A HELY SKI WEEKEND IN CHARLEVOIX.
Novembre 11, 2018, La Presse+, section Suite
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. It 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 our mountains a new flavour," says the passionate skier. As local resorts and off-piste skiing gain in 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 of the Hotel Le Germain where I met my ski companions. Around a pizza garnished with local cheeses and accompanied by a craft beer from the Charlevoix microbrewery, we listened attentively to our guides as they presented us with the program for the next few days. In the hotel lobby, our high-tech ski equipment was waiting to be fitted. 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 backcountry 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 skins - everything is checked to make sure we have everything. "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 met with some skiers who had driven the road from Quebec to enjoy the most recent snow. But we could not stay too long 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 caps 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 located at the base of the Charlevoix Massif, fresh and refreshed. Frédéric Blouin then launched: "Ready for some raw fun? We reviewed some techniques on the slopes of the resort before tackling the off-piste sector of the Massif, Mount Liguori. "Happy coincidence, it was also Whisjack’s Blizzard skis demo day. We could try the latest alpine touring equipment to make our descents in the glades: 550 meters between heaven and earth. "
Sunday 3 pm
"It was now time to leave for the return to town. I promised myself to come back next year, especially since they are announcing new sectors, both in the backcountry of Mont-Édouard and in the Charlevoix region. On the way back, I glanced each snowy summit with a new eye. It's official, I'm in love! "