The Spring Season began exactly one month ago, and yet today was the first day of skiing for me that actually felt very much like spring. While people may be disappointed with the late start, it has also permitted ski mountains to stretch their season even longer than average. Camp Fortune is usually first to open and last to close in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, but this year all the main trails on Skyline are open, with full snow coverage. The biggest contrast I can make to past years is that by now they would have already been closed, so very exciting turn of events indeed.
Being an early bird and personally preferring firmer snow conditions, I arrived to ski for opening at 9am. The parking already had more cars than I was expecting at that time... I guess the great news that spring skiing had arrived was heard loud and clear.
Ski conditions today, excellent. As previously mentioned, the snow coverage was complete on all open trails. The base was hard with little to no ice. As the sun warmed up the snow, the surface softened out very quickly, allowing some bumps and moguls to form on the trails, the typical trademark signature of spring skiing. As far as lift lines, almost every run was ski on without stopping.
Open trails were Heggtveit, Chute, Upper and Lower Canadien, Bud Clark and Sparks, served by the Skyline quad. An outdoor BBQ was set up between the Skyline Lodge and the quad chairlift.
After 10 runs, it was time to call it a day. Leaving by 11am, the snow was really softening out and the classic watery spray that results from the carving of skis was in the air. With the even warmer temperatures in the afternoon, I can only imagine that the skiing got even better as the day progressed.
What a phenomenal day to ski, I just loved every moment of it. Blue skies, warm weather, perfect spring snow... Camp Fortune is spoiling us with the goods!
Camp Fortune will be open once again tomorrow (Sunday) from 9am-4pm. Tickets are only $25/ day or $20 for 4 hrs for adults and $20/day or $15/4 hrs for kids. Sunday will also be a retro ski day, so bring out your fluorescent and bright coloured ski outfits and rock the slopes like it's still the 80's.
What a great way to end the ski season in the region. You definitely owe it to yourself to come out and enjoy the great ski conditions before they come to an end, you are sure to be amazed.
Here are some more pictures from today.
It is now the second weekend into April and thanks to recent snowfalls, the mountain couldn't have been in better shape this time of year. There is plenty of snow everywhere and the conditions are sublime. No ice, no bare patches, nothing that could ruin the experience, it was just another perfect day out on the slopes.
There are 4 lifts and 13 runs open. All except two trails were open in the Valley and Skyline (Swan Dive and Duffy are closed). This weekend marks the end of the ski season in the Valley at Camp Fortune... as of next weekend the skiing moves to Skyline.
For those lovers of the snowpark, you will be happy to know that it is in great shape with plenty of jumps, boxes and rails ready to jib.
Tomorrow at Camp Fortune there are two events not to miss: the 24th Annual Fortune Cup Dual Slalom and the Surf Side Says Fore!! Mini Skolf Edition.
The mountain is in excellent condition, and it is great to know that the rain earlier on in the week did not do any damage and in fact brought some fresh new snow with it.
Camp Fortune makes it a tradition to be the first to open and the last to close in the region. With the amount of snow on the mountain and the weather forecasted, there shouldn't be a problem making it to mid-April.
Here are some pictures from today
The snow park.
Looks like the ski season may get into mid April.
This is from Mont Ste Marie's facebook site (April 4th):
SNOW REPORT (Lots of Snow April 6th-8th)
We received 10-15cm last night at the base of the mountain and over 20cm at the summit of Mont Ste-Marie. This is setting up to be the best skiing of the season when we re-open this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All runs will be open with perfect ski conditions groomed to perfection.
They also mention that they will be open the April 13-15th weekend.
and todays webcam, another 5cms is expected on Friday.
Tremblant got 16cms over night.
Made it up to Camp Fortune for a few hours after a fairly long absence. The spring skiing conditions are great. Loads of coverage, fast soft snow and almost all the runs are still open on both the Valley and Skyline. Justin Trudeau was even snowboarding for a few hours in the morning! Ignore the fact the most of the snow is gone in the city, up in the Gatineau hills there is still lots of snow. People are still even cross country skiing. Get up here and enjoy the warm weather and great snow.