Mont Orford, QC: 2/10/10

For the final stop on my Eastern Townships tour, we skied Mont Orford, just outside beautiful Magog. Orford’s conditions, terrain, and layout remind many people of Whiteface.

I’ve skied there in knee-deep powder and in hideous wind and ice… it’s all in the timing. Yesterday was nearly perfect… almost spring-like with comfortable temperatures, sun, and lack of wind.

The groomers were soft and the off-piste/glades were skiing beautifully โ€” some rocks to avoid on a few steep chutes, but nothing serious.

11 comments on “Mont Orford, QC: 2/10/10

  1. Oh, I forgot Harv.

    You had a question about daycare. At 3, it wouldn’t be an issue to find a daycare at the ski area for her. From experience, the Daycare threshold was around 18-24 months old.

  2. Sorry for the delay (I can’t write on NYSB from home – computer issues).

    On your James is on the terror-watch list living in the Townships or Montreal question.

    James is correct on his descriptions of the Sutton/Orford/Owl’s Head, however the smart money would be for a pass on Sutton over Orford. Why? Orford’s gnar terrain advantage needs good snow which is a low point at Orford versus Sutton.

    When Orford is in great conditions, it can be amazing, unfortunately these days are few and far between. Sutton batting average for great skiing is definitely greater than anyone else in the Townships.

    Totally independent to the question asked, Orford seem to be a area in search of an identity. Chondola (chair+gondola) and groomers… Trying to compete with Bromont’s McSkiing in term of grooming and prices. A losing proposition financially.

    Although MadPatWorld isn’t limited to the Townships, I’ve only been twice to Orford in the last 28 years versus many times more at Sutton. Yes, the area has fallen through the crack in my visits, but there is also reason behind it.

    Here is a TR from my last visit back in 2005.

  3. Every full moon during the winter, at Mont Orford provincial park (less than a mile from the ski area), you park at this x-c ski center, go inside and get suited up (you can also rent skis there), and glide under the moonlight along Lake Stukely for a couple miles. At 10 pm, everyone meets inside this mountain hut with a roaring fire, there are drinks and food, and you hang out for a couple hours.

    One of my wife’s fondest winter memories.

  4. From what I know of the Eastern Townships there is also some excellent groomed cross country skiing. Would love to do a trip up there that combined both. The Quebecois take their cross country skiing seriously, and it really shows in the grooming, trail layout and overall caliber of skier on the trails. Fast skinny xc skis + fat tele boards for powder at Sutton + 6-pack of Maudite (Quebecois red ale, 8%) = great trip.

  5. Orford has steep, technical lines that Sutton doesn’t and a longer vertical drop. Sutton gets more snow and its glades are really unique — like a work of art. Hitting them during a storm is, for me, one of my favorite ski moments ever.

    Most people would recommend getting the season pass at Orford and save Sutton for powder days.

  6. James … let’s pretend. You live in the eastern townships or maybe Montreal.

    Jay, Stowe and Smuggs don’t exist. Or maybe you are on a terror watchlist, so you can’t travel to the US.

    Which of the three hills you skied would get your season pass money? Why?

    Would like to hear MadPat’s (or anybody’s) take on that too.

    Jason – I recommend Sutton. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the Plattekill of the Townships. Vibe, snow, and trees.

    (PS MadPat – Neve is 3.75 years old.)

  7. I’m sending you a message from HARVLAND: the McDonalds at Warrensburg, just a couple miles from Hickory Hill. Apparently, I didn’t get an earlier memo — McDee’s has free WiFi pretty much nationwide. Nice!

    You’ll generally find Quebec, including the ski areas, to be much more kid-friendly than the States, so daycare shouldn’t be an issue.

  8. James … the reports from Quebec are delicious. The Eastern Townships are definitely on my radar.

    Zelda is game if we can work out the daycare.

    How have you and Mrs Deluxe handled that in the past?

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