Phat Times on Mont Albert

In the spring, backcountry skiing is a game of inches. Two degrees to either side of the dial and you’ll get a different day. That’s what it was like when my brother and I set off to ski some steeper lines at Mont Albert, in the Parc National du Gaspésie.

I’ve always felt that one of the primary reasons to drive to the Gaspé is to get a cabin at the Mines and tour right from your doorstep. The skintracks are accessible and often, in an hour and a half, you can be on top of something really nice to ski.

But Mont Albert is the king of the parc, and perhaps that is why he is the exception to the rule.

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Tales from a NYC Ski Bum: North for Powder

As a Northeast skier, I’m used to variable conditions. Soft slush beneath a falling wintry mix? I’ll take it. Groomed granular over icy hardpack? I’ll hit it while it lasts. Week-old packed powder? If it holds an edge, I love it.

But there’s only so long a snow junkie can go without a fix of the untouched and pure stuff, so I loaded up the Jeep and made my way to the far north last week, where the forecast called for six inches at Jay Peak, and a foot at Mont Tremblant. The promise of fresh pulled me north.

Skiing in Canada isn’t a day trip for those of us who live at the bottom of New York State, so I worked in a couple of stops along the way. I skied Hunter with Icecoastchef on Wednesday, and ripped groomers solo at Okemo on Thursday.

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Skiing into the New Year in Quebec

In October, when I pitched a Quebec New Year’s Eve trip to my wife and friends, I was met with more than a fair amount of skepticism about the merits of a winter trip to a famously cold destination.

“Why do we need to drive 8 hours to go skiing?”
“Can we go to Quebec in the summer instead?”
“It’s going to be SO cold!”
“Can we go to a warm place for New Year’s?”

I am a salesman, so I went to work and sold the group on the food, the culture and, of course, the skiing. “Yes it will be cold,” I told them. “It will probably get close to 0° at night, but I promise everyone will have an awesome time.”

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