With the possible exception of Sharon and Mickey finding some tiny patch of crusty snow somewhere up north in mid-June our Beaver Tails ski season seems to be done and dusted. I want to thank everyone for participating this year. We had a great hiking season, with good turnouts and mostly good weather. Our ski season started really early with a good turnout on the PTN up at Mont Rolland on November 18! We followed that up with another November Sunday at Gai Luron. After that things went south for a bit, till we were able to ski again in January. The rest of the winter was up-and-down, with bouts of freezing cold followed by warm temps and plenty of rain and freezing rain. I fear this is the new normal, we will see!
I want to thank all our super volunteers for making events happen: Arthur Grynspan and Rick Birnbaum, Gwen Wulfraat and Richard Comeau, Monique Isler, Tom Ventser, Glenn Kyte, and everyone else who helped out in different ways.
I also want to thank all the members of our organizing committee (Christine tells me we don’t officially have an Executive) for keeping the club running: Keith and Linda (Communications), Dennis Martin (Ski Coordinator), Roy Tom (all-around-good-guy), Bruce and Christine (Membership and Treasurer respectively).
Everyone have a safe, healthy and active spring and summer, and see you back on the hiking trails this fall. Many of you are also members of our sister organization, the Beaconsfield Cycling Club (https://www.clubcycliste.com/), see you on the road.
Snow is your friend! Early last week, as I was looking at our upcoming scheduled hike at Val David, I was becoming increasingly stressed. The area had already received a lot of snow, and more was in the forecast along with cold temperatures, so none of it was melting. By late in the week there was significant new snow, as well as a Sunday morning forecast of -16 C. There may be some people in our club who would love this, but these are not mass participation conditions.
Then somewhere I saw the possibility that the P’tit Train du Nord (PTN) might open for the weekend. We had already cancelled and rescheduled Val David once, we had cancelled Prevost and rescheduled a local walk the following week. I really did not want to be a wuss and cancel another hike! But replacing a hike with a ski day in mid-November, well that’s golden.
So, a quick consultation email went out to the executive for feedback on the idea. Respondents thought it was a great idea, so all we had to do now was to wait for the confirmation from the PTN people that they were in fact opening. That came early Saturday morning, so very quickly thereafter the Facebook posts went out announcing the change, the website was changed, and an email went out announcing that we would be skiing on November 18th on the PTN at Mont Rolland! Have we ever started that early?
In the end, 17 BTer’s managed to scramble together their gear, dust off their skis, find their wax and so on. We assembled in fits and starts at Mont Rolland on a glorious Sunday morning. The traditional group photo didn’t really happen as people were all over the place: some had arrived early, others were lined up at the little shack to pay their day access fee, and still others were on the road somewhere. Regardless, 17 of us made it out for a really early (and beautiful) start to the skiing season. Conditions were pretty darn good, sunshine was warm and comforting through the morning cold, and a really pleasant group of skiers showed up, including a couple of new members.
On the PTN you go out and you come back, it’s that simple. I think Jan and Kathy get the gold star for distance, having gone out 10 k, for a total of 20 kms, however Mickey was still out when the rest of us were leaving in our cars, so who knows what he did, Mr. Canadian Ski Marathon veteran! But most of us were content with a more leisurely start to the season, putting in 10-12 kms, then enjoying the coffee at the Café de la Gare.
It was great to see such a large group of eager Beaver Tailers out on such short notice. The season will only get better!
18 November 2018 – quick report by Linda
First ski day of the season – Le Petit train du nord starting from Mont Rolland.
There were 10, 12, or 13 people out. We are not really sure as everyone started out at different times for various reasons:
Late night the night before
Could not find ski stuff
Made a last minute decision to go purely due to peer pressure
The conditions were winter like. We forget how pretty this trail can be with the sun shining. Many did about 10 km and will probably feel a few muscles tomorrow. We also forget the fact that after that last curve on the return journey there is another 1 or 2 km to go. Everyone we saw back in the parking lot had a big smile.
If you did not take advantage of the ski day today, get the gear out this week because with any luck we will be able to ski next weekend.
Today was glorious! Mont St Bruno is such a lovely place for an autumn walk in the woods. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, ideally cool, and the company was varied and stimulating! We set out with Brian Abbot as our leader, and a very fine job he did. Brian lives in St Lambert, so Mont St Bruno is his backward.
We were 13 by the way. We set out on the Monteregien trail, then veered off unto the Sentier des Lacs in order to take us up around Lac des Bouleaux. So we really did the full extent of the park. Our total distance was 9.8 kms, and we had a couple of new members with us, which was terrific. It was a great day.
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.
I blame myself. Clearly, I waited too long to send out my e-mail about skiing on Sun at Gai Luron or the P’tit Train du Nord. I sent it out on Sat afternoon at 3:30 pm. It’s no wonder only two people opted in. I’m SURE if I had sent it first thing Sat morning, dozens of you would have turned out. I’m sure it was the late notice that dissuaded you and not the cold weather and the prospect of icy trail conditions. Indeed, many of the people I canvassed at the EOS Party mumbled that they had already made other plans. It seemed that most of those plans involved staying in bed as late as possible on Sun morning…
Given the fast conditions, me and the two other opt-in skiers (Mickey and Sharon, of course) decided to ski on the flatter PTdN. I made my way up to Mont Rolland (Saint-Adèle) for 11 am DST to meet them. We had the later than usual start since we lost an hour during the night with the change to Daylight Saving Time. The parking lot was not very crowded, go figure. It was -17 C (felt like -24 with the wind). I’ve skied in much colder weather, so the temperature was not an issue. The trail conditions were another matter. The PTdN people are good at grooming their trail, but the thaws and lack of new snow had left the tracks hard and icy.
Wow, what a great day it turned out to be for the ski clinic at Morin Heights! Thirty Beaver Tails members turned out for good skiing and to improve their skills.
Some had been concerned the weather might not be favourable for conducting the ski clinic. The small probability of freezing drizzle did not materialize — there was no precipitation at all the whole day. The temperature was hovering above 0 C by a degree or two, so having good wax — or waxless skis — was helpful. During the morning, about ten BTers showed up at different times and went for an informal ski.
At 12:30 pm, the groups began assembling for the ski clinic. It was a bit more complicated this year, because we had two meeting points. The beginner and intermediate groups met at the same place as last year, the trailer hut at Basler Park, which is at the top of the hill on chemin du Lac Echo. The advanced and skate groups met at the accueil of Morin Heights Nature Camping, which was a short 6-minute drive away. It is located a short ski from the aerobic corridor.
The beginner and intermediate groups were led by Anne and Karen, while the advanced and skating groups were led by Arnie and Rick. The lessons began at 1 pm and lasted about 1.5 hours. The feedback Continue reading “Fabulous Day for the Ski Clinic at Morin Heights”
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. Thirty-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!
Wow, what a great weekend! It was our third year in a row holding the Mont Tremblant Weekend at the Hotel du Lac. And it’s only getting more popular — we had 52 people take part this year, a new record.
Just five days before the Tremblant Weekend, we had pelting rain followed by a quick return to freezing weather, making most of the trails an icy mess. But that’s the beauty of cross-country skiing. It only takes a few cm of fresh snow and some skilled grooming to make the trails excellent again. As a result, we were able to enjoy three days of great skiing and snowshoeing.
Indeed, after sharing messages on the website’s forum page, about 14 members who had the day off on Friday drove up north midday and got in some good skiing at three different locations — the P’tit Train du Nord, Parc des Campeurs (Ste Agathe), and Domaine St Bernard. I was among five skiers at Parc des Campeurs who met at 1 pm. It was overcast and -12 C, no wind. Not all the trails were open, but the trails we skied on were in fine condition, not icy and with enough snow to have control on the descents.
People arrived at the Hotel du Lac throughout the afternoon and evening. Some people had dinner in the hotel dining room or local restaurants. Several others took advantage of the full kitchens in their condos to bring food and have a nice home-style dinner.
The next morning, we woke up to a perfect forecast — light snow falling with a temperature steady at -4 C. At breakfast in the dining room, which overlooks the lake and the downhill ski centre, everyone was planning their day. One quartet opted to go snowshoeing at Domaine St-Bernard. Most of the others decided to make the 45-minute drive to the far side of Mont Tremblant to the Parc National and go skiing. After a few minutes of milling about in the swish new “centre de découverte”, we spread out over the trail network and everyone reported splendid mid-winter conditions. Our adventure group of skiers tackled Le Malard trail, which features a 2-km climb and then a 2-km descent. Some returned to have soup by the fireplace and then drove back to the hotel, while others couldn’t help themselves and went out for more skiing.
After freshening up and perhaps a brief lie-down, it was off for the evening program. First stop, the wine & cheese in the condo of our weekend organizers, Cheryl & Helene. Yes, all 52 of us were in one condo, snacking and drinking and sharing tales of a great day on the trails. Then it was off to the hotel dining room for a gourmet dinner. Finally, many drifted over to the bar for a night cap and a game of pool.
The next morning we had a great blast of sunlight during breakfast. But the clouds rolled back in and it was -12 C. For the last day, people did a variety of activities. Many went for another day of skiing or snowshoeing at Domaine St Bernard. Others went for a walk to the ski centre village or drove to St Jovite and visited the shops there. Then after lunch the drive back to the city. There were no traffic delays on Aut 15 in the mid-afternoon when I drove home.
A big thanks to Cheryl and Hélène for again organizing this very successful weekend! Two years ago, they were the ones who found the Hotel du Lac and proposed doing our first weekend there. Once again this year, they took care of all the details, including getting all the food and drink for the wine & cheese party.
I have a feeling we will back at Tremblant next year, by popular demand!
Well it has been a long cold winter and although many members managed to ski most of the time several more had periods of hibernation, some even travelling half way round the world to avoid the cold. Be that as it may, with the start of spring heads popped out of their burrows with one thing in mind, no not going to the washroom but going for a feast. Who would be better to organise a feast but someone with restaurant experience, none other than Roy T. What an inspired choice , Roy came up trumps. The selection of the Pearl restaurant with an all you can eat buffet attracted 40 club members. Good job we had booked as the restaurant was full that night. Everyone was very happy with the food Roy had selected and in sufficient quantities to satisfy even the most starved hibernator , no sure if that is a word. Even the
waiters commented on the quantities eaten at one particular table, no surprise to us as we all knew that Bruce C had been doing some serious training for the event . I believe Roy T was offered a job by the restaurant as a part time waiter for the way he organised it all. The evening came to an end, then we had a shock, winter had returned with a vengeance. Freezing cold temperatures and strong winds resulted in ice everywhere, ah well back to the burrows.