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Canadian Vacation Planning

gmcunni

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i know there are already a couple of planning threads started but see several people talking about Canada so i thought it might be good to start a more specific thread to help consolidate info.

My plan for the CA trip is to go up for an extended weekend around Pres day:


Thursday – depart CT @ noon

Thursday night – stay Eastern Township

Friday – ski eastern township (3 ppl)
• Mont Sutton
• Owl's Head
• Ski Bromont
• Mont Orford​
Friday night – drive north to Quebec City
Friday night – check in hotel/condo QC

Saturday – TBD (2 ppl)
Sunday - Mont Sainte-Anne (3 ppl)
Monday - Le Massif, (2 ppl)
Tuesday – revisit favorite OR Stoneham (3 ppl)

Wednesday – drive back to CT

- - -
hoping for some guidance from those who've been up before (i have not):
1. in Eastern Township, looking an "intermediate day" - skiing with son and 13yo daughter, which of the 4 places might be best? we'd end up booking a room from Thurs night close to that mountain most likely.

2. for the places close to QC, any of these got a bad rep? my daughter won't ski every day so i'd want to try harder (more fun) mountains on the days it is just me and my son.

3. is the drive from eastern township to QC on a Friday night typically bad?

4. better mountains i should consider ?
 
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Vortex

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Mt St anne does Sugar on snow on one of the trails. We loved it. kids of all ages.
Back side of Mt ST Anne hsd some real nice wide open stuff. The ceiling of the Chateau Fronecac entrance way is worth a few pictures. Take the Tabogan ride in town in Quebec city. Have a blast.
 

steamboat1

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If you plan a day in the eastern townships I'd recommend Mont Orford for 2 reasons. It will fulfill your requirement for good intermediate skiing. Secondly it's right off the main highway which will make your time to get there shorter and also shorten your trip to QC after skiing.

I cant' really help you with accommodations around Orford. We'd sometimes stay at a inexpensive motel in Sherburne on the way up to QC overnight which isn't far from Orford but we never stopped to ski Orford on the way up to QC. The couple of times I skied the eastern townships we stayed near Sutton, which was nice & skied around from there.

Can't really help you with accommodations in QC either. We always stay at Le Manior Lac De Luge which is very close to Stoneham which is the last on your list of ski areas to ski & a bit north of QC. It's still not much further from there to drive to Sainte Anne & Massif as it is from QC. If your looking for clean affordable accommodations there are a ton of motels close to Sainte Anne along the St. Lawrence driving from QC.

It's still a bit of a hike to get from the eastern townships to QC. If you've never been there before I really wouldn't recommend stopping to ski all day in the ET & then driving & arriving in the dark to an unfamiliar place. If you stop along the road overnight & wake up early you can still get to QC by mid morning & have enough time to ski locally for a 1/2 day. Sainte Anne, Stoneham & Le Rollie also offer night skiing.

just my $.02
 
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gmcunni

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Quebec City to St. Sauveur is a 3.5 hour one way. The skiing is not worth it IMHO. You might want to re-think this plan and spend an extra day at Ste. Anne or Le Massif.

Here's a great report on the area with some ideas for alternate destinations:
http://mag.nyskiblog.com/Ski-Safari-Along-The-St-Lawrence-Quebec-td1762058.html

wow, i must have misread something to have included sauveur if it was 3.5 hours away. i've been looking at different maps and for some reason had it in my head it was very close to QC.

have these two down as alternates, will find one to use instead.
http://www.skirelais.com/le-relais-ski-snow-hebertisme-hiver.php?id=1&lid=en
http://www.massifdusud.net/
 

steamboat1

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We'd sometimes stay at a inexpensive motel in Sherburne on the way up to QC overnight which isn't far from Orford but we never stopped to ski Orford on the way up to QC.

Oops, meant to say Sherbrooke which you can see on the map provided puts you in Canada. You won't have to hassle going through the border crossing in the morning. I've never had a problem at the border but sometimes there can be a bit of a wait because of cars in front of you.
 

skiberg

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I can assure you that Sutton and Orford are NOT intermediate mountains. They both have very good terrain and u will find some of the more difficult terrain in the East period. I love both of these places. Both are great but very different feel to the hills. Both are among the best ski areas in NE and Quebec. Sutton is very akin to MRG or Jay. Orford reminds me of Stowe without the bare top.
 

gmcunni

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Sutton is very akin to MRG or Jay. Orford reminds me of Stowe without the bare top.

thanks, that helps put them in context. daugher isn't bad, she' skied out west at some large mountains she just doesn't like hard charging stuff.. fun easy trees she loves.
 

BenedictGomez

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Hah! Maybe I'll see you there, I'm playing on "escaping" the PDW crowds to Canada myself, Sutton for sure, and probably Orford.
 

steamboat1

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skiberg wrote:I can assure you that Sutton and Orford are NOT intermediate mountains. They both have very good terrain and u will find some of the more difficult terrain in the East period. I love both of these places. Both are great but very different feel to the hills. Both are among the best ski areas in NE and Quebec. Sutton is very akin to MRG or Jay. Orford reminds me of Stowe without the bare top.


Sutton:
# 230 acres of skiable domain
# 45 % glades
# 16 easy trails
# 19 difficult trails
# 10 very difficult trails
# 15 extreme trails

Orford:
Mountain Statistics

Level Quantity of trails % of trails
Easy 20 33%
Difficult 16 26%
Very Difficult 8 13%
Extremely Difficult 17 28%

Seems to me both mountains (Sutton, Orford) have over 50% of their terrain rated intermediate or less. Most would consider Stowe an experts mountain but the truth is between the gondola slopes, Big & Little Spruce plus the many intermediate runs off Mansfield the intermediate or less terrain far exceeds the expert terrain. Yes Stowe also has some of the steepest terrain in the NE but to say they don't have a majority of intermediate terrain is misleading as it is with Sutton & Orford. MRG is another story.
 
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skiberg

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Your daughter will love Sutton then. While it has MRG type terrain the mountain is perfetly segregated and gets more difficult the higher and more skiers right you go. If you stay in the middle it is all fantastic Blue gladed skiing. Literally the entire mountain is gladed. You can ski anywhere in the woods. It is absolutely not to be missed. I highly, highly recomend Sutton. If the snow is good i virtually guarantee you will think this is one of the best ski areas you have ever skied.
 

x10003q

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When we visited QC we broke the trip up at Burke. It was about 220 miles of highway from Burke to QC. If you haven't skied Burke it is worth the stop. Be ready for cold weather in QC.
 

gmcunni

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just got word yesterday our school board has cancelled the FEB school break. with 9 "weather" days already on the books they are eliminating days off now in anticipation of more to come.

not happy.
 

BenedictGomez

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just got word yesterday our school board has cancelled the FEB school break. with 9 "weather" days already on the books they are eliminating days off now in anticipation of more to come.

not happy.

OMG that sucks. Sorry to hear that.
 

crank

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I have done 2 President's week trips up to Mont Ste Anne and Le Massif. Last one was just 2 seasons ago. It is a good crowd avoidance strategy and can be a money saving one as well, though you will pay in drive time.

Some advice: Ste Anne on a cold or stormy day for the bottom to top gondola and the quad bubble chair, plenty of intermediate and some good expert skiing too, incredible view. We stayed right at their base hotel and at a condo about 1km away the next trip. Ste Anne is maybe a half hour door to door from Quebec so if you want you can stay there but with kids it is easier to be close to skiing. And those kids will love the sugar shack, mentioned by previous poster, it is well worth seeking out. Crepes a the bottom of the gondola are a nice touch.

Le Massif is a half hour east from Ste Anne; go on a clear day if you can because the view is spectacular (and you thought Ste Anne's was great. We managed our trips similar to yours but in the opposite order, starting with Quebec and then driving down to Jay Peak for the end of our ski week. We also usually meet up with friends who regularly ski there so it is kind of a get together and fun for the kids to ski with other kids . I also like a shorter drive home after a week long ski safari.

I have never skied the Eastern Townships areas...maybe this is the year!

Have fun. Bring passports, Not allowed to bring meat into CAN. If you have kids without parents or with 1 parent make sure to have a letter of permission from said parent.

You will love it!
 

bigbog

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For early season..might want to take a look at the Lake Louise/Banff area...often gets colder temps when we're still struggling(like Now). Haven't checked the air prices...so fwiw.. Quite a few Quebec and NewBrunswick skiers visit SL. With exception of storms...temps can often be in the same ballpark, yet can often be much colder...but definitely Ste.Anne/Massif/Orford are interestingly away from mainstream NewEngland crowds...with tons of country = hiking. Lots of nice streams, rivers, and mountains gone under the marketing radar...
 
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mshorema

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Skiing in Eastern Townships

Hi,

We've been going up to the Eastern Townships for many years (starting when the $ bought 1.50 Canadian, heavy sigh), and love it. A few suggestions:

(1) Our favorite mountain is Sutton. It has tons of variety (and good steeps) and has an old time feel, similar to Mad River Glen. It's gladed skiing is much more wide open than what you have at MRG, and as such is a lot easier. They have opened up a few tree runs this year, and am looking forward to trying them, but the ski patrol will yell at you if they catch you in any unmarked tree areas (there are some really nice medium slope glades that are unofficial), which is very different from Jay, Stowe, MRG, etc. It also gets the most snow of all the mountains in the townships. All in all, it ranks up there for me as being close to Stowe, MRG and Jay (but just a cut below). Lots of fun for an intermediate skiier as well.

(2) Orford is also a fun mountain as well. It is an excellent choice if it is really cold as you can go up in a gondola to the top, and this can be a real saver. If there is good snow coverage, there is a lot of fun tree runs. There are a few easier tree runs, but in general, the tree runs are tighter than those at Sutton. Sutton has a lot of gladed runs for intermediate skiiers, but Orford's gladed offerings are mostly for advanced skiiers. For intermediates, they have a wonderful all natural snow runs off to the right, but if this is not open and the woods are not skiing well, then the mountain is much more limited than Sutton.

(3) Owls Head: We've skiied at this one the least, but it has tremendous deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays ($20). This is a good mountain as well, but I prefer Sutton and Orford (views are incredible at this resort on a clear day).

In terms of places to stay, we've always enjoyed Manoir des Sables which is by Orford. Lots of activities to do there including tubing in the back, ice skating, cross country skiing, etc.

Lastly, get the Carte Blanche (you can google it) for discounts at Owls Head and Sutton.

Hope this helps!
 

gmcunni

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Hi,

We've been going up to the Eastern Townships for many years (starting when the $ bought 1.50 Canadian, heavy sigh), and love it. A few suggestions:

(1) Our favorite mountain is Sutton. It has tons of variety (and good steeps) and has an old time feel, similar to Mad River Glen. It's gladed skiing is much more wide open than what you have at MRG, and as such is a lot easier. They have opened up a few tree runs this year, and am looking forward to trying them, but the ski patrol will yell at you if they catch you in any unmarked tree areas (there are some really nice medium slope glades that are unofficial), which is very different from Jay, Stowe, MRG, etc. It also gets the most snow of all the mountains in the townships. All in all, it ranks up there for me as being close to Stowe, MRG and Jay (but just a cut below). Lots of fun for an intermediate skiier as well.

(2) Orford is also a fun mountain as well. It is an excellent choice if it is really cold as you can go up in a gondola to the top, and this can be a real saver. If there is good snow coverage, there is a lot of fun tree runs. There are a few easier tree runs, but in general, the tree runs are tighter than those at Sutton. Sutton has a lot of gladed runs for intermediate skiiers, but Orford's gladed offerings are mostly for advanced skiiers. For intermediates, they have a wonderful all natural snow runs off to the right, but if this is not open and the woods are not skiing well, then the mountain is much more limited than Sutton.

(3) Owls Head: We've skiied at this one the least, but it has tremendous deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays ($20). This is a good mountain as well, but I prefer Sutton and Orford (views are incredible at this resort on a clear day).

In terms of places to stay, we've always enjoyed Manoir des Sables which is by Orford. Lots of activities to do there including tubing in the back, ice skating, cross country skiing, etc.

Lastly, get the Carte Blanche (you can google it) for discounts at Owls Head and Sutton.

Hope this helps!

thanks for the very timely post. due to the change in the kids vacation schedule i think we'll be doing a 3 or 4 day weekend in Eastern Township rather than drive up to QC. trying to find a place to stay, it doesn't seem to be an easy task (doesn't appear to be a very commercial area). been googling for lodging options the past few days with minimal luck. hoping to find a condo at or near the mountain. focusing on Sutton right now but will look at your suggestions too.
 

mshorema

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Eastern Townships

Haven't stayed in Sutton, so can't comment on lodging there, but believe you can find condos on vrbo.com. There also were some fancier condos recently built that are right by the base area, but don't know the name of the place. The other suggestion would be to go to tripadvisor and check out Sutton lodging (know there is at least one condo complex (Montagnard??) that rents out by the night, but can't recall its name). I think people generally like Hotel Motel Horizon which is on the road to the mountain. Nothing fancy, but has an indoor pool and has decent basic accomodations (but not a condo).

Lastly, I'd make sure your vacation days do not coincide with the Quebec schools winter/spring breaks. We made that mistake our first year and things were much more crowded.

Good luck with this, think you'll love Sutton, it has a real old-time feel to it, and lots of variety. Lots of good dining options in Sutton as well.
 
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