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Haynes and Jet shinning all the way across to Canada


Gray Jay

After the previous day’s late start for what I thought was going to be my last day at Mont St-Sauveur and their last weekend of the season; I showed up at 7:30am for a meeting place in Brossard. The One, J’hais le damé durci and I were meeting up for a carpool for Jay Peak’s last day of the season.

An early start for Mother’s Day as some people had early evening plans. Killington was the only other ski area, besides MSS and Jay open this weekend. Each of them had roughly the same amount of runs open.

It was initially announced that Jay Peak would have three trails open this weekend; the normal late season Jet and Haynes on Stateside and the green Interstate serviced by the Metro Quad on the Tramside. As we were driving south towards the border, we could see Haynes and Jet shinning from afar.


Trailside parking

We virtually parked in the liftline of the Jet Triple. It was wet and muddy, like a skiers’ Woodstock. The atmosphere of a great day at the hill was building up. People were parking and getting ready for some tailgating, eating, drinking, tanning and some skiing. Very different from a rain on a previous last day a few years ago.

The morning started with a low cloud cover and cool breeze, definitely not the hot Summer t-shirt type weather from the previous day at MSS: snow pants and vest it was. First down Jet then Haynes; the snow was soft corn, unlike the frozen salt snow from MSS the previous day. There was also Montrealer-Angel’s Wiggle that was official open which stopped just short walk from the Bonnie and Stateside Hotel or the Jet triple. The part of the snowpack had collapsed from the running water and melted leaving a giant trench in the middle of the trail. JLDD explored and bushwacked the trees between upper UN and Haynes while I skied and hoped on and between patches on Derrick’s. All on snow on this side were on the snowpiled Haynes and Jet.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Angel’s Wiggle, The One and snowhole

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Can-Am Hike

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Stateside Action

The advantage of being parked virtual on the side of the trail is that we could drop layers when the sun came out and the temperature became to rise, we also stop to get some fuel (food and drinks). It didn’t take long to get around the open terrain, so next up about a hike up or skin up for The One towards Can-Am; no, we didn’t bother checking Interstate on Tramside. From our vantage point from high above at the top of Can-Am, we saw only one skier slowplowing. The mountain was quite as the action was all on Stateside’s two main trails. In fact there would have a few more skiing options as they were plenty of white all over the mountain. As most previous Jay May Trips, Can-Am was the cream of the corn. Real butter corn, pealing corn on the unskied bumps on continuous snow on the nice steep pitch.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Can-Am Corn

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Kitzwood: The Bear is out of his Den

This was a relaxing day as we soaked in the rays from the outdoor tables next to Stateside to eat our lunch drinking beer. The atmosphere was happening when we got back to the Jet. We found a line of snow between the trees in Kitzwood and I skied over dirt connecting the patches on Northway and Hell’s Crossing.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : The Jet in full Cornapallooza!!!

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Bar service lift

Back under the Jet, the smooth groomed corn had turned into moguls, skiing in shorts, jorts or bikini galore, beer drinking at the top and the bottom at the cars next to the BBQs, on the lift or having beer runs. There were some Famous and not so famous internet skiers from both side of border and various ski forums showed up on this beautiful. This was the day, the Mother of Closing Day Celebration. This wasn’t Woodstock, it was more like Cornapallooza!!!

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Skiing with bikini…

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : …and Beer

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : The season and people are coming undone at the bottom of The Jet trail side parking


The One and JLDD at the end of the day Beer Lot


It ain’t Alaska, but it was still a great day


Suburbia Life : 7:30am at 10-30 back at 5:30pm


Ontario Sunset


That’s all folks!!!


MadPat’s Gallery:
Jay Peak VT – May 11, 2014

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Saturday May 10
Month 104
Day 78

On this weekend only three ski areas remained open in the East and MSS was again the last in Quebec and amongst the last three open in the East. Jay and MSS had announced that Sunday May 11 was their last day of the season; a season started on October 30 for Mont St-Sauveur. All three ski areas were now on limited operations with Killington open Friday to Sunday while Jay and MSS were only open for the weekend. Actually that isn’t entirely true, MSS had been spinning midweek everyday from 7am to 11am rain and shine for ski race camp on the “MSSI Glacier”. That is the main reason why public skiing in May at MSS only started at 11am the last two weekends.


Part of Mont St-Sauveur with an open Hill 70 and Nordique. There is still a good amount of snow on Hill 71 on the right.

Contrary to the previous weekends, the weather was clear and sunny. I couldn’t ski last weekend, but the plan for this beautiful weekend was to hit MSS and Jay for their last hurrah. The drive from Ottawa to Montreal via MSS is only an extra 30 minutes. The hill was charging $20, but my Edelweiss pass is valid when Edelweiss isn’t open. Mont St-Sauveur’s traditional both late/early season runs were still open. Hill 70 West and the steeper Nordique trail serviced by l’Étoile quad.

I started skiing at 1:30pm and squeezed in 26 runs until last chair alternately between the steeper Nordique and the more popular Hill 70. The Nordique bottom pitch managed to get the legs warmed up before a shape turn and skip over a puddle. The surface wasn’t your typical May surface, especially when the temperature was closer to the July average. It was so hot that even if I was skiing in a short sleeve t-shirt; I was sweating. I believe the temperature hit 28c in the sun and made it warmer with the snow reflection. It was like a day at the beach with some skiing in shorts, bikinis tops or even shirtless. Not a good day to forget to bring water. 😦


Closer look at the two open runs : West Hill 70 and Nordique

Most of the hill had been salted to harden the snow for the race camps, so it wasn’t really the peel away corn or only loose granular. Impressive conditions for the racers…not so impressive for those looking for soft edging, loose snow and bumps.

The coverage was still great on both runs and the snow depth was generally close to 5-8′ on most of Hill 70 and a bit less on both of Nordique’s pitches. The middle flat on Nordique was thinner and won’t necessarily survive to another weekend, but Hill 70 shouldn’t have an issue making it for a while, unfortunately the word was out: “Sunday May 11 is our last day”. Some people were hoping that MSS would change their minds as there haven’t been many good Spring weekends for skiing. Maybe the steady turnout, a good forecast and leftover snow is going to motivate to open next weekend? I recognized a few people I had seen before including Frankontour with his young son.

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Monday May 19
Day 80
Last day of liftserved in the East.


Lunch on the patio for the Final day


Leftover snow on Nordique’s pitch

I returned for the “Last weekend of the 2013-14 ski season again”. The news came Friday morning that there was too much and the weather was perfect again for an extra weekend; which happened to be a Victoria Day Holiday weekend in Canada. I was happy as I couldn’t get away from Ottawa on this weekend, but I was free to go skiing on Monday. I had hope to make a return trip to Killington this season if they went further into May, but it wasn’t meant to be and I ended up, somewhat surprisingly, returning to MSS for one more time to close out Eastern liftserved ski season.


Middle Nordique


Iop of Nordique


Father and daughter

Today I managed to get my teen Morgane to come along for the drive and the skiing. I had promise her a late wake-up call and a warm bluebird t-shirt day. It wasn’t as hot as the previous Saturday, but it was still over 20c. As expected, the skiing was down to Hill 70 West. The snow on the Nordique trail was all gone, minus a few patches on both pitches. The temperatures across the East from Vermont to Quebec had been warm and above seasonal averages. So much so, that Killington announced that this was also their last weekend. Their last day of the season was May 18; one day earlier than MSS. Was this a surprise? Not really as MSS had added an extra weekend last season also closing on the Sunday May 19 and didn’t open for the Holiday Monday due to the uncertain forecast.

We stopped get some food at the grocery store in Morin Heights as my daughter wanted to eat as it was noon already; she was hungry and wanted to eat. No rush as a few hours on Hill 70 would definitely be enough. The snow was still a few feet depth in some places, the surface was corn and the final pitch was bumping up nicely (although bumps on Superstar are better), but was somewhat thin on skiers’ left.

Similar to last week, some familiar faces showed for another “last weekend”. Wake was hitting the rare bumps on the final pitch without counting on Maximini that seems to follow me this May. There was even Powdermonsieur and Bellezébuttes from Zoneski that showed up with telemark gear that the couple rented that morning in Laval, just North off the Island of Montreal. The people at the store looked at him strange; “late May and returning a telemark rental the same day? WTF?” This was only their second time on teleskis, as he mentioned, they needed some challenge; “it is after all only MSS”.


Morgane at the top of the final pitch


The middle flats

We started at 2pm and skied just short of 20 runs until last chair at 4:55pm. As I loaded on the chair, I said to lift operator…”see you next weekend”. He was hoping so, but not all the MSS employees shared his enthusiasm for skiing…they wanted to move to other things like getting ready for the opening of the waterpark on June 9. On the drive back, we stopped at Lowe’s Dairy for an ice cream and frozen yogourt in Lachute; a business connected to Hockey All-Star and six-time winner of the Stanley Cup Kevin Lowe’s family. There is also a ski connection with Lowe as he is married to Canadian Skiing Hall of Fame, Olympics and World Champion medalist Karen Percy.


Final pitch

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MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 10 & 19 mai 2014

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