Le Pro of Mont Pinacle

While the rest of the world has experienced a collective Groundhog Day over the past 15 months of Covid lockdowns, I’ve had an identity crisis of a different variety. I’m living in Quebec and I wonder, am I a climber posing as a skier, or a skier posing as a climber? And, is it silly to define yourself as either in a place where you can’t practice either for the majority of the year? Would it make more sense to simply play video games? Every day must be a pow day if you live to fire up the Playstation.

The Planétarium Sector

These thoughts rolled through my head as the wheels turned putting Montreal in the rearview. We were on the way to tick Camay, a classic 5.6 multi-pitch on Mont Pinacle.

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Le Massif de Charlevoix: The Day I Finally Skied

On New Years Eve, my partner and I celebrated with a single beer, so we could wake fresh the next day and turn our ski season around. Overnight, a few fresh inches of snow settled on the car.

In the morning, coffee percolated in the kitchen as a flock of evening grosbeaks pecked at a feeder in the backyard of our Airbnb. I’d never seen those magnificent birds before, but I had little patience to enjoy them. As stunning as they were, I hurried getting our gear and ourselves into the car.

Our season had begun slowly and I wasn’t expecting much. Le Massif de Charlevoix usually opens near 100% and a month into the season vast stretches of the mountain remained closed.

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The Storm Chasin’ Blues

Few of us are true weather nerds, but it seems the availability of immediate and targeted forecasts makes it easy to pretend. I like to get up in the morning and see where it snowed. Even though I work in tech, on most ski days all I want from google is a snow phone number.

More often than not, I’ll pick a place where I like the scene or will be meeting people. I’m not locked in to a multi-mountain pass, and living in Montreal, my options are almost unlimited.

Still, every once in awhile, I do get caught up in the fever of prognostication facilitated by social media, weather apps and NWS bulletins. And so it went this past weekend, when I booked a last-minute airbnb close to the currently dormant Saddleback Mountain.

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