Got up to Edelweiss for some night skiing just before 3pm. The sun was out, it was about -2c and the place was packed. The parking lot was pretty much full and the lineup for tickets was slow. For some reason on one of the busiest weekends of the ski season they only had one ticket booth open. Anyway I finally traded in my online ticket for a real one and got on the lift. Night skiing tickets on Sunday that are bought 24hrs in advance online are only $20. All three quads were running. The high speed quad was the only lift with a line so I jumped on the slow Strief quad so I could ski the non-light runs while the sun was still out. Everything was open with the exception of West Coast. I powered down the Eastern Bowl, the twisty Shotgun and Descent Telesiege under the lift. The snow was hard packed with icy patches but my edges held fine. After about 5 or 6 runs I hooked up with a buddy who was trying to get rental skis in the disorganized rental area. I think it took him like an hour to get his gear! After we skied are legs off till about 8pm with a short break for a drink and a crazy "Skier Poutine". When the sun went down we stuck to the wide groomer Zoomer that runs under the high speed quad and Olympic/Strief on the right side of the hill. All in all it was beautiful Sunday night with a killer sunset.
It was a Friday night and there's nothing better than leaving the office with a stop at the mountain to start the weekend on the right ski. Destination was Sommet Edelweiss. Offering the highest vertical drop for night skiing in the region, all the trails except two (Easter Bowl and Descente Telesiege) were open.
A decent amount of people were present but the lineup at the Edelbahn Express, the only lift open aside from the Magic Carpet, was non-existant the entire night. Just ski up and go.
Conditions were quite good, full snow coverage, firm base with little to no ice anywhere.
Meeting up with my good friend René, and his pals Pat and Jay, we conquered the slopes. The weather was hovering around -5 to -10'c however the winds at the summit were surprisingly strong and I wouldn't have been surprised if the temperature at the top felt a good 10 degrees cooler as a result.
Starting off on the beginner trails, first up was Chemin des Bois.
Next up was the classic Easy Street.
Moving across the mountain in search of some more speed was Zoomer.
The expert terrain of Strief and Olympic were also in excellent condition, providing great steeps and drops into the valley below. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pictures during this visit, but it seems like Edelweiss has slightly modified the left-hand side of the trail to be a bit smoother as it used to have a much more pronounced drop to it when compared to the right-hand side.
A great time out on the slopes and an unforgettable evening that took TGIF to new heights and new summits.
What a day. What a season. There really hasn't been a low point all winter.
Today the ski conditions were once again amazing. Being a Sunday, I would have expected a lot more people to be present, but since it's the SuperBowl tonight... well that's still no excuse. In any case, I won't complain. Short line ups at the lifts and first tracks on several trails well past lunch. The weather was also perfect, not too cold, and a steady snowfall lasting into the afternoon, kept the slopes in top shape.
All the trails are open, except for Shotgun. From the steeps of Strief (or as I call it, Strief Mountain), to the glades of Chemin des Bois, to the classics Zoomer and Easy Street, Sommet Edelweiss does not disappoint.
I started my visit on Strief, noticing plenty of untouched snow for first tracks. The main pitch of this slope is steepest coming down on the left and really drops you into the run off zone with plenty of speed.
Next over is Descente Telesiege. Similar in pitch to Strief, this trail is narrower and features a chairlift right down the middle. It's the perfect place to work your technique and carving. The snowy staches all over made it that much more enjoyable.
The classic Zoomer trail was also in top shape. The upper pitch is definitely more enjoyable if you keep to the left as this route lets you maintain more of your speed on the flat right after.
The bottom section seemed to have a lot more snow than any other of the trails I visited. There was just sooo much snow, it was ridiculously fun and exciting. Over time, some nice bumps were starting to form all over.
Easy Street, a nice cruiser that winds its way down the mountain never disappoints, with its several junctions and alternative routes available.
Chemin des Bois a narrower and windier version of Easy Street also in great shape. A little secret, after the first flat shortly after the top, keep to the left and you will see a small gladed trail hidden in the trees. It isn't large, or super challenging, but it is a nice little treat to enjoy.
The beginner magic carpet zone has been completely updated. New this year is a profiled learning slope, featuring banked turns, a small mini half pipe and various features designed to compliment and enhance the learning experience. The banked turns for example, automatically put the skier or rider into the turn, guiding you through it so you learn the motions and skills. The mini half-pipe allows for short maneuvers, giving you a slight boost of speed and slowing you right after. This is a great initiative and something that is also available at all of the Sommet mountains in the Laurentians. A definite thumbs up to Edelweiss for implementing this new learning environment.
Overall, conditions are fantastic. You definitely can't go wrong no matter your skill level or the trail you choose at Edelweiss. With the Edelbahn Express high speed quad, you reach the summit in 5 minutes, and all the trails are long and enjoyable. While it wasn't busy today, two other quad chairlifts are available to provide fast alternatives when this main lift is crowded with long lines.
Don't forget about the huge snow tubing park located off to the right side of the mountain. Best enjoyed with family and friends, it's the perfect way to finish off the day on the slopes.
Have a great week ahead and Happy Skiing!