Gai Luron Saturday 24 November 2018

Good conditions for November

Snow conditions were winter like and, unlike earlier in the week, the weather was balmy at -4 degrees when we arrived for our 10 am start.  There were 15 or 16 people out. Gai Luron was not fully opened so the center had a discount rate of $15 for the day. Thanks to their good grooming the open trails were all in good condition.  Some of our more intrepid skiers tackled the partially opened long “L” trail and most of the other skiers were content to play on the inner loops.

President Peter C and our ski director Dennis M made the call to change our outing from Sunday to Saturday.  For once, the weather forecasters had it right.  Saturday was the day to ski and Sunday turned out to be the day to download photos and watch the snow melt.

Cap St Jacques 2018 09 30

CSJ report by Keith
This report is short
So was the walk
In summer CSJ trails may be closed
With no ski tracks to lead the way
It’s easy to be led astray
Unless Ron M leads the way
Still the beach was found, and the toilets too
Great if you needed the loo
Next the farm and animals, donkey or an ass or two
Kids playing on the tractor, looks familiar to you?
A visit to the store
A few kilometers more
Then all done.

Just short of 10kms, good start to the weekend hikes for the fourteen out for this day.
Guess being poet laureate is not for me.

EOS Party — 34 Feasters Celebrated the End(?) of the Season

Last Saturday evening we held the “End of Season” Party.  But it is hard to predict when the x-c ski season will actually end.  As we made our way to Sushi St Jean, it certainly did not feel like the end of winter was at hand, what with a temperature of -17 C, before the wind chill.  And although the ski conditions have been somewhat dismal of late, there is snow in the forecast for Tue, followed by favourably cool temps.  The ski season may just spring back to life.  Maybe we should call it the SNO Party! — the Season’s Not Over Party!

Whatever you want to call it, 34 Beaver Tailers gathered at 7 pm at the all-you-can-eat sushi (and more) restaurant in Pointe Claire on boul. St Jean.  We had four large tables in the corner of the restaurant, so it felt like Continue reading “EOS Party — 34 Feasters Celebrated the End(?) of the Season”

Happy Skiers and Eaters at the Ski and Pot Luck

The conditions were splendid at Mount Royal on Sat morning for building up an appetite.  It was a bit cold — around -15 C — which may have dissuaded some people from coming out.  But it was sunny and the wind was light, so it really was pleasant weather for outdoor activity.  It was a good thing we got there by 10 am because the parking lot next to the Beaver Lake chalet was soon filled.  Lots of kids were there to get cross-country ski lessons.  Great to see the skiers of the future learning the basics.

We only had 9 people at Mount Royal — 5 skiers, 3 walkers and 1 ice skater.  For those of us who usually ski at Mount Royal only on Wed evenings, it is a treat to see the trails in full daylight!  The skiers took some great photos by the cross at the summit of the mountain.  The trails were in “very good” shape.  They were short of being “excellent” only because some of the descents were a bit fast.
It was soon time for part 2 of the day’s program — the pot luck extravaganza.  This was clearly the more popular part of the program, with 27 people descending on Melrose Place, aka Monique’s home in NDG.  Mind you, several of the pot luck participants who were not seen at Mount Royal reported that they got some skiing in at CSJ or BDL.  I’m sure everyone found some way to burn off calories before arriving.  It was certainly in their best interests to do so, as there soon were many delicious options for replacing those depleted calories laid out on the buffet table.

The array of interesting and healthy dishes was truly a feast for the senses — sight, smell and taste.  The variety of good food was rivalled only by all the great

conversations being carried on by the diners.  Coffee and an excellent selection of desserts followed.  People were noshing and chatting until the latter part of the afternoon.

It was an all round great day of exercise and dining.  Many thanks to Monique Isler for opening her home to us once again!

 

2016 10 28 Opening Meeting — 54 at Beaconsfield Yacht Club

It was a record turnout at the annual Opening Meeting last Fri Oct 28.  We had 54 people who stopped by to register as members and watch the 45-minute presentation about the club and the upcoming season.  But they also came to talk and snack and drink with other returning and new members.

This was the second year running we held the Opening Meeting at the Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC).  It is a really nice venue for our meeting.  We brought our own snacks, water and coffee, which is all well and good, but the BYC makes things even better by providing a staffed bar with a selection of beers on tap.

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People started drifting in 15 minutes before the official start time of 7 pm.  The room was soon buzzing with conversation as people circulated between the registration desk, the lamination desk, the snack table and the bar.  The presentation began at Continue reading “2016 10 28 Opening Meeting — 54 at Beaconsfield Yacht Club”

2016 03 12  EOS Party at La Perle

The season really does seem to be drawing to an early close.  After a late start, and some uncooperative weather during much of the last month, the local parks (e.g. CSJ, BDL, Mt Royal) ended their trail grooming activities the previous weekend and the snow has been rapidly disappearing from our lawns.  So it seemed appropriate to be gathering last Sat evening for the End of Season (EOS) Party.
2016 03 12 EOS MT 02Thirty-nine members and guests gathered at La Perle in DDO.  This was the second year in a row we were meeting here.  We had our own corner of the busy restaurant (conveniently located by the TV screens showing the hockey game) and there was much mingling and conversation as we arrived and found our places.  Then the food, pre-selected by our organizer Roy, began to arrive. And arrive. And arrive.  Everyone found lots to enjoy among the many choices and nobody complained about still being hungry!
During the meal, I conducted a quick survey among the attendees as to where they would prefer to go skiing the next morning.  The choice was near unanimous — nowhere!  Indeed, many had been out on their bikes that afternoon and were planning to do so again the following day instead of skiing.  But there was one person (Sharon) who said she would ski and one other person (Mickey) who said he might ski.  So I announced that the designated location for the Sun ski outing was P’tit Train du Nord (Mont Rolland) at 11 am DST.  So how did that turn out?  Is the season really and truly at an end?  Check the Sun outing report to find out.
The EOS Party was a great success thanks to all who attended.  But it was especially due to Roy for all the planning and organization he did in the preceding weeks.  Thanks, Roy!

Canadian Ski Tour

2016 03 02 SKi Tour AG 15Great day being part of the race. We were stationed in the Race Office where the racer lists were prepared and whereTeam Captains would get various types of information or inform the race staff of course problems.
We were right beside the Finish Line which was intimate because the racers were very close. One of them whom we know, Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (finished 49th) high fived us when she finished. Ghyslaine also assisted with handing out the flowers during the podium ceremony which took place where we were located.
The racers are sooooo strong and determined.
We were asked to meet our coordinator at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth where we saw many of the racers were seen going for a run before being shuttled to the race course.
We went to the Wax Village were the team trailers were located. We were inside the “Team Warm-up Tent” in which the teams were lounging around before the race. They all look so good in their race outfits and so casual about the entire situation.
The “Volunteers Centre” was where we got our accreditations and where we picked up lunch for the German – Swiss Timing staff and our small group.
It was cold but hand and foot farmers that were provided helped a lot when we were outside and not watching the live video feed inside the race office.
Everyone was on top of their game given the incredible amount of work needed to organize and run a race of this caliber. Yet they were extremely appreciative of the volunteers.
I, for one, felt quite privileged to be “backstage” at such a new event in Montreal and to be so close to the behind the scenes action.
Wonderful
Arthur
Results:
Women
M en

“Lessons learnt” tales from the ski clinic

Dalia’s tale.

Dan-and-DaliaDan and I didn’t join the ski clinic on Saturday, although we got there just in time.

Here is our story.
We got to Morin Heights around 9:30 am and decided to get a head start on the trails in order to get back in time for the ski lesson I was very much looking forward to. When asked about the best trail to take for an approx 6km ski, we were recommended to take the trail 2, 4, 37 and 50 for a round trip.
We headed off at 9:45 and our 6 km ski became a 14 km, slippery and more difficult ski than usual. Did we take a wrong turn? Maybe. Being optimistic, I was determined to take on the challenge of the climbs and the hills, despite the no so good conditions and my frequent falls. At the very end, after 4 falls on the same last big hill, My legs felt like jello and I walked down the last hill, with a few bruises and a bigger bruised ego.
Lesson learned: take the ski lesson BEFORE going out on a difficult trail!

As the Pres noted,. If it’s any consolation, you are far from being the first person to have this happen to them! One year Glen and some others arrived just as the clinic started, out of breath and sweaty because they had realized they were late. Just last year, one new member also went out before, lost his way and did not get back in time for the clinic.

Let that be a lesson to you all.

27 BTers at the Morin Heights Ski Clinc

The weather conditions for this year’s ski clinic were the best we have had in years!   It was a cool -15 C in the morning, but by the time we started the clinic at 1 pm it was -9 C.  When you were in the sun and sheltered from the slight breeze, it was exceptionally comfortable, even during the parts when you were standing around to listen to the ski instructors.
But first, some news regarding the facilities at Morin Heights.  It turns out they have made a big improvement to their ski centre on Lac Echo Rd.  Until last year, they had one small building beside the trail along the aerobic corridor, plus a long trailer in the parking lot up the hill on the other side of the road.  During the summer, the city of Morin Heights bought an existing two-storey building and has made it the principal chalet d’accueil.  The Chalet Bellevue is just 100 metres 2016 01 23 ski ClinicTV 06south of the aerobic corridor on Bellevue Road, but it is tucked behind some trees so it is likely you have never noticed it.  It’s a large building that was originally a hotel and more recently a senior citizen’s residence.  It has a large common area with lots of table and chairs.  They have plans to add a waxing room, lockers, and even showers.  It will also act as a base for mountain bikers.  It

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will definitely add to the appeal of skiing at Morin Heights!

There were five of us who arrived at 10 am for a morning ski.  The Triangle trail was our first choice.  It was open, but was described as being slick and fast.  We opted instead to do an out-and-back on the Aerobic corridor.  It’s a gentle uphill most of the way north.  (It’s an old train line, so it can’t be too steep!)  But that does make for a faster return trip.  On the way back, we passed a few other members who arrived later and went out for a shorter pre-clinic ski.
We gathered in the Chalet Bellevue at 12:30 pm and Glenn Kyte, our ski clinic organizer, took attendance.  We then walked over to the parking lot at the top of the hill.  It’s where we used to meet in the large trailer, but now there is only a small trailer that acts as a secondary ticket booth.  Our four instructors this year were Rick, Gary, Anne and Arnie.  We split up into our groups (beginner, intermediate, advanced and skating) and started our lessons at 1 pm.
2016 01 23 ski Clinic GK 05As I mentioned as the outset, the conditions were ideal for a ski lesson.  Each of the four groups did a number of different exercises and drills during the next 1.5 hours.  It was entirely pleasant!  Afterward, someone of us met back in the Chalet Bellevue and chatted.  Everyone reported having a great afternoon of improving their skiing abilities.
Many thanks to Glenn for once again organizing a successful and well-appreciated ski clinic!  He went up to Morin Heights and coordinated the groups even though he could not ski himself due to an early season injury.

BTNSC Holiday Skiing (& Eating) Round Up — Dec 30 to Jan 3

After one of the warmest and greenest Decembers on record, we made a very abrupt and very complete transition to winter on Dec 29 when we got a dump of 39 cm of snow!  After not being able to ski at all up to this point, here was our chance to make up for lost time!  Consequently, we had three scheduled ski outings (& one eating outing) in the space of five days — all of them on the island.

Wed, Dec 30 — 13 Skiers at Bois de Liesse

While the snow was still blowing on Tue Dec 29, we declared an informal ski outing the next morning at Bois de Liesse. This was a bit exceptional in the sense that we do not usually schedule a ski outing on a day that is not on the weekend or is not a public holiday.  But we knew that many members had extra days off, so we decided to go for it.

2015 12 30 Bois de TV 04It was cloudy and -4 C at 10 am when we meet at the Chalet d’accueil des Champs. Nine of us set out together to finally get our ski season under way.  Four other members arrived later.  For the first km of skiing the trail was only skier-tracked, but then we caught up to the tracking machine and the rest of the skiing was on freshly groomed trails.  We did the red rabbit trail for a nice 5.5 km loop.  It should be 1 km longer, but part of it could not be groomed yet because it passes through a swampy part that was not frozen yet.  I did a bit extra and was even able to ski along an ungroomed trail underneath Aut 13 without having to take my skis off.  There is often not enough snow to be able to do that!
It was a short, but sweet, first outing!

Fri, Jan 1 — 15 Skiers at New Year’s Day Special at Cap St Jacques
Last year on Jan 1, there was a thaw and we could not ski.  No lack of snow this year!  There were 15 of us who shook off any lingering effects of the previous evening’s festivities.  Indeed, it was the best turnout we have had for our New Year’s Day outing since 2010 (16 at Gai Luron).
2016 01 01 Cap St J LH 01It was cloudy and -1 C on the morning of New Year’s Day at Cap St Jacques as we gathered at 10 am in the parking lot (chalet was closed).  We set out and soon found that the trails here were not as nicely groomed compared to Bois de Liesse.  But it was still quite manageable and we forged on.  About 3 km along on the red rabbit trail, signs directed us to take a detour around a part of the trail that could not be groomed due to soggy and unfrozen ground.  Our group of 15 spread out and some took short cuts.  But most of us ended up meeting again at the end.  Most of skied between 5 and 10 km.  It was a great way to ring in the New Year!

Sun, Jan 3 — 26 Skiers at Bois de Liesse
After reports from Mount Royal of poor grooming and trails with streams running through them, we decided to switch our pre- pot luck ski outing to Bois de Liesse.  This worked out well enough as 26 BTers turned out to work up an appetite — 25 skiers and 1 on snowshoes.  We gathered at 10 am and as usual it2016 01 03 Bois de L LH 03 took a few minutes to herd the cats, I mean members, in to a formation suitable for the group photo.
Once again it was a cloudy and mild day.  The temperature was edging close to 0 C and this made the waxing a bit challenging.  Well, it did for those skiers who were using waxable skis.  Several members opted to use the waxless skis they keep on standby for just such a day!   Meanwhile, those of us with waxed skis got a good upper body workout as we alternately skied and pushed ourselves along with our poles!
With such a large group, we inevitably spread out and took routes of varying lengths. But must us limited the outing to about an hour and a half.  After all, we had…

Sun Jan 3 — 34 Pot Luckers at Melrose Place

…a pot luck to get to!  We ventured into snowy NDG and battled the roadside snow banks to find a place to park near our traditional destination of Monique Isler’s house on Melrose Ave.  (Kudos to those of you who walked or took public transit!)
Between 12 and 1 pm, we arrived at Monique’s, diligently following the signs directing us from the front door down to the vestaire, and then through the basement up through the second staircase to emerge in the kitchen.  The dining room table was soon groaning under the weight of a delectable display of divine dishes.  And then there was the separate sweet table full of desserts.  For most of us, it was the last day of the holiday feasting period, so might as well make the most of it!  Besides, we had the excuse of having exercised that morning, right?

2016 01 03 Pot Luck MT 05The dining was accompanied by much animated conversation.  Nothing like lots of snow and mild temperatures (and great food) to get us feeling festive!  It was truly a worthy celebration of a wonderful start to the ski season. Towards mid-afternoon, people slowly began departing.  Fittingly, we walked outdoors to be met by more big snowflakes gently coming down.
2016 01 03 Pot Luck MT 14Many thanks to Monique for once again opening up her home to us!