Jump to content

Owl's Head - April 7, 2018

Recommended Posts

What most likely would be my season finale for the 2017-18 ski season, Owl's Head was the destination today. I left Sherbrooke at 7am with a temperature of -4 and partly cloudy skies. That didn't last long though as on the way there it quickly clouded over and started snowing along the autoroute by Mont Orford. It started snowing pretty hard at times, but the travelling was good. Arrival at the mountain for 8am with a light snow falling and a temperature of -4. The conditions were more mid winter than spring today. The trails were groomed packed powder over a firm base. 5-7 cms of snow fell overnight which made for a nice coating over the corduroy laid out by the groomers. There were the typical spring season ice patches but nothing to large. The Main, Baby, Black, and Lake Quad chairs were spinning. 27/52 trails at your disposal. Zero wait time at any of the lifts. 


The first runs were up the Main Quad to ski a couple of runs on Lilly's Leap and Centennial to Lower Standard. There was a gusty wind riding up to the summit blowing some of the loose powder around. 

Lilly"s Leap:




Lower Standard:


It was then on to the Black and Lake Quads. More groomed packed powder was on the menu here as well. With the low traffic today the conditions held up really well. Lift lines were non existant. You pretty much had the mountain to yourself today. There were a couple of practice race courses set up on the Kamikaze and the edge of the Lower Standard for the race team. There was plenty of space to ski by these practice areas.

The Chouette under the Black Quad:


Upward Trail under the Lake Quad:


The Lakeview:


The conditions today were pretty fantastic for this time of year. It was mid-season skiing in April, when normally you would be skiing on soft wet corn snow. There is still quite a bit of snow remaining out there and if you didn't get out there today, you are missing some pretty decent skiing. I skied until 12:30. This visit today had a bit of a different feeling for me. With the news of the new group taking over the reigns, there were a lot of memories that popped in and out of my mind while riding the lifts and skiing these trails today more so than the other times I have been here. I did get to have a lovely chat with Mrs. Lillian Korman while I was there, along with some of my old colleagues and ski patrol friends that are still there after all these years. I took my time looking around the place as there are probably going to be some big plans and changes that will come to Owl's Head in the next little while. You could definitely feel the vibe that change is in the air. I am sure that it will be for the best. Owl's Head was like a second home to me from 1989-2001 while I was employed here. Thank you to Fred and Lillian Korman for all the years of hard work and dedication to providing a beautiful place to ski for all of us to enjoy. 

Here are some other scenes from the day:






Share this post

Link to post

Amazing report Paul. You really captured the spirit of the mountain and the end of the Korman era. The mountain has immense potential and with new support should be able to bring them to reality for everyone to enjoy.

The Korman's did an amazing job having given birth to an incredible ski resort. Through their tireless years of dedication, we are able to ski at one of the most scenic places in the East, and certainly Eastern Canada. Let's hope the spirit and core values they have instilled in the mountain remain, albeit with upgrades and improvements.

Sunday will be the last day for Owl's Head, although on their site they do indicate that weather permitting they may reopen next weekend.

Hopefully for those who visit today the sky clears up so that the famous views can be seen and admired. 

Share this post

Link to post

That looks amazing! Man I have been slacking this week, too busy at work for daytime skiing and I came home from Tremblant last weekend (trip report forthcoming!) with a mild cold. I thought about heading out somewhere today but instead am taking the afternoon to finish recovering from the sniffles. Sad I didn't make it to Owl's Head this year but love these photos!!

Share this post

Link to post

Just in on Owl’s Head’s Facebook page

Fellow skiers and snowboarders,
We are officially announcing the end of the 2017-18 season, having had some electrical issues on Saturday with one of our ski lift and without being able to guarantee outstanding service to our customers for the next few days, we found it wiser to end our operations for the current season, and this, effective at the end of the day Sunday, April 8, 2018. This will allow us, amongst other, to undertake without delay the work in view of the next season which promises to be very exciting! Thank you for your understanding and look forward to seeing you at the reopening.

Share this post

Link to post

When I was there I had no issues with any of the lifts. I didn't experience any stoppages at any time, so this must have happened after I left at 12:30. I did not hear of anything either while I was there. Any details on which lift it was?

Share this post

Link to post

According to Facebook, they made mention of the main quad being out of service and then later returned to normal operation.

Paul, do you see the possibility based on grading and the terrain to add trails to other sides of the mountain in the coming years? I don't know what the boundaries of the ski area are or what land is owned by the resort.

Share this post

Link to post

I did see something earlier in the week about an issue with the main quad. The last ride I had up the Main Quad would have been about 11:30.

I think there would be a possibility to add trails further to the right of the Blue chair on that side. I seem to remember that side being fairly decent in grade but I am not sure how long the trails would be though. You can’t cut anything off of the Upper Standard and it is all cliffs. There used to be a handgliding platform there many years ago looking out over the golf course.

I do remember back in the day, there was a model of the mountain in the office of the trails and lift network. There was on this model trails and another lift off of the big corner on Lilly’s Leap heading down towards the lake. We referred to it as the White Chair. This would have been at least 20+ years ago. There have been glades cut and cleaned out during the past few years. I was apart of the crew that cut the Couloir trail off of the Lakeview. It was left un graded and the trees we cut were left. It was cleaned up after I had left and the trail opened. 

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Paul
      News out of the Eastern Townships, Owl's Head is to be changing hands. There is an intent to purchase the mountain from the Korman Family who have been at the helm since the mountain's founding 50 years ago, by Sommet Memphrémagog lead by Gilles Bélanger. The story details on the future of the mountain and the investments to be made by the group to improve the infrastructure and renovations to the chalet. The link is from a local French newspaper La Tribune with all the details. I will keep a look out for an English link should there be one available.
    • By Paul
      I had been thinking of skiing one more day and earlier in the week I was looking at the remaining available options in the province in which to go, and Massif du Sud was starting to look interesting. A buddy of mine texted me the next day, and was wanting to go out himself to end the season, and he told me that he was going to Massif du Sud and well they say the rest was history. We left Sherbrooke at around 6:30 for the drive out there. Massif du Sud is about an hour or so Southeast of Quebec City, or about a touch over 2 1/2 hours from Sherbrooke. We arrived at the mountain just after 9am to beautiful sunny skies and the temperature was around +2 degrees. By arriving early this gave us plenty of time to wind down from the drive and to get ready for the day. We got our tickets and headed out for lift opening at 10. The Quad, and the Poma for the beginners area were operating. These are the only 2 lifts at Massif du Sud. The conditions were fantastic. The trails were well covered with absolutely no bare patches nor any ice patches anywhere. Actually I have not seen snow like this so late in the season! The trees at the summit were white as if it was the middle of winter and even the glades were open with plenty of snow. There were groomed and non groomed trails to choose from, and there was a wide variety to choose from.

      The warm up runs were down the Familiale, a Green easy trail, a very nice cruiser that takes you out and around the farthest left side of the mountain, looking uphill, and the Villageoise another nice Green easy trail. After that it was onto an Intermediate trail, le Promenade. The conditions early were still a touch firm in the shaded areas and were starting to soften up in the sun exposed areas. 
      The upper and middle sections of La familiale:

      la Villageois:

      Lower section of la Promenade:

      By noon the trails had softened up and we were skiing some classic mashed potato type snow with soft bumps that you basically would ski through. Nice soft turns that made you work a little harder as the day went on. There was a decent crowd that came out to enjoy the sun and the skiing. The wait at the Quad was no longer than a couple of minutes. We had a bit of a late lunch to avoid the rush. A classic poutine and cheeseburger was the choice. Sorry no pics. Then it was out for some more turns to burn off what I ate.
      the Olympique and the Grand Allee:

      Later in the afternoon the conditions were still amazing and trails were well covered. The sun was nice and warm, and I was just a touch overdressed, but nothing that was unbearable. I could have lost one more layer but I just opened my jacket a touch more and let the breeze from skiing take care of the cool down. There was a soft breeze riding up the lift. I did not ski the glades as I am not a glade kind of skier but boy did they look nice though.
      The Bi-Polaire Glade:

      I ended up skiing until 3:15 as my legs were screaming they had had enough so the last run of the day was another trip down la familiale. As I said earlier, the conditions were fantastic and I haven't seen spring conditions like this in a longtime. The temperature by now was +8 degrees. My buddy skied a bit longer to get some extra runs in and we met up with a group of his friends for a few well deserved cold ones on the balcony out front of the chalet to celebrate the end of our season. The views here are really spectacular, and from Massif du Sud you can see the trails of Mont Ste-Anne across the St. Lawrence river in the distance. Everyone I met today was quite friendly. I really enjoyed my day here and I definitely would like to come back here again sometime.
      Here are some extra scenes from the day:

      The beginner's area with the Pomalift: 

      The trails of Mont Ste-Anne in the distance: