Okay, I was getting tired of skiing the small vertical with the limited terrain. So why not drive 2 hours from Ottawa to ski a real mountain (100 miles / 160km)?
With the prolonged (normal) cold spell, Tremblant took full advantage of their topnotch snowmaking to open up more runs. They received 9cm on Thursday and got a bit of freezing rain on Friday. However there wasn’t much damage.
Number of trails open: 71 out of 92. 😯 I believe that probably of one the best rate of among the major Eastern ski areas.
This was going to be a daytrip between my daughter and myself (also to finally take advantage of the Warren Miller 2-for-1). Morgane was excited at her first Miller movie also because of the vouchers.:P
Plan departures: 7am – actual 8:15am 😕
After two hours of driving, we finally started skiing at 11am. Liftlines were important, but diedown pretty fast at lunch and never really picked up again.
Normally I don’t have a problem making enough runs when I start at 11am, however I forgot I was skiing with Morgane, who’s 9. So we didn’t take the single line and weren’t aggressive in the liftlines. 😆 We parked on the North side where you can still park near a walking distance from the lifts, started on the Expo HSQ which has a 375m vert and where the line wasn’t too crazy. Morgane forgot how the lifts are fast at Tremblant compared to the local hills.
Started off with Fuddle Duddle which is mainly without artificial snow (I think?) but conditions were good, unless you want the manicure Mcskiing slick snow. Next run was the neighbouring trail, Windigo, a nice glade blue run (pretty steep for a gladed blue) with a few bumps. There were a few branches sticky out of the snow, I didn’t hit anything. There was a sign at the entrance of these trails, “Marginal skiing”, but like I said the only think really “marginal” was that it wasn’t McSnow.
After that Morgane’s feet were cold and we headed inside for a quick lunch. 😕
The lodge at the bottom of the Northside has been totally revamp, the bottom became a rental-shop/boutique while the upper level (the old bar) became the main cafeteria. A real difference from that early 1960s modern look. The top cafeteria was connected to a packed lunch heated tent. Pretty convenient, however I’m pretty sure that is going to change soon and become something more permanent in the future. (The North side base has remained, until now, mostly unchanged since the 1970s with the exception of the destruction of a few smaller side building many years ago. The only survivor is the old Lodge ran by the Duncan family back in the good old Mont Tremblant Lodge days which is now pretty much run down and been closed for a few years at least. 😥
Okay, back to skiing. The next run consisted of two runs on down Versant Soleil (something like 550m vert). The easiest run is a blue which is in fact 3 trails (perfect example of the multiplication of trails numbers). Franc Sud becomes Tobogan to finish in the final pitch (which was very slick) Tape-Cul. The black Tiguido was the only another run on this side which has a limited amount of trails including glades which are facing directly south.
Another Intrawest village. After having build a mini Disney at the bottom of the South side, Intrawest has started building the first few lodge/condos (whatever you want to call them) at the bottom of Versant Soleil. The initial plan I believe includes an artificial lake, a conference centre and a casino. 🙄 This area was fairly isolated before, it won’t be for long.
After these two runs, Morgane wanted to ski to the Village down 645m verts and take the gondola (twice). 😆 She also wanted to ski the same run, Taschereau (black) on the top had some nice small bumps in the centre of the trails. On the mid part, we took Dernier Cri which is just a short pitch which was icy as suspected. The final Johansen pitch above the village was a small mogul field due to the fact that most skiers skiing the south side end up on that pitch. The bottom is soft artficial snow bumps, the sugar type snow. 😆 The other main upper black runs I believe were close due to races (Grand Prix) and training (Kandahar). McCulloch was free for tourist to ski down.
Back to the North side:
You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the hill at the end of the day. Morgane wanted to see the part of the mountain called The Edge, skiied the Upper part of Beauchemin all the way to the bottom of The Edge Fixed Quad, it had just closed. 😦 Oh well, all the way to the bottom to catch the Duncan HSQ Express to the top. Next run was the small one again, it became the last run because Morgane was cold again at the day was almost over.
Conditions on Main Artificial Snow open trails were similar to what someone would find during a normal January at Tremblant. Hard, but not necessarily icy conditions. We could find some pretty loose stuff on the side of the trail left ungroomed.
Conditions on limited or natural snow trails was good, but more of what someone would except in mid December. Not bad all things considered.
An important note to self, next time I go to Tremblant with Morgane, arrive early and take more breaks in order to get the most runs possible out of her.
Total runs: 8 for a total of approx 4380 meters in 4:10 😛
Originally posted on Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:56 pm on firsttracksonline