I have written before about my passion for downhill snow skiing. It’s a wonderful exhilarating sport that can be enjoyed by all – from the very inexperienced young to the skillful old. I try to make a least one trip to the east and one to the north every year as the snowy multiple peaks with hundreds to thousands of miles of trails calls my name every season. Yes, skiing is in my blood and that fact there is so many physical benefits to the sport is only an additional perk.
Mont-Tremblant in Canada is an internationally-renowned and multi-award winning ski destination, touted as the number one ski resort destination in all of Eastern North America. It is situated about 80 miles north of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains, in the province of Quebec, and attracts tourists from all over the world, both skiers and non-skiers alike. It is most famous for its ski resorts that sit at the foot of a mountain and postcard picturesque architecture that will make you look in awe when you arrive. Cars are strictly prohibited in town, so be prepared to walk, but there is an open gondola-style lift, called The Cabriolet, which connects the upper and lower parts of the village together. There is also a ski trail running through the village for skiers to access the lower level of the village and gondola.
Ski season begins in November lasts through April with the basic day pass costing $70/day, plus possible high season surcharges. The main resort has more than 650 acres of ski and snowboarding trails in four distinct areas: North Side (Versant Nord), South Side (Versant Sud), Sunny Side (Versant Soleil) and The Edge (Versant Edge). There are over 90 marked downhill trails, including the longest 6 at3.73 miles), 19 designated easy, 31 intermediate, 37 difficult and 10 expert. The total lift capacity is 27,230 skiers per hour with 13 ski lifts, including a gondola, five detachable chairlifts, three regular chairlifts and three magic carpets.
In addition to skiing, the area offers a myriad of outdoor snow activities, such as snowshoeing, horseback riding, dog sledding and ice climbing during the winter and hiking trails, mountain bike races and beach activities through the summer months. Need something that’s unwinding? There are also plenty of spas, a new casino, Casino de Mont-Tremblant, and plenty of shops to explore in town. When it comes to dining, there are plenty of delicious places to eat in Mont Tremblant. From international dishes to rich fondue, there is something for everyone’s taste bud including a restaurant at the top of the mountain, Le Grand Manitou that is opened in both winter and summer.
Accommodations:Le Westin Resort and Spa, Tremblant, Quebec, 100 Chemin Kandahar, Mont Tremblant, Quebec, J8E 1E2, Canada (819) 681-8000 http://www.Westin.com. Book early!
Onsite Activities: Downhill skiing, snowboarding, driving range, miniature golf, bicycles, swimming, kayak, beach access, spa, gym.
Nearby Activities:WINTER – cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, ice climbing, ice fishing, horse drawn sleigh rides, horseback riding, and paintball. SUMMER – golf, tennis, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, helicopter tours, paintball, airplane tours, all-terrain vehicle tours, croisieres, boating, caleche rides, canoeing trips, cycling, dune buggy tours, fishing tours, lake cruises, rafting, rock, via-ferratta, waterskiing and wakeboarding, white-water rafting, and adventure courses (zip lines, suspended bridges and tarzan ropes).
Getting There:The Mont-Tremblant International Airport has seasonal direct flights to and from several U.S. cities. The next nearest airport is the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, about 90 minutes away. Taxis, shuttles and buses are available from both airports. There’s also the option of driving as major roads and highways will get you there. Remember your passport!
Special Note: There are probably more than a hundred restaurants in and around Mont-Tremblant, at all different price points and styles. Two recommendations included the Aux Truffes, a consistent AAA Four Diamond Award winner featuring local game and fish and is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellent recipient, and the Plus/Minus, serving avant garde cuisine described in the menu in the most over-the-top prose imaginable in a rustic but historic country ski cottage. Also, Mont-Tremblant offers “First Tracks,” which is the opportunity to be on the slopes 30 minutes before anyone else.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.