Winter Experiences

Camp Fortune - February 24, 2021


Wow, a sleeper powder day! What a way to end a workday. The snow started coming down heavy in Gatineau around noon and didn't stop. By the time I got to the Skyline parking lot, there were 10cms already on the ground. This would be the best day of the season so far. Loads of fresh stuff, almost no lines and creamy turns. Goggles were a must and I fought off some fogging issues. The temperature was around zero and the snow was a little wet but not overly heavy. I had no problem sailing through mashed-up powder. Heggtveit was my first run and how nice it was. If you arrive around 4ish hit Hegg first before they close it for the night. Every run on Skyline was perfect. Later we poled our way to the Valley side. So much untouched powder but then the power went out! I feared I would be stuck in the valley with my car on Skyline. After about 10 minutes they got the lifts going again but the trail lights were still off. We arrived at the top of Slalom in darkness...
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Shane Séguin
Incredible snowfall yesterday. The flakes were so large and fluffy. Happy to see you got up to the slopes to enjoy it. I saw pics... Read More
Thursday, 25 February 2021 10:36
Paul Gordon
The glades between those Meech runs would be amazing today.
Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:09
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Camp Fortune - February 5, 2021

Have they cut down all the bush near the road? The view is a lot better.

Friday morning at Camp Fortune was a great way to end the week.  The snow was coming down hard layering the perfectly groomed runs with 2-4cms of fresh stuff. Even a couple of centimetres has a great physiological effect on your skiing! Once again Camp Fortune has done an amazing job dealing with a very odd season plus low snowfall. All the main runs are open on all three sides of the resort. Only the glades and natural snow runs wait for a couple more snowfalls. I spent most of my time on Skyline and all the runs felt great.  There was little crust under the new snow but nothing a well-tuned ski couldn't handle.  Which reminds me I've been lazy this year and still need to wax! The valley side seemed to have more natural snow and Slalom seemed almost untouched.  I was expecting big line ups but the place was almost empty.  I've been skiing a lot of nights and from 2-4pm it's pretty quiet but then the lines form and it can...
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Shane Séguin
Great report Paul. Conditions look fantastic. Camp Fortune shared this message to your report on Facebook: Hey Paul, the trees on... Read More
Saturday, 06 February 2021 09:44
Paul Gordon
Ah yes that section of the road is pretty bad. Good to know.
Sunday, 07 February 2021 08:13
— Robert Schwin
Fantastic snow. Can't wait to later this week. Skyline looks loaded with snow!
Sunday, 07 February 2021 15:33
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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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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - January 1, 2021


Finally, 2021 has arrived! After having spent NYE enjoying a three-course fondue and celebratory drinks, I spent most of the day relaxing at home with plans to catch the last few runs of the day. We enjoyed a late afternoon brunch (or perhaps it was more of a "linner") of mimosas, eggs benedict, bacon, fresh fruit and yogurt to get the evening started out right, and then I got ready to head to the mountain. I knew I'd only have time for a few short runs, which was fine by me after having spent December intentionally staying home as much as possible. I planned to ease gently into the new year, and drove in through Piedmont, passing by all the lifts from Avila to the Sommet Express to scope out the crowds. The lines seemed steady, but not at all busy. The Sommet Express had the longest line of all, and there were only about ten chairs worth of people leading up to the gate if that. After getting ready in the car, I arrived in the practically empty lift line, to be greeted by the SQ! It s...
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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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Camp Fortune - December 20, 2020


I rolled into Camp Fortune around 8:45am on a snowy Sunday. This was my first day of the season and probably my latest start in years. Warm weather in November, little or no snow in December and COVID haven't helped! I was directed to the main parking lot in the valley. Then after suiting up in the parking lot you are screened at a makeshift gate. Have you been out of the country? Are you feeling ill? Have you been around anyone with COVID? etc... After getting passed that it was time to ski. Fortune only had Pineault, Marshall and one of the magic carpets open. The lifts spun just before 9am and the first 4-5 runs were great. The manmade snow was well groomed and the natural snow was now falling harder. Considering what Fortune has had to work with you can't complain that much. By 10am though it was getting busy. Unless you are family or from the same household you have to ride the chair lift as a single. Ski team groups which are still running? were slowing things down majorly. All t...
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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - October 31, 2020 Opening!


Skison 2020 got its official start on Friday, October 30, 2020 with Sommet Saint-Sauveur's soft launch opening, and while I was not quick enough on the draw to participate, I was all set for Day 2 which delightfully fell on Hallowe'en! As always, Sommet Saint-Sauveur is the first to open in the East, even beating out "longest season in the East" rival Killington this year. As it happens, the state of Vermont has delayed releasing its ski resort opening guidance as covid-19 cases in Vermont have recently seen an uptick, and Killington has tentatively scheduled November 19 for opening. My day started with a hearty brunch from our neighborhood spot Fabergé which gave me lots of time to get ready while waiting for our brunch delivery. I packed up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s, intending to ski on the pair with the best tune and drop the other off at the shop for some fresh wax. I have followed along with interest as other regions announced their operations guidance for mou...
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Mont Tremblant - March 8, 2020


Sunday and the last day of March Break in Quebec. The time change was painful but the mountain was perfect with all 102 trails open. Temperatures in the morning were around -3c and by the afternoon +3c. Bonus, zero wind. We rolled in around 8:30am and stayed till last chair. The day was that good with perfect groomers or moguls and trees galore. The crazy thing is we though it would be super busy, we were wrong. Most lines were less then a couple minutes. Maybe all the March break holiday people left on Saturday? Anyway the snow was soft enough to hit the trees without fear and everything just felt right. Get up here as the next couple weeks maybe a melt down. On the edge of Expo Haute Tension mogulfest Top of Le Edge Me somewhere The Taiga glade is vast. Wow
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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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Camp Fortune - February 27, 2020


Well, we didn't quite get the snowmageddon that was hyped but the skiing at Camp Fortune was great regardless. 10cms of wet snow had fallen overnight and it would snow heavily all morning bringing the total to close to 25cms by midday. The drive was not great as highway 5 was like a cart track but it was worth the trek. With temperatures around zero, the fresh snow was heavy but you can't complain. I managed to get fresh lines for a few runs on Heggtveit and Craigsmarc before moving to Meech and getting the first run after the Ski Patrol on the La Cache glade. After several powder-filled runs on the Meech side, I moved to the valley. The valley was quiet with the trick park closed off as well as Allen's Ally for a race. Slalom and Duffy had loads of fresh snow though. Back on Skyline things were clumping up fast but my legs were pretty much done by noon anyway. On a sad note just after lunch Fortune had to close because of power issues. Yesterday they were closed for a few hours in the...
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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 Ste Marie - January 26, 2020


What a difference a couple of weeks and a couple of big snowfalls make. Mont Ste Marie was in peak "Winter Wonderland" mode on Sunday. Over 10cms had fallen overnight and the snow would come down heavy the rest of the day. The 1200ft vertical mountain was 100% open including all the glades. The drive up was a little greasy and we got stuck behind a fleet of plows up oh boy was it worth it. The steeps were deep and the glades were fresh. What else can I say we got soaked and our legs were burned but we stayed till the last chair. Get it while it's good! Dustin Cook is snowed in. Carousel Sous-bois Going into Deep Purple Betsy, I think.
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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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Camp Fortune - January 19, 2020


17cms of blower came in sideways Saturday night. The result was fantastic skiing Sunday at Camp Fortune. We managed to dig out and make it to the Skyline before 9am. Camp Fortune had groomed on Saturday night so there was a nice layer of light powder on top of a firm base. Conditions of course were excellent. Smooth and smeary. After a bunch of runs on Skyline, we skated over to the valley and then hit the runs on Meech at 10ish. The new glade was open off Paradis called La Cache Sous-Bois. The glade runs from the right side of Paradis down and under the lift exiting North American. The run has a great pitch after the initial flat entrance with two main lines, one steeper and exiting farther up the hill. We spent most of the morning on La Cache before heading back to Skyline. The runs in the valley were also perfect but the place started to get busy with ski schools around 11am. In fact, the entire parking lot in the valley looked full by noon. Skyline still had lots of spots though. H...
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Bromont - January 18, 2020


This Saturday was the fourth in the series of eight Nuit Blanches at Bromont, where you can ski from 8AM til 2AM. We were also graced with a forecast for a reasonable storm that would bring 15 to 20 cm to the townships. The storm was to begin at 5pm, leaving plenty of time during the day to relax and prepare for some serious night skiing in prime conditions. I didn't rush and planned to go after 9pm, giving the snow some time to accumulate on the granular and icy base (which was still recovering from last week's ice storm). After spending the afternoon lounging around the house and getting a few neglected chores completed, I got ready to go and packed myself a Creemore and deli sandwich snack since there are very few snacking options in Bromont after 2AM and I have reached my quota for tolerance of Tim Horton's already this season. I headed out about 9:30, and snow had already accumulated on the car so I took some time to clear off the snow and remaining ice from the previous storm bef...
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Val Saint-Côme - January 12, 2020


I had thought that Friday evening would be my last decent ski session for some time - I headed to Saint-Sauveur to catch the last few hours of the day after work. It was delightfully slick, soft with a thin layer of chill on top like the frosting on a cake, and oh, so fast. Not to mention it was full moon Friday! As viewed from halfway up the Sommet Express below: The wet storm forecast for the weekend began on my ride home, making it a slow drive through thick fog and mist as I got back into the city. Feeling dejected about the weather, I slid into a great parking spot across the street from our building and flipped up the windshield wipers so the impending freezing rain wouldn't glue them to the windshield. Almost everything was closed on Saturday, and although Saint-Sauveur did open in the morning, they closed earlier than anticipated, as the rain had started during the day. What a let down from a storm event that was originally forecasting a ton of snow! On the upside, we were host...
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Mont Tremblant - January 4, 2020


Soft turns and fog was name of the game on Friday. We rolled into Tremblant around 9am after a easy two hour drive from Ottawa. The place was busy with almost all the parking lots at capacity. The temperature was around zero and with no wind the top third of the mountain was a total white out. First off the lineup at the gondola was insane because the lift was not moving. We quickly moved over to the Flying Mile and then skied down to TGV to get to the top. The gondola started back up soon after. With 93 trails open there was plenty of options. We started with Laurentienne on the Soleil side. The snow was nice and soft. Tremblant had gotten about 25cms over the week. Options were soft groomers or natural bump runs. The forgiving moguls on Jasey-Jay Anderson were really nice. The fog was a bit of a bummer as you really couldn't rip the steep top pitches as the visibility was very limited. Maybe if we knew the mountain better it wouldn't have mattered. Regardless warm weather and no wind...
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Camp Fortune - January 1, 2020


The new year at Camp Fortune rolled in with 25cms of snow over 24hrs. Fortune must have groomed after the snowfall as everything was perfect corduroy. Skyline is open with Bud Clark, Canadian, Chute , and Sparks. Heggtveit was getting setup for snowmaking once the temperatures drop. The ropes have not dropped yet on Swan Dive or the glades, maybe after another good snow fall. Conditions were great and the lines were small. I managed to get second chair after waiting with a small line of early risers. Every trail in the Valley is open with the exception of the T-bar runs. The Meech lift runs were also open. The temperatures were hovering around zero and light snow began to fall around 10am. Lots of snow on the crossover trail of Humdinger as Fortune made/pushed snow across the trail this year. Overall a great start to the new year.  
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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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Camp Fortune - December 15, 2019


Quick update on conditions at Camp Fortune. Saturday was grim, cold rain all day but as the sun went down we had a switch over. The snow started around 6pm in Chelsea and 8pm in Ottawa. The result 12cms at Camp Fortune! Instant winter wonderland with the sticky stuff clinging to trees and chair lifts. Note to self I need better ski pants. Anyways, Fortune had 5 runs open in the Valley on Sunday. The conditions were good on Marshall and Clifford, hard-packed groomers with some fresh on top. Pineault had lots of park rails and jumps setup but the wind was blowing unpleasantly uphill. Now that the cold weather is back Slalom and Skyline should be open by the weekend. Slalom has loads of snow whales all over it. Skyline is pretty much ready with Canadian, Sparks and Bud Clark already groomed. A couple more snowfalls and the place should be hopping for Christmas break. Enjoy. 
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Mont Tremblant - December 7th/8th, 2019


Wow, what a killer weekend at Mont Tremblant! I drove up late Friday to meet some buddies from Toronto who had a hotel room a few minutes from the resort. Our expectations were not high as it was early season and there was the 24hr relay race on the south side. Tremblant brought the goods though. They had just gotten 10cms and on Saturday they opened up "Le Edge" for the first time this season as well as the runs off the Expo Express Quad. We had powder skiing on December 6th! along with 49 open runs on Saturday and 53 on Sunday. The temperatures were hovering around -15c in the morning and -8c in the afternoon. Lots of snowmaking was happening. Anyway, after railing some groomers on the North Side we got in a couple of powder runs going down Fuddle Duddle and Windigo then hit Le Edge for more all-natural tree runs. We stayed on the Edge side for a while before heading back to the south side for some afternoon groomer action. Sunday was a repeat with lots of powder stashes left in the ...
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Bromont - December 2, 2019


Today was my friend's birthday, and what better way to celebrate than riding down the mountain! Bromont opened the Versant du Village on Saturday, and I was excited to try some new terrain after having spent the previous 15 sessions at Saint-Sauveur. As I was having a long day at the office, I didn't arrive until quite late, with everyone else arriving about a half hour before me. I arrived about 8:30pm and headed to the office to activate my Option nord-est pass which is the Bromont add-on to the Sommet Saint-Sauveur Passe Parfait. Each year, the system of delivering these passes seems to generate some confusion and I was initially told I needed to recuperate my pass at Saint-Sauveur, before they figured out I had my Saint-Sauveur pass and was there to activate my Bromont pass (Bromont also offers a reciprocal deal where you pay $70 for an option to ski Saint-Sauveur). Once I had my pass sorted out, I got ready and headed to the lift. The temperature was a bit more moderate than at Sa...
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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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