Originally written for my pals at http://www.canalien.ca
For Westeros and for Canada. And we all know what that means. Well, depending where you are; harvest your crops and gather your men or haul all of your ski equipment out of storage. For all of us Canadians, we take great pride and privilege in being home to some world-class slopes. With over 200 ski resorts, including Forbes’ nominated #1 ski resort in the world (spoiler: Whistler), Canada has earned its reputation on the playing field, err, mountain(?).
And rivalling the sunny south’s beach towns are our ski towns; what they lack in surf and sun, they make up for in powder and Après Ski. And hey, I’ll take frost bite over a sun burn any day. Here in Canada, we’ve got four of the world’s best ski towns. Among them, Mont-Tremblant: a top Canadian ski destination.
Tremblant (and Mike)
Nestled in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Tremblant puts Eastern Canada on the ridge radar. The peaks themselves offer a decent vertical drop of 2,116 feet (645 meters). The summit is at an elevation of 2,871 feet (875 metres), making it one of the highest points in the Laurentians.
With 95 runs unwinding down four different faces, you can keep your carving up with the sun as the day goes on; which is key considering our winter weather drops to Winterfell status. But for all of those who thrive and strive in the savagely cold temperatures, Tremblant is your kingdom.
Winter is Here
Snowboarders worship the 18 acres of ramps, rails and jumps and the Olympic-caliber superpipe. My allegiance lies elsewhere.
All hail the Clicquot gods
Skiers have flocked to Tremblant from all over the world since its first sketchy chairlift and lodge was built in 1939, making it one of the oldest (and wisest) ski areas in North America. The resort’s purchase by Intrawest and subsequent makeover in 1991 only served to inflate the hype and inflow of tourism ($$).
At the base of the hill, the quaint and colourful village mimics the French Alps with its bistros, hotels and patisseries lined and stacked along narrow cobblestoned streets. And when Christmas season rolls around, it will instil you with an intense need to start speaking in rhyme.
Greetings from Whoville
When the runs close, Le P’tit Caribou’s doors are flooded. After a day battling the slopes, you’ve earned a couple casuals.
Caribou: Après Ski
Another personal (and more mellow) favourite Après Ski activity of mine; curling up in the condo with one of these:
But what makes Tremblant really awesome is that it’s more than just a winter retreat (which is awesome in and of itself but let me upsell). Each season brings something to the table.
Spring brings the obvious pure bliss of spring skiing but also the annual Caribou Cup. The end of the season is celebrated with the most valiant gearing up and showcasing their skills/eating it.
Geared up (yeah I don’t know what they’re supposed to be either)
Not eating it. Boring, I know, I’m sorry.
To all of my non-Canadians, let me remind you that we are the land of extremes. While we the north and our winters are very seriously frigid, our summers are hot-as-hell. Truly. 30 degrees Celsius (86 °F) hot, I swear it. And where else do you want to sweat out the heat than on a beach? Take that beach towns because we’ve got that too.
Winter is Gone
The summer in Tremblant brings endless activities to the table; cycling, canoeing, rafting, fishing, golfing, camping, luging, a race track, zip lining, etc. etc. you get it. I am definitely a summer child but the fall in Tremblant takes the win. The colours are so vibrant that they seem to glow.
And pull you in.
And let’s just address it;
Betches love fall.
I really love a good hike and Tremblant is just the place. The mountains offer an assortment of upward climbing (obviously…) trails ranging from 1 to 11 km (half to 7 ish miles). I recommend saving the hikes until fall for this reason:
All year round, the casino can be enjoyed (I tried it once and managed to evaporate money at an unprecedented rate so that’s the end of that) along with the cute little town of Saint-Jovite. Charming restaurants, boutiques, and antique shops line the main street, rue de Saint-Jovite. Who doesn’t love an adorable little mom-and-pop-shop town?
Here in Ontario, I’m fortunate to neighbour and frequent the beautiful mountain and everything that surrounds it but for all of those who aren’t, it’s definitely worth the trip.
So gather your gear and prepare yourself because NED SAID…