Winter Trip to Mont Tremblant - Day 1

January 22, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Got you hooked with the teaser image I posted a few days ago, didn’t I? Thanks for coming back to read about my winter trip. I rarely take a winter vacation, but at my friend's suggestion to go somewhere with LOTS of snow, we went to Mont Tremblant in Quebec for a long weekend. Although neither of us are skiers, there are plenty of activities to keep us busy.  As this will be a longer post than usual, it’ll be divided into the 3 days of the trip. Here's what we did on Day 1.

We took a morning Porter flight and arrived at Mont Tremblant in an hour. The airport shuttle to the Tremblant resort was highly convenient and we reached our hotel before noon. After putting on additional layers and warm gear to protect our faces and hands from the frigid temperature of -25'C (remember how I said our trip coincided with the cold winter spell that fell across the region? This was the actual temperature, but felt more like the minus 30's with the windchill factor!), we headed up the mountain. A ride on the cabriolet took us to the base of the mountain. As we had never been to Mont Tremblant in the winter, seeing the huge snake of a line-up for the gondola almost deterred us from joining the queue. Once we realized how quickly the line actually moved, we jumped in behind the skiers. We clearly stood out as the only ones not wearing ski helmets and goggles, no ski boots, not carrying any skis or snowboards. Eight at a time, we were swiftly shuffled onto the next gondola coming around the tracks.

A sea of skiers lining up for the gondola to head up to Mont Tremblant's summit. Racks of skis and snowboards parked outside as skiers and snowboarders refuel in the restaurants. "Wish you were here" to join in the fun!

Scene as reflected from the orange lens of a skier's goggles.  

As my friend and I are both photographers, we quickly took corner seats hoping to get the best vantage points from inside the gondola. When we saw how frozen over the windows were, we immediately started to wipe away the frost with our gloves, to clear enough space for our camera lenses. As the gondola carried us up the mountain, we took the opportunity to photograph the downhill scenery, the row of gondolas coming uphill and the other heading back down, and the skiers zooming by the sugar-coated trees beneath us. Once we reached the summit, we exited the gondola into the sea of skiers and snowboarders.

From Up HighFrom Up HighView from gondola to the skiers below, and the rows of gondolas going up and down the mountain. Hitting the SlopesHitting the SlopesSkiers eager to hit the slopes at summit of Mont Tremblant.

A note to photographers here: although it is tempting to start capturing images at this spot, you should first move away from this disembarkment area - I almost got whacked in the head by someone's snowboard as they eagerly headed to the slopes! We were a bit disappointed to learn that the free guided tour at the summit was meant for skiers only, so we couldn't join, but the friendly guest services told us about the balcony lookouts where we could see the panoramic views. The racks of skis and snowboards parked outside also made for interesting images, along with a communication tower that camouflaged against the white sky.

Skis Parking LotSkis Parking LotRow upon row of skis parked outside Le Grand Manitou restaurant as skiers warm up and grab a bite to eat.

It was simply too cold and windy to go up the observation tower, but from the balconies we were able to take photos of the snow-laden trees acting as the perfect backdrop to the skiers and snowboarders in their colourful ski jackets. Due to the snowing conditions, visibility to the mountain base and lakes was reduced, but this added a mysterious atmosphere to the images.

Misty Summit PanoramaMisty Summit PanoramaA misty panoramic view from Mont Tremblant summit, with beautiful sugar-coated trees in the foreground. Snow-FrostedSnow-FrostedThe white snow frosting on every branch of these trees dispels the name of "evergreen"! Watch Me SkiWatch Me SkiA young skier decked in bright ski outfit makes downhill skiing looks so easy! Ready for the SlopesReady for the SlopesA skier gets ready to head down the slopes.

When our fingers got too cold to continue pressing the shutter buttons on our cameras, we headed into Le Grand Manitou and enjoyed a warm bowl of butternut squash soup, staying there until the last gondola down the mountain. The ride down was much quieter, as we were two of the few without other means to get downhill! We had much more freedom moving around inside the gondola to get the best angles for our shots.

Landscape View From GondolaLandscape View From GondolaCloser view from gondola to the skiers below, and the rows of gondolas going up and down the mountain. Ski, Ski, SkiSki, Ski, SkiSmooth skiing down the slope next to the gondola line. Winter MagicWinter MagicThe power of snow to transform the landscape into a magical white scene.

We spent the rest of the late afternoon checking the deals in local shops - what's a girls' vacation without some shopping? As it was the weekend after Christmas, the festive decorations were still up for some holiday photos. There were also fire pits for warming up when you want to sit and "chill". For dinner we found a cozy little place, le Q. G., which had fantastic food and great service. A wonderful way to end Day 1 of our trip! 

Festive Lights at Mont TremblantFestive Lights at Mont TremblantA perfect festive backdrop for holiday photos!

Stay tuned for the next post about activities and photos from Day 2 of this winter trip. 


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