Tremblant is a perfect place to combine decent skiing with French Canadian culture. The village is situated on a hill that leads up the mountain. You can either walk up with your gear, or ride the little mini lift at the bottom. At the end of the day, you can download on the lift, or ski back to your hotel.
I was pleasantly surprised by Tremblant's authenticity. The village is populated with lots of "mom and pop" stores and restaurants; there is not a Starbucks, McD's, Gap or Benetton in site. For the price of a bad hamburger or rotten egg sandwwich at Sunday River, you can get a really good meal. While French is the 0fficial language, everyone in the stores and restaurants does speak english.
While the terrain is varied, I did not see much that would scare the beejezus out of me. I am not sure if really expert skiers would enjoy Tremblant for the skiing itself, but perhaps there are parts of the mountain that I did not see.
Even though it snowed for the 3 days that I was there, the mountain constantly makes snow. In some places, they really need it. Tremblant has many parkss, pipes and jumps, thus attracting a huge snowboarder crowd. Unfortunately, most of them are pretty lousy, so the snow gets scraped off. Although the MLK holiday is American, the mountain was still rdiculously packed on Saturday and Sunday, and only slightly less crowded on Monday. It was not till Monday that the gondola lines were short enough to tolerate. This was when we went to the north side, which has more interesting terrain.
As I mentioned earlier, black trails have a way of showing up in unexpected places at Tremblant. They are not always well marked, so you may be sharing a slightly challenging trail with some newbies who are completely out of control. The people are infinitely more dangerous than the terrain.
All in all it was a great experience. I would try midweek non holiday next time.
[ January 22, 2004, 07:21 AM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]