Lots of Snow and Good Skiing at Parc des Campeurs

All things considered, we have had a pretty decent ski season so far this winter.  We have had some thaws and bouts of rain, but it has never been enough to wipe out the ski conditions entirely, at least not for more than a couple of days.  Most days we have been able to ski and the trail conditions are often surprisingly good.  Yesterday’s club outing was a case in point.  The ten BTers who were at Parc des Campeurs in Ste Agathe had another very good day of skiing!
It turns out that on Friday night up north they had a good dump of snow.  In Ste Agathe, they got 15 cm.  So all the trails at Parc des Campeurs were open and in great shape.  As we drove north on Sun morning, it began to snow as we left the city.  When we arrived at the ski centre, we found that they had received another four cm of snow and it was still falling lightly.  The temp was -8 C and there was no wind.  They had groomed all the trails on Sat and they decided not to re-groom them on Sun.  This was fine with us as it gave us a thin layer of fresh snow to ski on.
After getting our skis and gear ready, buying our ticket ($14, not bad!), we took the group photo and set out at 10 am.  We broke up into a few groups according to speed.  In my group, we skied on a good variety of the intermediate and difficult trails.  We took the Mont Ste Agathe trail that climbed to the lookout point, as well as the Oblats, Cohen and Sommet trails that are rated as difficult.  With all the new snow, all the descents were manageable and no tumbles were recorded among our crew.

After many years of the same old trail network, Parc des Campeurs has added a couple of new trails (Paquette and Desjardins) as well as a warming cabin (Refuge Desjardins) where the Grignon meets the start of the Belvoir.  These new features are all on the north side of the lake.  At the end, one trio went along the Grignon for a second time and then  on first part of the Belvoir, just so they could


take the new 1.4-km Paquette trail.  It descends back to the new refuge, on a path roughly parallel to the first part of the Belvoir.  It is also rated as difficult, but it was no problem on this day.
Most of the group skied between 2.5 – 4 hours.  We paused in the chalet after the ski to chat and have a bite.  Parc des Campeurs is one our favourite destinations and a great day like the one on Sun only confirmed that for those who were there!