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Everything posted by Paul

  1. We didn't get anywhere near that! Last check with my buddy at Orford yesterday was 15cms with high winds where only Giroux N and the new Alfred Desrochers Quads were running. The Hybride was closed due to high wind. We actually had some sunny breaks during the day so this storm pretty much went around us.......as usual.
  2. With the work nearing completion on the new Alfred Desrochers Quad Chair, I have found a series of photos with the original Double Chair in place, along with photos of the tear down, and the installation of the Quad. The First photo of the Double Chair I had taken from a couple of years ago. The rest would be from the start of the tear down this past June/July (photos I had not taken myself) to the latest photo taken this past Friday while skiing. Here's a photo timeline of the work. The Alfred Desrochers Double Chair. Photo taken a couple of years ago. The start of the tear down this past June 2021. The upper section of the New Alfred Desrochers Quad from this fall 2021. Photo of the bottom terminal taken December 10, 2021 Once completed and operating, this chair should elevate some of the line up from the GIroux North Quad and the Hybride, as there will be more uphill capacity now with the new quad from when the double chair was in service. This is a very nice sector to ski with a nice variety of trails to choose from.
  3. Not yet. I'm hoping to head out to Orford for this coming Friday the 10th, just have to get approval for the day off. Both pairs of skis are at the shop and I should be getting them back soon.
  4. Orford is opening Friday December 3rd for the weekend only, Giroux North with 1 trail Familiale, and the Pente d'Ecole Owl's Head opens for Thursday December 9th for the weekend only. Main Quad, Lilliy's Leap, Porc-Epic, Bambi Crossing, and Petit Allée. These trails are connected together to make 1 route from top to bottom. Bromont opens for Passholders only Friday December 3rd, Versant du Village, Brome trail only. No Apex Card, L'Est Go or Passe-Partout Tickets are accepted. Sutton would be opening the following weekend the 11th.
  5. Nice photo! I have a series of pics from a friend of mine that they had sent me from the beginning of this project up until now. From my understanding the chair is to be ready for the start of the season. I'll be riding this chair quite a bit hopefully this winter. Dopplemayr Eco Drive Gen II from what I had heard.
  6. Usually by that time of season most areas are pretty close to being fully opened. Owl's Head, Bromont, Orford, and Sutton have greatly invested and improved their snowmaking capabilities over the last few seasons, and it has shown in the improvement in the quality of snow being made. Conditions are normally excellent and the trails that have snowmaking would be well covered and groomed every night. With the glades, it would take a good 2 or 3 good snowstorms for them the be opened. When they are, and there had been a dump the night before, it can get busy at Mont Sutton. They are well known for glade skiing. Historically in the past the mountains are usually well covered with snow, but you still may have to be careful on the natural snow only trails. If you are planning a trip at that time, it's always a good idea to keep your eye on the weather reports along with the daily ski conditions on the area you may want to visit. Safe skiing!
  7. I am hoping it will be soon! It was a very late start for me last season, December 24th was the first day. The past few years before were either late October at Sauveur or early November at Gleason, or Orford. There is a chill in there air at night but doesn't seem to be enough to get the guns going full tilt. Bromont last weekend was a bit white but with the warmth it probably has since melted, or close to it. Here's a photo taken last Saturday of Bromont. Looks like a test run though.
  8. While I was out in the area having lunch at the Brasserie Lac Brompton recently, I had the opportunity to pass by the abandoned ski area named Indian Valley. This area was operated by the Auberge Lac Brompton from the early 1960's until it's closure in 1978 or 1979. It was a small ski area with six trails and one t-bar. The t-bar is still partially standing, the chalet snack-bar is now a private residence. Not much is remaining of this ski hill as it has long since grown in, and it is being developed residentially. I have visited this area many times since I discovered it back in 2014, and watched how quickly it has been taken over by nature, and by the private homes that have been built since. The following photos are from the summit of the mountain taken in early October of 2021. You can drive up the road to the summit to find the spot.
  9. I had read that Mount St Louis Moonstone was going to require proof of vaccination unless they had changed their directive since. That was a few days ago that I had seen this. It's excellent for the Ontario hills to get back to full operation after what happened to them last season. From what I have read on social media here in Quebec, there are a lot of peeved people who have directed their comments towards the mountains as if it was their decision to apply these restrictions, where it was the Quebec Government that imposed the rules where the ASSQ has to relay them to the ski areas to follow. Not 100% sure about what is happening in New Brunswick yet other than what Mont Farlagne has announced. They are requiring proof of vaccination. Haven't heard what Sugarloaf Provincial Park, Mount Poley, or Crabbe Mountain are doing.
  10. As announced today, the ASSQ has released the protocols for the upcoming ski season. It has been confirmed that you are required to provide proof of vaccination for anyone over the age of 13 to ride the lifts at Quebec ski areas. This is to accommodate 100% capacity for lifts, as opposed to last year's 50% lift capacity. Face coverings are also recommended in line and on lifts. 1 metre distancing required while waiting in line. Passports are also required for restaurants, bars, and lunch spaces. I have seen notices from a few mountains for non vaccinated pass holders to either differ their pass to the 2022-23 season or request a refund for your pass. Emails from your respective mountain from where you have purchased your pass should be sent out shortly on how to validate your pass with your proof of vaccination for the upcoming ski season. It is recommended if you are to visit any mountain in Quebec, refer to the mountain's website for additional information on protocols, and for purchasing lift tickets. Know before you go! As always these measures could change at any time.
  11. Seems like the sign of the times where the old school lift ticket with wicket will be the thing of the past. Mont Sutton has announced that they are going RFID as well for this upcoming season.
  12. Here is an update from Mont Farlagne in Edmunston, NB regarding their Covid protocols for the upcoming season that they had just posted on their Facebook page today. They will be requiring proof of vaccination on site, along with masks being mandatory, and other details for them to be open for the season to keep operational. Obviously this can change in a heartbeat if necessary. I am hoping to get there this winter to cover them, and to share the experience. For updates, please visit their website: https://www.montfarlagne.com
  13. I know it's a bit early for this, however I have come across a couple of items that might indicate that we are headed into another ski season with restrictions like we had last year. Obviously these plans may change depending on the situation. Mont Gleason has announced that they are reducing capacity for lifts: Double chair, one person alone riding or paired with another member of the same family. Quad chair would be two riding with one at each end of the chair, or again members of the same family riding together. They have also mentioned that daily tickets must be purchased online before heading out to the mountain, and limited number of daily tickets. In addition to this season, you will be required to provide your proof of vaccination to enter the Wiski Bar in the main chalet, and to enter the summit chalet. This is something we did not have last season. Mont Gleason will not be operating their quad chair this fall for the colours, as Hydro Quebec is installing the electricity to the new service building. Here is the link to Mont Gleason's Webpage for further details: https://www.montgleason.ca/guide-sanitaire-2021-2022/ The ASSQ (Association des Stations de Ski de Quebec), has posted an update for fall events that mirror last winter's restrictions. Riding the lifts for fall colours will mimic the same procedures from the winter before, Double chair, triple chair = 1 person, or members of the same family can ride together. Quad chair = 2 people sitting at either end of the chair, again members of the same family can ride together, and for six packs = 3 per chair, one at each end and on person in the middle. Gondolas are 2 people, one on each bench but at opposite corners, or members of the same family together. Bars and Terraces will require proof of vaccination, and they will also be registering names of any visitor who enters on a list. The ASSQ posted this as an update for fall festivities at the moment, but maybe extended into the winter season. That is to be determined later if this will apply for the 2021-22 ski season. Here's the link to the document posted by the ASSQ (In French at the moment): https://maneige.ski/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/consignes-sanitaires-pour-visiter-une-station-de-ski-automne-2021.pdf consignes-sanitaires-pour-visiter-une-station-de-ski-automne-2021.pdf Stay safe everyone!
  14. The news from Mont Orford today was the announcement of the replacement of the aging Alfred Desrochers double chairlift with a new Dopplemayr fixed grip quad chair with loading carpet. With this investment of about $4,5 million, it will increase the loading capacity of about 60%. With the installation of this new quad chair, it will relieve the Giroux North quad of traffic as there are some beginner trails to be found on the Alfred Desrochers face, and to improve the circulation of skiers. The lift is scheduled to be ready for the 2021-22 season, and is supposed to operate during the week. The double chair was originally inaugurated back in 1965, and was manufactured by Samson. Below is a link to Mont Orford's web page for additional details. https://montorford.com/fr-ca/hiver/nouvelle-remontee-alfred-desrochers?fbclid=IwAR0F4pauIf0joVGT09Zdy-bXn4V9yPJUFFSlto6WdWGHgye0Pp5wElbOw38
  15. That's great news to hear. The mountain owners were getting quite anxious about the topic of whether or not they were going to be allowed to reopen at all for the reminder of the season. Doesn't make up for the loss in revenues, but at least they can get going again. Happy to see them getting the green light.
  16. 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 line up for first turns. It look 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 the recently opened 4km trail, and then over to the Giroux North Quad for a run down the Familiale. The trails were groomed with a nice dusting of about 5 centimetres of snow that fell the night before. Coverage was really nice on both of these trails. Made for a great start. The Top of the 4km trail: The Familiale: After a couple of runs with Christian, I headed over to try out the Slalom that leads down to the bottom of the Giroux East Quad. Here is was a bit different. The trail was a bit bumped up on the pitches with a bit of scraping in between the mounds of loose snow that had piled up. The flat sections were not bumped up. The coverage was good, no thin spots to be found. The Sherbrooke trail that runs under the lift was open as well and coverage was good. I didn't ski the Sherbrooke this time. It too was a bit bumpy. The wait in line for the Quad was no more than a couple of minutes at most. The Slalom - A Smoother Section: Looking Up the Sherbrooke From the Lift: From there I headed down the Magog, a nice intermediate trail where here the coverage was good with little piles of snow beginning to appear. Then it was time for a break. After the break it was back up the Giroux North Quad for a couple of more easy runs, today was not a day to go full out for me as it was only the second day of the season. The wait times at both Hybride and Giroux North Quad were starting to get to be a touch longer at 10 minutes or so. Still pretty decent. The season for me started much later so I am not really up to the level that I usually am at this time of year. The day ended at 11:30 as the legs were beginning to let me know it was time. It was great to get out again in the fresh air and to get some much needed runs. Also it is great to connect with my ski bud Christian as always for a few runs. The lift attendants did a great job of directing traffic, and making sure everyone were following all rules. The lift lines were moving smoothly. Day two done! Looking Up The Magog: Looking Down the Magog: The Lift Lines at The Hybride & the Giroux North Quad on Last Run:
  17. For me, I am just thankful that the season wasn't put on hold like it had been in Ontario. I'm going to take it a step at a time, and keep it between Orford and Mont Bellevue, if I can score a ticket online at Bellevue. I have a pass at Orford so at least I can ski somewhere. Let's see how this latest lockdown plays out, if and when it's over, I have a couple of places I'd like to check out if it's in the cards for late February, early March. I must say though that my hands have consumed more alcohol that I have recently. Stay safe my friends!
  18. @Ocean great to see that you got out for some turns! By the looks of the photos you pretty much had the place to yourself, after seeing some pics of the line ups earlier in the day. Conditions still looked decent too. I was going to head out on the 31st to Orford however that didn't work out. Too lazy when I got up. For the SQ to be there, one would assume that they are there to support the employees in enforcing the safety protocols, and making sure everyone is following them and being safe. Nice après ski snack! Cheers for 2021!
  19. @Ocean Good question. I was expecting more people when I got there. At the beginning there was a longer line at The Hybride to start the day than there was at the Giroux North Quad. Then by later that morning it balanced out. The longest I waited was maybe 5 minutes. The line crew did a great job of directing traffic and keeping the line moving. There was no wait at the Rapido triple. There were people riding the Rapido, and if it wasn't spinning and you added those people to the other two lifts, it probably would have been a bit more crowded in line. With the amount of terrain available I would say there was room for a bit more. On the trails there was plenty of room, and no congestion at all. You didn't have to avoid anyone. I felt comfortable with the amount of people there and didn't not feel anxious or felt crowded. It will be interesting to see what it would be like on a weekend with everything open.
  20. 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 Hybride, and the Rapido Triple, along with the Double Magic Carpet in operation. The first runs of the morning were on the Giroux North Quad and the Familiale trail, a nice and easy route down. On the Quad you were loading two per chair, one person at either end, of four with the same household. The conditions were really nice with groomed man made snow along with a nice blanket of snow we received the night before. The coverage here was really nice. It was noticeable as it was getting milder that the snow was starting to transform into some nice snowball making snow. Nothing slushy or granular like you'd find normally during spring skiing. It was actually quite forgiving, and made for some nice turns. The Familiale: The Bottom of the Familiale: Now it was time to head over to the Hybride for a few laps. The line ups weren't that long in wait time. It looked long because of the 2 meter distancing, that everyone was respecting. It was all marked out for spacing so everyone knew where to stand. I spent maybe 2-5 minutes at most waiting. The lines were moving smoothly with the line attendants directing traffic efficiently. At the Hybride they were loading 3 per chair, one person on each end and one in the middle. The gondola cars were loaded with 2 people properly spaced. The first lap down was the top of the Trois Ruisseaux and on to the Maxi. There were more skiers up here, and plenty of terrain to be well spaced out. The coverage on both trails were pretty good as well. By this time it was really mild, and the snow was starting to bump up a bit. Here the snow was getting softer, and you could tell you were getting into early spring type skiing. The Rapido Triple was spinning and no wait time. They were loading it one skier per chair, or more if you were in the same household. The Maxi: The Bottom of the Maxi With the Rapido Loading Area: By 10:30 it was time for a break so I headed to the terrace to have a seat. After a about 20 minutes, I headed to the Giroux North Quad for one more run, and to see what I had left in the legs for the first day. By this time the line up for the Quad was longer but still moving smoothly. At a little after 11:00 it was time to call it as the legs were starting to get sore. The Giroux Quad at Last Run: This has been the latest start to the season for me in quite some time. Not the very latest though. The overall experience today with all the new Covid protocols set in place was quite pleasant today. The mountain ops team did a great job of keeping the trails in great shape and covered considering what the weather has been like so far this season. The lift attendants, and lift line crews did a great job managing the flow of traffic. It will be a different ski season for sure, and if everyone does their part, it will keep it going. A Few More Scenes of the Day:
  21. Glad to see you got out! The line up looks a bit long but that is because of the distancing. How long was the wait? I haven't been out yet and hope to before the rain hits Thursday late day. We haven't had much luck at all in the Townships with weather or snow. Just hope the snow gets here soon.
  22. From my understanding they did consult with the Ontario government about the process, and obviously it didn't work. They got shut down anyway. My concern is that since ski areas in Ontario are to be closed, I wonder if there will be anyone crossing the border from Eastern Ontario into Quebec to get their skiing fix, especially in the Gatineau and the Laurentians since it is not a horribly long drive to get there. This could potentially mess it up for us if they do?
  23. I stand corrected! I just saw an announcement from Sir Sam's and the lockdown is for 28 days! Apologies for the confusion! This is going to hurt all around.
  24. I see that Ontario is going into hardcore lockdown as of Boxing Day (?) for a couple of weeks which includes the closure of ski areas. I spotted announcements from Mount Antoine, and Laurentian Ski Club that they will be closing for this lockdown period. Very sad to see an interruption of the ski season especially at this time of year. So far Quebec is okay as outdoor activities are allowed. I haven't been out yet but hoping to before the weekend if the weather is somewhat decent.
  25. @Ocean I totally agree with your approach, reach out to the resort directly, be diplomatic about it, and don't call them out on it. My goal is to have a great time skiing, taking tons of photos, and while having a beverage, write about the great day I just had to share with everyone. 🙂
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