Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif Jan 14-16, 2019

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  1. #1
    Edd's Avatar
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    Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif Jan 14-16, 2019

    Iím going to do multiple posts here because of photo limitations with the app. If you want to get right to the skiing, skip this post. Itíll take me some time in between posts. Suffice to say, this was an excellent trip.

    Our group of 4 met in Portsmouth and headed north early Saturday evening. The plan was to stay in Waterville at a cheap motel that night to shave a couple of hours off of the trip to Mont-Sainte-Anne on Sunday giving us time to stop in Quebec City. None of us had been to this part of Quebec before.

    The drive from Waterville to the border gave us increasing amounts of snowpack which was nice to see. The road going through The Forks and Jackman were washboard style but the scenery up that way is very impressive. There are views of Carabassett Valley and Baxter State Park on either side of you.

    We stopped in Quebec City for lunch and just picked Le Ch‚teau De Frontenac (most photographed hotel in the world) as a destination, figuring that thereíd be a bunch of cool stuff around it. We were right, walking by a horde of restaurants on the way to the hotel. We had lunch at the hotel however, which is good because we were treated to stunning views of the St Lawrence River, which was loaded with flowing ice.

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    While there, the server pointed out people in kayaks and rowboats crossing the river and periodically jumping-out-of-the-fucking-boat to push or pull the it over the ice. It looked insane, like an extreme sport.

    Also, I had a delicious lobster roll. Gaspesian lobster on a pretzel bun.

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    Took this sweet pic while freezing our asses off walking back to the car.

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    What struck us observing the natives was how seriously they dressed for winter. A lot of badass looking puffy coats, fur hats, and gloves. We passed by multiple outdoor ice rinks and a park with a huge ice rink and an outer track where people cross-country skied. It seemed to us that the city embraced the winter more than back home.

    Leaving QC, we drove another 40 minutes north to our Airbnb at Mont-Sainte-Anne. It was a gorgeous condo that seemed brand new. 4 bedrooms and everything a skier needs, and waaay cheaper than it would be down here. Hereís the view from the living room.

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    Beer report: I tried one beer that wasnít disappointing. Yakima IPA, made in Quebec by Microbrasserie Le Castor. 6.5% alcohol. My friends were smart and brought a bunch of US beers for our rental place. While I was out, I stuck to Jameson and gingers (doubles). Keep trying, Canada!

  2. #2
    Edd's Avatar
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    Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif Jan 14-16, 2019

    Mont-Sainte-Anne was very cold on the first day but the snow conditions were excellent. A lot of the trails have an easy Stratton-y type of pitch but skierís right of the mountain has a set of legit blacks and doubles. The vert is good on the frontside at about 2k. Also, you have nice views of the St. Lawrence.

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    My very precise snow depth measuring technique.

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    Apres ski view from the bar.

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    Crowds were extremely light. We skied a longer than usual day partly because the conditions were so good. Itís roughly 450 acres and maybe 45 minutes from Quebec City which has a population of about 500,000 people. We wondered about the feasibility of living at the mountain and having a decent job in the city. I canít think of a situation like this in the northeast US.

  3. #3
    Edd's Avatar
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    Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif Jan 14-16, 2019

    Day 2 at Le Massif. It was another 40 minutes north and we were blessed with a bluebird day. I hadnít considered how important that would be before we went. Having perfect visibility here on your first visit is very nice. As many of you know, you park at the summit and ski down to the river level. You donít see much in the parking lot except for massive banks of snow.

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    From the lodge while changing.

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    It was another single digit temp day but no winds. We started to ski down a long straight blue and snow conditions seemed even better than yesterday. Pretty quickly, a view of the river fills your eyes.

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    Last edited by Edd; Jan 20, 2019 at 3:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Edd's Avatar
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    The photos with my phone cannot do this place justice. Iíve never skied anywhere with visuals like this. The river is massive and caused us to stop many times. In the pic below, you can see a freighter in the water to give a sense of scale.

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    Same with this pic.

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    The terrain challenge at Le Massif blows Mont-Sainte-Anne out of the water. There are blue rated bump runs and glades.

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    One more pic for scale. My friend took this pic of myself and a buddy with her iPhone 8.

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    At over 2500 ft of vert, Le Massif has the most in the east. It skis big and they groom less than half of their trails. What cruisers they do have get steeper and ski very fast on the lower half of the mountain. This was a great day for us and would have been so different if we had bad visibility.

  5. #5
    Edd's Avatar
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    Day 3 we woke up to a powder day. Mont-Sainte-Anne would later claim 5 inches from this storm but it felt more like 8 to us. It fell on top of already stellar conditions. The mountain really came alive for me and I skied glades I hadnít tried a couple of days ago. A couple of them felt like they were out west.

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    Our legs were absolute toast after this day. We considered this trip extremely successful; one of our best trips ever. I havenít been that tired after skiing in a long time. If youíve been hesitant to pull the trigger on going up there, I canít recommend it strongly enough.

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  6. #6
    Edd's Avatar
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    If you thought I wasnít going to post a picture of poutine with sausage you were dead wrong.

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  7. #7
    Great trip and great report! You got cold, but good conditions. Thanks for sharing. Your favorable impressions are very similar to mine after I spent a couple days at each place on a visit about ten years ago. Those places are like skiing big mtns right next to an ocean. Unreal.

  8. #8

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    nice report

  9. #9
    Great report Edd! I like the city pics as well. My wife has some family in Canada...keep saying we're up to Quebec one of these days.
    SoVT

  10. #10
    Nice that you caught the area in great conditions. My desire to do a Quebec trip is very high. Probably look to do something similar in a few years when our son is ready for more than the beginner slopes. QC is my absolute favorite city in North America that I've visited. So, having two nice ski areas so close is really cool. I'd also like to check out some of the more obscure, smaller locals areas.

    Bummer about the beer. When I was in Edmundston a couple of weeks ago they had a free local beer with appetizer special at the hotel bar. I paid for a gin and tonic.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

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