Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mont Tremblant, Quebec: 03/17 & 03/18/2011

Day 1: Thursday, St. Patrick's Day:

Summit fog, 8am

I've always wanted to take advantage of the First Tracks program that some ski areas offer. Apparently I'm not the only one, because all eight of my companions on a multi-day trip to Quebec's Mont Tremblant decided that First Tracks sounded like fun. I was skeptical last night that we'd all make it, but sure enough, all nine of us boarded the gondola in the fog at 7:45 this morning to head up to Mont Tremblant's summit.

Skies cleared out a hundred yards down the trail

The fog persisted right to the summit, but as we skied down the north side of the mountain the fog cleared and views above the clouds opened up. Eventually, we descdended into the clouds, boarded a high speed quad, and returned to the summit.

Views above the clouds on Tremblant's North Side

We repeated that cycle three or four times between 8 and 9am, when Tremblant's lifts open for everyone else: freshly groomed corduroy, empty slopes, and views above the clouds.

Greg on Tremblant's South Side

Eventually the strong March sun transitioned the cold corduroy cruisers to spring conditions, although it took until lunchtime for the fog and clouds to burn off at the lower elevations.

Base village plaza

We alternated runs between the mountain's north and south sides, and as the snow softened in the afternoon we found excellent advanced terrain off the Versant Edge lift on the north side, with both spring bumps and beautiful tree skiing. Tremblant is a big mountain (600+ skiable acres), with a lot of variety. We found cruisers, steeps, bumps and trees.  We'll see what we can find tomorrow.

Yup, they celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in Canada too

Day 2: Friday:

We had hoped for a carbon copy of yesterday's beautiful weather, but instead we got a mixed bag of everything: rain, wind, fog, even snow. Fortunately most of the day was precipitation free and temps remained above freezing except for at the very summit.

The plastic-bag rain gear was a guarantee the sun would shine

The snow stayed soft all day, so even though it wasn't a good day for taking pictures it was still a good day for skiing, at least on the sheltered north side of the mountain.

It snowed too

Two north side lifts closed unexpectedly, one before noon and the other at 2:30, eliminating some terrain that we had wanted to ski. But we still had access to most of the north side terrain, and we found plenty to ski, including one favorite line of soft bumps under the lift that we returned to three or four times.

Most of the day was dry, and the snow stayed soft

It's always fun to explore new ski areas, and this trip has certainly been no exception. I hope to have the chance to come back.


  1. Interesting post...

    I have not skied at Tremblant since it got "Intrawested." That base village scene looks like a surreal form of French-Canadian fairyland inhabited by skiers and fueled by poutine, snow, beer and beaver tails. Wow.

    Please take a run on Ryan for me. You may find the old-school soul of Mont Tremblant in there somewhere.

  2. SBR, we skied Ryan, but there's not a whole lot of old-school left at Tremblant. The base village is definitely Disney-like, but still a fun place to visit.

  3. I've heard great things about going there, but it seems like my buddies at Sugarbush always end up at Jay or Le Massif (sp.?) instead. Someday. I only skied two days away from Sugarbush this year and that was a PSIA clinic.

  4. Damon, I think you & I need to head over to Tuck's this spring.

  5. Oh my! I really love these photos! Especially the view on Tremblant's North Side, Clouds are so amazing! Keep posting man! :)