Mont Tremblant Picnic — 25 BTers Feasted on Great Skiing and Food

For the first time in four years, we had a day-trip to Parc du Mont Tremblant, featuring our legendary picnic.  It’s a tradition that started over 20 years ago.  But it had been on hiatus the last three years.  For those years, the club had a full weekend up in the Mont Tremblant area and so many of us still skied at the park on those occasions.  But with a big supper waiting for us at the hotel, having a big picnic meal in the afternoon never made sense.

The timing was perfect to spend a day at Tremblant.  The freezing rain we got a few days earlier, and which had rendered most local ski trails hard and icy, had not reached as far north as Tremblant.  Instead, they just got lots of snow, so we knew conditions would be excellent.  After the 2-hour drive, we gathered up at the Centre de Découverte at 10 am.  This chalet opened three years ago, so for some members who had not been to the park in a while, it was a surprise to see the new parking lot location and the spiffy new building.  It was a good bit colder (-15 C) than many of us expected and some scrambled to add an extra layer of clothing.  After buying the ski ticket and waxing skis, we were off at 10:30 am.
Most of us spent the next two hours skiing the trails on the east side of Lac Monroe, either Bois-Franc or Le Poisson.  All the trails had been freshly groomed and were in pristine condition.  At 12:30 pm we returned to the parking lot, retrieved our backpacks, and gathered at Gwen and Richard’s car to load up our packs with all the picnic supplies.  At this point the temp had gone down to -10 C.  We then skied the 3.3 km to the La Renardière cabin.  Not far, but not easy when you have a big backpack!


The supplies were unpacked and the various little stoves were set up.  We were 25 people in the cabin, which was just about the right size crowd for the room.  By 1:30 pm the interior had been transformed into a bustling food and drink extravaganza.  Juice, hot chocolate and warm, spiced wine were available to accompany the cheese fondue, raw veggies, and home-made sandwiches.  Then for dessert, there was fresh fruit and home-baked lemon loaf and cinnamon loaf cakes.

After much munching and mingling, the club president officially welcomed them and commended for their toughness — after all, it takes effort and perseverance to make the long drive and then ski to the hut with a pack.  Special recognition was given to the person who had travelled the farthest to attend the picnic — Vivian’s friend Pekka from Finland.  And, of course, everyone thanked Gwen for the many hours of shopping, cooking, baking and organizing she put in to make the picnic a great success.

At 2:30 pm, the snow was falling and the temp was a comfortable -6 C as we packed up and skied back to the parking lot.  After a last visit to the chalet to change clothes and chat some more, most of us departed for home at 3:30 pm.  Now, we knew snow was in the forecast and that it was likely to be a longer drive home, and so we were mentally prepared for it.  Indeed, the 2-hour drive was more like a 3-hour drive.  But like I said, we were prepared for it.  After our feast, it’s not like anyone got hungry on the drive home!
Many thanks again to Gwen and Richard for making this year’s Tremblant picnic as great as ever!