Mont Tremblant 2.0

At the end of January I joined Sally-Jane’s annual Mont Tremblant ski trip. I was so happy to go because I had not been skiing for two years and Mont Tremblant is some of the best skiing within driving distance of Toronto. I had gone on a similar trip two years earlier. We ended up renting a van because we had a few people cancel. The group was graciously willing to leave an hour later so that I could have a networking meeting related to my job search. The drive was super smooth and we got there in good time with one interesting detour to get gas in a small town.

It was in the negative twenties overnight and we were worried that it would be extremely cold on the slopes. It warmed up a bit though and turned out to be quite bearable and strangely warmer at the top than at the bottom of the hill. The condition of the slopes was pretty good though a bit icy in places. I really enjoyed how clear the day was, a very different experience from skiing through fog two years ago! This time I became very comfortable with the black diamond level hills and skiing faster.

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The following day I decided to go snow shoeing instead of skiing to save money on the lift and rentals and try something different. I went with Sanford and Rebecca to Domain Saint-Bernard. They took cross country skiing lessons and I went on a snowshoe hike on my own to Mont Onontio. I loved being out there all alone. All you could hear was the occasional wisp of wind or sound of wildlife, and the crunching of the snow. Snow shoes were definitely necessary for this trail because the snow was hard and you could easily twist an ankle if you hiked in boots and stepped through the top crust of snow. I enjoyed tapping the hardened snow on either side of the path with my hiking poles because it would make resonating sounds because of hollow areas formed beneath the hard shell on top. I can see myself doing more winter hiking! I enjoy skiing because you feel like you are flying, but snowshoeing you can go at a pace where you can enjoy so much more of the details of the nature and winter stillness around you.

My hike only took two hours and then I relaxed at the lodge for an hour waiting for Sanford and Rebecca. From there we went for lunch at a fantastic crepe place called Creperie Catherine. Yum! Rebecca and Sanford had booked massages at the Scandinave Spa which includes use of the baths afterwards. This was a day full of firsts and so I decided to go and see if there was an opening to use the baths. It was a fun and relaxing experience. There were several indoor and outdoor areas made up of hot installations, cold installations, and relaxation areas. They recommend that guests follow a ritual of hot experience for 10-15 minutes (a hot pool, steam sauna, or dry sauna), cold experience for a few seconds (cold pools or showers), and then relaxing for 10-15 minutes. I appreciated that there is a general rule to be quiet. I enjoyed it from an architectural standpoint because every bath area and relaxation room had a slightly different atmosphere and different furniture. I think my favourite relaxation area was a row of slightly rocking recliners that were outside beneath a trellis with heating lamps and the sound of waterfalls flowing into adjacent pools and a crackling fire. I spent a few hours there going through the rotation several times.

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Our evenings at the Dentz chalet were cozy and relaxing. It was lovely just to curl up in front of the gas stove. We enjoyed two delicious meals together and played several rounds of Code Names. I think that we were a calmer group than past years and didn’t know each other as well, but we had some good laughs and conversations. *Sigh* I will forever be fond of winter escapes.

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