Winter Trip to Mont Tremblant - Day 2

February 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Continuing from Day 1 of my Mont Tremblant trip (if you haven't read it yet, you can find it here)...

  Snowy View of Mont Tremblant ResortSnowy View of Mont Tremblant ResortMont Tremblant resort is veiled by snow, muting the bright colours of the buildings. Snowboarder and SkiersSnowboarder and SkiersSnowboarders and skiers on the slopes from early morning.

The next morning we started with a hefty breakfast buffet at Le Shack. Even though we were almost the only ones eating at 8:30am (others were already on the ski hills!), the chef started the omelette station to make our customized omelettes. Fuelled with energy, we headed to our morning snowshoeing "fire man" tour. Most of us in the group of 8 were newbies at snowshoeing, and our guide was very helpful with strapping in everyone's snowshoes. After some notes about techniques for going up and downhill, we headed into the forest. As this is meant to be a tour for snowshoeing, there wasn't as much time to stop and compose images as we would have liked. So the two of us lagged a bit behind the group - on top of trying to take photos. we also had to struggle with camera gear that was freezing up in the cold.

  Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-1Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-1Snowshoeing into the forest at Mont Tremblant   Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-2Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-2Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant, making fresh new paths in the deep snow.

Due to the nature of this tour, I had brought my mirrorless camera rather than my heavier DSLR. Nevertheless, the small camera fared well enough and managed to give me these photos. The only issue was when I turned the camera off occasionally, trying to protect the lens both from the falling snow and from falls INTO the snow (which happened to me a few times in the beginning as I tripped on my own snowshoes!) sometimes it would result in error when the lens got stuck at the -30'C temperature. A gentle tap on the front fixed this issue as I went along. We headed up the hill where a snowboarding run was located, but didn't have any snowboarders at that time which would have made awesome photos. Nonetheless, we got a great view looking down towards the frozen lake, along with some snow-tree sculptures!

Snowboarding HillSnowboarding HillLooking down the hill groomed for snowboarders and skiers.   Snow-laden TreeSnow-laden TreeWith so much snow loading its branches, this tree becomes nature's winter sculpture.

Halfway through the tour, we stopped next to a giant rock wall covered with icicles and our guide started a small fire to warm us up. He even played a traditional Quebecois song on his harmonica! A great entertaining addition to this walk in the fairytale snow-white forest. After that we headed back to the activity center to conclude the tour. Overall, it was a fun new experience for me, although at times I was out of breath going up those hills, but my energy and stamina grew as we went along.

  Icicled RockwallIcicled RockwallCurtain of icicles covering the face of a rock wall.   Snow-White ForestSnow-White ForestTree trunks covered in snow contrast against the golden-brown leaves of their neighbour.

The sleigh ride that we had booked for the afternoon was cancelled because the strong winds on top of the frigid temperatures would have made the open-field ride unbearable, both for us and for the horses pulling the sleigh. So we warmed up and enjoyed a snack at the packed Cafe Johannsen (most skiers were in there sipping hot chocolate and munching pastries!), then retraced some of the paths taken that morning, to take more photos of skiers coming down the beginners' slope. As much as we kept to the side and out of their way, I learned my lesson the hard way when a novice snowboarder came too close to the side and fell, taking me down along the way. I was lucky he had already slowed down when his snowboard hit me, and ended up with a badly-bruised shin instead of a broken leg! As the saying goes, no pain no gain. Here are some images I got after the incident:

Skier 1Skier 1Skier enjoying the snowy scenery.   Skier 2Skier 2Skier ready for the slope.

Skier 3Skier 3Young skier at the underpass. Skier 4Skier 4Skier's colourful outfit is almost a perfect match with the wall!

After another hour or so of photos, we retreated to the shopping area where we found anti-fog wipes for glasses - a must-have for those wearing glasses along with a balaclava-type mask to keep the face from frostbite. Luckily I had worn my contacts that morning, or else would have had to go snowshoeing without my glasses, which would have caused more falls and injuries! We also spent some time picking out souvenirs to bring home, to remind us of this trip. We were planning to have a go at the free sliding evenings but I believe they were cancelled, as temperatures fell below -25'C. Next on our agenda was a sumptuous dinner, of course. We were fortunate to come across a little known restaurant (and were able to find a table last minute!) in la Quintessence hotel - their French cuisine, wines and service couldn't have been topped. Our sever was so knowledgeable about all their dishes and wines, and extremely friendly too! I highly recommend enjoying a meal here. Although not listed on most tourist guides, it's actually quite close to the resort area. In warmer weather, you could even enjoy your meal on the terrace with a beautiful view of the lake. Our bellies filled with delicious goodness, we retreated to the hotel for a restful sleep, though there was a small disruption as some neighbours held a birthday celebration!

Watch for the next post to read about the ultimate activity on Day 3 of our trip...


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