Lots of natural snow, amazing slopes and a consistent fall-line, this is Mont Chilly, located in Fort-Coulonge, 1 hour and 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa/Gatineau.
The natural snow, the powder, the glades, the pitches of the trails, everything comes together in just the right way, making it the last best kept secret of the Outaouais. From the mountain itself, to the lodge and the Hernberger family that have owned it since its opening in 1966-67, to the people that come to ski and visit and know everyone by name, it is a venerable time capsule of skiing at its best and truest. It is very special to see 3 generations of the Hernberger family involved at Mont Chilly, from Larry, to his son Rick, and his son Kurtis. Together, they create the unique experience, that visitors experience on Chilly's slopes.
In the parking lot, you are greeted by the friendly dogs of the mountain, making sure everyone arriving had a smile on their face and ready to have fun on the slopes. Heading into the cozy lodge, you will find a warm atmosphere. The snack bar, offers great food at a low cost. The large windows give you a good view of the slopes beyond as you rest up. Heading outside to the mountain's base, the homemade T-Bar, built in the mid-60s, wisks skiers and snowboarders to the summit of this mountain, that features a vertical drop of approximately 460 feet. You quickly notice that the mountain has a constant slope to it, there are no flat run outs anywhere.
The mountain covered only by natural snow, which is a whole other experience from ski mountains that manufacture the majority of their snow base. Less ice, softer, more enjoyable are words that spring to mind when skiing on natural snow cover. The trails are groomed with a combination of regular grooming as well as bed-springs pulled by snowmobiles. This allows the snow to remain soft and natural. The mountain features 7 trails, each with a good amount of alternative routes to take. The size of the trails themselves gives you many options, to enjoy and discover.
The trails, atmosphere, snow quality and loyal following by its passionate skiers are definitely what make Mont Chilly unique in this region of Quebec. There are no crowds, or lines on the trails or at the lift. At $20 for a lift ticket, you'd be hard pressed to find this kind of experience elsewhere at such a value.