Here we are, the beginning of the ski season in the National Capital Region. While it is no longer the first day for Camp Fortune (that was Thursday), you can definitely feel the excitement and anticipation of getting your own ski season started.
The Pineault quad chairlift and trail were open with a good base and coverage. Yes it did rain on Friday, but no it did not have any effect on the snow or the mountain. Ski conditions were right up with what you'd expect mid-season, which is nothing short of great and certainly a fantastic way to start the winter.
Score : Camp Fortune 1 - Mother Nature 0.
Heading inside the spacious lodge, and with the opening only minutes away, I strapped on my ski boots and clunked my way out to the lift. Riding up the mountain, you can clearly see the contrast between nature and human passion and determination, precisely drawn down the mountain side with perfect white snow.
It certainly feels like you are on the Top of the World when you start your first run down the mountain, and why not right? Summer is after all, too long! It just feels so right when you hear the familiar crackling, swooshing sound of the snow beneath your skis, the wind in your face, and the rush of excitement pouring out. The trail was well groomed, and for people looking to do some tricks and jumps, Camp Fortune had setup a mini-park off to the side.
While Pineault may not be the most challenging trail on the mountain, I do commend Camp Fortune for always choosing it as the place to start the season, as it makes this special moment accessible for everyone, and not something you may be denied experiencing based on your ability level. In my case, it is also the trail on which I first learned how to ski, almost 30 years ago, so it's fitting to start the new season here.
Looking off into the distance, you can see the ongoing efforts of snowmaking taking place on the Meech side of Camp Fortune. Certainly with any luck, Paradise will be the next trail to open for next weekend. This intermediate trail is the longest at Camp Fortune, providing great views and sweeping cruising lines down the mountain. Even more reason to get out next weekend and ski!
Winter is here. Camp Fortune promises another season full of excitement, with some great events on the calendar. Next Saturday (December 5th) starting at 5pm, is the AVANT-SKI season kickoff party. With ski and snowboard competitions, and a night filled with activity, this is one day you don't want to miss. And in March 2016, the Senior National Championship for Canadian Freestyle skiing will be taking place, featuring Canada's top talent and Olympic athletes.