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Posts Tagged ‘Camp Fortune’

Sun
Hot
Sunglasses
Beer & BBQ
A band playing
Shorts, Bikinis, underwear and topless skiing
Corn
…and some bumps

This is what Spring skiing is about. Mother Nature gave us warm weather, sunshine and corn weekend. While some people were enjoying their Summer activities in the cities which includes patio drinking, cycling and try to forget about snow, for others it was just another really to go skiing and soak in the rays.


Skyline Parking


View from Skyline Deck with band, BBQ and beer on the left side next to chair

Here is a report of CTV News in Ottawa : Temperatures soar in the capital
http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/temperatures-soar-in-the-capital-1.2862873#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=yJMiHId

My teenaged daughter questioned my sanity. “It’s going to be 21c today, why would you want to be skiing? My reply was, “Exactly, it going to 21c, why not go skiing?” It’s on days like these that you see who the real skiers are.

Slow Sunday morning, it was 11:30, it was SUN and +17c. Barely twenty minutes later, I arrived at a packed Skyline parking. Camp Fortune was the closest skiing from home, the next closest options were Tremblant, St-Sauveur and Whiteface between 2 and 3 hours away.

The Valley was closed, Skyline was where it was happening, amongst the best concentration of Spring skiing on a 590’ vertical around, similar to the old lost Gray Rocks used to offer.

Today was a day where all the hardcore weren’t going to miss. If the locals weren’t at Tremblant, they were here. As the afternoon went on, I started to meet more and more people I knew.

The mountain had been groomed, but it was definitely corning up when I started skiing. Skiing from from left to right.


Chute, Middle Canadian and Bud Clark from Lower Canadian


Lower Canadian


Camille on the edge on Chute


Aaron’s Cornapolooza

Sparks : the longest and easier trail offered. It was a great place to get started. Corn was already deep.

Bud Clark : close to wall-to-wall coverage, but a few thin spot poking out. Deep corn lower down.

Canadian : Steeper than Bud, a fun steep pitch and some slightly firm snow on the side. Bumps were popping out as the afternoon progressed. Middle Canadian had a few large patches, but it was roped off. It still made for some beautiful nice turns on some of the firmer undisturbed corn snow.

Chute : The steep drop which can be terrifying for some racing kids when it’s solid ice at -21c. Today was +21c and keep you on the edge. The more on the edge, there was a nice small drop to jump off from.

Lower Canadian : the wide part concluding the 3 runs above. There was a few rocks poking through and you had to negotiate a puddle that became biggest has the snow melted.


Heggtveit

Heggtveit : The long steep bumped run that was used for the Canadian Moguls Championships for a few weeks ago. It started off fairly smooth after this was groomed, but like the other steep runs, it bumped up in a few places. The edge of the built up snow was particular a lot of fun. The run needed probably another few hours to become a real mogul field par excellence. Still tons of snow left on Heggtveit, probably a few weeks left for those that want to earn their turns.


Swan Dive with Chute, Canadian, Bud Clark and Sparks in the distance

Swan Dive : Officially closed, but that didn’t stop some brave skiers to try to hope from snowpatch to snowpatch on this steep natural run. It might be the last day of the season.

The tiny Skyline lodge was empty expect for those wanting to buy the $20 lift tickets and using the washroom. People taking a break were sitting outside on the bench and picnic tables setup at the bottom. People smiling in the lift line. The band was playing that you could hear from the top of the lift, burgers were flipping and the beer was flowing. People stayed outside until long after the lift stopped turning, the last beer was served and the last burger was flipped. This is what Spring skiing is really all about.

There was a glimmer of hope for a repeat weekend, but Camp Fortune decided to call it a season after the rain on Monday. Now it’s earned your turns season locally or head to closer open ski hill 2 hours away at Mont St-Sauveur which will continue spinning on weekends until May 14.


Ottawa hardcore (Carmen, Rog, Ben, Aaron) from Japan, Dubai, Europe, South America to Camp Fortune


End of season

MadPat’s Gallery:
Camp Fortune QC – April 17, 2016

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Located only a few miles from Ottawa, the first ski trails at Camp Fortune were cut in the early Twenties. Much has changed in almost one century and the access is much easier now. Camp Fortune is one of the oldest ski areas in Canada, it was the first ski area in Eastern Canada to have a double chairlift, first in Quebec with snowmaking and one of the first in the province to offer night skiing.

The Ottawa Ski Club celebrated its centennial in 2010 and were fundamental in starting the ski area. This short video presentation was made for Gatineau Valley Historical Society by Charles Hodgson.

More historical information on Camp Fortune and the Ottawa Ski Club can be found in the following links:
Camp Fortune Ski Club website : Supporting and Developing the Ski Community for over a Century.
Ski Mad World’s Monday Mad Addict’s Attic featuring Camp Fortune brochure from the 1980-81 season.
Canadian Ski Museum online collection on the Ottawa Ski Club

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After the bad week and last episode of rain 14-days ago, the awesome 2013-14 Winter was back on track. The Polar Vortex 2 moved in time for the Ottawa Masters to use their no skin suit rule last Wednesday. The temperature moved away from the deep into the -20s just in time for Saturday.

Saturday January 25 : Edelweiss

The Strief ski run opened for the previous weekend, but we were away racing at the neighbouring hills. Prior to the trail opening, Strief had a few big mounds of snow on it which was probably moved after the rain, then it got real cold.

Saturday morning was covered with 10cm layer of fresh snow. As usual, instead of making fresh tracks, coaches were making a fresh course down a steep Streif. I couldn’t believe the amount of snow that was blown at the entrance and in the pitch of a still closed Shotgun trail. I’m taking meters high. A few poachers defied patrollers and ducked the rope or sketched down on the edge of Strief behind the pipes.

Today was the return to awesomeness of our great winter weather with fresh snow, big flakes falling and -6c in the afternoon.

20140125_edelweiss

Sunday January 26 : Edelweiss

Our Winter hasn’t been only about the snow, but also the cold spells. A freezing -29c start which would warm up to -18c later in the afternoon. Shotgun mounds of snow were roughly flatten, but I think the trail was still closed and some people were still poaching it.

It didn’t matter, it was a hero snow day on Strief. When it is this cold, snow doesn’t slide much. Hard lovely carveable cold artificial snow on the steep pitch, I could have stayed for hours if it wasn’t for my frozen hands and toes. Morgane was giving her ski lessons, not easy to ski with young kids when it is this cold.

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Tuesday January 28 evening : Edelweiss

Another 10cm feel on Ottawa on Monday with continued cold conditions, awesome skiing and -18c. Coaching on Strief again, but with the U10s and U12s for a training evening under the lights. For the three outings in four day, I still skied exclusively on Streif.

20140128_edelweiss

Wednesday January 29 evening : Fortune – Back on course (Racing)

So Winter was back on course…now it was time for me to get back on course. Back to ski racing. I’m taking babysteps in Winter 2014 in my return to Ottawa Masters ski racing after a hiatus due to health issues. I’m still not over them and I’ve been skipped two of the first three races struggling with my anxiety. Wednesday was my first slalom race since March 2011. A slalom on Slalom was the order of the evening. I hesitated before leaving the house, however I managed to overcome my demons for this night. The stress level was slightly better than my first race back two Wednesdays ago, but the results were again far from my normal handicap. Skiing at 88%, second last in the Beer Points again. Although the conditions were nice, the course was down to the blue ice layer from the rain event. The skis weren’t tuned, but that wasn’t important, the goal was showing up for the race.

Next race is already tomorrow: a GS at Edelweiss.

Tonight’s Results and Beer Points

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Two trails, two hours for two nights!!!

After two days at Tremblant, my old home mountain. It was time to pay a return visit at my new home, a place where I have spent many days over the last few seasons This season isn’t going to be any different.

Edelweiss versus Tremblant
Since 2005-06 : 99 vs 8
From 1981-82 to 1999-2000 prior to Morgane’s 1st real season : 3 vs 78 with many more days since 1968.
Since 1981-82 at the end of last season : 138 vs 103

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The advantage of Edelweiss is that is just over 30 minutes next to my home west of downtown Ottawa. November 2013 was like the ones I used to remember as a kid; it gave us some snow and cold temps close to the normal where ski crews could make some snow. Camp Fortune had opened on November 22 and last Friday it was the turn of Mont Cascades, Mont Ste-Marie and Edelweiss. Edelweiss is the only local area currently offering night skiing or open weekdays. After 25cm last Wednesday November 27: it was time to take advantage of the proximity of local skiing and make a few turns.

Monday December 2
Day 4:

I needed to get my season pass before the ski team season started on this coming weekend. My time was limited in more ways than one, I also had to back in town for 6pm.

I left Ottawa as the afternoon rush-hour traffic started as I coundn’t leave before my youngest daughter got home. She had forgotten her key and I needed to wait for her. The temperature was slightly below freezing, much warmer that the last few days. Edelweiss generally starts the season with only Chemin des bois, but with the cold temps they managed to get Easy Street open also. Chemin des bois is more leveled will Easy Street has one good pitch for green run.

It was already dark and the lights were up when I got on the old High speed quad at 4:15pm. I managed to ski 8 runs in 1 hour until I had to hurry back to Ottawa.

The conditions weren’t the excellent packed powder variety found the previous day or last week at Tremblant, but it was easy carving. I had my old Atomic slalom skis and practiced my turn cranking. There was some loose snow on top of an artificial base. It was foggy with the odd flurries and the odd light freezing drizzle.

Tuesday December 3
Day 5:

Another afternoon rush-hour departure from Ottawa for another 8 runs in one hour. I had a date with the family at a restaurant for a birthday followed by a movie.

Today was a sunny day and the drive up to Wakefield wasn’t as dark as the previous day. The temperature was the same, but the snow texture had changed somewhat and the base was freezing up as the temperature dipped under 0c. It felt more like an early Spring night skiing with a refreezing base with a sunset when I got on the lift.

It was the same pattern as the previous day: 4:15 to 5:15 and 8 runs, 4 in each run. As in the previous day, they were at the most two-dozen people on the hill, most of them snowboarders hitting the few rails setup at the bottom of Easy Street.

Two hour workout over two days, better than watching TV. Tonight I mostly wanted to get out before the potential warm weather and rain hit on Thursday. After that it should be back under freezing, but surfaces aren’t going to be the same.

PS. Calling it night skiing even if I left prior to 5:30pm as I was skiing under the lights both time.

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Wednesday Nights has become over the years synonym for Ottawa Ski Masters racing, but it wasn’t the case for myself.

Where was I over one decade ago? I was stuck in a job, often working long hours and not definitely not skiing enough, especially since I started working and moved to Ottawa in the Winter 1995. During that 1994-1995 season, Caroline and I skied a few times around the locals hills, but I was bored. Mind you, I had grown allergic to small ski areas after spending 7 seasons racing for the Université de Montréal ski team (1986-1992). At the end of those years, I couldn’t barely set my skis on hills with a vertical less than 2000′. Once I arrived in Ottawa, I tried skiing local, but I preferred driving hundreds of miles per weekend than skiing here. This attitude, more demanding work, starting a family lead to fewer days on snow and felt depressed. I longed for more time, more quality ski days.

Many Canadians play in Adult Recreational Hockey Leagues, however I only played one year as a kid until I had to choose between hockey and skiing. Back in the Fall 2001, I was surfing on the net on this great website called FirstTracksOnline, which had tons of links. I discovered a link for the Ottawa Masters Ski Association. Read the website and called the contact person. I was informed of the format and invited to their open-house evening at host by Tommy and Lefebvre Ski Shop. Ski Adult racing was just what I needed to get out of the house, get some purpose driven turns and do something else with my life than being stuck at work.

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Fast forward to the first schedule race of the season: Camp Fortune Wednesday January 2, 2002. Heading up for my 3rd ski outings for a third day in a row, 4th day since the beginning of the season on December 7. Skied on the 31th with Morgane and my wife at Fortune and solo daytrip to Tremblant on New Year Day. Skiing on January 1st had become an annual thing, this was the 4th year in a row.

December 2001 had been particular warm with very little Winter in the air or on the ground. This evening would mark my return to ski racing; after a 9 years hiatus, I was going to renew with skiing against the clock. It would also mark my first time with my new skis, parabolic skis: the 183 cm short Atomic Beta Race 10:22. In the past few years, I’ve been skiing on 201cm long old straight Rossignol 7SK slalom skis.

I arrived at Fortune only to find out that the first race was canceled. Regardless the Masters were setup in the bar and selling lift ticket for $10 (normally you also have to pay for the race also which was $15). A great deal no matter how you count it. The GS would have probably been run on Slalom or maybe Marshall (I don’t recall if it was open), but Slalom didn’t have enough snow to open. Not much was open on this warm start to the season.

Instead of racing, a small 10-15 gates slalom course was up in the middle of Clifford, which was actually the side of the part of the open trail. Masters racers were welcomed to ski the course. I got a good feel for my new skis and trying to remember how to turn between gates. Although I had GS skis at 183, these skis were still shorter than the skis I was use to ski on and it slowly came back to me.

I got to know a few of the regulars that evening. As we were riding the quad with Bob and a couple other guys, he mentioned that they were going to move the guns on Slalom next in order to get the trail open soon. I thought to myself that he most work here and that his family are probably owners of the ski hill. It wasn’t until later that I realized that Bob was the owner with his brother, who knew? I found it pretty cool that someone roughly my age owned one of the most important ski areas in the region and actually ski gates with us.

Although I didn’t race on this evening and that my return to racing was postponed to the following weekend at Edelweiss. On this evening, I got to tryout my new skis and break the ice with fellow adults racers on the hill and in the bar afterward.

Fast forward to 2012, we were supposed to have the Masters first race of the season tonight, but lack of open terrain forced us to postponed the start of the season by one week due to lack of snow for the first time since that evening in 2002. This season the Ottawa Masters will be celebrating their 30th year, come out and race. You won’t regret it.

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This Trip Report is on a ski outing that took place 6 years ago.

Quote posted on Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:00 pm on Zoneski regarding the status of the local ski scene.

Fortune: ouvert (1 piste de débutant – Pineault). Un prix unique: 15$

Ste-Marie: ouvert (1 petite piste de débutant – Promenade)

Edelweiss: ouvert avec une demi-piste ❓ ❓ ❓ . En fait, la préposée m’a dit que la montagne était ouverte avec une demi-piste, mais il fallait monter à pieds, c’est pour ça que le ski est gratuit. 😆

Vorlage: espère pour la semaine prochaine.

Quote posted on Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:15 pm on firsttracksonline

Ottawa is getting pretty white. 10cm on Thursday, light snow all day today (Saturday). 😀

I’ve been swamp at work+sick the last few days, I tried to get to Fortune this (Saturday) afternoon, but it came down to the one car family issue. 🙄 (I knew my daughter music lesson was going to affect my skiing independence).

Shouldn’t have that problem tomorrow, so I’ll be out for sure. I don’t want to let my skistreak stop at 1 month after bagging October (just in case). 😆

Don’t know if it will be Tremblant (2 hours away and 100 miles) or Fortune (15 minutes and only 15 miles), depends how I feel tomorrow morning.

So there was skiing available this weekend in the Outaouais. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go after being sick and a crazy week at work, I didn’t have much energy or desire to make it to Tremblant. Pineault is somewhat pathetic as an option, but is only 20km away. The way things looked at work, this weekend might be my last two-day weekend off work in a long time, so not sure how many days I’ll get in the next few weeks so I better take advantage of it and spend some family time with my daughter. It was sunny and nice with temps around freezing.

Nothing much to write about and even less to ski about. After skiing mid-Winter powder on 2000ft vertical in October, I went out to ski Pineault with Morgane. Camp Fortune managed to open for the last weekend of November and I managed to get out of the house and bring my oldest daughter with me which is the important thing.

Pineault; a beginner trail with 80 meters vertical was the only trail at its cost $15 per person to ride the lifts. Edelweiss also mentioned it was open and free, however the lifts weren’t running. 😆

We showed up at around lunch time. There was a bunch of 2-for-1 from the Ottawa ski show floating around. I can’t remember if we had one or not, or if we kept it for later in the season? As we were getting ready inside the Chalet and bumped into the owner and chatted with him a bit. The skiing was, what it was, not much to say about it. It wasn’t too crowded, but after something like 2 hours, Morgane and I had enough. It was skiing after all, and it was a better than simply staying at home.

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