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Posts Tagged ‘February’

Nothing Fun about Funerals!

I went to a co-worker’s funeral in the beautiful church of St-Sauveur-des-Monts. We joined the organization at the same time and we’re office neighbours in that first year. Three years ago he was diagnosed with inoperative cancer: he died this month at the young age of 42.

David was a guy with a big heart and one of the biggest practical jokers that I have ever meet.

Here are some of his classics:
– Writing bogus reference letters to people who ask him for a reference.
– Filling a cubical up to the top of the wall in paper when an employee came back from parental leave.
– Sending and growing grass on old keyboard at an employee’s desk which was gone for a long period and putting his face on milk cartons.
– Crisscrossing the computer to monitor cables of two neighbouring colleagues. Each person would see the other person screen and couldn’t figure out their computer was acting that way. Especially when one of them rebooted their machine and nothing happened on the screen in front of them while his neighbour’s computer kept rebooting for no apparent reason.

This fellow geographer also had the biggest music and movie collection of anyone I knew. He did some much overtime, he never said ‘no’. I joked that his house was his secondary address and that his main address was his cubical with the amount of overtime he did and little vacation he took. This is other sign for me that there is more to life than work. David will greatly be missed by friend and family.

+ + + Repose en paix David + + +

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L’Express HSQ, Laurentian Autoroute with a peek of Mont Gabriel’s summit


Village of St-Sauveur-des-Monts as seen from the Mont Avila-Mont St-Sauveur boundary.

After leaving the funeral, I decided to try to clear my head and go skiing. I’ve done this before, skiing to focus on more positive things or forget.

I exited the church at 3pm and was parked next to the Laurentian Ski Museum, but the door was close. I was in St-Sauveur-des-Monts, a place which is surrounding with skiing. Six ski areas in which to choose from, five of them belonging to MSSI which I had access with my super Edelweiss MSSI pass.

Mont St-Sauveur : many runs and although my MSS has been recently limited to May skiing, they were some runs in hills and runs in the valley that I haven’t skied in decades.

Morin Heights : A nice area, but I skied here with Morgane back in 2007. I wished to focus on places that I hadn’t skied in a long time.

Mont Olympia : I was never a big fan of Olympia back in the 1980s, however I wouldn’t mind a return visit. Unfortunately the MSSI ski area didn’t offer night skiing midweek and closed at 4pm.

Mont Gabriel : I skied Gabriel more often than many of the different areas, but I haven’t returned since we trained there when I was on the UdeM ski team back in 1991. Other than training, this was the ski area we always visited with our annual High school ski day over 30 years ago. Unfortunately, like Olympia, MSSI didn’t offer midweek night skiing. The corporate advantage of having many ski areas under one roof.

Mont Habitant : not part of MSSI, so they need to stay open to compete with the MSSI empire. I haven’t been in decades, but I wasn’t going to stay long enough to warrant buying a lift ticket.

Mont Avila : I did a few turns at AKAMP ski camp last July, but I didn’t get a good return visit. A dozen of ski trails: that would be enough for the amount of the time I had. I just want to spend some time on snow to clear my head.

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High ratio of boarders


Trail heading towards L’Express and Laurentians Autoroute heading to Montreal

Mont Avila is the first of a series of Laurentians ski areas when you head North from Montreal. If I exclude the few nights of training I did when I raced in university in 1992 or the cross-boundary dual ticket with St-Sauveur, this was my first real ski visit of Mont Avila since 1984. You can ski from Mont Avila to Mont St-Sauveur which is accessible on a dual-ticket (or my pass), but I wanted to stay on the Avila side as it was limited and wanted to get a feel of the place. There are similarities between Avila and Edelweiss; vertical drop, more than one lift on a relatively restrained size ski area, one being a HSQ, trail that was converted into a snowpark (which needs a parkpass to access) and the easiest trails on the left plus there is tubing not to far off.

I eat a lunch/supper in the cafeteria and headed out shortly before sunset. It was felt colder than -12c. After my first run on Express under the Quad, I skied left to right on trail map starting with mellower JackRabbit and La Laurentides trails. The next two trails were steeper or that is the way I remembered them. They are now exclusively park of a mega snowpark, so like Yodeler at Edelweiss, the Grande Ourse and Piedmont trails contain a number of park features. To access this terrain you need a parkpass and a helmet, I only had one of those.


Secteur Piedmont snowpark as seen from La Laurentide trail. The mound and park features are also used in the Summer ski AKAMP


Bottom of La Laurentide trail and Secteur Piedmont snowpark

The fact that MSSI has a number of ski areas in the valley, MSSI has focused on building a kick ass park for a hill which so little trails. For the last few seasons, they covered the snow from the big air at the bottom of Piedmont trail once the season was over and kept it for the AKAMP job camp at the end of June. Mont Avila definitely caters to the park jibbers.

The place was deserted as the sun was going down. The next trails were straight down the face of Avila. At the centre of Mont Avila is located the wide Express trails (East and West). I remember the steep pitch at the top of skier’s left which 30 years later is totally avoidable.


The steepest part of the pitch is the same as when I was a kid (Bourasque trail), but it is now totally avoidable of only part of a most larger Express trail


View from the top of Express. Top of Mont Olympia can be seen in the distance

Conditions were hard with recycled frozen granular with a hard icy surface and not as pleasant as Edelweiss. It helped to have good edges. To the right Pronto was groomed hard and the Hill 67 had sketchy conditions. I don’t think I went into the glades as I had my good slalom skis, but I did take a ride of the mini park features on Secteur Express.

After 11 runs in 90 minutes, I had enough. Even though skiing generally helps get my mind off unpleasant things, the skiing didn’t help much tonight. It was nice to revisit a place a few decades later, but my mind wasn’t into it.


Chalet and my skis that were stolen in March 😩


Mont Avila as seen from the Chalet


Mont Avila-Mont St-Sauveur Trail Map

I wrote this a few months ago, but never got around to complete it. David would have turned 43 this week, so I thought it would appropriate to post it now.

Sampling of song in my head : Des fois mais pas toujours from Urbain Desbois
http://bop.fm/s/urbain-desbois/des-fois-mais-pas-toujours

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MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Avila : 10 février 2014

Monday Mad Addict’s Attic:
Mont Avila, circa 1980
The trail named have changed (Piedmont on the old map isn’t the same).

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Racing : U14 Slalom on Exhibition at Mont Cascades. The Exhibition is definitely more challenging that Vorlage’s Lookout trail that the kids raced slalom two weeks ago.

101 : Marking Month #101 in MadPat’s SkiStreak.

Racing 101 : Outside ski, look ahead, hands forward, don’t lean back, upper body separation. Racing today on Exhibition will underlined the importance of the fundamentals.

It didn’t take long for the small parking lot next to the World Cup lodge to fill up. I managed to find one of the last spots and the police will give you good fine if you park on the side of the road. Of course there is a much bigger lot on the main side. This side where the racers and coaches wanted to be. The NCO team was training on the Competition side of skier’s right of the Exhibition/Competition trail. Mont Cascades U16s kids were getting ready for speed camp and training Super G on the twisting Hogan trail.

It was a cold -18c morning, but at race time the temperature up to -8c and overcast. The surface was carveable, but the steeps were hard pack and icy. The slalom course had about 45 gates on the 140-meter course which pretty much from the top of this side of Mont Cascades. The pitch of the trail, the course turned to ice. Kids are going to have to attack, not ski on the backseat and make sure they are standing on that outside or it going to be DNF over.

Once the race was over it started to snow pretty hard. After finishing to help for the teardown, I managed to get a few runs down Hogan. The trail hadn’t seen much traffic due to training earlier in the day during the day and was now covered with a fresh layer of snow. I didn’t feel like checking out the Gratton trail nor the other sides of Cascades. It had been a long day and this was enough for me.

Pictures courtesy of Kunstadt Sports

Emelyn


Sierra, winner by an 8-seconds margin and 16-seconds ahead of 6th place


Sam, winner for the boys was the only one faster than Sierra today

More pictures from the Cascades race on Kunstadt Sports’ Facebook page

Cascades U14 Slalom Results Ladies
1 SMITH, Sierra MARIE 49.70 45.38 1:35.08
2 LEDUC, Charlotte ASM 53.44 49.88 1:43.32
3 BELANGER, Juliette ASM 53.10 50.25 1:43.35

Cascades U14 Slalom Results Men
1 DUFF, Sam CALAB 49.25 43.88 1:33.13
2 CLARK, Tyler MARIE 50.49 45.45 1:35.94
3 KISLICH-LEMYRE, York FORTU 50.84 47.81 1:38.65

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Day’s Log

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First day after the first real rain event and real icy conditions since mid-January. The thaw/rain event only lasted for one day, but the damage to the surface was done when the temps went back down to the Winter freeze. We didn’t look that much snow, it just became rock hard solid.

Most of the locals hills were closed during the rain on Friday, but not Mont Ste-Marie. The hill was host to the regional U14 speed camp for the last three days. Skiing Super G in the rain until they stopped at noon. The MSM is the further race from Ottawa which also happens to have the earliest registration. This made it a rough morning. Some racers barely had time to get everything dry for this morning race: a giant slalom. As I was waiting for the team to show up at the lodge, MSM had setup a large TV with the Olympics on. What great timing, it was the start of the Sochi’s Men Slalom’s first run. A few of the athletes and coaches watched the start of the slalom, including one coach that participated in the last two Olympic Slaloms.

By the time the Edelweiss racers arrived from Ottawa, it was time for me to leave for the coaches meeting at the bottom of Cheval Blanc. The meeting was finished at the time inspection was opening up. A quick rush to the top with the HSQ then down fast the Outaouais trail for inspection of this GS course. It would seem more trees were cut as the starting area was larger plus they was a larger traverse from Betsy to the start of the GS course on avoiding the narrow part of Outaouais run.

As mentioned in previous years for the U16 race: the Outaouais course is full of rollers. You have to be ahead and not sit back or you’ll get in trouble. Although this course wasn’t as dramatic as last year’s U16 GS: they were still a few close calls and a few more DNFs. The fastest girl in the region didn’t complete a run: flying off a roll in the 1st run eventually not finishing and bouncing off the hill with her face in the second. Even if she easily won all previous races, coaches were mentioning that was only skiing at 85% at those race and now was pushing on giving her full 100%. Wow!!! Edelweiss girls skied a much better second run: Emelyn was just missed out on making the Provincials in Quebec City. At the end of the day, we got to watch the final run of the Olympic slalom. Great timing!!!

The conditions? We always get weather at Mont Ste-Marie, either snow and freezing cold. Today was just normal, except the snow conditions. Let just say that they closed the Rideau Canal for skating today and redirected skating to the Outaouais trail. Holy blue sheets of ice!!! Almost no skiers where skating on the Cheval Blanc side, everyone was on the main Vanier hill. But to repeat the saying: “There is no bad snow, just bad skiers!!!”

MSM U14 Giant Slalom Results Ladies
1 THOMAS, Sophie VORLA 43.80 42.05 1:25.85
2 LEDUC, Charlotte ASM 44.82 42.54 1:27.36
3 TAN, Sophia CALAB 45.90 42.07 1:27.97

MSM U14 Giant Slalom Results Men
1 DUFF, Sam CALAB 42.29 38.62 1:20.91
2 GUIMONT, Eric VORLA 42.53 40.36 1:22.89
3 MARLER, Aidan MARIE 43.57 39.87 1:23.44

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Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot

Everybody’s talking ’bout the stormy weather
And what’s a man do to but work out whether it’s true?
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Time to get it
Before you let it
Get to you

Everybody’s coming from the winter vacation
Looking for a ride to your secret location
It better work out
I hope it works out my way
‘Cause it’s getting kind of quiet in my city’s head
Takes a teen age riot to get me out of bed right now

Lionel, Powderfreak, JoshFox and all the others were talking about the upcoming stormy weather. The finally long awaited storm for the snow starved Northeast mountains.
Is it true or will everyone be disappointed again?
Looking at a map and trying to figure out where it will hit and where I can go?
I can’t choke now on a trip to Vermont.

Got to Mad River Glen and everyone was there.
Looking to ride in a secret location.
Not the smartest thing to do when you’re solo and run into trouble.
Trying to get my head quiet from my problems.
Still a challenge to get out of the bed right now!!!

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So I finally managed to motivate myself to get out-of-town and drive to Vermont. It looked like a serious storm was going to hit on Valentine’s Day and I started dreaming about the last Valentine’s Day storm back in 2007. I only had a 24hr window as I had to be back to Edelweiss for 7am on Saturday morning. I hadn’t made my decision on where to ski, so the 5-hour drive made me contemplate my choices. Initially the storm epicentre had a southern track of Southern Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine into the GaspĂ© Peninsula. Saddleback seemed like an excellent choice at first, however the logistics and time didn’t really make it feasible. I still hadn’t use my Foxcard vouchers, so I focused on Burke, Cannon, Smuggs or Mad River Glen. The shorter drive back made me narrow in on Smuggs and Mad.


Next morning

Arrived at the Skiing Youth couple’s home (aka FISHQ) in Stowe at 11pm Thursday night. White knuckle driving south of St-Jean; snow-covered highway, blowing winds and snow drift on the road. The drive between Burlington and Stowe was easier and found the place to crash by memory. Everyone was sleeping as they had set the alarm for dawn patrol before heading to work. I got up, but return on the couch and fell asleep, woke up late and ran out of the house to drive to Mad.


Squeezed in the upper lot

It was a snowy drive to General Stark mountain with the odd car and truck in the ditch on Highway 17. As I got closer; people were parked along the highway. I had to drive up to the small upper lot above the Practice Slope where I managed to shove my car as the main parking lot was full. I heard that a short time after an 18-wheeler jacked-knife and blocked the highway. One poor snowboarder had driven over the mountain pass to go to Sugarbush, but couldn’t make it further than MadRiverGlen.


Mad River Glen Video Snow Report 2 14 2014

Got ready at the car and proceeded to ski down a powder covered Practice Slope. The sight at the top of the final pitch made me stop in my “fresh” tracks: HOLY MASSES!!! I don’t recall ever seeing so many people at Mad River? I skied down to get my lift ticket and opted for a quick lap on the Practice Slope again.


Holy Masses!!!

Where did these people come from? I had never seen so many people at Mad.
a) People starved for a storm?
b) Valentine’s Day special with $14 for kissing couples?
c) Snowday at local schools?
d) Ramp skis demo day?
e) 50% off tickets for Ski The Point day people?
f) It was Friday?
g) Friday before a Holiday weekend?
h) Friday before one week school break in Mass?
i) All of the above!!!


Sunnyside double

Both liftlines were long, so I opted to ride the Sunnyside double first. I waited 18 minutes to ride the 1400′ vertical double. I missed skiing off the double which resulted on a descent via Partridge and Slalom Hill. The sign at the top was correct…the new snow-covered a firm base amongst other things.

Sunnyside sign:

(Soooo very) Firm Base ! – Under Fluff
Rocks – Ice + Thin Cover in Spots – But …..
MOSTLY POW!!!
What’s the Point (of not being happy today?)


Deserted Partridge – Hurrah for low capacity lifts


Singles only!!!

That is a perfect summary of the conditions of my first run off the double. For the next run, I braved the line for the single. The snow was getting more intense: 34 minutes later I was on the chair. As I missed a secret stash off the double, I decided to head for one off the top. I guess it was the euphoria playing tricks with my judgment as I headed into the woods solo. They were a few traps under a few feet of powder snow and got caught. I lost a ski in the deep powder in the middle of the tight woods and continued almost in a small tree well. Don’t Panic!!! First I needed to breath and relax, push off from the tree and start climbing and digging into the snow to find my ski. I have skied here numbers of times in big storms with Lucky Luke and never had any difficulties. I eventually found the piste and skied on the powdered covered trails down and back to the long single lineup.


Secret location


The Chute from Midstation

It was already 12:15, this was the type of day where you didn’t want to stop. I eat a granola bar in the liftline and called it lunch. I reached the top shortly before 1pm and processed to head for Paradise. You knew from the height of the waterfall that it hadn’t been a stellar season so far. Paradise had some sharp rocks and ice flows buried under the snow which wasn’t necessarily paradise for my skis. When there isn’t a lot of fresh snow, you can avoid the obstacles. Anyway, it wasn’t the best run of the day: the fact that it’s one of the marquee runs of the East, it attracts too many skiers.


Top of the single


Looking down Paradise


Waterfall on Paradise

Even if the wait was longer, I opted to return to the single. The long wait permitted me to catch my breath and rest my legs. Skiing short groomers versus today’s long descents in a mixed of heavy snow, fluff, bumps and firm base was taxing. During the next half-hour wait, it really started puking: full storm for Fall Line. The conditions were getting better and it was a real creamery and it continued down the Glades. Best run of the day so far. Although I didn’t want to stop to eat, it was already passed 2pm and I hadn’t really eaten much at all today besides yogurt and granola bars. One quick stop inside the Basebox for a cheeseburger and water then back inline.


Now it is Puking

Although the lineups were so long, the mountain was deserted thanks to the low capacity lifts. Unfortunately this ride up the single was going to be the last one of the day. Opted to head down Lynx and Beaver…the conditions kept getting better.

It was 3:40 and I wanted to get on for last ride up the single. As I needed to ride the Practice Slope double to access my car, I opted to take that lift and move my car to the main parking lot and catch the last chair. The problem was that my car was stuck and I eventually decided to remove my right ski boot to maneuver out of there. I eventually managed get it unjammed. I easily found a new parking spot in the main lot, however I had to fight to get my cold right ski boot on. There was still a lineup for the single, but it was alas passed 4pm and the line was closed.

I wasn’t defeated, I headed for the Practice Double for my best 3 runs on that lift EVER!!! Unfortunately the lift closed at 4:15 and skied down over the boardwalk, across the snow-covered Highway 17 all the way to the car. My car as well as other vehicles were stuck and needed some muscle power assistance to get out on the road.

What a day!!! This Valentine’s Day kept getting better all day long. It was going to be a long drive back to Ottawa.


Ski-in and ski-out – but couldn’t drive out

End of day snow conditions

POWDER-POWDER-POWDER!!!
The Valentine’s Day storm that we have all been waiting is still raging. As of the closing bell we have seen a total of 16-19″ of snow from the storm and it is still DUMPING REALLY HARD! This on top of the 7-10″ from earlier in the week gives us well over 2′ since Monday! MRG is now officially “off the hook” and just in time for what is shaping up to be a historic President’s Week holiday. If you have been waiting to ski MRG with optimum conditions your long wait is officially over! Snow is expected to continue overnight so the skiing should just keep getting better and better! Be sure to check out the latest weather forecasts from the Single Chair Weather Blog which really nailed this storm quite some time ago – nice work Josh! This weekend we will spin all 5 lifts with skiing on 100% of our legendary terrain with POWDER skiing surfaces. The groomers will be out in force overnight tacking down all this bounty so there will be some sweet groomers out there too for those of you into that kind of thing! This is what we have been waiting for folks so come on up and… Ski It If You Can!

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Flatline = waits, lunch+wait, car stuck & getting frozen boot on again.


PJ Harvey – This is Love

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mad River Glen – February 14, 2014

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I believe this might be a first? For the first time ever, Morgane had more ski days than me at anytime during a ski season. Heading into this Sunday, she was at 25 days versus MadPat’s 24 total. This was her 6th day at MSM this season and she was going to return next weekend for the GS Championship race.

Morgane and the rest of the team left Ottawa early Wednesday to head to Speed Camp. She trained, skied and raced Super G for the last 4 days. This was the Art Tommy race which Morgane missed out last season due to her breaking her leg only 3 days prior to the Camp.

The whole family was up early for this one: MSM isn’t next door. We showed up to the cottage that the team was renting, but everyone had cleared out. I did a few runs with the family including the steep Betsy with Tara. The snow wasn’t slick first thing in the morning, but it was going to change as skiers skied, slide or side-slipped it. Formidable looked icier from the get-go. While I was waiting for the kids to ski in the race, Caroline and Tara continued to make some runs on the Cheval Blanc side.

The kids were using most of the Outaouais trail with its drops, turns and rolls, which is one of the favorite runs in the region. The race was using the entire trail, so to leave the start area you either needed to climb back up a bit for a traverse or do like a I did, bushwhack out towards Betsy eventually.

The race was a super combine in which the 2nd run would be a slalom in the afternoon. Even if Morgane is light and racing on 175s versus the bigger girls on 195s, however her overall results were much better in speed events versus Slalom, especially this season. This was also the case today.

At lunch, Tara had seen two of her friends that belonged to a ski club which bused kids from Ottawa to different hills every weekend. They managed to tag up to each for the last few runs of the day on Vanier, the main side of the ski area. Not as steep and added some variety to the limited runs on the Cheval Blanc side. Once the race was over, I did a few runs on Vanier and managed to tag up with them. Although there was a layer of fresh snow in the morning and snowed most of the day, the snow on scrapped off to the slick side the steeper runs. I noticed a new glade on the Vanier side, but it looked even more scraped off.

Next weekend is the Finals with a return trip to MSM for the GS championship and the first U16 race of the season; the slalom championship. It’s been a busy season.


Morgane at the start


With coach and Caroline


Tara is tired of waiting for the race to start


Caroline


Morgane


Finish area


Tara skiing Betsy


Mrs.MadPat and Tara at the bottom of Betsy on Carousel


Chris


Nick


Simon


Tristan


Skiing across the other side on Frank-Pouliotte


Vanier side within sights


Ski Chalet at the bottom of Vanier side


Afternoon inspection prior to Slalom Run


Start area has been lowered for Slalom Run


Morgane’s slalom run


Chris


Tristan


Nick


Simon


Trails on the Vanier side from the top of Cheval Blanc


Skier on Vanier side ; Cheval Blanc’s trail in the distance


A glade : this is new


The fairly new Sudermann Side trail on the South side with no lift back


Upper Serenade


Mrs.Madpat with Tara and friends on park’s edge


Tara in the park


Podium for the U16 Boys

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MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Ste-Marie : February 24, 2012 – U16 SC

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So like I mentioned in the last TR from Camp Fortune…I was eyeing this storm. Not sure if or when I should go.

I left late from home as I was planning into getting the storm goods and make my first or one of my rare excursions outside the locals. The initial plan was to leave in the snow towards Montreal then leave to “Destination TBD” for a Thursday-Friday powder skiing trip. Actually the real initial plan was to hit Stowe for 2-3 days early in the week, but with the potential big storm coming plus the work issues, I decided to wait and keep my options open. Although the Catskills seemed to be the bullseye for this storm, NoVT wasn’t going bad either. Reports talked about 2-3 feet. What was I going to do? Talk of rain across VT except above 2000ft. Decision, decision. :-k (…) I was tired and burning a day off for uncertainty, I decided to not leave for Montreal and to work the next day.

I was getting eye cramps by looking at the forecast for Thursday. Vermont was being rained on at lower elevations. The Rain-Snow line seemed to leave Adirondacks, upper Maine and Canada alone : Storm was moving East. In the end, I was debating into a possible for trip to Saddleback or Le Massif. A few of us were trading emails : Vermont-New York-Laurentians-Maine-Charlevoix. :-k I looked at the snow reports; Le Massif had received 70cm on this day plus was announcing 25cm for Friday. I sent an email at the only Quebec City hardcore skier I knew, Wolverine, and asked her what she was going on Friday? Her reply was, “I’m going to Le Massif”.

I wasn’t feeling too well at the end of the day and started worry about being sick. I took a generous amounts of echinacea prior to my departure for Montreal. Just as I’m leaving, I received an email from Bendude asking me where I was going. “GREAT, I’m IN!!!” was his response. I was also happy, I had someone to help in the Friday drive ahead, especially that I had to come back to Ottawa that evening.

Bendude’s picking me up at my mom’s at 4:30am. It was puking when I left Ottawa, snowing hard, snow-covered highway following plows until I was about 70km outside Ottawa. At that point, I managed to drive at a reasonable speed and not the 30-40mph I had been driving so far. The drive to my mom’s place in Montreal took 20% more time than usual.

Four hours sleep : it was a short night.

I had a feeling that today could be an Epic day. The drive to Quebec City was cccrrraaaazzzyyy… Very strong winds. Ice pellet on the surrounding fields would sometimes crash on the car by millions and make a terrible noise with each strong gust of wind. I’ve never seen anything like it. At one point, Bendude thought we would see a cow fly across our windshield like in that Tornado Chaser movie with Helen Hunt. 😯

Twister (1996)

It was snowing once we got to Quebec City: we picked up Wolverine along the way. Snow accumulation on the road didn’t really start to pick up until we reached the Charlevoix region. Once we arrived at Le Massif, I was shocked!!! There were hundreds of cars on a Friday and it wasn’t even 9am.


Picture by MadPat : Full storm in a full parking lot

The skiing was pretty good. Unfortunately it wasn’t epic as the snow numbers would indicate: High traffic, strong winds made some runs bare without serious amount of fresh snow that we were expecting. We found a frozen layer under 10cm of light fluff which contained the potential Epicness of this day. However there was no denying it, that the base was greatly helped with this massive dump at Le Massif.

We headed for the Camp BoulĂ© sector to ski in the woods. Most trails were already pretty tracked up. The woods aren’t necessarily cleaned up and open to skiing, so we had to be careful in more ways than one. I had the old XXXs, Wolverine was on some Fat-Ypus and Bendude on something larger…a snowboard. On our 4th run we skied the La Fortin glade, probably the nicest trail so far that morning. We headed afterward toward the newest part of the mountain next to La Charlevoix and the old famed “42”.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : MadPat at the side entrance of La Charlevoix

Photo gracieusté de Bendude
Picture by Bendude : Bendude and the St.Lawrence River

La Charlevoix is rarely open, but it was today. When this was trail was cut for the National Team, it massacred the trail 42 as this was a remote long and unique steep trail. La Charlevoix is in the similar league and the huge boulevards with Cloudspin/Skyward at Whiteface. It’s a downhill course, but one thing that remained the same is the steepness. The 42 still exists, but only in parts and is only a shadow of its former self. As we were admiring the view, we could see the strong waves on the mighty St.Lawrence down below. One thing I noticed were all the small trees growing and taking over part of the hill again. Wonder what does this mean? The top part of the trail didn’t have the annoying crust, the snow wasn’t super deep, but it made for some real steep and fun turns. The bottom flats had a good crust. The run was good enough that we did it a second time. After our 8th run, Bendude and I were pretty hungry as our breakfast was taken a long time ago.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : MadPat in La Charlevoix

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine

Once lunch was done, we went to the new “wilderness” area on top of Mont Ligori where you can either hike or skin up. A few woods in this area have been “gladed”. After our 20-30 minute hike, there was maybe 20 people at the top of the 2-3 runs. Today is really a hard day to get away from people…this run (and Le Charlevoix) were the highlights of my day. Steep powder and woods. We lost Bendude as we thought he had gone ahead. We had given ourselves at meeting time at the car, because Bendude had to be back in Montreal for the evening. The snow really started picking up in the afternoon.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Climbing towards Mont Ligori

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Busy on Mont Ligori

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Steep woods

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Mont Ligori skiing

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Searching for Bendude

One thing is incredible is that even with a new equipment (jacket, helmet and poles), a few people came up to me to say “Hi”. It must be the ZZ top beard.

So the only thing that was Epic about this day was the crazy …drive to Quebec City. Best fun…Charlevoix’s pitch and Mont Ligori. This snow was very good for base building as it was pretty compact and not wet.

We each had a camera, I only took two pics from the parking lot. Wolverine took a few action shoots, but you’ll have to wait until I have more time to put them up. Leaving on Spring Break this weekend.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Happy MadPat’s ZZ Top smile

MadPat’s Gallery :
Le Massif QC – 26 fĂ©vrier 2010

Originally posted on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:48 am on firsttracksonline

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Back for my second day from 13 days out west.

Skiing with the whole family (Morgane, 8 and Tara, 3 and my Caroline, my wife which I won’t mention her age :o). …only 1300m total vertical today (testing my new watch)… that’s slightly less than one Tram ride at Jackson.

Conditions this afternoon were slick and icing, almost forgot how to ski on this. Marc, if it doesn’t snow soon, i’ll be back next week. 😆 or I should sharpen those skis… probably did some damage on P-Tex point at Snowbird. 😀

Definitely not a packed powder that Anthony found at Sutton.

Originally posted on Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:47 pm on firsttracksonline

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