Posts Tagged ‘2015’

July lift served…. Oh yeah!!!!

The question has I went on to bed on this warm Ottawa night was….which skis do I take tomorrow? Not my good race skis, but it’s a race??? Old race slalom? Older all-mountains? Snow is going to be dirty. Hope they ain’t too many bugs. Ski ya tomorrow.

Picnic tables near the beaches

Rope tow

I ended up bringing 3 pairs of skis. The Akamp had been a jibbing snowcamp that has been held on the lower slope of Mont Avila. The 8th edition started with a few events: JR Games which was a slopestyle competition and a Banked Slalom. The camp has been running for the last few seasons and is either held during 4-5 days in late June or early July. The snow from the Mont Avila snowpark is stockpiled in a huge mound at the end of the season and covered with hay. I had experience the Akamp snow or leftover snow in 2013 and 2014.

Today was the first day with Mogulskier and I signing up for the Axis banked slalom. For the first year, you could use a ride up on a lift. Here is what Mogulskier had to say about the experience: “interesting rope tow installed with a scaffold ramp to start-it was really fast, probably faster than a detachable lift really neat set up. Lots of brown snow up higher, many features set up for the week-long A Kamp. I managed 2nd place overall, MadPat beat me by a tenth we came in at 15.6-8 seconds, it was fun and quick/short. Got lots of laps in outside of the event, a really enjoyable afternoon/evening on snow.”

My advantage were longer poles…the difference was all in the pushing through the dirty snow prior to the first bank turn. I didn’t know my time until I reached the start for my season run. I finally opted for my long Rossignol B2 which were fairly beaten up. We had a few practice runs and the rope-tow definitely ease the work on this hot Summer day. They also had other activities for the kids registered to the camp, like trampoline and skate half-pipe. Our registration got us a drink and a delicious stove over pizza.


Liftlines (chair and rope tow)

Racing action: Don’t eat the dirty snow

Snowboard racing

One of the three Fat Bikes registered for the race

View on the Mont Avila Lodge

Finish line and Rope tow setup

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: MadPat and the Rope tow. As my tiny wet glove got wet, the grip became harder as the rope started sliding through my hands. Later on I would go gloveless.

The mud from above the snow made the some dirty, however the snow was much better lower down.

Mogulskier’s daffy


Mogulskier’s carving

Al finally showed up

Mogulskier and Al

Initially the race was supposed to be done by teams, but not sure what happened between the concept and the race, probably a lower anticipated turnout. Alex was suppose to show up for the race and ski with us, but we showed up after the rope-tow was turned off. He still managed to hike up for some turns, Mogulskier joined him will I enjoyed my first first place medal and rewarding beer.



Ottawa trio


Parting shot

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Avila QC – 4 juillet 2015

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The Ski Mad World blog has been hibernating since the post on the first ski areas opening for the season back in early November; that doesn’t mean I stopped skiing. My skiing life is active, it is just that my personal life has been going through some challenges. My online presence on this blog or elsewhere has virtually non-existent over the last season. The only real positive element of my past season is that managed to get out skiing; not much travelling, but many local days in awesome snow conditions. It wasn’t the big mountains or the deep powder, but it was close to home.

The ski season in the Ottawa region and the East in general took a long time to get started: warm temperature and little snow on the ground. Early December at Jay was pretty brown with only a handful of runs open: our luck was they got hit by a storm right after we left. At the start of the Christmas Holidays, the Ottawa ski hills looked like early November. The local hills were deserted. However right after Christmas, the temperature dipped below zero and stayed below freezing, with very few exceptions, until mid-March. We didn’t get much snow, but the temperature were cold enough to run the snow guns around the clock. What little snow that feel in January stayed on the ground and then we got double the snow in February and March. The snow conditions were consistently great with no-thaw cycle in two months. Ottawa only got two rain events in those two months, the Rideau Canal, the longest skating rink in the World, had a record-breaking in its 45th year: 59 uninterrupted skating days. Another record was that February was the coldest on record since they started keeping track of temps over 150 years ago. So it was a cold year for toes, but great year on snow.

The 2014-15 ski season might be seen as a terrible ski year in most of North America, but definitely not the East. It might have started late, but it was a consistent Winter, cold and great skiing. Although the snow coverage period hasn’t really matched the big Christmas Holidays for ski resorts, the various March break offered prime Winter conditions. The next benchmark Holidays that some ski resorts like to aim for some business is Easter which was early this year. That is a mixed blessing as Easter was this past weekend and they might be less an incentive to stretch out of the season later into the month of April even with the great coverage out there. Almost half of the Eastern ski areas are in Quebec and about the small number are spinning their lifts tomorrow. With the great coverage a number of ski areas decided to try to go for an extra weekend after Easter, many of them only operating on the weekend.

With the cold Spring last season, we counted 82 ski areas a potentially open for the second weekend of April 2014, much better than the previous two Aprils: 47 in 2013 and the disastrous 9 in 2012.

Go skiing!!! Encourage them with your patronage to keep spinning their lifts.

Without any further ado, here is the start of Ski Mad World’s annual Eastern Closing thread. Many are hoping to go as longer as possible, only a few will into late April or into May. Killington is hoping to make to June. Hoping it will continue to be a weekly feature for the next two-months. 🙂

An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.



Montreal, Laurentians and Launaudière

Avila – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)**
Belle-Neige – TBD (weekend only – tentative)
Blanc – April 12 (weekend only – closed if raining)*
Garceau – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)
Montcalm – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)**
Sauvage – to confirm**
St-Sauveur – May – TBD
Tremblant – April 19 12*
Vallée Bleue – April 12 (weekend only)
Val St-Côme – April 12 (weekend only)

Eastern Townships:

Gleason – April 12 (weekend only)
Bromont – April 19
Orford – April 19 (tentative)
Owl’s Head – April 12 (Tues-Wed open – tentative weekend)*
Sutton – April 19

Quebec City area and north of St.Lawrence from Mauricie to the North Shore

Vallée du Parc – April 12 (Sunday weekend only – tentative)**
Le Relais – April 19*
Ste.Anne – April 26
Stoneham – April 12
Orignal – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)*
Massif du Sud – April 19 (tentative – Fri-Sun only)
Le Massif – April 12 (weekend only)
Édouard- April 19 (weekend only)
Le Valinouet – April 26
Lac Vert – April 11 (Saturday only)
Chalco – April 19 (weekend only – tentative)

Gaspé Peninsula

Béchervaise – April 12 (weekend only)
Cap Chat – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)
Comi – April 26 (Wed-Sun only)
Miller – late April-early May (weekend only – if people show up)
St-Mathieu – April 12 (weekend only)
Val Neigette – April 12 (weekend only)
Val d’Irène – April 20 (Fri-Mon only)

Outaouais and Abitibi

Camp Fortune – April 19 at least
Cascades – April 12 (weekend only)*
Ste-Marie – April 12 (weekend only)
Kanasuta – April 12 (weekend only)
Vidéo – April 12 (weekend only)


Blue – TBD
Calabogie Peaks – April 19 (tentative)
Kamiskotia – April 19 (weekend only – tentative)
Loch Lomond – April 11 (weekend Saturday only – tentative)*


Cape Smokey – April 19 (weekend only – tentative)

Marble – April 12
Smokey Mountain – TBD
White Hills – April 12

NEW YORK : 10*

Belleayre – April 12 at least*
Gore – April 19 (tentative)
Greek Peak – April 12
Holiday Valley – April 12 (Fri-Sun only)
Holimont – April 12 (weekend only)*
Hunter – April 12 at least
McCauley – April 12 (Sunday only)***
Plattekill – April 12 (weekend only)
Royal – April 19 12 (weekend only)*
Song – April 12 (weekend only)
Whiteface – TBD April 19 or more (tentative)**


Bolton – April 12 (Fri-Sun only)
Bromley – April 12 (weekend only)
Jay – TBD
Killington – June (tentative)
Mad River Glen – April 19 12 or more**
Magic – April 19 (tentative)
Okemo – April 26 19 at least*
Smugglers – April 19
Snow – April 19 12 at least*
Stowe – April 19
Stratton – April 12
Sugarbush – May 3 (tentative)


Abenaki – April 18 (Saturday only – no tow)
Bretton Woods – April 20
Cannon – April 19
Loon – April 19
Sunapee – April 19
Waterville – April 12 (weekend only)
Wildcat – May 3 (tentative)

MAINE : 6 

Abram – April 11 (Saturday only)
Bigrock – April 12 (Fri-Sun only)
Black – April 12 (Fri-Sun only)
Saddleback – April 19 (weekend only)
Sugarloaf – April 19 at least
Sunday River – May 2


Jiminy Peak – April 12
Wachusett – April 12 or more (Fri-Sun only)


Big Boulder – April 12 (weekend only – tentative)

* update : April 9, 9:15pm
** update : April 10, 3:30pm
*** update : April 10, 9:30pm

Previous first post of Annual Eastern Closing Thread
2014 : Spring skiing is just starting, but …
2013: Go skiing this weekend!!!
2012: Eastern Ski Disaster and Winter Hating Heatwave
2011: Skiing toward Easter and May in the East
2010: Eastern closing thread – 2009-10
2009: Eastern closing dates thread 2008-2009
2008: Eastern Closing dates 2007-08
2007: Eastern closing dates 2006-07

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