By Merle Rosenstein
Quebec’s main ski centres—Mont Tremblant, Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif—challenge outdoor adventure-seekers with unnerving elevations and pristine powder. Strap on some skis and find out what’s new this season.
MONT TREMBLANT | Ranked the number-one ski resort in eastern North America by Ski Magazine, Mont Tremblant, 130 km northwest of Montreal, has 95 trails, three snow parks, and a picturesque pedestrian village with European ambiance. It has a full roster of non-skiing activities, too: among them a casino, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, sleigh rides, helicopter tours, movies and a nine-meter ice wall for climbing.
For Torontonians, making the trek to Tremblant is easier this winter, with daily flights during the February to early April peak season on Porter Airlines. Porter is also offering Tremblant–New York (Newark) flights for the first time this season. New for this winter, guests at Les Suites Tremblant can make the first tracks of the day with access to the slopes 45 minutes before general admission every morning, and can enjoy free snow tubing every evening. And a new all-day program for children ages three and four keeps kids busy with a half-day of ski lessons and half-day of daycare, allowing parents to tackle the trails worry-free.
MONT-SAINTE-ANNE | Thirty minutes from Quebec City by car, Mont-Sainte-Anne tempts skiers and snowboarders with 66 trails spanning three sides of the mountain, plus ice-canyoning, and paragliding, dog-sledding and cross country skiing. A new 185-metre magic carpet, the longest in the east, brings snow bunnies up the beginner hill in style. A permanent 7-metre high half-pipe, one of the six biggest in North America, opened before Christmas.
LE MASSIF DE CHARLEVOIX | With eastern Canada’s largest vertical drop, Le Massif, about an hour from Quebec City, offers supreme skiing and snowboarding on 53 trails. Starting this season there’s a 7.5-km run for rodeling— sliding face first on a special sled, a sport some have dubbed “extreme tobogganing”—and, beginning February 11, 2012, a new rail tour, the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix, will take passengers from Quebec City to the base of the mountain and back, with breakfast provided on the way and après-ski edibles on the return.
Wondering which resort to choose? Have a look at these fabulous photos.