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On the second day in January 2019 I went back in time, to review the abundance of photos from our NYE experience at Sommet St-Sauveur!
The mountain was offering an NYE dinner at 7pm with limited availability on the second floor of the T-bar, I actually missed out on the opportunity for the $109 per person tickets for that back in November, but then again, I'd rather be skiing at that hour anyways. I called in advance to find out that the first floor of the T-bar was business as usual for skiers, riders, and guests, only with a limited menu and much less seating than usual. The forecast was calling for 15-20cm of snow, but it hadn't started falling by the time we left home. The NYE festivities included skiing til 9pm, indoor and outdoor djs (which was great because if you disliked the track selection of one space, you could move to the other), a midnight countdown (champagne included if you had purchased a dinner ticket), and most importantly: fireworks!
We arrived around 7:30pm, the Avila side was closed and so were the Atomic and La Fleche lifts. I was surprised Atomic wasn't running, but assume they were preparing for the fireworks show later on. L'Etoile, my favourite lift, was up and running, and the La Plagne access was already roped off by the time we got up the lift. The atmosphere was already festive on arrival, with the outdoor dj up and running and a crowd of people enjoying the outdoor bar. At that hour, trail selection was a bit limited, with Nordique, 70 Ouest and the Rockstar park fully open, and a cat trail over to 70 East. Still: skiing on NYE, can't complain! I was joined by my partner Scott and our friend Ilana.
Conditions were hard pack granular and still pretty icy after the rain we had during the week, but not the worst I've seen. With a short line and a somewhat slow chair, we only got in 5-6 runs but they were good ones...and of course just after our final run it started snowing! We stopped into the bar for some snacks of wings and "rustic" fries and some pints of Griffintown, then headed back outside to settle in.
The fireworks show began with a procession of lights at 10pm, I'm guessing it was the ski patrol and other mountain employees, each carrying a stick with flares (or LEDs?) at each end. They snaked down the bottom of 70 Ouest in perfect formation, and it was quite a sight, as the night skiing lighting was out, the red lighting of the flares cast a warm glow on the mountain. Following the procession, at 10:15pm, the fireworks show began! I managed to catch a lot of photos and some video as well.
After the fireworks show, there was still just over an hour to kill until midnight. With all the snow falling, people were hiking up the Nordique with sleds and lunch trays for a snowy ride down, and the accumulation was fast enough that there was some soft cushioning. I took my first flying saucer ride in years!! And hiking in the snow was pretty great too.
At midnight we popped the small bottles of Henkell Trocken we had brought with us, and rang in the new year right next to the trail map at the base. We did one more run on the flying saucer after that, before heading home.
To my dismay, on the ride down the 15 south, the big fluffy flakes turned into sleet, and then freezing rain, and then just straight up pouring rain. It was a bit anticlimatic going from the winter wonderland back to the wetness of the city. Fortunately, the snow continued at Saint-Sauveur making for a perfect first ski of 2019 as I wrote in my other post.
Here's some snaps from the evening and a video of the fireworks!
First ride of the night up L'Etoile!
Getting ready for the first run of the night with Ilana!
She's ready to go...
as am I!
Looking down the 70 Ouest.
Looking up the 70 Ouest on the last run of 2018!
A crowd assembles at the chalet.
The procession of lights begins!
This was really quite spectacular to watch.
Panorama from the bottom pitch of 70 Ouest during our last run.
So close we could see the rockets launch! The next several shots are the best ones I captured of the fireworks!
The chalet at the end of the evening. Below, a quick live show!
Well it has been some time since my last trip report! This is owing to having dropped my phone and cracked the screen, so it's not as easy to take photos when the snow is falling, risking the phone getting wet! I've actually been to Sommet Saint-Sauveur a few times a week since last month, and had the pleasure of seeing the openings of Nordique, 70 Est, Cote 68, Devaleuse and finally Jay over the last several weeks.The mountain now has 13 runs open during the day and 12 at night, with three chair running during peak hours, along with the magic carpet on the beginner slope. There have been several days with a light dusting of snow to a few inches, and a couple of really cold nights.
Tonight, on my last day off work, I made it up for the last few hours of the evening. As luck would have it, I arrived tonight just as the snow started coming down around 8:30pm, and quickly got ready to hit all the runs before the 10pm closing. The parking lot looked pretty full but there was never a line for the lift and lots of empty chairs. The air was crisp but not too cold, and the flurries came down fast and furious but didn't last too long. Since the Flèche d'Argent lift closes earliest, I rode up the Atomic and took the transit over to Cote 68 and Devaleuse. I was hoping the day's flurries would have provided a bit of new coverage but discovered that both runs were thin cover with some icy patches on some sections, similar to my visit last Tuesday. After three quick runs I headed back over to the Atomic lift to hit Jay for the first time this year! Jay and Red Bird both had better coverage, I think both these runs have a bit better protection from the prevailing winds. Capping off the night I did some lightning quick runs down Cote 70 Est and the bottom section of Cote 70 Ouest as the transit to the top of 70 Ouest and Nordique was closed. I finished off the night with an easy run down Red Bird.
As it was a quick evening trip, I didn't snap too many photos but here's a couple!
A quiet night, a quiet ride up Flèche d'Argent.
Looking down at 70 Est under the Atomic lift.
It wasn't freezing but definitely chilly enough to need a scarf.
Second last run down the 70 Ouest, just look at those perfectly formed moguls! No, I didn't hit them. They are much bigger than they look in this photo!