Normally when we plan our weekend ski adventures, Mother Nature decides to send in some rain, cancel the forecasted snow or otherwise dampen our enthusiasm. This weekend, she mixed it up and threw 29 cm of fresh snow (in 48-hrs) at our destination mountain but with -22C and some biting winds. So, we geared up, grabbed some fresh hot-pockets, and hit the slopes.

Quebec skiers are a tough bunch. We thought perhaps the cold would keep people away but no, the mountain was getting busy by the time we arrived, so we parked on the North side (versant nord) of the mountain. The North side base lodge (la Fourchette Du Diable) is a full-service chalet with food and rentals. We brought our lunch and Tremblant has a great area attached to the base lodge just for families to eat their own food.

 We jumped on the Expo Express to find a good ‘warm up’ run, you know, an easy groomer to shake out the legs. At the top, we turned left and couldn’t resist the pull of the glades and dropped into a black run called Buzz, through the trees. The snow was amazing! Deep and soft, we were soon whooping our way down until we crossed under the Duncan Express and stopped to catch our breath. There was a second grove of trees on the other side, so we carried on until we hit Duncan Bas. We followed this groomer back to the bottom and jumped onto the Duncan Express which takes us all the way to the summit. Warm up done!

Pro-Tip: when the skiing is good and the line ups are long, get into the single line. My husband and I alternated doing this whenever there was a bit of a line and we never waited more than 5 minutes all day!

From the top of Duncan Express, we tried our legs on the double black Taiga. More glorious snow in the glades (sous bois en francais)! We had tons of fun skiing down the edge of the boundary all the way back to the North side base.

Our next goal was to head over to The Edge (Le Edge). It’s usually less busy as the terrain is for more advanced skiers and the chair is an older (slower) quad. Once we were at the summit, we decided to stop at the beautiful and newly renovated lodge Le Grand Manitou. The views are amazing from every seat. It was close to lunch time, so it was already packed with skiers warming up and enjoying a meal. We just needed to make some gear adjustments and head back out. The snow is too good to stop now!

We worked our way over to Le Edge and the first run that caught our eye was again in the trees. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) This run is called Émotion and it really lived up to its name. The pitch and spaces between trees were perfect for our skills. We felt challenged but able to ski in control and enjoyed all that was offered. The Aerosmith song, Sweet Emotion kept popping into my head as we were skiing. So much fun!

At the base of the Edge chair, we ran into a group of 4-skiers that we had travelled to Salt Lake City Utah with 2 years ago with Gendron. So, it was fun catching up and skiing a few runs with them. If you’ve never gone on an organized ski trip before, it really is amazing. The friendships will last a lifetime. These 4 had never met before that trip and they are regular ski companions now.

We explored several more runs on The Edge before our friends left for lunch and we decided to take a run on Versant Sud. The views from the south side are spectacular. We chose to drop down Zig-Zag and quickly found the best snow was on the edges as the middle was getting icy. At the bottom of Zig-Zag, it connects with Erik Guay and we found some untracked powder for a few turns! Awesome!

We threaded our way through the busy green/blue slopes down to the Gondola and took a nice (heated) ride back up. At this point it was 13:30 so our bellies (and toes) were telling us it was time to take a break so we found some new interesting glades all the way back to versant nord base lodge.

After our late lunch, we just had time to ride the Duncan Express and do one more drop down Zig-Zag/Erik Guay and back up the Gondola before they started warning people about skiing on the correct side of the mountain. It’s an expensive cab ride if you end up trapped on the opposite side as your car! But we had time to explore the bumps under the Duncan Express (Saute-Moutons and Les Rapides) down to the base.

Unfortunately, we just missed last chair! But our legs were starting to warn us they were close to being cooked, so it’s probably for the best. What a great day! Probably our best visit to Tremblant. (Cue the music…Sweeeeeeet Emohhhhhhhhtionnnnnnn!)

Janick Robidoux

SkiMedia Reporter