Author Archives: ml242
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 Réserve.
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.
With the promise of a few centimeters of snow in the forecast, my eyes were glued to strange webcams and blogs of a foreign land. I wanted to ski something different, to see the world, in a country that invented the word neige.
El Nino’s agua brought with it air in the mild flavor, but my research — or maybe it was wishcasting — paid off. One forecast called for 2 degrees and rain and another -1 and snow. You know which one I chose.
I arrived after what was sure to be the first of this season’s many white-knuckle drives. My new (ok used, but still with lots of tread) Michelin X-Ice tires felt pretty good in their first winter frolic while winding steep roads in the Sutton Mountains, news as welcomed as the winter precipitation.