Holidays at home, it has been a common theme for a number of years. Probably since we have had two kids. Time to relax and not stress with our busy schedules. So skiing is a time to get out of the house and ski together.
I can hear some people wonder why I didn’t run after some epic powder pass Quebec City, even my mom wondered why we don’t plan time and spend the Holidays skiing near Quebec City with my cousin. I recall going to MSA when Morgane was a baby, but Holidays are made to recharge our batteries.
This year, Morgane and I got a season pass at Edelweiss in Wakefield. Biggest vertical (by margins) and further (by margin over some) of the Gatineau Hills ski areas. It’s not necessarily the best or my favorite, but definitely has some advantages. Plus last season we skied Cascades with the family almost exclusively. Morgane wants to try racing this season and the Edelweiss offered some flexibility that we were looking for.
So here is the report. So Marc C nicely pointed out, some parts of the East got a Rain event. Ottawa got a mixed of snow and freezing rain on Boxing Day. I had some skis mounting to be done on Sunday in order to get Morgane’s skis ready. Scenery is white and winter like, unfortunately local ski areas only have 30-40% of their terrain open (with the exception of flat Mount Pakenham with it’s 10 out of 10 runs open).
Edelweiss open runs: Pitch, Easy Street, Chemin des Bois, Rue Principale, Trou du Diable, Chute, Slalom, Yodeler. The last three are the only Blue runs and are pretty short part of a top-to-bottom descent, the rest are greens. In fact all these open trails is equivalent to 2-2.5 different routes down the hill.
Besides Morgane and myself, Tara (my youngest) and my wife were part of this day. Even Canada’s Governor General (Canada’s Head of State representative) was skiing Edelweiss today. Regardless of the almost full parking lot, winter and white everywhere, not freezing cold and the Holidays, I would have expected worst in term of crowds and skier traffic. I guess many people were at the tubing.
The mountain had both quad running (HSQ and fixed). Temps were around -3c and the conditions were what the snow report calls “Machine groom on firm base”. All the frozen surface had been broken by the groomers and created fine ice powder. I personally prefer sometimes simply ice as I have a hard time getting a clean hard edge on fine ice crystals. Morgane and Tara were enjoying their new skis. Tara definitely had much more confidence in her abilities and at one point I had to flag her down and have a serious talk with her after a near collision with another skier on the icy pitch. Although it is a green trail that “pitch” is the place where 60-70% of the skiers/boarder funnel in. 🙄 The ice crystal/snow(?) is moved around and uncovers a nice firm ice rink type surface. Although the traffic was lighter than expected, there was definitely a concern with collision when you have all these elements combined:
1) slow beginners on a trail (from 1st timers and other)
2) Icy pitch (with intimidated skiers)
3) skiers/boarders at warp speed to reach the rails/jumps at the bottom
4) high traffic as it was the only way down (with a another parallel run)
As the lights went on and the snow guns started to create a sufficient base on Zoomer to open, the major trail under the main quad and the main wide blue run.
That being said, this was my least favorite day of the season.Terrain/conditions made it to be pretty boring compared to my previous outings.
Originally posted on Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:15 pm on firsttracksonline