In Quebec there are two real ski hills: Mont-Sainte-Anne & Le Massif. Both share a common bond: views that incite deep breaths on the slopes, hugging the river, a gateway to one of the most beautiful ski regions for Spring Break 2019.
Mont Sainte-Anne – renown for its rich diversity of ski slopes
Vertical drop: 2,051 ft Summit elevation: 2,625 ft Skiable acres: 526 vs 162 at Le Massif
Le Mont-Sainte-Anne is a ski resort in eastern Canada, located in the town of Beaupré, Quebec, about 40 km northeast of Quebec City with an impressive infrastructure, flawless snow conditions and lots of mountain to cover.
71 trails of skiiable terrain, 2 snow parks and one boarder cross course. At sundown, 19 trails remain lit with the highest vertical drop for night skiing across the nation. There are limited crowds in the evening so the lift line is fast. They are all high speed, which really improves dollar value per run!
There are 3 sides to the mountain – the south, north and west. The mountain has a balance of beginner, intermediate and expert level slopes. My first piece of advice is don’t try to take on the whole mountain in a day as it is simply not possible. Get yourself a map or consult a friendly mountain guide for its best kepts (ie. Le Chalet du Fondeur is a good place for a group escape). The ski patrol was careful about keeping people safely out of the way while groomers passed through, making the trails that much more enjoyable.
Where to start? The south side, as it’s the most easily accessible and the first to be skied out as it draws skiers of mixed abilities, drawing bigger crowds due to its accessibility. Our faves were Le Gros Vallon and La Beaupré which lead into the Le Court Vallon (all intermediate), taking you way down to the main chalet gondolas. Feeling adventurous? The scenic and more secluded La Crête or any of the black diamonds (La S or la Super S) are accessible with Le Trip lift. Finish up by piling up on the the green slopes as long as the snow holds up!
Another recommended option is catching L’Etoile Filante gondola up to the top to head over to the north/west side, set up for a back country crowd. Fresh tracks last longer on this side of the mountain. A local secret is to head over to the far right side to catch La Nipivik, and half way down catch Le Sentier Des Bouleaux. Less frequented by visitors – locals know this as the place to go when the rest of the mountain has been skied out. On the north side is the DragonZone, which is where snowboarders and freeskiers will find plenty of freestyle terrain.
A big + is the resort’s affordable packages if you plan to ski for several days
Le Massif – Quebec’s highest mountain peak
Vertical: 2,526 ft Top elevation: 2,644 ft Longest run: 5.1 km (3.2 mi)
Le Massif de Charlevoix is a ski area in Québec, Canada, northeast of Quebec City and directly overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
Le Massif has 52 trails, most of them groomed, spectacular ski run conditions (30 cm during our stay), lift lines short and a view to a kill. Its infrastructure makes it an easy find to get right down to skiing.
Overall the ski level is more advanced as it is steep for the most part, an definite plus to show off the views and make you feel like you’re skiing down into the St. Lawrence. Take to the southern side of the face for breathtaking views to the north and a half-dozen or so solid black-diamond rippers, one of which being the La Charlevoix raceway. Use the Maillard Express lift to avoid long lines that can build up at the gondola on weekends.
Advanced skiers keep your head down when you roll over to the hors-piste trails on the north side of the mountain. There are no official runs in this area – it is here that you’ll find all the tree runs you can handle, some of them very steep and still with a view. The combination of the challenging terrain, green pine trees and icy waters below put a big grin on our faces. More adventurous skiers and boarders can hike up even further on the mountain if you’re looking to be a step closer to nature’s beauty.
The ski patrol at Le Massif do however suggest you go with a group of at least two or three people, although it is not required and technically you are allowed to go. While the area is a part of the mountain, it is not patrolled by Le Massif’s ski patrol, and it will cost you if you need to be rescued or pulled out. Le Massif staff were very helpful, especially at the top of the hill equipped with their telescopic hand pointers to guide you to the hot spots on the mountain map.
A big plus – The Summit Cafeteria. Chef Guy Bessone and his brigade take pleasure in offering, before your eyes a range of gastronomic dishes of the day. Fish, meat, pasta, vegetarian dishes, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, enough to satisfy all palates.
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