Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in eastern US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Patrick » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:20 am

Well better start it's own topic instead of always tagging on the Camp Fortune one. :D

Camp Fortune is opening topic

After the 12cm that fell overnight in town + 50cm of snow in the last week + opportunity to get out and make a few turns in this very busy time of year. I had taken the day off, because of a pile of appointments and stuff. So here is my day summary:

Cleared the snow in front of the garage in the back.
8:30 - Chiropractor appointment
Bring my broken electric shaver when store open at 9:30.
9:40 - Dentist appointment
9:48 - arrival at dentist
11ish - left dentist and went back home
noon-ish - left home to go skiing, stuck in traffic in Gatineau. :roll:
12:57 - start skiing
2:15 - end skiing and drive back to town (construction and highway on-ramp in Gatineau closed). :x
3:00 - quick change of clothes at home
3:10 - pick up Morgane at school
3:30 - Morgane's dentist appointment
3:38 - We were stuck in traffic, 8 minutes late again.
4:30 - Arrived home and clear the snow in front of the house.
5:10 - Walk to Tara's school to pick her up.
6ish - supper + took more time to leave, because wife wasn't feeling well.
7ish - left for Cascades with Morgane.
8:01 - start skiing
9:55 - last chair.

This is one of the reason why I prefer Ottawa as a ski town compared to Los Angeles. Today reflected why I loved living in Ottawa so much. Snow everywhere, pull Tara in the toboggan from school. Skiing close by. Ottawa is a great place for people that like the outdoors any season of the year.

Mont Cascades (not the closest) is 20 miles/30km from my home and probably a bit less from downtown. Great way to get out of town and make some turns. So initially I was thinking of only heading out for a couple of hours during the day, but I also remembered that Morgane wanted to go skiing last weekend. So instead of taking a 2-hour ticket, I decided to take a full-day (I had a 50% coupon).

Although most local areas were open, only Edelweiss (MSSI) and Cascades had night skiing. As usual, Fortune had the best terrain open with runs like Slalom (black) and Clifford (blue) plus one green or two, I don't know? However Fortune doesn't have a very flexible lift ticket option, it's either half-day or full-day. At Cascades, you can buy a ticket for 2, 3, 4 hours or for a full-day.

Spensar wrote:Cascade was open this week too. But, unfortunately, the website shows 6 runs open, and they are charging full pop but only 2 runs are open, 1 the small beginner run.

Other closed runs were lighted and there was plenty of snow to open them. Chicken and egg stuff folk, not enough skiers to open more runs, or not enough skiers because runs aren't open. Either case, be honest in your marketing. I also called before going but couldn't get a live person to confirm conditions "check out our website".



Spensar said it all regarding the number of trails open. Although if you look at the website, it has a detailed list of runs open and while I don't dispute the fact that those runs equal pretty much like one real run (138m vertical) with slight variable, these variations have names. I agree that Cascades is pretty bad for that, especially when the different in those runs are just a few meters at one point and all merge together halfway down and at all together once you start off also. Okay, enough of the bitching.

Day conditions:

Open runs were perfect groomed tracks. No Eastern hardpack here. Fun stuff and some fluff on the side. :P Funny thing happened to me, I ended up skiing two different closed runs that weren't roped off and though were open. It's funny, a boarder was looking at the scenery at the top of the mountain and asked me what city it was overthere. WTF??? :shock: I asked myself, How many cities with 1 million people with a downtown core full of buildings are there around here??? When I told him the answer, we was surprised that Ottawa was so close. Tourists???:roll:

I guess someone had forgotten to put a rope at the cattrack. The first run (which was marked open on the website (but only from the middle) had a bunch of windblown snow on top. The skiing was skeetchy, probably because it was supposed to be closed. It had broken artifical snow and huge piles of death cookies from groomers underneath the powder. Next run over and my next run was the Alliance/Facade trail (blue/black). Not as bad as the previous run and down midway where the mountain hadn't blown pile of snow and work, the pow was fun. I was going to try that one again when I noticed a Patrol had put up a rope. Not surprising, because that could have been dangerous from people that aren't used to ski "marginal" conditions. :P :P :P

You could feel the temps dropping. It was probably -5c when I started skiing, but it definitely felt colder after 2 hours. The clouds moved in and we got some snow squall. After 9 runs it was time to get back to town.

Night

Morgane was delighted when I asked her if she wanted to go night skiing. I asked my wife if she wanted to go instead of me, but she wasn't feeling well. :cry: Oh well, I tried. Morgane has a 5th grade ski passport which she can used to ski for free across Quebec and Ontario. Unfortunately 2 of the 4 local hills aren't included and the fact that we were only going to ski 2 hours, we decided that it was used to use one of her 3 free coupons for Cascades.

Condtions were still packed powder, but not as great as in the afternoon. It's true that there was maybe about 50 or more skiers on the hill, compared to maybe 20 earlier in the day. Definitely colder. On our second run, Morgane lost a ski in the Powder and couldn't find it. :shock: Never though that would ever on a marked trail on any of the Ottawa local hills. :lol: After 4 runs, her toes were frozen. We went in to warm up then back for other 3 runs until last chair.

So in summary, no isssh sound, except maybe on that artificial snow midway on Pioneer (top being closed and can only be access through a narrow cattrack in the woods).
Attachments
Cascades-Part 1.jpg
Day log
Cascades-Part 1.jpg (68.32 KiB) Viewed 2131 times
Cascades-Part2.jpg
Night log
Cascades-Part2.jpg (69.72 KiB) Viewed 2131 times
ski-conditions.jpg
List of trails and condtions. Pioneer , Narural snow??? This was the half-open frozen artificial snow run, except for the access through the woods.
ski-conditions.jpg (70.04 KiB) Viewed 2131 times
map.jpg
Ski Map. Basically, runs 10 and 13 were all open. 11 (no night skiing), lower half of 9, plus loop beginner traverse 17-18 at the bottom. So you see, they count it as 6. Accidently skiied from the top of the ridge 9 and 7/8.
map.jpg (52.64 KiB) Viewed 2131 times
weather.jpg
Weather maybe one hour after the lifts closed.
weather.jpg (8.45 KiB) Viewed 2131 times
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4772
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby jasoncapecod » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:15 am

Cleared the snow in front of the garage in the back.
8:30 - Chiropractor appointment
Bring my broken electric shaver when store open at 9:30.
9:40 - Dentist appointment
9:48 - arrival at dentist
11ish - left dentist and went back home
noon-ish - left home to go skiing, stuck in traffic in Gatineau.
12:57 - start skiing
2:15 - end skiing and drive back to town (construction and highway on-ramp in Gatineau closed).
3:00 - quick change of clothes at home
3:10 - pick up Morgane at school
3:30 - Morgane's dentist appointment
3:38 - We were stuck in traffic, 8 minutes late again.
4:30 - Arrived home and clear the snow in front of the house.
5:10 - Walk to Tara's school to pick her up.
6ish - supper + took more time to leave, because wife wasn't feeling well.
7ish - left for Cascades with Morgane.
8:01 - start skiing
9:55 - last chair.


You are the man!!!
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:28 pm

This is one of the reason why I prefer Ottawa as a ski town compared to Los Angeles.
I'd be more convinced if Patrick were hitting the storms at the larger areas like a week ago or those projected for next Sunday/Monday. Since he does not do that very often (from several years observing reports here) I must conclude that the 3+ hour one way distances are too far for daytrips. I do not view the 400-footers as an adequate tradeoff.

Garry Klassen lives about 20 minutes from Mt. Baldy and does not have to leave home for work until about 1PM. In 2004-05 he skied 86 days/mornings at Baldy, and that's on a real mountain. We all know that he got practically nothing there during the past 2 lean seasons, but as admin, Riverc0il, etc. keep reminding us, it's all about quality, right?
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10222
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Patrick » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:45 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
This is one of the reason why I prefer Ottawa as a ski town compared to Los Angeles.
I'd be more convinced if Patrick were hitting the storms at the larger areas like a week ago or those projected for next Sunday/Monday.


You can blame that on my situation (job & married with kids).

Tony Crocker wrote:[ I do not view the 400-footers as an adequate tradeoff..


I would choose Montreal as prime location for real mountain areas, however even in Montreal, you don't have some choice and easy access to the closest slopes as Ottawa. It's fun to be so close when you just have a few hours. That count for something, right? Anyway, without revisiting the snow on the backyard issue, that is why I prefer Ottawa over Los Angeles.

Tony Crocker wrote:Garry Klassen lives about 20 minutes from Mt. Baldy (...) and that's on a real mountain. We all know that he got practically nothing there during the past 2 lean seasons, but as admin, Riverc0il, etc. keep reminding us, it's all about quality, right?


Something is better than nothing. It's about quality, but you have to have something. As for travel time, I was talking downtown. Does Gary live in downtown LA? A few co-workers live 5 minutes away from Cascades. Skiing 4 months/year.

Here is the unbiased truth direction/time from Google.
Los Angeles-Baldy: 45.2 mi (72.7km) – about 56 mins
up to 1 hour 40 mins in traffic

Ottawa to
Mont Cascades: 27.2 km – about 34 mins
Camp Fortune: 22.0 km – about 24 mins
Vorlage: 36.3 km – about 36 mins
Camp Fortune: 41.9 km – about 41 mins


I'm not saying that Ottawa is the best, I'm just saying that I would take Ottawa skiing options over Los Angeles. And some people, I am sure would put the Ottawa experience above Montreal due to the proximity of it. Ottawa hills, home of past greats like Ken Read, Betsy Clifford, Anne Heggveit.
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4772
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:14 pm

And some people, I am sure would put the Ottawa experience above Montreal due to the proximity of it.
A tiny minority, I suspect.

I would also note that Snow Summit and Mt. High currently each have 3x the vertical and terrain open as what Patrick skied yesterday, and I'm still not motivated to ski one of those yet.

Most us have various work/family obligations that constrain our skiing. The more such constraints, the more often the skiing will be confined to the areas within easy daytrip distance. It is fortunate that Patrick is content with the quality of the Ottawa areas for that purpose. I would not be.

For Patrick's trips to Vermont, Quebec City, etc, it appears that they are usually planned well in advance, much like mine to Mammoth. So they are subject to the caprice of eastern weather/conditions vs. Mammoth's greater consistency.

For eastern skiing to be better than L.A., you need to be within reasonable daytrip distance of the better areas with the most snow, and be flexible enough to hit them when conditions are good.

Los Angeles-Baldy: 45.2 mi (72.7km) – about 56 mins
That's about my distance, and it's opposite to commuter traffic. If it takes longer, it's due to snow/chain control issues in the mountains. The eastern travel times are expanded more on powder days than ours, I suspect.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10222
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Patrick » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:55 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
And some people, I am sure would put the Ottawa experience above Montreal due to the proximity of it.
A tiny minority, I suspect.


Maybe a tiny minority of the vocal majority of us on FTO, however I would suspect that those numbers would be pretty close (Ottawa vs Montreal) if you take into account the general skiing public. My cousin and his family would probably be in this category and they live in St-Jean (30 minutes closer to the Vermont border from Montreal - also closer to the Eastern Townships). We did some memorable skiing with him at Jay, Tremblant, Sutton and Smuggs in our teenaged years.

Tony Crocker wrote:I would also note that Snow Summit and Mt. High currently each have 3x the vertical and terrain open as what Patrick skied yesterday, and I'm still not motivated to ski one of those yet.


Not motivated because you don't live in snow. It's maybe a Canadiana thing, like kids playing hockey on frozen ponds. :P Hard to have the right mindset for Winter sports when you not living in Winter. :P

Tony Crocker wrote:Most us have various work/family obligations that constrain our skiing. The more such constraints, the more often the skiing will be confined to the areas within easy daytrip distance. It is fortunate that Patrick is content with the quality of the Ottawa areas for that purpose. I would not be.


I hated skiing Ottawa locals when I moved here, however I've grown to appreciate them. Probably when you ski with young kids, you see thing through their eyes. Local Masters program keeps out of the house one night a week. You don't need 2000ft vertical to ski a slalom course.

Tony Crocker wrote:For Patrick's trips to Vermont, Quebec City, etc, it appears that they are usually planned well in advance, much like mine to Mammoth. So they are subject to the caprice of eastern weather/conditions vs. Mammoth's greater consistency.


Not necessarily. :P

Tony Crocker wrote:For eastern skiing to be better than L.A., you need to be within reasonable daytrip distance of the better areas with the most snow, and be flexible enough to hit them when conditions are good.


I believe that Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City are. Although I'm not a fan of Tremblant, a lot of people like the place. It also has a great park if you're into that sort of thing.

Tony Crocker wrote:
Los Angeles-Baldy: 45.2 mi (72.7km) – about 56 mins
That's about my distance, and it's opposite to commuter traffic. If it takes longer, it's due to snow/chain control issues in the mountains. The eastern travel times are expanded more on powder days than ours, I suspect.


Up to 1:40... :lol: I've noticed frequent traffic jams for no reason at all in Portland, so I can only imagine in LA. :lol: Skiing is more than just Powder. 8)
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4772
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Patrick » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:23 am

It's snowing again... :P
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4772
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Re: re: Cascades, QC - December 12, 2007

Postby Patrick » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:04 pm

Patrick wrote:It's snowing again... :P


37cm

Ottawa was hit with it's biggest storm in 60 years. :P Wonder if someone would try skiing the cliffs behind Parliament Hill? :-k
User avatar
Patrick
 
Posts: 4772
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:19 am
Location: The Great Trip 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario


Return to Eastern North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron