Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mont Tremblant & Far Hills (XC), Quebec: 01/13 - 01/15/2018

Mont Tremblant, MLK weekend.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

It's hard to beat the package Tremblant can deliver for a family ski getaway: a big mountain with lots of variety, quaint pedestrian village that's consistently ranked tops in the east, and oodles of slopeside lodging options. Throw in a favorable exchange rate and the opportunity to experience a different language and culture within driving distance of home, and it's easy to see why Tremblant is so popular with east coast snow sliders.

Tremblant's latitude factors into the equation too. While Tremblant's northerly location simply means deep freeze to some, we see it as a way to hedge our bet on good snow conditions. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. Tremblant got the same rain and 40-degree temperatures that decimated ski areas up and down the east coast. It was 53 degrees and raining when we left Saratoga Friday afternoon, 14 degrees and snowing by the time we arrived at Tremblant. A few inches of snow fell on the backside of the storm, but not enough to erase the damage done by the warm rain. Glades and natural snow trails were out of the picture, but the grooming team pulled off a solid recovery on three quarters of Tremblant's terrain.

Daniel skiing a frontside trail with Lac Tremblant in the background

Sylvie hitting one of the terrain park features

Perfect early morning corduroy

Sylvie and Daniel

Beth and my brother Dave

Sylvie on the north side


Daniel skiing Action

My brother Dave, also a telemarker

Did I mention the cold? Each of the three days struggled to break zero Farenheit. Luckily bright sun and no wind took the edge off the chill. And we've already had our fair share of frigid temps south of the Saint Lawrence this winter, so zero didn't really feel all that bad.

While Tremblant had gotten just 3 inches of snow on the backside of Friday's rain, between 6 inches and a foot fell just a half hour to the south. A bit of powder envy set in, so we headed down to Val Morin to ski the phenomenal nordic trail network at Far Hills. Canadians are seriously avid about their cross-country skiing, and it shows in the layout of their trails and quality of their grooming. At Far Hills, the 8 inches of new snow completely erased any sign of Friday's rain, making conditions absolutely perfect. The snow, the grooming and the great scenery really had the kids firing on all 4 cylinders and they cranked out a great day of cross-country.

Gondi-eye view of Beth and me skiing the frontside

Beth skiing last run

Maple taffy

Pedestrian village

So while it would have been nice if Tremblant had gotten a foot of snow, we got by with two days of pretty nice groomers and a great day of cross-country. And that's exactly why Tremblant has worked out so well for us the past couple of years: if it snows, it's going to be great and if it doesn't snow, you're still going to have a great time.

1 comment:

  1. Great report Jeff. I missed a trip to Tremblant last year and would still like to get up there. The Max Pass is great!!!