With a weekday free to explore Quebec, I had my heart set on getting to the Whistler of the East with 10″ of fresh. That ski area will remain nameless however, because after many text messages with new friends I was convinced to pilot my car to a much smaller area in The Laurentian mountains: La Reserve.
After some technical difficulty on the drive, I arrived. It turns out the A25 bridge is a tolled path. There are no booths, it’s private and I think you need some sort of EZ-Pass. Suffice to say, if you’re heading North to checkout La Reserve, take the 15.
Once out of the city, I noticed something else I’ve missed in recent years — big snowbanks. A bit like Neo in The Matrix, the Laurentians are situated far enough North to have dodged rain drops for much of this season. I could have been in the anywhere north of the Artic Circle for all I know, with lots of snow and limited development.
Most of the billboards in The Townships are in French. There’s a conspicuous one near the top of Mont Sutton’s access road that simply says “Amen” branded with the logo and a picture of some beautifully rimed trees.
It’s a little ambiguous, but after skiing there last weekend, I’d probably define it as “divine bliss and sheer joyfulness from sliding over a soft base of perfection.” Skiing is serious business, after all.
Overstatement? Je ne sais pas. While it hadn’t snowed at the mountain for a few days, life is more than recent snowfall, uphill capacity, double black diamonds, and super fast lifts. Sutton seems to get the fact that those metrics don’t directly translate into fun. From heaven, not hoses, en français.
I was in denial last week. As always I followed the weather closely and I knew the storm was coming. But as late as Wednesday I was holding out hope that storm would track west and deliver the goods to the mountains. Heaven knows we need it.
But as the week wore on, the forecast pushed the storm track even farther south and east, and by Friday even the Catskills were getting skunked.
Still, foolishly I clung to my plan: I’d stay home Saturday, weather the storm and if the power stayed on, I get up even earlier than usual, shovel out, and daytrip Plattekill.