Winter is almost over, so I feel it is time to wrap up our skiing blog series. Today, I want to pay an ode to Mont Tremblant Quebec. Whatever Quebec tourism may say, skiing in Quebec is often not very good. It’s among the best you can get within driving distance of Toronto, but it’s still 8 hours away. I guess I’m getting old but skiing in Quebec can easily become just too icy, too windy, too cold. Jonathan and I don’t really believe in skiing in Ontario and what you get in Quebec is really just a taller and icier version of what you get 2 hours north of Toronto.
Whining and moaning aside, if you live in Central or Eastern Canada or somewhere in the Northeast US you may plan a ski/road trip. Sometimes you will get lucky and drive up to the ski hill in white out conditions. You will play in the snow the whole weekend and won’t believe how amazing your experience has been. Other times you will drive up to the ski hill and see only four runs open because it’s suddenly raining in January. The weather in the Northeast is too unpredictable and it will never make you any promises. So you gathered RSVPs from your friends, arranged to borrow a truck for a weekend, booked the hotel and now you are praying to the weather gods for snow. Slow down! Relax, take a breath and understand that you may end up skiing on ice, grass or just spent the weekend drinking in a hot tub.
Stop asking “Will there be snow when I get there?” and start preparing for what you will do if conditions are subpar. Choices are abundant. You can, of course, drink, party, shop or cry. Let’s get back to what you can do on the hill itself. You can fool around, practice your jumps in the park (if it’s open in terrible conditions) and experiment with the sport photography feature on your camera.
The most essential thing that you must bring to a ski trip is good company. At the end of the day, friends will help you make the best out of a bad situation. Definitely don’t book a ski trip with people you cannot stand. You will spend hours with them in the car and hours with them apres-ski. Make sure to push your friends to do stupid things so that you can laugh at them as they wipe out and then laugh even harder as they scream trying to get snow out of their snow pants. So don’t complain about the wonderful icy sounds of death you hear below your feet and just relax and accept the weather.
Without trying to plug this particular resort, Jay Peak Resort is on to something with the construction of a water park at the base of the mountain. When conditions are bad, or in the evening because there is no night skiing, you can spend some time in there drinking at the bar and having epic battles with your friends on the tube slides. Having two friends on a tube with the aim of making the other person reach the bottom first leads to some pretty epic maneuvers. In the end, do some research and pick a good spot so you can have fun with no matter what the weather throws at you.