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:
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:
We made it up to Mont Ste Marie just after 9am to find beautiful mind-winter conditions in April! The temperature was around -2C and there was little or no wind and the sun was out. The skiing was so good that we stayed till last chair. The runs were nicely groomed fresh snow with no ice, that gave you the confidence to really rip. Pretty much everything was open with the best runs of the day being Dustin Cook, Formidable and Tornade Bas. I can't think of a year with conditions this good at MSM this late in the season. Usually by now only the Vanier side is open the conditions are slush. Hopefully they will stay open another weekend. Yes its been a cold April but make the best of it people, ski ski ski.... no golf yet.
Where is everyone?
My buddy has some weird skis.
This lunch might slow me down.
Where the Klotz are we!
Sous Bois in April
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.
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 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:
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.
Another perfect day for spring skiing, today at Mont Cascades. The weather was once again cool but without the strong winds from yesterday. I arrived ready to hit the slopes at 11am and already the snow had begun to soften.
Nearly all trails were open with a few exceptions (Gratton and two of the cross-over trails between the East Quad and the main side). It honestly felt more like skiing in the winter than the spring.
Standout trails this visit were Hogan (which I chose to enjoy over and over), as well as Alouette and Interlude.
With no lines at the lifts, it was refreshing to run lap after lap, enjoying the fantastic snow. After lunch, there was actually a few snow flurries that were falling, a little sign that one last snow storm may still be on the way, let's hope it won't be too late.
Mont Cascades has seen several improvements over the past years, including the new East Quad and the longest magic carpet in the region. The maintenance and care put into the facilities and infrastructure is very commendable as everything is in excellent condition. The chalet at Mont Cascades is perhaps one of the most inviting in the region, due to its look, style and views afforded from the windows. I was happy to see that the picnic-style tables in the chalet, which to me are a little too common in the Quebec ski industry, have been replaced with conventional tables and seats, a detail that does not go unnoticed and no doubt will be very appreciated by all.
Overall, a perfect day out on the slopes. Sadly... the coming 20-30mm of rain over the next two days will no doubt do some damage to the snow, and so it remains to be seen if Mont Cascades will be able to continue the ski season next weekend or if the last chair was today. If today was the end, then the season went out with a bang, you couldn't have asked for a better day spring skiing on the slopes. The inviting chalet, the warm atmosphere and ambiance and the excellent line up of trails and terrain always win out at Mont Cascades. Well done!
Here are some pictures of the day.
The new Viking magic carpet.
Inside the Chalet.
Competition and Exhibition.
Top of Alouette and Interlude.
Views of the Gatineau river.