The last of us left Mont Tremblant Monday afternoon after a weekend marked by extreme cold, lots of snow, some excellent trail conditions, good food and drink, good company and good cheer. All in all a pretty good weekend for the 42 members who made it up, 37 staying at Hotel Mont-Tremblant, the others at various other accommodations in the area.
Skiing was again this year a real mixed bag. Last year the lack of snow and mild conditions made skiing decisions difficult, this year it was primarily the cold. A few members stayed in Saturday morning for some pretty darn good reasons: cold induced asthma was one, the other was “just to damn cold, would rather stay warm and read a book”.Those of us who went out divided ourselves between the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant (14), Domaine St Bernard (8), and a few who went out on the Petit Train du Nord trail right outside our hotel. The temperature Saturday morning was -25, but the lack of wind made it possible. Our group at Domaine St Bernard had a good, but challenging time given the cold. The trail conditions were terrific though, freshly groomed and hardly anyone on them!
Over the course of Saturday we lost a few members. Two who had come early on Friday, and had gotten a good ski day in then, decided to leave Saturday morning given the extreme cold, and Ray and Julie, who experienced car trouble Saturday afternoon, used their CAA Gold card to get a tow and lift all the way home to Montreal. Brilliant! By Saturday’s excellent dinner at the hotel we were down to 38, but first a really pleasant Wine and Cheese with Ray and Julie stopping in and the tow truck, laden with their car, idling outside.
Sunday brought its own challenges, principally the heavy snow, cold and wind in Montreal. Quite a few members felt it was prudent to leave immediately after breakfast, as driving conditions were likely to be quite difficult. A number of us went out, either to Domaine St Bernard, various municipal trails and the PTN. There had been a lot of snow overnight, but temperatures had moderated a bit, -18 and a bit windy when I went out unto the PTN by our hotel. Most trails were ungroomed and quite snowy Sunday morning, so there was some bushwhacking going on. That was lots of fun though. The folks who headed home Sunday afternoon apparently had quite a tough time, but they did get to ski, so that was the trade off.
Nine of us were lucky enough to be able to stay over Sunday night, so we had a leisurely ski on Sunday, relaxed in various ways in the afternoon (Cher and I went to our favorite coffee shop in the ski resort village), dined well and lingered over breakfast together before heading home.
You never know what the weather will bring when you book a hotel a year in advance, and members sign up two months in advance, but we skiers are hardy folk, and we know how to get out there and enjoy the beautiful winters we’ve been blessed with. Might as well, they’re not going away any time soon!