What a fantastic day out on the slopes at Sommet Edelweiss. Horray! It is the Quebec March Break and the weather couldn't be more perfect. Bluebird skies and all slopes are open with full complete snow coverage.
On this day, there were many U-12 competition teams from Quebec ski areas present at the mountain. They were doing some training and exercises at Edelweiss. This likely contributed to there being more people on the mountain than likely would have been otherwise, but with two of the three quad chairlifts running, the wait times were fairly short and reasonable. At the detachable Edelbahn Express, the wait varied from less than 1 minute to no more than 5 minutes. At the Meister 4000, it was always less than 1 minute. The Streif quad was not operating and seems to only run on the weekends when it is busiest.
Conditions were fantastic, all trails were perfectly groomed. If you didn't know it had rained a week ago, you would have never known by skiing the slopes. Any effects from that lousy weather are completely gone now. A nice soft base and surface on all trails, with Shotgun and Descente Telesiege being a bit more hard-packed and firm than elsewhere on the mountain.
Hard to say which trails were among my favourites today as they all offered something nice to experience and enjoy. While I do enjoy Streif, the big pitch can be quite challenging and intimidating as it really drops off. If you go down on skier-left, it feels much steeper than taking it on skier-right.
Streif (Left) and Shotgun (Right)
Since it has not yet been reported on this site to date, the new chalet extension really adds a lot of extra space to the base chalet. Both levels are very open and spacious, and the windows are floor to ceiling, which can give a great view of many of the trails at Edelweiss. While the old roundhouse was fun, with little to no windows present, it was always dark and dingy feeling, as well as not the most efficient use of the space. The new extension really fixes all these issues in a great way. The windows are also in the form of "garage doors", meaning they can open up entirely to expose the inside to the outdoors in warm weather (not quite something for the present weather but something to potentially enjoy later on in the spring.
Another change I noticed is the customer service area and ticket counter have moved into the rental building. This helps free up some space in the main hallway of the chalet and makes it feel less busy. Also new this year is the GoPasse gates, prevalent at all the other Sommet mountains. Re-loadable RFID cards allow quick access to the lifts and can be reloaded online at home, avoiding the ticket counter lineup when you arrive.
The magic carpet and beginner zone have been set up for Intro+, a novel concept for offering all sorts of terrain, each focusing on a different aspect of skiing, while still offering a safe and comfortable environment. From banked turns, to rollers, and a mini-flattened half pipe and more, there are 5-6 modules and terrain features to work through to get you ready for the main mountain.
Overall, a great day on the slopes. Happy to see Edelweiss and Les Sommets investing in the mountain. They took over ownership around 20 years ago and have been making steady improvements over time.
Here are some more pictures from today on the slopes!
Trou du Diable (Left) and Rockstar Snoprk (Right)
Top Notch at the summit of the Meister 4000 quad
The big pitch on Easy Street
Panorama of Zoomer, in which you can see the summit to the right and the base to the left.
Shotgun, lots of zig zags before the culminating big drop
The magic carpet and beginner zone featuring Intro+
Profiled and banked terrain for Intro+
The first floor of the extension
The second floor of the extension
The connecting hallways and ramps from the existing chalet building
The classic lower level of the main chalet
The new customer service area located inside the rentals building