A HELY SKI WEEKEND IN CHARLEVOIX.
Every year, hundreds of Quebec skiers travel to Western Canada, Europe and even Japan to ski "real" mountains. Once these new territories are discovered, the return to Quebec's trails is sometimes difficult. "I admit that I am bored. I skied three weeks in Whistler last year. He fell more than a meter of snow in a few days. It's a big high, and then it becomes difficult to find the equivalent in the East, "says Marie-Eve Plamondon, a skier from the Quebec City region.
What if the solution was not to ski bigger, but to ski differently?
This is the idea that has sprung up in the mind of Frédéric Blouin, co-founder of Whisjack. "Our idea is not to compete with Western Canada, but to give a new flavour to our mountains," says the passionate of skiing. As local resort tourism and off-piste skiing gain popularity, the idea quickly made its way. Several regional partners have come together around the concept of Whisjack: making Charlevoix the destination of ski lovers east of the Rockies. Skeptical? We sent Marie-Eve to experience the off-piste skiing experience in Mont-Édouard. She describes here her dream weekend in full powder.
Friday 18 h
"Meet at the bistro Le Bercail at the Hotel Le Germain where I met my ski companions. Around a pizza filled with local cheeses accompanied by a craft beer from the Charlevoix microbrewery, we listened attentively to our guides and presented the program for the next few days. In the hotel lobby, our high-road ski equipment was waiting for a custom fit. We then returned to our cozy rooms to recharge our batteries for the great adventure. " Saturday 7 am The helicopter "You have to know that the slopes are not close. Transportation is by helicopter directly from the hotel parking. I felt like a rockstar! During our flight over the Hautes-Gorges and Grands-Jardins parks, Benoît, our pilot, introduced us to the geographical peculiarities of the region as seen from the air. The landscape was breathtaking! "
Mount Edouard "Mont-Édouard is technically located in the Saguenay, but the most recent areas of the high-road sector are in Charlevoix, straddling the two regions. "The day promised to be the most beautiful. Backpack full of water and snacks, off-piste skis and seal skins - everything is checked to make sure we do not miss anything. "The presence of local guides was really appreciated: they knew the best snow spots, and we could divide the group according to the pace and skills of each. "After climbing some 200 meters, we exchanged with some skiers who made the road from all over Quebec to enjoy the most recent snow. But it was not too late if we wanted to make a new climb before the end of the day. A descent of 340 meters covered with 25 centimeters of fresh powder was waiting for us! " Saturday 4 pm The return to the hotel "After a busy day, our pilot was waiting for us to take off before dark, just in time to watch the ice balloon on the river. "
"With a little courage, I managed to get up to enjoy every moment of this dream weekend. The Whisjack guides were already waiting for me at their headquarters at the base of the Charlevoix Massif, fresh and refreshed. Frédéric Blouin then launched: "Ready for raw fun? We will review some techniques on the slopes of the resort before tackling the off-piste sector of the Massif, Mount Liguori. "Happy coincidence, it was also the demo day of Blizzard Freeride skis. We could try the latest equipment to make our descent in the undergrowth: 550 meters between heaven and earth. "
Sunday 3 pm
"It was now time to separate for the return to town. I promised myself to come back next year, especially since we are announcing new sectors, both on the highways in Mont-Édouard and in the Charlevoix region. On the way back, I observed each small snowy summit with a new eye. It's official, I'm in love! "