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I remember my last visit at Orford. It was the first time that I took my mother’s car to go skiing alone with a friend. I was 16, the car was a Buick Skylark 1976, this was way back in April 1981.

I remember having enjoyed that day very much and mentioning that I was definitely going to return. How times flies, the following visit happened 24 years later!!! Why did it take so long?

Vertical 540meters
Eastern Townships

Mommy stayed with Tara, Morgane’s (oldest daughter) ski pants stayed at MRG. Who will come ski with me? Caroline (my wife and mother of my daughters) suggested I call a certain friend at 7:30am. At that time, this friend was leaving at work, but the devil 😈 played with her mind. Work or Skiing?


SuperNat on Mont Alfred-Desrochers; the tamer of the three summits


Owl’s Head in the distance from the top of Mont Giroux

A few hours later, we were skiing trails like:

L’écureuil (Squirrel): a crazy twisted glades runs with cliffs. A fun trail, probably one of the hardest in the East in non-powder conditions. Unfortunately there were rocks, branches and other hazards that you had to be careful with. This trails was definitely skied too much for the type of trail it was. I still had a great time.

L’intrépide: not as hard as l’écureuil, but steeper and more wide open. The run is not as long and consist of a steep pitch at the top of the mountain. Great conditions. Best run of the day.

Super: top to bottom run under the hybrid lift (gondolas and 6-pack chairs on the same cable). The top pitch (next to l’intrépide) was great fun, but coverage was not as good.

Passe-à-l’ours (Bear Pass): Same type as run as l’écureuil with similar conditions. Pretty rocky on the last two pitches.

Contour: this a classic black-diamond run I skied in 1981. Many rolls, bumps and pitches, twisting across the fall line. Great trail. Very good coverage.

Lloyd Langlois on Giroux Mtn: lower attitude glade and it showed. Bad coverage and rocky at the bottom.


Quad on Mont Giroux-Nord


Mont Orford with the narrow and twisting Contour run clearly visible


MadPat at the top of Passe-à-l’ours


Passe-à-l’ours


Super Nat on “4km” from the top of Orford.


Super Nat on the nice long “4km” from the top of Orford. Eastern Township Autouroute (Highway 10) at the bottom

Orford is definitely a fun mountain, among the best in Quebec for glades and twisted 😈 runs. Steep runs are a bit short on vertical when compared with Stowe, MRG and other big ones of the East.

Overall, it’s was a great week. Best snow of the week was found where the lift capacity is the lowest (ie. MRG and Spruce).

MadPat’s Orford 2005 Gallery

Originally text posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:30 pm on firsttracksonline

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Road to MRG. View of Sugarbush North.


View of MRG

Back to MRG…

What a huge difference since my last visit in late January (Powder day with no base). Conditions were amazing. After a day skiing at Stowe, we returned back to Montreal to get my oldest daughter (7yrs).

Started the day skiing Quacky. I seldom look at these runs when I ski with friends, it’s a shame. This run was fun and full of moguls. My daughter loved it.

In those two days, I didn’t get to ski Paradise, Fall Line or some off-piste stuff, instead we stayed with my daughter and had a blast. Catamount Bowl, Glades, Waterfall, Antelope (Upper and Lower) (she definitely didn’t like the last part of Lower 😕 ), Slalom Hill, Quacky, Porcupine, etc. She never skied so many moguls in all her life and she loved it, she wanted MORE (something that would make Joe proud 😉 ).

Winter snow conditions still prevailed at that time. Loose Powder to be had by all. Corn snow was only found at the bottom of the Sunnyside chair. Coverage was excellent, best conditions of the week.


Top of Catamount


Catamount Bowl


Catamount Bowl


Basebox

MadPat’s MRG – March 2005 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:59 pm on firsttracksonline

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Ontario Spring Break was here and I had taken the week off. After one day family ski day St.Bruno (near Montreal) where we initiated Tara (2.5 yrs old) to the great sport of skiing, Tuesday was Parents’ Day.

We left our kids with Grand’ma in Montreal and treated ourselves with a beautiful day of skiing at Stowe, one of our favorites ski areas in the East.

Focus: Spruce ….

I wanted to return to Stowe and ski Spruce Peak before that whole area got “improved” 😡 next year with the removal of the old double and added snowmaking. Unfortunately, I always overlooked this part of Stowe because of the lack of expert runs. Yes, the lift was slow, but the conditions were well worth the wait. Whirlaway is fun and twisted, great coverage with minimal rocks and branches. Smugglers was also great. He did repeat those runs a few times.


Spruce Chair


Spruce Chair


Smuggs from top of Spruce

Mansfield:

After the great skiing off the old double, we took the gondola and headed for the gondola. Chin Clip was a huge disappointment, conditions were hardpacked and wind-blown, a far cry from the fun stuff at Spruce. Most runs were (or looked) windblown and icy. We didn’t stay here for long, it’s was getting late.

What’s next? Goat, Starr?

Although there are many runs that I love at Stowe, the other focus of the trip was to ski the Bruce trail. We started skiing down it sometimes past 3pm. What a great run, long and narrow with a few drops. Conditions were better than Spruce (virtually no rocks and branches, only a few bare spots at the end (before the cross-country center)). The snow had more of a Spring texture to it. We had to push and climb for a while before we were able to get back to the “resort”. 4:03PM – Finally made it to the Toll Road chair (or whatever it’s called). “Sorry, we are closed, the liftee told us” 😥 We finally had to hop on the shuttle to get back to the lot.

A great day. Best conditions skied: Spruce and Bruce.

Next day destination: Mad River Glen.


Bottom of Spruce and Mansfield


Nosedive


Bruce Trail

MadPat’s Stowe – March 2005 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:40 pm on firsttracksonline

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It snowed lightly all day Saturday and Sunday in Ottawa. The ski season was getting old and Spring was here, so I decided to head off on 100 miles of snow covered road to Tremblant to use one of my too-many pre-paid tickets. Tremblant’s closing day was only four weeks away.

I had a hard time getting out of bed on Sunday morning (Frank, I guess it doesn’t help when you are busy at work and you only start your weekend at 10:30PM on Friday night. Eh, at least I didn’t go to work on the weekend – not for now at least). I knew I was not going to get first tracks, so I didn’t really hurry. I eventually left Ottawa at 8AM to finally arrive 2:30 hours later (it normally takes 2hours). I opted to drive an extra 15 minutes past the Zoo on the South side and head to the North side parking lot.

Tremblant was reporting 10cm new snow (4 inches) at 7AM (I think), but it was still snowing heavily. This was only my third time at Tremblant this winter, the first being in November. Started my first run of the day from the top on CBC, which was closed on my previous visit two weeks ago. The new trail “Superieur” cuts part of the original trail. CBC definitely Tremblant’s narrowest and twistiest trail (I think that some trees on the sides of the trail were also cut, so it is more forgiving that before). For some reason, the snow was not the greatest, I guess too many people side-slipping.

I had to figure out where there was less skier traffic while trying to stay more or less on the trail. Tried the old-t-bars lines, better, but not great then I started getting serious (I must have been powder snow deprived). Skied a few runs of part of abandon trail (old Grand Prix’s two options) or access trail (t-bars access-this is the deprive part) from the 70s. The snow was great.

I was skiing with my Atomic GS skis, the perfect ski for Tremblant on most days. On my first runs to the bottom of the South side, there a Rossignol Demo tent. Spoke to the rep and 30 minutes later he had a pair of B1s- 176cm waiting for me. Perfect day to test these skis, unfortunately the South side didn’t have any moguls, not even on the steeper Vertige and ZigZag which were skiing great nevertheless. So I decided to go to Tremblant’s ultimate black run, Dynamite!!! Testing the B1s full speed to the bottom of the North Side via Tunnel. Dynamite had been closed at my previous visit, the bumps big and soft in powder (no one ever ski this run). The last pitch (which is a steep rocky drop was closed, like most times) so I cut across to reach the middle of Expo. Expo had I nice patch of ice (30 feet across), skied it, skis held fine, I was impressed. This is not a race ski and it holds!!!

At the bottom, MMMhhhh!!! Let’s go for seconds, I sure the B1s would agree. For the ride back down to the South side, Vertige was the choice run. Top was very edgeable, ice started showing in the middle. Those 4 runs were great, I returned the Rossignol B1s one hour later, took back my 10.22s and heading back to the North for lunch, it was already 2PM. Those Rossi would be great at Mad River Glen.

After lunch, I had to try Dynamite again, even with the 183 GS skis, still had a great time. Also returned to the old Grand Prix, however it was all tracks up now, I guess I wasn’t the only one that skied it that day. I was able to take the last chair at 4:15PM (three or four ahead of the ski patrol).

Not a bad day of skiing, starting at 11AM, I managed to get 18 runs in, regardless of a 45 minutes lunch and time spent at the Demo tent. To complete my day, at the end of the day, I gave a ride for a poor boarder from NYC who ended up on the wrong side of the mountain.

Originally posted on Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:20 pm on firsttracksonline

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