Tremblant: View from The North

With the recent warm and spring’s imminent return my friends and I headed north hoping to extend winter. Luck was with us: we planned our trip far in advance and Tremblant was getting snow.

We booked a mountainside airbnb, a five-minute walk to the Express Gondola. Chip, Alex and I were joined by Blue and his brother as well as Dave and Ally. As we settled in Thursday, snow started falling, setting up a great weekend.

We woke up to an inch of fresh snow Friday and it forecasted to continue throughout the day. After a quick breakfast at a french cafe we met up Dave and Ally. We soon boarded the gondola and headed to the top.

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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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Sport 400 Charlevoix

The towering new bolted climb first came to my attention when I noticed the announcement of it last summer on EscaladeQuebec. The topic was popping with comments on their social media.

Sport 400 Charlevoix

The cliffs — in remote parts of Quebec — have an esoteric appeal and the website, in French, contributes to that. There is little subtlety in statements like “Biggest Sport Climb East of the Flatirons, Colorado” and the Flatirons are a great point of reference for the 5.6ish Sport 400.

The Sport 400 lived in the periphery of my imagination until a friend set a date to actually climb it. Just like that, we were off, leaving work at 3pm hoping to make the 6-hour drive to Saint Simeon in time to erect our tent before sunset.

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