I started skiing around 1980 with my elementary school program that would bring us up to the now defunct Glen Mountain near Knowlton in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. I wasn't warm to the idea of skiing at first but thanks to my grade 4 teacher, I am glad that she convinced me to go. The Glen ended up being my second home on weekends and days off from school for the winters to follow. I worked at Owl's Head for 12 years as a liftie in the winter months, and in the hotel during the summers and kept my connection to skiing. When I left Owl's Head in 2001 for a career change, I left skiing behind as well until 2012 when I rediscovered a new found passion for the sport. I enjoy discovering new ski areas, and I am a bit of a ski lift "nerd" at the same time. There is nothing more stress relieving to me than riding a chairlift and putting my two feet on skis at a ski hill for the day. My other interests are photography, music, hiking, and ski history.

Mont Orford - January 27, 2021


Well, my Day 2 of this extraordinary ski season is in the books. An outing to Mont Orford today was absolutely needed as it had been over a month since the last time I had gone out. I had arrived at the mountain at 8:15, and the parking lot was already starting to fill up. The temperature was a nice mild -5 degrees under a mostly cloudy sky, however. Booting up at the car is nothing new for me as I often do this at most hills I go to. The chalet on four wheels! Once booted up, masked up, and dressed it was time to head off to start the morning of skiing. 25 of 44 trails announced as open with 3 lifts spinning, the Hybride, the Giroux East, and North Quads. Surprisingly enough when I arrived at the Hybride, there was already a lineup for first turns. It looks rather large at first with everyone respecting the 2-metre social distancing rules. The wait time wasn't more than 5 minutes. I met up with my ski buddy Christian for the first two runs of the day. The first runs of the day were on...
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Beautiful report Paul. The mountain looks 'well garnished'. The snow quantity looks massive all over. Quite a crowd for a mid-week... Read More
Friday, 29 January 2021 10:01
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Mont Orford - December 24, 2020


Well my 2020-21 ski season has begun....finally! The weather recently in the Townships has not been the best, and upcoming weather reports aren't any better. So off to Mont Orford this morning for a few early season laps. I arrived at the mountain at 8:15, and it was already getting mild with a temperature of +2 degrees, and skies were partly cloudy to start. With the new Covid protocols in place, we are required to dress, and boot up at the car. Access to the chalet is limited for 15 minute breaks. Masks to be worn in the lift line, chalet, and on the lifts. Outside on the terrace there were a few spots where there are fireplaces set up with a couple of places to sit and relax. What was pretty cool was that they had was a shipping container converted into a serving area for drinks and other items you could purchase without having to enter the chalet. The terrace was set up nicely to have a break. Now onto the skiing. There were 5 trails available with The Giroux North Quad, The Hybrid...
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Station Touristique Stoneham - March 3, 2020


Today while visiting my sister in Tewkesbury just north of Quebec City, I took some time to go to Stoneham to ski some laps for the morning. We had received a little freezing rain during the night, that was covered with a layer of about 5cms of snow. I arrived at the mountain early for the best parking, and to beat the March Break crowd for some early turns. The skies were cloudy, on a day that was supposed to be sunny. The temperature was a fairly mild -5 degrees. 43 trails and 6 lifts were operating. The conditions were really good with groomed packed powder over a firm base. The coverage was excellent. The first runs of the day were up the l'Eclipse Quad. There was no wind, and it was quite comfortable. The combination of the top of the Randonnee trail, Toosey-Chandler, Petit Champlain, la Gonnet, to the bottom of la Rock and Roll was the first run of the day. A great little combination to get the day started to warm up. A good mix of easy beginner and intermediate trails. Next it w...
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Mont Gleason - March 1, 2020


It is the start of the March Break week in Quebec, and to kick it off a visit to Mont Gleason was in order. I had been in touch a good friend of mine earlier in the week to see if he would be able to join me, and it worked out that he was available. We usually would meet at Gleason once a season to ski however it didn't work out last year. It was great to ski with him today. It was supposed to be a partly sunny day today. When I left Sherbrooke it had cleared out, and the sun was shining. During the hour drive to Gleason it started to cloud over and by the time I got to the mountain it was snowing and the temperature was -12 degrees. Today at Gleason it was free skiing for residents of the MRC of Arthabaska so we were expecting it to be quite busy early. Lifts opened at 9 with the new Dopplemayr Quad first and then the Laurent-Lemire Quad shortly after. All trails, and glades were open. The double chair was loading by a bit after 10:00. The conditions early were really good. The trails...
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Vallée du Parc - February 17, 2020


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 To...
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Mont Sutton - January 21, 2020


What a difference a couple of weeks make. The week before, warm and rainy, enough to make everything in town brown again, icy and sloppy in the mountains, then a dump the weekend after of some 40+ cm of snow to cover up the mess left behind. Has Mother Nature been off her meds again? Well, being that it was a sunny day, travels took me all the way to Mont Sutton. This mountain is well known for being the place to go after a dump of snow for the best glade and powder skiing around. The weather today was much better than the last time I had been there at the end of last March. The drive was smooth, and I arrived at the mountain at 9:00 with a very fresh -20 degrees. Parking was decent, and no long hike to the chalet. There was a bit of a breeze that made it a touch colder, but being dressed for it, that didn't matter........just the constant fog up of my glasses under my ski goggles. Nothing some Kleenex couldn't fix. I was more concerned about my phone freezing up, and having to thaw it...
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Owl's Head - December 26, 2019


With the forecast for the next couple of days not being the best it could be, I decided to take advantage of a sunny day to head down to Owl's Head. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise, and I left Sherbrooke at 7:15 for the hour drive. I arrived at the mountain at a touch after 8, and got ready to roll. Got my RFID card reloaded then it was go time! The lifts opened at 8:30 with the Main Quad, Baby Quad and the Magic Carpet. I had heard news that the new Lake Quad was to open later in the morning. One of the main reasons for heading down there today. There were 16 announced trails open. The temperature was around -8 and no breeze, so it made for a comfortable morning. The first rides up the Main Quad were to ski Lilly's Leap, Centennial, and the Crossover to the Lower Standard. Shady Lady was also open, however the Blue Chair was not spinning. The conditions were of a fine machine groomed granular over a hard base. Coverage was pretty good all over. There was a little inversion happening ...
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Mont Orford - December 16, 2019


Day 2 of the season brought me to Mont Orford today. I had heard of the major construction project on the chalet, snowmaking system, and the new domed double magic carpet for the beginner's area that was installed, and has some finishing touches to go before it is up and running. I needed a sneak peek at what was done. I arrived at the mountain just after 8:30 with sunny skies and a crisp -11 degrees at the base. Once out of the car I noticed there was a bit of a breeze which made it colder than what it really was. With the rain and the warm weather this past week, and a wet weekend, I knew today was going to be a day where the snow was going to be hard and fast. Good thing I had a tune-up on the boards a couple of weeks ago! My buddy Christian contacted me to say that he would be there, and we met up to ski in the morning. The Giroux North Quad was open serving the Magnum, Familliale, Magog, and the Jean-Daviginon trails today. At the base of the mountain it was breezy, but as you rod...
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Mont Gleason - November 24, 2019


Five and a half months after the end of last season, the 2019-20 season began today with a trip to Mont Gleason. A buddy of mine contacted me to see if I was interested in going, and we decided that today worked with our schedules. So road trip it was. It was Gleason's opening weekend, as they had opened yesterday. We arrived at the mountain around 9:15 to cloudy skies, but looking out in the distance you could see blue skies. They did not make it our way, as it looked like we were on the edge of a weather system coming in. The temperature was a mild -3 degrees. Two trails were available the Gaudeau and the Cascades served by the Laurent-Lemire Quad chair. The coverage was really good for the early season. Groomed granular over a firm base. The first runs to start the season were down the Gaudreau, a nice easy beginner trail. It made for a good warm-up. Then we hit the Cascades, where this year the trail was widened at the top to accommodate the new Quad chair. With this change, the co...
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Mont Gleason - October 12, 2019


A trip out of town to view some fall colours was in order today so Mont Gleason was the destination. It was also a great reason to go take a peek at the progress of the new Quad. It was partly cloudy when we got there, I was with my son Lukas, and my long-time ski buddy Christian so it was a day out for the guys. We got there around 11:00 and there was a good crowd of people already there. At Gleason today the festivities included their ski sale in the shop, the local fire department was there with a couple of trucks for the kids to explore, bouncy castles, and chairlift rides. What I really came here for was the new Quad and the progress. Both top and bottom terminals are in place, and all towers have been installed. The crew was installing the comm cable today. The base of the new Quad does take up some of the parking areas. We decided to ride the Laurent-Lemire Quad to the summit to see what was going on up top, and for the view with the colours. Rides were one-way only with a multi...
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Mont-Sainte Anne - July 20, 2019


While taking the weekend away from the Eastern Townships, visiting family in the Quebec City area, I decided to visit Mont Sainte Anne with the family and ride the gondola. It was a very humid day with the temps in the low 30's. Partly cloudy skies with a breeze. We arrived mid afternoon around 2:30, and picked up the tickets for the ride up. The parking lot was not busy at all, and the ones who were there were biking. I noticed that at the bottom of the mountain there were a few giraffe guns spraying water to cool things down for the bike riders. There was no wait at the Gondola so we got right on and went to the top. When we got to the top, there was a steady breeze which made the heat more bearable. The views from the summit are amazing! Looking off the South side, you have the St. Lawrence River, and on the North side you have miles and miles of mountains. There is a look out tower that you may climb to get a better view. You have a full 360 degree view from up there. The View Look...
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Tenney Mountain Resort


Tenney Mountain Resort is a two and half hour drive from Sherbrooke, three and a half hours from Montreal, and two hours from Boston. Conveniently located 15 minutes from Interstate 93 near the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire it makes the mountain is very easy to get to. There are 45 trails served by 3 lifts, a double, and triple chair, with a platter lift for the beginner's and tubing area. The vertical at Tenney is 1400' with 110 acres of skiable terrain. Snowmaking covers 85% of the mountain. The chalet houses a large seating area with fireplace, and plenty of places to sit. You can even relax on two corner sofas by the fireplace during your break. There is the Backcountry Bar and Grill located in the chalet for food, drink, and live entertainment. There is no ski shop or rentals at the mountain, however in town you can get rentals from Plymouth Ski and Sports at a reasonable rate, and there is no ski school for lessons just yet. Tenney Mountain just recently re-opened after an 8-ye...
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Stoneham Mountain Resort


Stoneham Mountain Resort is located 25 minutes North of Quebec City just off Autoroute 73 before you enter Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier heading towards the Saguenay. There are 42 trails and glades. 19 trails are available for night skiing. The division of difficulty is 19% Easy, 26% Intermediate, 38% Single Black Diamond, and 17% Double Black Diamond. At Stoneham, there are 3 fixed-grip quad chairs, and 1 detachable quad lift with bubbles for those cold windy days. 2 Magic Carpets serve the beginner's area. There are 3 snowparks with a variety of modules and bumps for those into stunts and jumps. The snowparks are different in their own way by the level of experience, one Easy for beginners with beginner jumps and modules. The second is an Intermediate park, and an expert park for the most experienced, all located in different areas on the mountain. There is also an Olympic style half pipe, the only one in the Province of Quebec. In the chalet, you will find the cafeteria with a...
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Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park At Brookvale - Brookvale, PEI


While I have been off the radar this summer more than usual, this will hopefully make up for it......a little. I just returned home from a week in PEI and I could not leave the island without a visit to the Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park At Brookvale. Recently renamed from Brookvale Provincial Ski Park, to commemorate Mark Arendz's achievements as a Paralympian for Team Canada. The hill is located in Brookvale, PEI about a half hour's drive from Charlottetown. It is pretty much in the central region of the island and fairly easy to get to. The mountain has one fixed-grip Quad, and a learner's magic carpet along with 9 trails and a vertical of 250 feet. Of the 9 trails, 3 are Easy, 1 Intermediate and 5 are Difficult. There are a ski school and rental shop located in the chalet. The property is well maintained as you can see from the main photo. It looks like the trails are one big lawn to mow in comparison to some trails here at home that I have seen! This would make for less snow to b...
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Massif du Sud


Massif du Sud is located near the community of St Philemon about an hour and a half drive Southeast of Quebec City, or 3 and a half hours from Montreal, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec. Here you will find 33 trails and glades with a vertical drop of 1312 feet, served by a fixed grip Quad Chair and a Pomalift. There are 6 Easy, 2 Intermediate, 9 Single Black Diamond, and 2 Double Black Diamond trails. Of the 14 glades, there is 1 Intermediate, 5 Single Black Diamond, and 8 Double Black Diamond descents to choose from. There are 2 snow parks available with a variety of modules with different degrees of difficulty. If you are looking for some bumps, they have 3 mogul trails. There is also 20kms of snowshoe trails, 2 of which are accessible from the summit. They have a full boutique along with rental shop on the ground level with the ticket desk and lockers. Main level you will find the cafeteria with ample space to sit and to have a bite to eat. The bar is also on the main le...
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Bretton Woods


Currently, the largest ski resort in New Hampshire, Bretton Woods is about a 3 ¼ hour drive from Montreal, with the majority of the drive via autoroute to Magog and then South to the U.S. border where you will continue on Interstates 91 and 93 into New Hampshire. The mountain is located just a few minutes past the village of Twin Mountain on Route 302. At Bretton Woods you will find 62 trails with 35 glades for your enjoyment served by 10 lifts, 4 High Speed Quad Chairlifts, 1 fixed grip Quad in the Learning Zone along with 2 Wonder Carpets, 1 Triple Chair, Gondola, and T-Bar. Snowmaking covers 92% of the available terrain on a 1500 foot vertical. 5 trails and 2 lifts are open for night skiing on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Holiday Period during the season. There is also a variety of other winter activities here such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, dog sledding, skating just to name a few. There is lodging on-site at the Bretton Arms Inn, the Lodge, the Town Homes at Bretton Wo...
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Mount Abram


Mount Abram is a medium sized family ski area located near the town of Greenwood, Maine about 2 and half hours from Sherbrooke, or 3 hours and 45 minutes from Montreal. The mountain offers a great variety of terrain for the beginner right up to the expert skier. There are 4 lifts serving 44 trails and a 1,150 foot vertical. There are 2 double chairlifts, 1 t-bar, and 1 beginner Magic Carpet. The trail ratio is 10 Easy, 21 Intermediate, and 13 Expert trails. There are 2 chalets, one located at the Main base of the mountain, and another located over on the West side of the mountain. The West side is mainly occupied by beginners and families wanting to have a safe place to ski, out of the way of the busy main base area. Most of the ski lessons are given in this area. The West side has 1 of the double chairlifts, and the Magic Carpet, while the Main base area is served by the other Double chair and t-bar. Hours of operation are from 9am to 4 pm Thursday to Sunday, and open for the week of ...
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Cochran's Ski Area


Cochran's Ski Area is a small local family hill located just outside the town of Richmond, VT about a 2 hour drive from Montreal along Autoroutes 10 & 35 and Interstate 89. It boasts 3 surface lifts, 1 t-bar, rope tow, and a handle tow called a Mighty Might. There are 8 trails to ski, 4 Easy, 3 Intermediate, and 1 Expert on a vertical of 350 feet. Snowmaking covers 66% of the skiable terrain. The hours of operation are Tuesday to Thursday from 3-6 pm, Friday 3-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday's from 9am to 4pm. They offer an afterschool ski program to children in the nearby neighboring towns and including Richmond on a 9-10 week schedule. Most, if not all skiers here are young families and children learning how to ski for the first time, and right up to the young aspiring racer going through their paces with the Cochran's race program. The hill hosts weekly races and is a training area for 8 local high schools, and shares the hill with 800 school children from elementary school programs. ...
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Whaleback Mountain


Whaleback Mountain is located right on Interstate 89 near the community of Enfield, New Hampshire, approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Sherbrooke, and just over 3 hours from Montréal. The mountain offers 30 trails and glades of different levels of ability, served by 4 lifts, which include a double chair, T-bar, and magic carpet lift, and a handle tow. The trails here are named in a whale and sea theme, such as the Dorsal, Flipper, Davey Jones' Locker, and Jonah's Revenge just to name a few. Snowmaking covers 12 of the 30 trails and night skiing is offered on those same 12 trails. Operating hours at Whaleback are Tuesday and Wednesdays from 2-8 pm, Thursday and Fridays from 1-8 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 9-4, closed Mondays unless there is a holiday, or during a holiday week. There is a full-service chalet along with a pub. The hill offers an after-school program for the local kids, and they offer private and semi-private lessons through the ski shop. Rentals can be booked ...
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Mont Orford


Mont Orford, the highest mountain of the "Big 4" of the Eastern Townships in terms of skiable vertical terrain, is located a little over an hour from Montréal, just minutes from Autoroute 10. A total of 44 trails and glades are waiting for you served by 8 lifts; 2 Quad chairlifts, a Triple chair, Double chair, a 6 seater/gondola hybrid, and 3 Magic Carpets. Orford consists of 3 summits, Mont Orford, Mont Alfred-Desrochers, and Mont Giroux. There are 2 faces on Mont Giroux, known as Giroux North and Giroux East. In the main chalet, you will find the Groups and Client Services counter and seating area on the main floor. Upstairs on the second level is the cafeteria, and two halls, Salle Giroux and Salle Alfred-Desrochers. The daycare and Slalom Pub are also found here in the main chalet. Lift tickets are purchased at the windows outside. In the secondary chalet, the Boutique and Rental shop along with the ski school are located here. Lodging can be found at the base of Giroux East for gu...
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Mont Sutton


Mont Sutton is located about 115 kilometres east of Montréal, a drive of about an hour and a half along the Eastern Townships Autoroute and Route 139 that leads right into the heart of the town of Sutton. A turn onto Maple Street and follow your way up to the end. They offer a great variety of trails and glades to choose from for the beginner right up to the extreme expert skier. At Sutton, there are 60 trails, of which 29 of them are glades, serviced by 10 lifts, 3 quadruple chairlifts, 6 double chairs, and a Magic Carpet lift. Snowmaking covers 60% of the skiable terrain. Services at the mountain include bar, full cafeteria, locker area, daycare, rental and repair shop, and Boutique all located at the base of the mountain. There are 4 chalets on the hill to take a break, warm-up, or grab a quick bite to eat. Summer activities at Sutton include hiking and a bike park right out front of the Boutique. They offer rentals of an assortment of mountain bikes. In town, there are a variety of...
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Owl's Head


Owl's Head is located on the shore of Lake Memphremagog in the Municipality of Potton about an hour and a half drive East of Montréal along Autoroute 10 towards Sherbrooke. The mountain offers 50 trails and 10 glades serviced by 6 lifts; 4 Quad chairlifts (2 detachable and 2 fixed grip), 1 double chairlift, and a beginner's Magic Carpet lift. Snowmaking here covers 90% of the trails to keep them at their best. Owl's Head offers a wide variety of trails for the beginner right up to the expert skier. Accommodations can be found right at the base of the mountain at the MTN Haus. There are other accommodations nearby to stay at for the time being. Details are available in their website for other ideas on where you could stay. Summer activities include hiking, marina with boat rentals, boat slips for day visitors and residents who own properties at the mountain, and a magnificent 18-hole golf course with large clubhouse with dining room, and proshop. The Mountain and the Ski Trails Owl's He...
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Mont Gleason


Mont Gleason is located in the community of Tingwick, Quebec, roughly a 2-hour drive from Montreal along Autoroute 20 heading towards Quebec City. There are several ways to get there, with the simplest route taking Autoroute 20 to Route 955 (Exit 210) to St Albert, and then down to Warwick. Mont Gleason offers a great variety of trails for the beginner right up to the expert skier. There are 21 trails and 10 glades available, served by 2 quadruple chairlifts, and 1 double chairlift. There is also a learning area that is served by a magic carpet lift. Snowmaking covers just over 90% of the mountain, adding to an average annual snowfall of 176 centimetres, making for great conditions. Night skiing is offered at Gleason. Gleason also has a ski/boardercross trail to go along with their snowpark with a variety of bumps and modules. The mountain also contains a tubing park with a choice of 5 different lanes with varying degrees of steepness. You will also find just over 7 kilometres of marke...
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Mont Bellevue


Mont Bellevue is a small community ski area located in the heart of the City of Sherbrooke, about 150 kilometers east of Montréal, a drive of just over an hour and a half to get there. The mountain offers great terrain for the beginner and intermediate skier. 11 trails are available serviced by a fixed grip Quadruple chairlift, along with a Pomalift, and beginners Magic Carpet. Snowmaking covers the entire mountain to ensure optimal coverage and to offer the best conditions possible. Night skiing is offered on all 11 trails from Monday to Saturday. The hill closes at 5pm on Sundays. Mont Bellevue also offers a few kilometers of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing with equipment rentals possible for these activities through the rental shop. There are a couple of tubing runs as well serviced with a handle tow, and a skating rink is available behind the chalet. Hiking is also available during the winter months on marked trails.  The Mountain and the Ski Trails The trails ...
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