Multi-faceted, fun Mont Tremblant

Dec 14th, 2017 | By | Category: Adventure, Featured, Travel

 

By Katharine Fletcher

I bet you’ve heard of Mont Tremblant because it’s an all-year resort which in winter is a favourite magnet for downhill boarders and skiers. Also, because it’s only an hour and 45 minutes (153 km) from Ottawa, the ski hills of this destination resort are oh-so-close to us here in the capital.

Tremblant’s 875 metre elevation and 96 ski trails on four different slopes offer skiers and snowboarders a smorgasbord of choices. Whether you’re a rank beginner, intermediate enthusiast, or expert, you will discover thrilling runs here.

Development started back in the late 1930s, when the first chair-lift was installed on the mountain in 1939. Since then, in 2017 (and for the 20th time, mind you) Mont Tremblant was rated #1 Ski Resort in the North American East by Ski Magazine’s readers.

So what’s so special?

First, the snow is awesome: annual snowfall average is 452 cm. However, with 1,164 snowguns, Tremblant boasts some of the most reliable artificial snow to play in in North America. Second, with 14 lifts and 269 skiable hectares, there’s superb accessibility matched with loads of room to zoom about on skis or boards.

Also? For me it’s the views: from the summit you can catch your breath and lose your heart to the sweeping views of the Laurentian Mountains. Ridge upon ridge of snow-clad, forested hills simply make my heart soar. Then, zipping down the runs on skis, only to head up a different lift and choose another descent … well, it’s grand fun.

However, if you’re more of a cross-country skier, or want to try dogsledding there are lots of exciting, picturesque trails to explore. Fat biking is increasingly popular too, and here you can either bring your own or rent a bike, then scoot off along snow-clad trails.

Skating, you ask? Yes, there’s an outdoor rink at the village, where you can skate to music under the stars. So pack your skates else rent some there.

Want to relax those muscles – or give the kids an alternate indoor activity? Pack your swimsuits and head to Aquaclub la Source. Here find an outdoor and indoor pool (the latter features a thrilling “Tarzan rope” suspended over the pool for the kids) as well as a shallow wading pool for your little ones, a waterfall, and (for adults only) both an indoor and outside hot tub. It’s lovely, after skiing, to soak in the tub and watch boarders and skiers zooming downhill.

Aquaclub la Source is also home to a gym. This fitness centre has it all, from spinning bikes and free weights to Atlantis weight training machines, so you’ll have to pack your sneakers and fitness gear, too.

Finally, are you a shopper? No problem if you are because Mont Tremblant’s faux European-style pedestrian village is not only full of hotels and restaurants to suit all budgets, but also has many boutiques – from specialty gear to candy to clothing shops, you’ll be able to shop for hours if that’s your heart’s desire.

Season highlights

Tremblant’s also home to “Super Demo Days” where you can try out 2018 equipment for free. Dates are Dec. 16 and 28, Feb. 10 and March 3. From 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. head to the mountain’s south side to try next year’s ski and snowboard gear. Super Demo Days are free and open to everyone and, the website notes, “A valid photo ID is required. It has to be left with the manufacturer’s representative during the tryout. You must have a valid lift access for the day.”

Holiday Season Celebrations last from Dec. 23 to Jan. 5. Toufou the Tremblant mascot will be wandering the pedestrian village, and there will be firepits dotted about come evening, not only to enhance the spirit of Christmas but also to warm you as to absorb the festivities.

Special deals

Mont Tremblant website offers a good selection of deals. (Go to tremblant.ca/plan/deals-packages to search for the school break offer, student card, latitude card [with savings of 15%-25% on lift tickets…], snow packages, and two for $125 Ski Offer, and more.)

Most of us are also getting used to online booking deals, and Tremblant offers discounts up to 72 hours in advance.

Where to stay

I’ve stayed in the Fairmont Mont Tremblant, thoroughly enjoying the usual fabulous Fairmont welcome but my hot tip this year is that there’s just been a multimillion dollar revitalization of this property. Why not explore it? (fairmont.com/tremblant/)

Want to stay just off-the-mountain? I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the charming Château Beauvallon. Just minutes from the mountain and Tremblant Village, here you will absolutely bask in luxury. Again, take your swimsuit as you’ll definitely want to soak in the hot tub, outside, with a view of the lake before you. (chateaubeauvallon.com)

Useful websites

• Mont Tremblant: tremblant.ca

• Laurentides Tourism: laurentides.com (The “Laurentides” is the region in Quebec in which Mont Tremblant is located. This website describes many attractions in the area.)

Katharine Fletcher is a freelance writer, author and visual artist. Visit her at katharinefletcher.com

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