With the forecast of a sunny day today, it was off to discover a new area, and that choice was Vallee du Parc in Shawinigan, just north of Trois Rivieres. I had thought about Vallee du Parc for the last week or so checking out their website for info, and their trail map. It looked like it was going to be a good choice. I left Sherbrooke at 7:00am to clouds, and drove into a beautiful blue sky once I arrived at the mountain at a little after 9:00. The parking lot was beginning to fill up, along with the 5 busses of school kids that arrived about 5 minutes after I had. The temperature was a fresh -14 degrees with no breeze at the base. 33 of 33 trails were open, and 3 lifts served the open terrain. 2 Quads and the Magic Carpet for the beginners. Even though the main parking lot was full, and with the kids, there was zero wait at either Quad. Maybe 2 minutes at most.
The conditions were fantastic! Groomed packed powder over a firm base. No ice to be found anywhere. In comparison to the Townships, there is a bit more snow here than back home. The first runs were on the Cap(e) Breton, and the Mauricie trails, both beginner trails off of the summit of the L'Envolee Quad. What is interesting about this lift is that there is a mid-station unloading zone. To access the Cape Bretton and Mauricie trails, you would ride the Quad all the way. The Cape Breton also doubles as the beginner's snow park with a variety of rolls, and rails.
The Mauricie and Cape Bretton Trails:
The next runs were from the mid-station on the Veilles Forges, which runs under the Quad for the upper 2/3 of the mountain, and the Glacier which is the bottom third, Prince Edouard, Prince Albert. Conditions here were just great. Not a scratch of ice anywhere. This section of the mountain is the Beginner and Intermediate area. The layout of the trails here is pretty interesting.
The Middle Section of the Veilles Forges:
The Bottom Pitch of the Glacier:
Then it was over to the L'Expert Quad that serves the Experts area where the Black Diamond trails are. This section ended up being my favourite, and spent quite a number of runs over here. The L'Expert trail that runs under the lift also has an advanced terrain park with larger bumps, rolls and rails. The conditions in the Expert section was just super. More groomed packed powder on a firm base. There is an interesting selection of single Black Diamonds to choose from. Access to this area is easiest from the Mid Station on the L'Envolee Quad via the Nahani and Jasper trails. Other Black Diamond trails that I had made laps were on the Matteau, Petite Vallee, Desaulniers, Fundy, and Waber. This is a very nice section of the mountain.
The Beginning of the L'Expert trail with jumps:
The Bottom Pitch of the Jasper:
It was time for a quick break to warm up, and then back at it. A few more runs on both Quads and then by 1:00 it was time to pack it in and make the trip back to Sherbrooke. This is my first time at Vallee du Parc, and I am very impressed with the mountain. The trails were all well-groomed. The coverage was perfect. I had a great time skiing here, and I would love to come back here to spend the day again. Well done, and merci beaucoup Vallee du Parc! A bientot!
Here are some other scenes from the day:
A T-Bar Bridge:
The Mid-Station on the L'Envolee Quad:
Some remains from yesteryear: