Back to la Reserve, today, to celebrate the end of my university term. I was going for L-G canyon, sure that the other trails would be unskiable now... but... la Reserve is la Reserve and I must just understand that... So, it was still possible to ski Top to bottom, without removing skis (although 3 little bares), by taking Panorama / Loup-Garou / Pente Douce / Croque-Mitaine. There was also enough snow to ski on the lower Mountain on the 3 main trails : Lower Chute libre, lower Pirouette and Slalom. (Court rayon also looked good, but I didn't try it). Of course, I won't try to make you believe that the snow was perfectly white... but ya know, I don't care, as long as it slides better than grass or rocks ! More, with the sun this morning, the snow texture was soft and interesting ! <BR> <BR>Unfortunately, once again, it wasn't really my day, for the weather. They were forecasting Sun and clouds with few chances of showers, but the few chances were really more than little showers ! In fact, last time I went, on april 25, it was snowing during all my trip, but today, at a moment, it was raining... ICE CUBES. A big chance that I arrived in the car 2-3 minutes before it began to fall like that ! For the rest of the time, in general, it was raining with blue sky (weird weather). During a good moment, all was blue around the mountain, with a big, almost black, cloud just over my head... I suppose it's the same cloud that makes that there is still so much snow remaining. At least, I made few runs without rain and with blue sky ! Surprisingly, there is still a little bit of natural snow remaining in the "Boise" and "Sous-bois" glades. <BR> <BR>So, for the trails : <BR> <BR>From top, the beginning of Panorama still had a very big coverage. <BR> <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2335.jpg" ALT="Panorama looks good"> <BR> <BR>But lower... ishhhh <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2336.jpg" ALT="Panorama looks ouch"> <BR>First time, I passed fast and jumped the rocks, but second time, after the big drop of rain, it wasn't possible anymore. <BR> <BR>The beginning of Loup-Garou canyon is now a little bit thin, compared to lower, but it could still pass next week, if it's not too warm until there. <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2337.jpg" ALT="beginning of Canyon"> <BR> <BR>The real Canyon part of the trail obviously still have tons of snow for a while. Next week, the trail will probably just be skiable on about 1200-1500 feet long and after that, it will just be the 700 feet long of the snow reserve. It's still good when you think that the managers of the ski area possibly even don't know they have so much snow, as it's not a ski area that makes a lot of snow. Sure thing, actually, there is at least 8-10 feet of snowdepth in the middle of the trail. <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2338.jpg" ALT="L-G canyon"> <BR> <BR>Below that, there was 2 bare spots, on lower Pente Douce, but after, to reach the "Croque-Mitaine", there was enough snow, on the sides <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2339.jpg" ALT="Pente Douce"> <BR> <BR>And Finally, the Croque-Mitaine was enough thin, in few places and the snow finished about 150' before the real end of the trail, but that was really better than to walk the distance !!! <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2340.jpg" ALT="Croque-Mitaine"> <BR> <BR>I didn't bring my digital camera for my part of the day on the main lower mountain trails, cause of the weather, but they're on this pic taken from the bottom : <BR> <BR><IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/messages/8/2341.jpg" ALT="Chute Libre - Pirouette - Slalom"> <BR> <BR>From left to right <BR>Lower Chute Libre, skiable on about 2200' long, with a 60' gap near the base. <BR> <BR>Lower Pirouette skiable on about 1200' long and possible to reach lower Chute Libre without walking. It still had a good coverage (about 15 inches of depth) <BR> <BR>And Slalom, skiable on about 1600' long, but it's obvious that they made less snow on it than last year. <BR> <BR>So I made 2 times the top to bottom run + once each of the 3 lower mountain main trails for about 3100' vertical on the day. I lost too much time, with the rain to do another T2B run. <BR> <BR>Like I said in response to Patrick's day at MSA last weekend, the remaining snow was 10 times bigger than in the other ski areas of the Laurentians. I didn't see Tremblant and Mt Blanc where the coverage was possibly still good on few trails, but for the other mountains (except MSS), it's clear that la Reserve could be a very very very long runner, if they had the same snowmaking system that St-Sauveur or Killington ! (easily june, if using the lower part of the L-G canyon, which is actually a forest). Imagine, they just do a little bit of snowmaking, compared to the other areas and there is already enough snow to ski some spots until late may. <BR> <BR>Well, I still have few projets of skiing in the next days / weeks. I'll surely be at St-Sauveur saturday, to enjoy chairlifts for possibly the last time of season.