Pres. week crowd and high price avoidance strategy in effect we made the trek to Quebec. It worked. No lift lines, uncrowded pistes, discount lift tickets thanks to Liftopia and KimmyT. Thanks Kimmy.
This is a black groomer called La Crete at Ste Anne there are several glade entrances on skiers left. Note the massive hordes of skiers.
Here is a stitched together panoramic view from the top of La Crete.
Monday: Conditions at Ste Anne were fast. The 4 or 5 inches they got after the thaw/rain and another inch of fresh snow the night we arrived helped somewhat but the groomers were slick with plenty of boiler plate. Bumps and glades were very skiable with some crunchiness to them.
Tuesday: Le Massif! I've been wanting to ski there since I read an article about in in 1989. Great mountain. 2600 feet of decently pitched skiing with a good mix of groomers, bumpers and glades. They had more and softer snow than Ste Anne. We skied a ton of vertical with their high-speed quads climbing straight up from the river to the top in 1 shot. Incredible view. It was socked in most of the day and I snapped a few pics when the clouds lifted but nothing that comes close to doing the place justice.
Wednesday: Snow in the forecast! We took the day off and hung around the condo reading, playing chess and Risk and watching movies. Thursday, 2/19 would bring my 52nd birthday. The boys asked me what I wanted. My stock answer had long been, "All I want for my birthday is a foot of snow. It started snowing Wednesday night and by 7AM Thursday there was about or 7" on the car and it was puking out.
Thursday: We opted for Ste. Anne over Le Massif for 2 reasons: First Ste Anne has a nice gondola and a bubble chair so we could ride up in dry comfort; second, I had a long drive to VT ahead apres ski and did not want to add another hour to it coming back from Le Massif in the storm.
Here's Matt making tracks on one of Ste Anne's Glades.
We stopped at the trailside sugar shack for a late afternoon maple syrup on snow sugar rush break.
Simon heading down
The boys wanted to play around on some low angle glades for the last couple of runs so I went off on my own and found a roped off racing trail with not a track on it. Last run - I ducked the rope. Great way to end my birthday skiing experience.
Then it was time for the long snowy drive back to the states. We hit Newport, VT around 8:30PM, grabbed some pizza at Hoagie's and on to Snowline Lodge right next door to Jay Peak and tumbled into bed exhausted at 10PM.
Friday: Still snowing! We got up and out early figuring Jay would be a bit crowded with the holiday week and a powder day and all. Wasn't too bad. A few lines at the start as the Freezer was closed, but the tram was running and conditions were freaking great. We skied a run off the tram ducking into Valhalla glades then angling for the Jet triple at Stateside. We skied 3 or 4 runs finding plenty of knee deep and above untracked snow in the woods between the trails and even untracked on the trails themselves. Took an OB run skiers right of Timbuckto but that was more tracked than the stuff we had been skiing. Then we took the Bonadventure chair and skied Everglades and some woods back to the front. Freezer was running so we jumped on and hit Andre's Paradise. We were skiing with some buddies of mine who had come up to enjoy the storm. After lunch we stashed my car down 242 and I popped my Big Jay cherry. Unfreakingbelievable how much snow loads on that hillside! It was at least thigh deep with face shots every few turns. We didn't get out of the woods until 5:30. I didn't bring Matt and Simon out to Big Jay. Matt could have handled it but Simon is not ready. Maybe next year. Sorry no pics from Jay the group was moving too fast. In fact most runs once we ducked onto the glades or the woods you didn't see anyone until we met up at the lift at the bottom.
Our plan was to drive back to Saratoga that evening, but I was beat and it was dark and still puking snow. We followed my friends down to Stowe and grabbed some motel rooms and dinner at Piecasso. Next morning we got up to ski Stowe but Simon had banged up his knee there was no way he was riding. Mat and I were pretty tired too and he had some theatre stuff starting up on Sunday in CT. So It was hard to do but I left Stowe and drove south on 100 heading for home. My friends are still up there mining Mt. Mansfield's woods as I type.
Edit: How do you embed pics in this new forum format and how do you preview a post?
Also, title should read 2/15 - 2/21.
Edited by crank - 2/23/2009 at 03:17 pm
Edited by crank - 2/23/2009 at 04:32 pm
Edited by crank - 2/24/2009 at 02:10 pm