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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Gore Mountain Deep Freeze Holiday

It’s not news that we spent the holiday in Johnsburg NY.  We do it every year. On other hand, the extreme weather this past week and the great skiing were noteworthy. The intense cold —especially for those of us with kids—was near the limit of what we could handle on a windy and open lift.

sunrise on the yellow trail
First Tracks on the Yellow Trail

For us skiing in the trees was a solution. At Gore and in our woods, the trees were a haven from wind offering exercise, warmth and pow. But I’m jumping ahead. First, the snow.

In the southern Adirondacks, snow fell right before the holiday, with a nice mix of precip types. On December 22 we had 8 inches of new snow, followed by 1/2 inch of cold rain on the next day. Then, starting on Christmas Day, we got another ten inches of new snow.

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MAX Pass Adventures: Stratton

When we decided to spring for the M.A.X. Pass this year, I was confident we would get our money’s worth. Killington, Pico, Gore and Whiteface are all favorites. Belleayre and Windham are close to home, family-friendly mountains that I knew I could bring my kids and have a good time. But Stratton and Okemo were unknown to me.

stratton square

I’d heard that both hills were a bit bland, serving as playgrounds for wealthy city people, but it was my goal to use our MAX Passes to spread our wings. We’d already skied the Catskills a few times this season and this past Saturday was our first chance to venture farther: a day-trip to Stratton with Junior, my oldest son.

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