Wow! What a great week! Temperatures remained cold throughout, and there was a fresh dusting of snow most days. There was certainly no blizzard, but these small accumulations added up to 15 or 20 cm at many ski hills in the Laurentians. This means skiing will be fantastic this weekend: conditions on groomed trails should be soft, and if you're into moguls or glade-skiing you should have no trouble finding some soft snow or even some untouched powder (!) to have fun in.
The weather looks great too: a little chilly tomorrow morning, but warming up to between -4 and -8 depending on location, with hopefully some sunshine. Sunday looks even warmer, but with some clouds. As always, warm weather and fresh snow means crowds at your favourite ski hill. It's pretty much unavoidable, but there are always some ways to avoid the masses as much as possible.
1. Consider skiing at a less-known, out-of-the-way ski hill. For example, in the Laurentians, Sommet Morin Heights, 10 minutes down the road from its well-known, easily-accessed sister hill Sommet Saint-Sauveur, might be a bit less busy.
2. Arrive early: get a parking place close to the chalet, ski great conditions in the early morning, enjoy instant lift access before the lessons start... What's not to like?
3. Time your lunch break carefully. As any skier knows, the busiest time in the ski chalet is between 12 and 1 pm - No tables, long line in the cafeteria, crowded walkways, etc... By eating lunch either earlier or later, you'll get a table with enough seats and comfortable space to move around.
In terms of interesting ski news, this week Station touristique Stoneham near Quebec City announced their latest offering. Essentially, large cameras are placed on certain slopes, and these cameras take a continuous video of the trail and skiers who are passing by. Skiers can ski near these cameras, and then after downloading an app on their phone, they are able to see this video. What a great idea! Who doesn't want to see footage of them skiing? This avoids people having to film each other as they ski down, and provides for some interesting discussion at the end of the day. It can even help technique-lovers perfect their form. It would be great if this offering came to other ski hills!
This weekend looks like it will be great, and next week looks to be even greater. Weather forecasters are calling for 20-30 cm of snow, expected to fall between Tuesday and Wednesday. It's the blizzard we've been wanting for awhile. There is a small chance of some freezing rain in the city and Eastern Townships, but hopefully we'll get lucky and it will fall only as snow.