Second slalom of the U16 season; second slalom with fresh snow.
Like the first slalom at Calabogie two weeks ago, Tara and Morgane were heading to different hills. The good news is that Mont Cascades and Edelweiss aren’t that far apart. So we would all be in the same car and I would drive to Cascades and then leave the car to my wife and let her head back to the Highway and continue a few kilometers further north to Edelweiss.
It snowed overnight, but the pavement was pretty much snowfree. The problem was black ice. The drive up along highway 307 and Mont Cascades is long the east of the Gatineau River so it might have been freezing fog from the river that caused the black ice on the road. The car was sliding, especially uphill in Cantley pass the dam. It’s funny, as the problem seemed to be concentrated on clear highway and not the access road to Mont Cascades.
Beautiful bluebird day, fresh snow and warmed up to a cool -14c. The Exhibition trail faces East and was shinning with the bright morning light. The trail was freshly groomed and the slalom course was up. As the kids went up for inspection, I skied on the two other trails on that side which hadn’t been touch. Generally the public use the main parking lot at the Main Lodge and they are a slow old double chair from Tremblant to reach the race side. Hogan and Gratton are out-of-the-way twisting trails that have no night skiing which are often overlooked. There was about 25-30cm of fresh snow that had fallen in town, so there was at least that much trackless snow on the trails that morning. There was also a cut trail/road between Hogan and the wide Exhibition which was deep … for the Outaouais.
Not many racers finished the last slalom at Calabogie. Cascades slalom courses can be long and difficult, today’s was not exception with 55 gates. The course covers the whole 150 meters vertical of the slope which start off steep and flatten out at the end. Almost half the racers didn’t finish and some that did, didn’t have clean runs. Races at Cascades are fun to watch and take pictures as I discovered last year at the K2 race (now reclassified as U16) and during the Masters Finals.
Morgane started skiing great, but straddled on the fourth gate. She came out charging; which is what the coach wanted to see. Tristan and Simon had to climb up or made a huge mistake in their first run while Chris didn’t finish his second after placing in the top 10 for his first run. At least the freeskiing was great; kids could still find some powder after their runs. Tomorrow, everyone return to Calabogie for a GS this time. Even the best girl some far this season blew out; she had 2-second lead after the first run. Other member of the Edelweiss Caroline and Nick survived this one without any huge mistakes.