Le Massif de Charlevoix 02-11-16

Last Thursday I took my wife to Quebec for Valentine’s Day. The first stop was the spectacular Basilica Sainte Anne de Beaupre and we then spent the night at Auberge La Muse in Baie-Saint-Paul. The next day it was a 25 minute, 21 mile drive to the very top of Le Massif de Charlevoix where the temperature was a minus four degrees, clear blue skies and very little wind. I purchased a day ticket for about 53 US dollars-a great bargain. There was two to three feet of snow on the ground, about 16 inches of it from the two previous days. The new snow provided me my first powder day of the season for my sixth ski day of the year. The snow was light and dry (Rocky Mountain type) and the surface conditions were about as good as you can get. The groomers were perfect, packed corduroy and no ice anywhere and they are very long. When skiing down the wide groomers you come up to a drop off with expansive views of the St. Lawrence River, it looks like you could jump of the lip and land in the river. The river is so wide here that the locals call it the Sea. The double blacks over by La Charlevoix, the FIS approved downhill course, were all bumped up. Real nice powder on the tops and sides and hard pack and ice in the troughs. There were excellent to ski and a lot of fun-these runs are steep and long too and gave my legs a good work out. There is kind of like a long ravine right down the middle of the ski area where there is glade skiing. Here the snow had piled up from both natural and manmade. Skiing these glades was fantastic. There were no rocks, branches or other obstacles; it wasn’t even bumped up; just powder and tracked up powder and no ice sheets underneath. This was by far my best day of the year.

We spent the next three nights in Quebec City for their famous Winter Carnival walking all over Old Quebec; both Upper and Lower Towns. It was my plan to cross country ski on the Plains of Abraham on Sunday, but a minus fourteen degree temperature kept me off the trails-the first time ever cold kept me from skiing. We did walk the Plains though for two hours on the walking paths next to the cross-country trails. This trip was really for my wife and Valentine’s Day so I didn’t ski very much. I’ll just have to return another time because there’s a lot of skiing and exploring at Le Massif that needs to happen, I left a lot on the table because I don’t know the mountain. It might be my favorite resort in the East. With the mild New England winter we are having, I was looking for winter and I certainly found it in Charlevoix and Quebec. It was full bore winter with feet of snow on the ground and it snowed a lot except for the day I went skiing. The temperature never got above 15 degrees and even though it was often well below zero, we just layered up and had a great Valentine’s Day trip to the region.

I forgot to take my camera while skiing so I regret I don’t have any photos of Le Massif. Attached are some photos of Quebec City.
Attached Images

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