AM to 1PM on Saturday June 8th!
I was determined to make first tracks! However, as we all know I'm not a functional morning person, so decided to drive up and go for a hike and ride down! I figured this was probably the last good opportunity I'd have to get out on my snowboard since I definitely was not going to try and race all the keeners the next day with my beginner boarder experience, and the allure of a pristine, freshly groomed soft trail was impossible to resist! So I packed up the car and braved the brutal rush hour traffic (people geez, why you gotta quit so early on Fridays?!) to make it to the mountain for about 5pm or so.
Since the waterpark was not officially open and the fence had been installed to deter anyone from sneaking in (because liability is a thing!), I planned to park near the top of La Plagne again and ride only halfway down just before the bottom pitch and then hike back up again. But first, I had to see it for myself: I parked at the lodge and walked over to the base, to see the perfectly groomed strip of the bottom 70 Ouest pitch. Just at that moment, my snowboarding buddy Ilana finished her descent, having arrived just a bit earlier than I. She too had parked near the top of La Plagne so we headed back up to her car while she filled me on on the absolutely beautiful conditions.
After getting ready at the car, I hiked up La Plagne past that chair and over to L'Etoile and then made use of the perfectly groomed snow to chill my beverage. I took a couple of snaps and then started making my way down. The grooming team at Sommet Saint-Sauveur did not disappoint - with only a few other tracks by some other ski/riders who had dared to sneak in, this was an absolutely perfect sunny afternoon to ride down the mashed potatoes and enjoy the solitude.
I made it 2/3 of the way down, took a little break, and then prepared to hike back up. Instead of going directly up the 70, I wandered into the Silver Park, and caught some snaps of what was left of it. Finally reaching the top again, I finished up the drink I'd started earlier while relaxing on L'Etoile and enjoying the sinking but not yet setting sun, and made my way back to the car, looking forward to a day ahead of the actual last chairlift rides in Quebec!
The mirage visible from the base lodge, while the bottom pitch was more or less brown sugar, the rest of the 70 Ouest cleaned up pretty nicely.
The hike begins, up through the top curve of La Plagne (in a previous hike I'd graciously received permission from the property owner to cross his lawn to get to the trail).
I took a moment to check the view from the top of the La Plagne chair!
Pano from the top of 70 Ouest, you can see from the footprints how soft it is after grooming!
The condition of the snow made it very easy to chill my beverage!
View of the mid-section of 70 Ouest from the exit of the Silver Park on my hike back up.
There was still a pretty big mound of snow in the Silver park!
Bullwheel pano from the end of my hike while enjoying the rest of my still chilled beverage!