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Everything posted by Paul

  1. The old quad at Smokey has been taken down to make way for the new Gondola. Here is a photo from their Facebook page.
  2. @Ocean, all is well here. Week unknown of working from home.......lost count! Lol. The commute is tough. Still late for work! I see Killington has finally thrown in the towel, and will not be reopening. Wouldn't have been a good idea as they draw a lot of clientele from the East Coast and would have been utter chaos had they opened the Superstar with lift. How could you have controlled that crowd safely with the appropriate distancing requirements. Magic is apparently moving ahead with the completion of their new quad for it to be ready of next season. They have come up with a brilliant idea for their season pass sales. Different types of passes, payment plans, and in the event of the season being cancelled outright should things don't get better, they will roll over your purchase into a 2021-22 pass. Saddleback has totally dismantled the Rangeley Double chair, and construction on the new quad should start shortly. Renovations to the chalet are proceeding smoothly. Reopening still scheduled for next season. it will be an interesting season to say the least for 2020-21. Everyone is planning now to reinvent themselves for next season to adapt should we still be under safety measures. Hope all is well with you all @Shane and @Gordo and @Ocean keep safe and we will get through this. All the best to my SlopeEdge brothers and sister!
  3. News from Cape Smokey. They have just announced the signing with Leitner-Poma to start construction on Atlantic Canada's first gondola. This new gondola will replace the old quad chair that had not been operational for a number of years. This will open up the upper section of the mountain that was once served by the quad. The Poma lift will still be around to service the lower section of the mountain. Here is the link to Cape Smokey's Facebook page for the announcement.
  4. Hey @Ocean all is good here.......got gas for the BBQ so all is well. Working from home is okay but the novelty is wearing off pretty quickly though. Lucky to still be working. Hope @Shane and @Gordo are doing fine. What a way to end the season! 3 months earlier than last year. At least I have new spot to go to in Vallee du Parc. only got 7 ski days in this year.......really subpar for me. Didn't get to any of the areas I wanted to. Next season, is going to be quite interesting. I don't foresee any US trips. Saddleback was going to be a target, as was Magic Mountain. Unless some miracle happens there won't be any US trips until maybe 2021-22. We will see. I might just concentrate on north of the border next year. I have already been scoping out New Brunswick, with Farlagne and Sugarloaf Provincial Park, with a swing over to Petit Chamonix in Matapedia. It's all just looking for now, nothing firm. I'd love to go further East into Nova Scotia, but that is a loooong trip! Stay safe friends, hoping to catch everyone on the other side of this mess!
  5. Things are progressing up at Saddleback. ME this week as they are dismantling the old Rangley Double to make way for the new high speed quad chair, as you can see in the cool video that they had posted on the Facebook page.
  6. @Ocean @Shane and @Gordo, All is okay for me, started a new job just before this mess really broke out, and now all set up working from home now. It's been a bit stressing getting trained remotely, but the extra sleep in time certainly helps out. It's been a total.......well I'll keep it clean here, mess. Sherbrooke seems to be the hotspot now in the Townships, and no plans on heading out. Heck I don't even have gas for the BBQ! Got caught on that one, should have filled up when it ran out last fall! Stay safe everyone!
  7. Just minutes ago, Mount Norquay - Banff has just announced on their Facebook page they are suspending operations. Now the closures are starting out West. Mont Farlagne in Edmunston, NB has also posted their closure as well today, along with Sugarloaf Provincial Park in Atholville, NB. Marble Mountain, NL is now also closed. So friends this is the end of the season as we know it!
  8. As of today March 16th, Nova Scotia ski areas are now closing. Cape Smokey, Ski Ben Eoin, Ski Martock, and Wentworth have announced their closures for the season.
  9. Quebec is not the only Province to close their ski areas. Even though there is only one area in PEI, the Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale has announced that their season has come to and end as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Just a matter of time before all the other Maritime ski areas close as well?
  10. Here is a Global list of closed resorts for reference. This list will most likely to expand soon enough. https://snowbrains.com/list-of-all-ski-resorts-closed-due-to-coronavirus/ Update: You can add Magic Mountain, VT and Mad River Glen, VT to the list.
  11. Here is is an update of area closings South of the Border as per the New England Ski Industry's website as detailed in the below link for reference. This list is just the beginning. https://www.newenglandskiindustry.com/viewstory.php?storyid=828
  12. Burke Mountain, VT has just posted that they will be closing for the season effective March 14, 2020. Details here by following the link. http://skiburke.com/message
  13. From what I have seen on social media in regards to Quebec Ski Areas is that it's business as usual...............for now. The regulation Minister Legault announced recently apparently does not apply to ski areas. The events where there will be large crowds gathering are cancelled however. That may change with a blink of an eye. My planned travels to New Hampshire for the spring are not happening. With Catamount and Berkshire shutting I can see others following suit. At this moment it's business as usual for Sunday River. With the weather, and the situation at hand, the ski season may be unfortunately cut short.
  14. Thanks for the great photos of Tremblant. The last Sunday of March break is hit or miss in terms of lift lines, looks like a hit if the wait was less than 5 minutes. Hopefully the snow holds up for a few more outings this year. My front lawn is looking pretty ratty and bare. The mountains still look nice.
  15. @Gordo no unfortunately I didn't get into the glades this time. That's the plan on the next visit. They looked enticing though. The plan was to cover all the sectors however I didn't get to the Expert section this time either. There was a bit of a time schedule on this trip. Hopefully next time I have the time to get everywhere.
  16. C'est le début de la semaine de relâche au Québec, et pour le coup d'envoi, une visite au Mont Gleason s'imposait. J'avais été en contact avec un bon ami à moi plus tôt dans la semaine pour voir s'il serait en mesure de me rejoindre, et il s'est avéré qu'il était disponible. Nous nous réunissions habituellement à Gleason une fois par saison pour skier, mais cela n'a pas fonctionné l'année dernière. C'était super de skier avec lui aujourd'hui. C'était censé être une journée partiellement ensoleillée aujourd'hui. Quand j'ai quitté Sherbrooke, il s'était éclairci et le soleil brillait. Pendant l'heure de route vers Gleason, il a commencé à se couvrir et au moment où je suis arrivé à la montagne, il neige et la température était de -12 degrés. Aujourd'hui à Gleason, le ski était gratuit pour les résidents de la MRC d'Arthabaska, alors nous nous attendions à ce qu'il soit assez occupé tôt. Les remontées mécaniques ont ouvert à 9 heures avec le nouveau Quad Dopplemayr puis le Quad Laurent-Lemire peu de temps après. Tous les pistes et les sous-bois étaient ouverts. La chaise double se chargeait un peu après 10h00. Les conditions au début étaient vraiment bonnes. Les pistes ont été entretenus la veille et ils avaient une belle couverture de poudre sur le dessus. Les premiers descentes ont été sur le Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling et le Ling en sous la double chaise. La couverture était excellente et ferme sous le pied. Au début, il n'y avait pas de file d'attente sur les deux chaises Quad sans pratiquement attendre. Assez étrange, c'était une journée gratuite pour les résidents de la région d'Arthabaska. Les Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling et Ling: Nous avons fait encore quelques descentes sur les Cascades et les Côtes à Georges où la couverture y était également très bonne. Le soleil a finalement fait son apparition vers 10h45 - 11h00. Il y avait un peu de vent parfois mais quand le soleil est apparu, je l'ai trouvé assez confortable. Nous avons alterné entre le nouveau Quad et le Laurent-Lemire Quad dans la matinée. Les Cascades et les Côtes à Georges: À 11 h 30, il n'était toujours pas aussi occupé que nous l'avions prévu. Le chalet du sommet était l'endroit idéal pour un bon repas a midi. Une bonne soupe à l'oignon française et une boisson était le repas de choix. Après, nous avons à nouveau fait le tour sur les pistes habituels. Il a commencé à être assez occupé à 13h30, et la file d'attente dans l'un ou l'autre des Quad était d'environ 5 minutes. Toujours pas mal, mais on peut dire que ça devenait occupé car les pistes se remplissaient maintenant de monde. L'ajout du nouveau Quad a fait une différence dans le sens du temps d'attente. La chaise double fonctionnait également, mais nous ne l'avons pas prise. À ce moment-là, les conditions étaient encore décentes, mais vous avez commencé à remarquer des endroits qui commençaient à glacee car vous pouvez maintenant entendre les skis commencer à gratter. À 14 h 30, il était temps d’arreter. La décision a été rendue plus facile en étant coupée par quelques personnes et les pistes devenant un peu plus encombrés. Le parking était plein et les gens entraient toujours alors que nous sortions. Gleason propose du ski de nuit, donc ce serait la monde l'après-midi qui arriverait sur la scène. Nous avons passé une excellente journée avec de ski. Une autre visite agréable à Gleason. Je n'ai été déçu par aucune de mes visites, et j'ai toujours hâte de skier ici que ce soit en solo ou entre amis. Le Mont Gleason est une montagne que me recommande. Jusqu'à la prochaine fois Gleason! Merci encore! Voici quelques scènes supplémentaires de la journée:
  17. As reported on their Facebook page, the first closure for the 2019-2020 season is Whaleback, NH. It has been discovered that the bearings in the bull wheel at the top terminal that need to be replaced. With this happening they have announced that this weekend, Sunday March 8th will be their last day for the season. Here is the link to their page with the announcement. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmailchi.mp%2Fwhaleback%2Fmountain-update-and-ski-school-programs-923761&h=AT3zRDupxfCSkFMUt9ROGulWoyV7rxBTWBGQqptXCpiTQeLeG4hbYLAzlX-R45r5zxKOyld8SgCjW3vKHOXhPYm8kjNLuqmSCq9qJOzQ-1C3Tjy601pAU_i5EgcE&s=1
  18. 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 was the Gonnet over to the Rock and Roll, and then the fill length of the Rock and Roll. The Randonnee, and the bottom section of the Rock and Roll: Then it was onto the l’Alize quad for a few laps down the Pionniers, the bottom of the Walter Moisan, and the Bon Vivant. One run down the Chouette. Line ups at the l’Etoile and l’Alize quads were no more than 2-3 minutes tops. One more ride up the l’Eclipse Quad to ski the Randonnee to the Petit Champlain and the bottom section of the Gonnet over to the Tempete Express Quad. When I got in view of the lift line, there was quite the lineup that looked like it was going to be a wait of 10 minutes plus. The singles line was your best friend as it was basically 2 minutes, and you were on the chair. The Pionniers, and the Bon Vivant: The Lineup At the Tempete Express Quad: There are two lines for foursomes, one line for doubles, and one singles line. It was up the Tempete Express for a couple of rides on the Cantons, another section of the Randonnee, and then the bottom of the Laurentienne. It was foggy at the top of this section, but not to the point where visibility was difficult. The last run was down this section was the full length of the Petit Champlain onto the Gonnet, and the bottom of the Rock and Roll. The top of the Cantons, Randonnee, and the Petit Champlain: By 11:00 the temperature was above zero and the snow was getting a bit spring like. Not granular nor slushy but definitely heavier. Good snowball making snow. I ended the day at noon to make my way back to my sister’s for lunch. This was my second visit to Stoneham, and I had an excellent day of skiing. I will definitely be back again. Thank you, Stoneham for the great skiing! Here are a few more scenes from the morning:
  19. 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 were groomed the night before, and they had a nice blanket of loose powder on top. The first runs were on the Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling, and the Ling that runs under the double chair. Coverage was excellent, and firm underfoot. At first there weren't any line ups at either Quad chair with virtually no waiting. Quite odd being that it was a freebie day for residents of the Arthabaska area. The Gaudreau, Pierre-Ling, and Ling: We did a few more runs on the Cascades, and the Cotes a Georges where the coverage there was really good as well. The sun finally made an appearance at around 10:45 - 11:00. There was a bit of a breeze at times but when the sun appeared, I found it pretty comfortable. We alternated between the new Quad, and the Laurent-Lemire Quad in the morning. The Cascades, and The Cotes a Georges: By 11:30 it still wasn't as busy as we had expected it to be. The summit chalet was the place to have lunch. A nice French onion soup, and a drink was the meal of choice. After lunch we made the rounds again on the usual trails. It started getting pretty busy by 1:30, and the line up at either Quad was up to 5 minutes or so. Still not bad, but you can tell it was getting busy as the trails were now getting full of people. The addition of the new Quad did make a difference in the sense of wait time. The double chair was running as well, however we didn't take it. By now the conditions were still decent, but you did start to notice some spots that were getting skied off as you can now hear the skis starting to scrape. By 2:30 it was time to pack it in. The decision was made easier by being cut off by a couple of people, and the trails becoming a bit more crowded. The parking lot was full, and people were still coming in as we were on our way out. Gleason does offer night skiing so this would be the afternoon shift arriving on the scene. We had a great day with quite a bit of skiing done. Another pleasant visit to Gleason. I have not been disappointed with any of my visits, and I always look forward to skiing here be it on a solo trip, or with friends. Mont Gleason is a mountain that I do recommend. Until next time Gleason! Merci encore! Here are a few more scenes from the day:
  20. Nice report Paul. Sometimes the rewards are worth the effort in times like these. It may have been quite a challenging drive, as long as you don't drive like a maniac you'll be fine. Having the place pretty much on your own is great. Looks like a lot of first lines were had! Great shots of the glades! Hope you had a refreshing beverage at the end to top off a day like that. Well done!
  21. Avec les prévisions d'une journée ensoleillée aujourd'hui, il était temps de découvrir une nouvelle station de ski, et ce choix était la Vallée du Parc à Shawinigan, juste au nord de Trois-Rivières. J'avais pensé à Vallée du Parc au cours de la dernière semaine ou alors, consultez leur site Web pour plus d'informations et leur carte des pistes. Il semblait que ça allait être un bon choix. J'ai quitté Sherbrooke à 7 h du matin avec des nuages, et j'ai roulé dans un beau ciel bleu une fois arrivé à la montagne peu après 9 h. Le parking commençait à se remplir, avec les 5 autobus des écoliers qui sont arrivés environ 5 minutes après moi. La température était fraîche de -14 degrés sans un vent à la base. 33 des 33 pistes étaient ouvertes et 3 remontées mécaniques desservaient le terrain ouvert. 2 Quadruples et le tapis magique pour les débutants. Même si le parking principal était plein et avec les enfants, il n'y avait aucune attente dans l'un ou l'autre Quad. Peut-être 2 minutes tout au plus. Les conditions étaient fantastiques! Poudre compactée damée sur une base ferme. Pas de glace nulle part. Par rapport aux Cantons, il y a un peu plus de neige ici. Les premières descentes se sont déroulées sur le Cap Breton, et le piste Mauricie, tous deux débutants au large du sommet de la quadruple L'Envolee. Ce qui est intéressant sur cet remontee, c'est qu'il y a une zone de débarquadiere à mi-station. Pour accéder aux sentiers du Cap Bretton et de la Mauricie, vous feriez du Quad à la fin. Le Cap-Breton fait également la parc à neige pour débutants avec une variété de rouleaux et de rails. Les Pistes Mauricie et du Cap Breton: Les pistes suivantes partaient de la mi-station: la Veilles Forges, qui passe sous le Quad pour les 2/3 supérieur de la montagne, et le Glacier qui est le tiers inférieur, le Prince Edouard, Prince Albert. Les conditions ici étaient tout simplement géniales. Pas une trace de glace nulle part. Cette section de la montagne est la zone Débutant et Intermédiaire. La disposition des pistes ici est assez intéressante. La Veilles Forges et la Glacier: Ensuite, c'est au quadruple L'Expert qui dessert la zone Experts où se trouvent les pistes du diamant simple noir. Cette section a fini par être ma préférée et a passé pas mal de courses ici. La piste L'Expert qui passe sous l'ascenseur, a également le parc de terrain avancé avec des bosses, des rouleaux et des rails plus grands. Les conditions dans la section Expert étaient tout simplement super. Poudre damee sur une base ferme. Il y a une sélection intéressante de diamants noirs simples à choisir. L'accès à cette zone est plus facile à partir de la mi-station sur le quad de L'Envolee via les pistes Nahani et Jasper. D'autres pistes diamant noir que j'avais fait des tours étaient sur le Matteau, Petite Vallee, Desaulniers, Fundy et Waber. Ceci est une très belle section de la montagne. Debut de la piste Expert et la piste Jasper: Il était temps de faire une pause rapide pour se réchauffer, puis de nouveau. Encore quelques descentes sur les deux Quads, puis à 13 h 00, il était temps de le préparer et de retourner à Sherbrooke. C'est ma première fois à la Vallée du Parc, et je suis très impressionné par la montagne. Les sentiers étaient tous bien entretenus. La couverture était parfaite. J'ai passé un excellent journee à skier ici, et j'aimerais revenir ici pour passer une autre journee. Bravo et merci beaucoup Vallée du Parc! À bientôt! Voici des quelques d'autres scenes de la journée:
  22. @Shane There is an old t-bar that runs parallel to the Quad that looks like it hasn't been used in quite a while. The mid station is at the same level as where this t-bar ends, so from my assumption this was the summit of the mountain at one time. The continuation of the Quad beyond this point serves the Cap(e) Bretton, and the Mauricie trails. It kind of looks like these trails were extended from the crossover trail from where the t-bar ended to where the Quad ends. The lift line is quite flat from the mid station upwards. The mid station would serve the lower trails where the intermediate trails would be located. The ski area is 5 minutes off of Autoroute 55 so the location is pretty decent. Easy to get to. The Experts section is a pretty good feature as the trails are all in one area. Someone who may not be an Expert can ski in the other area without having to worry about being in the way. Both sections are served by fixed grip Quad chairs that are both fairly recent.
  23. 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 on 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 beginners 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, the 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 the 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:
  24. It is really amazing that the mountain relied on an old Mueller Double to provide access the summit. The Rangley Double was it. As you can see on the trail map, once off the Rangley Double you'd head over to the Summit Quad. I seem to think the lower Quad that served the beginners area was the last "new" lift installed. My question is why did they not replace the Rangley Double with this Quad in a longer length, and relocate the Rangley Double to this beginner area, after a refurbishment. That's what I don't get. I have never skied Saddleback, and I do plan on it next season if all goes well. I heard Saddleback has some of the best steeps around in that upper section of the mountain. Also it was Maine's third largest ski area until it closed. I can't really compare it to anything yet until I get there next season.
  25. @Ocean back in the day when I was there it would get busy enough sometimes to run the Green Chair for a day! Not the whole week though. Nowadays it's not as busy. I skied OH during Quebec March break last season, and I don't think I spent more than 5-10 minutes in line at any of the chairs, and that was without the Old Lake Quad running. It's hit and miss sometimes. Since they converted the Appartment Hotel to private condos, there is only the auberge at the Mountain Haus for lodging, and that is only 10 rooms. So it may not be so busy as it used to be. Sutton would probably be nuts. More so if it snows.
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