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  1. @Ocean The plan is to get up to Sauveur Saturday morning. I saw pics of Sutton and it's getting pretty thin in places. Still skiable though. Owl's Head and Bromont are done. Orford, not sure yet. A buddy of mine went to Jay last weekend and he said it was pretty decent but melting quick. As for hiking, there are decent places to go to but from what I heard at Orford with the construction going on, you will only be able to access Giroux East for hiking. There is a lot of work to be done on Alfred Desrochers as they are installing snowmaking lines and that section would not be accessible from my understanding. If you are looking at some hiking, hit up the Sentiers de L'Estrie website. They have a decent network of trails accessible as a member or by purchasing daily passes.
  2. I am not 100% sure yet, but it looks like to me I'm done. I just can't accept the fact that my last day skiing was March 29th. Too early for my liking considering last year I was done May 27th. The past two out of three seasons ended in May. We will see what this week will hold and decide on where to go and who's left open if any.
  3. So far what I have seen for the Townships, Owl's Head & Bromont have called their seasons. With the impending weekend weather coming in the form of rain, they threw in the towel. I haven't heard about Orford however their plan was to close for the weekend and assess the mountain before making a decision on opening for one more day. That may have changed I don't know yet. Sutton still plans to go on weekends until May 4-5th weather and conditions pending.
  4. I had issues with my boots earlier in the season but not like yours and found out I was suffering from what is called "shin bang". My boots are about 6 seasons old now and I though it was all on the insert's padding being flattened out over the years, I have probably 40-50 days of skiing on them though. I was having a terrible time and my lower shin, down near the ankle and the top of my foot was hurting to the point where is was painful just taking the boot off, never mind skiing. I found an article on this and looked at some things I was doing. One of them was tucking your long johns into your socks. This can create a "crease" where it bunches up inside the boot. Your boot wont fit properly and you have a lump. I stopped tucking, and paid more attention with putting my socks on (I wear 2 pair) so that there are no creases anywhere and also stopped tucking my long johns into the boot. I started ratcheting the buckles up one notch higher and voila! No more issues and I can ski without any discomfort or pain anymore. I was ready yo shell out some cash on new boots this season, but didn't have to after reading the article on what my issues may have been. Do you leave you boots buckled or unbuckled when not using them? Could it be that they lost their shape from being unbuckled for a length of time that they don't fit properly anymore? I think a visit to the boot fitter might be the best answer to the questions. Especially if you have custom inserts.
  5. I had based this trip on the long rage forecast about a week ago where it was supposed to be a mostly sunny day and mild, so I planned to have the day off. As the week progressed I watched the forecast deteriorate day by day to a mild day of mostly cloudy and rain. Well at least that part the forecasters got correct! I had gotten in touch with a friend of mine earlier in the week to tell him I was coming down, so this venture was not a solo one. Friday morning wake up, and true to the forecaster's word it was lightly sprinkling. Holding to my commitment to my buddy, I packed up the truck and headed off in the rain. I don't normally ski in the rain but if I didn't go, then the visit to Sutton would have been a write off, and I would have to wait until next season. Note to self: Plan the trip to Sutton earlier in the season next time! I arrived at the mountain just before 9 to cloudy skies with a very light sprinkle and the temperature of around 4 degrees. I got all geared up and went to the ticket desk inside to pick up my pass, and ran into a school friend of mine who has been at the mountain for a number of years, Melanie. Always a pleasure to see her, and to catch up. After a quick chat I got the pass and headed for chair 2 the Main Quad for the first run down the Sutton Ik. Everyone I got the chance to chat with was pleasant, welcoming, and in a great mood considering the weather today. 57 trails were open along with 4 lifts spinning. The conditions were of a spring granular over a firm base. Coverage was still pretty decent with the amount snow received this season. There was still quite a bit of snow still left in the woods. The glades were still covered well enough to ski them with care. In some areas spring is slowly starting to show through with a few icy patches here and there. Still plenty of space to avoid them. On the way down I got a message from my buddy to meet him over at the bottom of Chair 3. I made my way over, and he was there with some skis he brought with him that we were going to test out. It ended up being a group of 6 of us so basically from there the day turned into a testing day in the rain. We had a variety of different skis to try, and today was a good day to see how they would perform in the spring snow. Testing the Blizzard SRC: We spent the rest of the day on the Mohawk and the ABC under Chair 3 testing and trading thoughts about the skis we were on. The Mohawk had been groomed and there was some soft snow left untouched on the sides of the trail. A great trail to see what these skis could do. I had the Blizzard SRC, Volkl Race Tiger SC, Salomon Shot SL, & the Blizzard Wrangler 9, just to name a few of the half dozen skis or so I tried out. With the summit chalet open, there was a cat making the trip up with a load of wood for the fire place there, so we had a fresh groomer track every run we did to ski on. The Mohawk: The ABC under Chair 3: We finished the day at around 1:30, pretty much soaked through. Even though I didn't get to other sections of the mountain this time, I had a great day trying out different skis, and getting my spring skiing legs back. Like I had mentioned earlier, I need to better plan my visits here for next season to get the full effect of what this great mountain can offer. Until next season Mont Sutton, I'll be back! A couple of experimental photos in B&W.
  6. I ended up going to Sutton on the rain! Something I don't normally do but held my commitment to a buddy of mine who was going. I'll do a report but it will be a short one. I ended up spending the day testing out skis with a bunch of us. There is still a lot of snow on the mountain but spring is slowly starting to show through.
  7. I woke up early this morning to a beautiful sunny bluebird sky, so I made the decision to head out to Mont Orford. The mountain had received up to 40 centimetres of new snow Friday and into Saturday, so today was the day to go and see what they had. I arrived at the mountain a few minutes after 8 and the main parking lot was already filling up. The temperature was pretty mild at -2 degrees at the base of the mountain. It was quite windy as I was walking across the parking lot to the chalet, and was wondering what would be on wind hold. When I bought my ticket I was informed that the Alfred Desrochers double and the Rapido Triple were the only lifts open because of the wind. The access would have been up the Double and over to mid mountain to the Rapido to access the summit. While I was outside getting my skis on, I spoke to one of the Patrollers, and asked if there was anything on wind hold as I saw people lining up for the Hybride, and they said that it is windy but will be running the Hybride and the Giroux North chairs at a slower speed, and that Giroux East was on wind hold. OK.....That's what I liked to hear so it was go time! So with what lifts were confirmed, it was the Hybride for the first 3 laps to start the day. The ride up was a touch windy but with the sun out and a fairly mild temperature, it wasn't so bad. There was quite a cross wind blowing at the summit though. The first run down was on the 4km, a nice easy trail that is well protected from the wind. Then back up again for the Grande Coulee, and the third trip for a combo of the Trois Ruisseau and the Maxi. The conditions were excellent with a groomed packed powder over a firm base. The upper section of the Grande Coulee was windswept, however there was no ice. The ski down all three runs were really great. The mid-section of the 4km: The Grande Coulee: The Trois Ruisseaux and Maxi: Then it was over to the Alfred Desrochers Double. I would almost consider this area of the mountain my favourite as it is all natural snow here. No snowmaking. This area is protected from the wind mostly, and the conditions were fantastic. More groomed packed powder. Here I made runs on the Grande Allee and then made my way over to the Giroux North Quad via the Toussiski crossing back under the Hybride. The Grande Allee and Toussiski in the Alfred Desrochers Sector: The ride up the Giroux North Quad was a touch windy. At the top it was quite windy where the snow was being blown around quite a bit, and the trails were actually icy at the beginning. As you skied off the summit to the lower sections of the trails, they were fine. I made a couple of runs on the Giroux North Quad with the Famillale and onto the lower part of the 4km, and the Magnum/Pente Douce combo. On the last ride up the Giroux North Quad I noticed that Giroux East was running. Being that I was on a 3 hour block ticket today I thought it would be the time to head down the Slalom. By this time it was 11:15 and time was running out. I started down the Slalom on packed powder, however I noticed the snow softening up on the trail, the further down I got. It was starting to get to be a little like springtime skiing at the bottom. The Slalom: The last ride of the day was up the Giroux East Quad as time was coming to an end with the last run down was again the Famillale/4km combo to the chalet. The ride up Giroux East was fine until you started getting towards the top were it was getting pretty windy again. I did the 3 hour block ticket today as the forecast for the afternoon was not that great. I started the day at 8:30 and finished the day at 11:45. The temperature by this time at the base was just a couple degrees above zero. The line up was not bad as I was using the singles line, and the wait was no more that 2-3 minutes tops. The line up at the Hybride was getting a bit long by lunch hour. I had skied what I had wanted to today with another great day of skiing in the books. Here are a few more scenes from the day: Looking West towards Bromont: Owl's Head and Jay Peak off in the distance: The line up at the Hybride:
  8. Tentative schedule of Orford in the morning tomorrow, Sutton on Friday the 29th, OH Saturday the 30th for the Hoot. No ideas yet for the month of April yet.
  9. Wow, looks like you had the place to yourself in some of those photos! Still plenty of snow up there. Those glades look sweet too. Was it more lighter powder at the top and heavier wet stuff at the base? Nice day.
  10. Looks like you had great time! I have never skied Chilly but yeah looks like you turned back the clock about 40 years. Nothing wrong with a little old school skiing. Love the t-bar. I bet the beer and sausages tasted pretty good after that. Tailgate party! The photos really gives us a good idea of how the mountain is. Thanks for the report! Long live Chilly.
  11. Thanks Shane. Nothing like this view especially on a sunny day like that! I haven't heard anything further on any terrain expansion. What I have heard from some people is that the new Lake Quad is to be shorter than the current one. I have heard it is to start on the flat where the Couloir trail exits, and end where the current quad ends up top. It's supposed to be only 900 meters in length. What is to happen to the terrain below the new quad, no idea. The Blue needs work. What that is I don't know. The Panorama is scheduled to go sometime. It's going to be interesting next season. I am not one for long lift lines either. The singles line is your friend on days like that. I haven't seen lift lines like this at OH in a long time.
  12. I found an article on Ski Area Management's webpage with regards to a new collective pass that would target the casual skier, and the smaller to mid-sized independent ski areas. This planned offering is called the Indy Pass, and is set to go on a sale for September 1st, 2019, and has 11 ski areas signed up. So far the only Canadian ski area on board is Apex Mountain Resort in B.C. The organizers of the Indy Pass have reached out to Midwest, Northeast, and to Canadian areas. More details on this offering can be found via this link.
  13. With a sunny bluebird sky in the forecast for today, the place to go was Owl's Head. This would make my second visit of the season here. I arrived at the mountain at 9:00 with a beautiful sky and a temperature of -10 degrees. The main parking lot was already half full by then which was a sign that everyone else was going to take advantage of a nice day like this. With getting ready, and recharging my RFID card, I was on the lift by 9:30. There was a bit of a line up to start, no more than a couple of minutes. The Main, Baby, and Black Quads along with the learning zone's Magic Carpet were in operation. 49/50 trails were open. The conditions were fantastic! Groomed packed powder over a firm base was what was waiting for you. The grooming team did a wonderful job in making the conditions what they were. The first runs were on the Main Quad on the Centennial and Lower Colorado as a combo, and then a run on Lilly's Leap. The coverage was excellent! I love it now that you don't have to make the long hike up to get to Centennial anymore. The work that was done here during the off season last summer was well worth it. You will notice as well that the trees were cut to make a the trail wider that improves the view of Jay Peak immensely. Lilly's Leap was a treat as well. With the improved snowmaking system, you can instantly tell the difference in the quality of the snow that was made. Another big change you will notice is the opening of Lilly's Leap has been widened which improves the traffic flow quite a bit. If you ski the left side of this new opening, it is graded as a single black diamond, and if you ski the right side, where the original chute was, this is graded as Intermediate as it had been in the past. The opening of Lilly's Leap: The Centennial with the view of Jay Peak: The Lower Colorado: As I was skiing Lilly's Leap, I decided to cross over to the Upward Trail and Lake Quad. Now being that the Lake Quad has been down for the winter you can still access the Lakeside section even though the Quad is not running. Two options: Ski down to where the Lakeview trail exits, veer to your left and take the crossover on to the Black Quad, or if you are adventurous, ski down to the flat before the last pitch and crossover to the Black from there. Only thing about this route is that you need to get enough speed to make the rise on to the Chouette as this trail was originally the crossover to the bottom of the Lake Quad from the Black. The line you take to make this rise can make or break your success in getting over it. You may still have to climb a bit to get there. It all depends on your speed. The Upward trail was in great shape and not a lot of people skied here, and you practically had the trail to yourself. It is also noted that as of this spring the Lake Quad will be removed and replaced with a new Quad to be ready for the 2019-2020 ski season. The Upward trail: From here I spent sometime on the Black Quad and a few rides up the Baby Quad. Then it was back over to the Main Quad for a couple of more runs. By 11:00-11:30 both the Black Quad and Main Quad were getting quite busy. Using the singles line did shorten the wait time. At one point though the wait in the singles line got to be 10 minutes at the Main Quad. It was actually great to see how busy it was and everyone taking advantage of a beautiful day. The last run up the Main Quad was to ski a trail I had not skied in almost 20 years, the Upper Colorado with the infamous Wall section. The trail had been groomed so there were no bumps, however the Wall can be intimidating as this trail is classified as double black diamond. By the time I skied this trail, it was early afternoon and the coverage was still great with no ice anywhere to be found! It made for a great run down. It is a bit strange to see that the old Green Chair is no longer standing, but now there is more room to turn, and at the bottom of the pitch that connects with the Centennial has been smoothed out and the line of sight at the junction has been improved. The Chouette under the Black Quad: The crowd at the bottom of the Main Quad at 11:30: The Colorado looking up from the Centennial after skiing the pitches: From here it was time to cool down and made a few more laps on the Black and Baby Quad. There was a trip made earlier in the day down the Panorama trail where the old Mueller double is located and is scheduled to be removed as well sometime in the near future. By 2:30 and after 20 runs made, it was time to call it, and get a cold refreshment. In front of what would be the old part of the chalet, there is a terrace now with chairs to sit in to soak up the sun, and to observe the action going on around. I took advantage of these chairs and had a seat. As I was sitting there watching everyone, I had the pleasant thought of "yeah this is the way it ought to be" and enjoyed just chilling out in the sun. I got pretty comfy sitting there and almost fell asleep in the sun. Both parking lots ended up being full. The outside of the chalet is almost complete as there is just a little section now that needs siding to be put on. The overall look of the chalet now is amazing. All the changes that had been made this past off season have made a difference already, and there are more to come. A great crowd, and super conditions made for another awesome ski day. Probably in the top 2 ski days of the season this winter for me! Here are a few more scenes from the day: The Lower Standard: The Chalet from the Baby Quad: Watching the action going on from the terrace:
  14. They have a vertical of about 295 feet. The there are multiple routes to take to get there and, each route takes just over an hour from Sherbrooke. My preferred route to take is the 108 out of town to Stornoway, then route 161 to Lac Megantic. There is plenty to do there if you are not into downhill skiing.
  15. Here's is a photo of the trail map that was located just outside the chalet from my first visit in 2013. Back then the trails were designated by number and no names. I was wanting to find an updated one but haven't found one yet.
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