Mont Ste Marie : February 13, 2012
- Published: Monday, 13 February 2012 20:34
It was a beautiful Monday in the region. Blue skies and a nice cool temperature made it a perfect day to go skiing. It had been a few years since I last skied at Mont Ste Marie so I set that as my skiing destination for the day.
Mont Ste Marie is located approximately 1h15 from downtown Ottawa, or an additional 40 minutes past Wakefield, Quebec. Due to its distance, there are rarely any lineups at the lifts or any crowding on the slopes.
Mont Ste Marie is actually two mountains, Vanier mountain and Cheval Blanc. They present a vertical drop of 380 metres, making it about double that of any other ski area in Gatineau.The mountains are served by two quad detachable chairlifts. The main chalet is modern and spacious.
You will find more beginner and intermediate trails on the main Vanier mountain, while the more expert terrain is on Cheval Blanc. Betsy, a double diamond, has been rated as one of the best steeps in the East, can be found on Cheval Blanc.
Conditions were quite good with little to no ice on Vanier, however, there was a noticable amount of ice present on Cheval Blanc, especially Bas Outaouais.
Mont Ste Marie, is a nice ski mountain, with long runs and a good vertical drop. The slopes present good challenge and enjoyment. The only real negative point is the linkage between Vanier and Cheval Blanc, which require some cross country skiing. The real question for most families and people thinking of skiing at Mont Ste Marie is the fact that for an additional 30 minutes drive, you can reach some of the ski resorts in the Laurentians. However, what does make Mont Ste Marie advantageous is the lack of people and lineups, as well as the more affordable lift ticket prices. In addition, it presents a vertical drop that is higher than all but Tremblant in the Laurentians! Nice scenery as you descend many of the trails, giving you views of Lac Ste-Marie and the surrounding mountains. If you live in the region or are looking to try something new, Mont Ste Marie is definitely one place you should have on your list.