Mont Tremblant

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Since I started skiing back at the turn of the century, Ali and I have tried to do one major trip a year. This year we chose to go to Mont Tremblant in the Quebec Province of Canada. Several years ago I did some work with Ciena. The division I worked with was based out of Kanata in Ontario. John Kerr was the Supporting Engineer. He raved about Mont Tremblant. After Ali investigated, we were pretty excited about going. A couple of years past and I ran into John in a random restaurant in Boston, and his first question to me was, “Have you gone to Tremblant yet?” The answer was, “no,” but I figured since he was still asking about it, it must be a decent place to go.

For our drive up I purchased the Ultimate David Sedaris Box set. I have heard him many times on This American Life; he writes short memoir-esk stories about his family and his life. Good stuff.

As we crossed the border into the French speaking province of Quebec, I started a spirited French version of the alphabet game. It basically consisted of me butchering French words in a thick, bad French accent. It was quite fun, and though Ali feigned annoyance; I could tell she secretly thought it was quite funny.

I have this to say about Montreal (keep in mind we only drove through on the Canadian equivalent of an interstate). It was bleak; totalitarian, and traffic sucked.

We arrived late in the afternoon. We drove through a round-a-bout; turned a corner; and we were presented with a beautiful panoramic of the mountain and the resort village.

Just about everyone spoke both French and English. There was a language negotiation protocol — they would start by saying, “bonjour,” and would immediately follow it with a, “hello.” Your response is what told them which language to speak. It was quite common for people to say, “voila,” and we really got a kick out of this. In the U.S. it is a novel thing to say — a way to express success. Up there it was the equivalent of, “here you go.” It was said when people made change, brought your dinner, scanned your ski pass, etc.

The mountain was mid-sized and two faced, which was kind of interesting. It has a North & South face, both of which were accessed from the top. Their trail map demonstrates this quit well. It was typical East coast skiing — hard packed. We had six days there, five on skies, and one rest day — ah, massage therapy at the spa.

Ali found us a great condo that was ski in / ski out. It had a kitchen, and we ate breakfast and lunch there.

The first few days of skiing were uneventful, but satisfying. On our rest day it started snowing, and it continued to snow into the next day dropping about 15 inches of fresh snow. We had a blast that day — the skiing was absolutely spectacular. Our last day of skiing was the worst of the trip, and we hardly skied. The temperatures dropped and the wind was <boston accent>wicked hard</boston accent>. The wind was so bad that half of the mountain was shut down because they couldn’t safely operate the lifts. Let me put it another way — At one point I was going down a black diamond trail in a straight line and loosing speed.

View the photo album for this entry.

Here are the trails we skied sans Friday:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Thursday
Chalumeau Chalumeau Chalumeau Chalumeau
Porte Du Soleil (lift) Porte Du Soleil (lift) Porte Du Soleil (lift) Porte Du Soleil (lift)
Sentier Des Pruches Sentier Des Pruches La Carriole Sentier Des Pruches
Express flying mile (lift) Tele Cabine Express (gondola) Le Soleil (lift) Express flying mile (lift)
Belvedere Geant Grand Prix -> Beauvallon Bas -> Johannsen Flying Mile -> Johannsen
TGV (lift) Expo Express (lift) Express Flying Mile (lift) Express Flying Mile (lift)
Mc Culloch Fuddle Duddle Flying Mile -> Johannsen Ligne De Pente -> Promenade -> Johannsen
TGV (lift) Duncan Express (lift) Express Flying Mile (lift) Express Flying Mile (lift)
Beauvallon Haut Duncan Haut -> Duncan Bas Ligne De Pente -> Promenade -> Johannsen Belvedere
TGV (lift) Duncan Express (lift) Express Flying Mile (lift) TGV (lift)
Grand Prix Superieur -> Geant Belvedere Kandahar
TGV (lift) Expo Express (lift) TGV (lift) TGV (lift)
Grand Prix Windigo P’Tit Bonheur -> Beauchemin Haut -> Letendre Lowell Thomas -> Shortcut -> Beauchemin Bas
TGV (lift) Duncan Express (lift) Edge (lift) Expo Express (lift)
Franc Sud -> Laurentienne -> La Flume Banzai Action -> Haut Tension (Ali only) -> Reaction -> Letendre -> Beauchemin Bas Expo
Le Soleil (lift) Lowell Thomas (lift) Expo Express (lift) Expo Express (lift)
Franc Sud -> Tiguidou -> La Jamme (glades) -> Tiguidou -> Cascades -> Laurentienne -> La Flume Terrain Park -> Lowell Thomas Gagnon Gagnon -> Letendre
Le Soleil (lift) Lowell Thomas (lift) Lowell Thomas (lift) Edge (lift)
Franc Sud -> Toboggan Terrain Park -> Rigodon Ryan Haut -> Les Bouleaux -> Yo -> Laurentienne -> La Flume Haute-Tension -> Action
Le Soleil (lift) Lowell Thomas (lift) Le Soleil (lift) Edge (lift)
Ryan Haut -> Charron -> Desserres -> Dernier Cri -> Desserres -> Chalumeau Franc Sud -> Laurentiene -> La Flume Kandahar -> Desserres -> Chalumeau (Jamie) / Geant (Ali) Action -> Reaction -> Letendre
  Le Soleil (lift) Expo Express (lift) (Ali only) Duncan Express (lift)
  Franc Sud -> Tiguidou -> La Jamme -> Laurentiene -> Yo -> Tape cul Fuddle Duddle (Ali only) Zig Zag – Grand Prix -> Desserres -> Chalumeau
  Le Soleil (lift) Expo Express (lift) (Ali only) Chalumeau
  Taschereau -> Desserres -> Chalumeau Fuddle Duddle (Ali only) Porte Du Soleil (lift)
    Duncan Express (lift) (Ali only) Sentier Des Pruches
    Taschereau -> Desserres -> Chalumeau (Ali only) Telecabien Express (gondola)
      Vertige -> Zig Zag -> Grand Prix
      TGV (lift)
      Duncan Haut -> Saute-Moutons -> Duncan Bas -> Les Rapides
      Expo Express (lift)
      La Griffe
      Expo Express (lift)
      Duncan Express (lift)
      Tashcereau -> Desserres -> Chalumeau (Ali) / Franc Sud -> Tiguidou -> La Jamme -> Tiguidou -> Cascades -> Laurentienne -> La Flume (Jamie)
      Le Soleil (lift) (Jamie only)
      Franc Sud -> Brasse-Camarade -> La Jamme -> Tiguidou -> Toboggan -> Tape Cul (Jamie Only)
      Le Soleil (lift) (Jamie Only)
      Dunzee -> Gaetan Boucher -> Grand Prix -> Desserres -> Chalumeau (Jamie Only)

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