• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Le Massif de Charlevoix 02-11-16

granite

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
213
Points
16
Last Thursday I took my wife to Quebec for Valentine’s Day. The first stop was the spectacular Basilica Sainte Anne de Beaupre and we then spent the night at Auberge La Muse in Baie-Saint-Paul. The next day it was a 25 minute, 21 mile drive to the very top of Le Massif de Charlevoix where the temperature was a minus four degrees, clear blue skies and very little wind. I purchased a day ticket for about 53 US dollars-a great bargain. There was two to three feet of snow on the ground, about 16 inches of it from the two previous days. The new snow provided me my first powder day of the season for my sixth ski day of the year. The snow was light and dry (Rocky Mountain type) and the surface conditions were about as good as you can get. The groomers were perfect, packed corduroy and no ice anywhere and they are very long. When skiing down the wide groomers you come up to a drop off with expansive views of the St. Lawrence River, it looks like you could jump of the lip and land in the river. The river is so wide here that the locals call it the Sea. The double blacks over by La Charlevoix, the FIS approved downhill course, were all bumped up. Real nice powder on the tops and sides and hard pack and ice in the troughs. There were excellent to ski and a lot of fun-these runs are steep and long too and gave my legs a good work out. There is kind of like a long ravine right down the middle of the ski area where there is glade skiing. Here the snow had piled up from both natural and manmade. Skiing these glades was fantastic. There were no rocks, branches or other obstacles; it wasn’t even bumped up; just powder and tracked up powder and no ice sheets underneath. This was by far my best day of the year.

We spent the next three nights in Quebec City for their famous Winter Carnival walking all over Old Quebec; both Upper and Lower Towns. It was my plan to cross country ski on the Plains of Abraham on Sunday, but a minus fourteen degree temperature kept me off the trails-the first time ever cold kept me from skiing. We did walk the Plains though for two hours on the walking paths next to the cross-country trails. This trip was really for my wife and Valentine’s Day so I didn’t ski very much. I’ll just have to return another time because there’s a lot of skiing and exploring at Le Massif that needs to happen, I left a lot on the table because I don’t know the mountain. It might be my favorite resort in the East. With the mild New England winter we are having, I was looking for winter and I certainly found it in Charlevoix and Quebec. It was full bore winter with feet of snow on the ground and it snowed a lot except for the day I went skiing. The temperature never got above 15 degrees and even though it was often well below zero, we just layered up and had a great Valentine’s Day trip to the region.

I forgot to take my camera while skiing so I regret I don’t have any photos of Le Massif. Attached are some photos of Quebec City.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_9851.JPG
    IMG_9851.JPG
    116.3 KB · Views: 209
  • IMG_9862.JPG
    IMG_9862.JPG
    151.5 KB · Views: 209
  • IMG_9900.JPG
    IMG_9900.JPG
    148.7 KB · Views: 209
  • IMG_9902.JPG
    IMG_9902.JPG
    144.7 KB · Views: 210

steamboat1

New member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
6,613
Points
0
Location
Brooklyn,NY/Pittsford,VT.
The difference in snow conditions between New England & QC during Presidents week is what first brought my family to the area many moons ago. Glad to hear you & the Mrs. had a good time. The inside of the Basilica Sainte Anne de Beaupreis is absolutely beautiful with all the marble & stained glass work. The tile work in the lower chapel is also impressive. I've been up to the area about a 1/2 dozen times over the years but it's been several years since my last visit.
 

joshua segal

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
763
Points
18
Location
Southern NH
Website
skikabbalah.com
IMO the only reason that both Le Massif and Mt St. Anne are never included in "the best of the east" lists, is that they are too far from the major markets of the northeast. As a result, few of those doing the ratings have ever skied there.
 

bigbog

Active member
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
4,881
Points
38
Location
Bangor and the state's woodlands
Nice pics granite. I enjoy the drive from Jackman, ME to QC...country roads/hghwys with a lot of deer(early spring) fed by multiple farmers. The high-performance sensor-driven traffic lights sure shorten the drive thru any towns.
 

granite

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
213
Points
16
Nice pics granite. I enjoy the drive from Jackman, ME to QC...country roads/hghwys with a lot of deer(early spring) fed by multiple farmers. The high-performance sensor-driven traffic lights sure shorten the drive thru any towns.

I've always wanted to come back to NH through Maine but have always decided not to at the last minute. This reply will inspire me to go through Maine next time.
 

delco714

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
70
Points
0
I've always wanted to come back to NH through Maine but have always decided not to at the last minute. This reply will inspire me to go through Maine next time.
My sugarloaf cabin is in Stratton..maybe worth us going to qc..hmm
 

granite

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
213
Points
16
My sugarloaf cabin is in Stratton..maybe worth us going to qc..hmm

How long does it take from your cabin in Stratton-Sugarloaf, what route? That would be a great trip-start at the Loaf-Le Massif-Mont Sainte Anne-Quebec City/Montral-Mont Tremblant.
 

jimk

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
1,428
Points
63
Location
Wash DC area
NICE. I did a family ski trip from Wash DC to MSA and LeMassif at Eastertime in 2008. Although doable in one day, ~750 miles, we broke the drive into two days coming and going because we had kids. It was worth it. I had all the same fabulous impressions. The setting of both ski areas, especially LeMassif next to the "sea" is a mind blower. We did two ski days at each. That was a super snowy spring in Quebec. Ski conditions were great and we also spent a couple days sightseeing in downtown Quebec City. It had more general snow cover at the time, ~4 feet, than I have ever seen in a major urban area. We returned via I91 to visit relatives for one night in MA, but before leaving Quebec made a stop at a little no name bakery in Sherbrooke for lunch. That place had the most incredible bread and pastries. We bought a bunch of baked goods and were still eating them for days afterwards reminding our taste buds of a GREAT visit to Canada.
 

delco714

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
70
Points
0
How long does it take from your cabin in Stratton-Sugarloaf, what route? That would be a great trip-start at the Loaf-Le Massif-Mont Sainte Anne-Quebec City/Montral-Mont Tremblant.
4 hours flat Google says to le massif. There's a few options all about the same it seems. I'm Canada naive!

Seems like that would be a decent trip. Haven't looked into tremblant. Cool!
 

delco714

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
70
Points
0
Tremblant looks wonderful and a really nice village!! Perhaps next year we'll do that! Though massif is closer..
 

granite

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
213
Points
16
In my initial report I wrote that I forgot to take my camera so I had no photos. However, my wife took these attached photos from the summit lodge-remember this is an upside down ski area. I didn't even know she had these on her smart phone until today, so it brought back memories of a great day.

The photos:

Photo one is the access road, Cannonball took a similar photo a few weeks later.

Photo two is the beginner area above the summit lodge and parking lot. You can access the back country from the top of these trails.

Photo three is Mount Ligori-above the ski racks, in the center of the picture you can see some open glades-looks to be very steep. This is part of the back country at Le Massif. You can take guided snow cat tours up there, or access it by skinning-hiking: (Cannonball-did you get up that way on your trip?) I kept gazing up at that area when I was on the summit, desperately wanting to go there.

Photo four, the St. Lawrence River can be seen on the right and there's an opening that leads to Baie St. Paul, where we stayed.
 

Attachments

  • Access road.jpg
    Access road.jpg
    41 KB · Views: 35
  • Beginer area above the base lodge.jpg
    Beginer area above the base lodge.jpg
    46.7 KB · Views: 35
  • Mount Ligori.jpg
    Mount Ligori.jpg
    72.7 KB · Views: 35
  • St Lawrence.jpg
    St Lawrence.jpg
    58.3 KB · Views: 35
Last edited:

granite

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
213
Points
16
Anyone interested in a lot of info about Quebec can go to: http://www.zoneski.com/reseau/

It's all in French but it's a great ski forum about skiing in Quebec and also has some good trip reports at ski areas around here too. For example, I was reading one trip report about Jay Peak, the person wrote "au royaume de Bernie Sanders" (Kingdom of Bernie Sanders). Another trip report the skier went to Bretton Woods on their last day of operations because of a $16 lift ticket that included a voucher for a free day early next year. Our neighbors to the north have humor and look for good deals too.

The photos they have on this forum are really-really good. To see the trip report photos from the home page click on forums and then click on Vos sorties ski/snow en station.
 
Top