This past weekend XCOttawa headed six hours north east to La Forêt Montmorency for their annual 'early snow' training camp. Although we had just received an amazing dump of early season snow here in the Gatineau Park, the idea of getting away for several days to a winter wonderland with nothing to do but eat, sleep and ski was still an appealing one.
Located about an hour north of Quebec city, La Forêt Montmorency is an outdoor research and tourism centre operated by the Université de Laval. Not only to they offer great environmental education and research programs, they also cater to the cross country ski enthusiasts. About mid October they pull out their snow making guns and dig up the snow they have kept under ground from last winter to make an incredible 2km loop to ski on. Teams from all around Quebec and Ontario head up and take advantage of this awesome ski opportunity.
The snow god/goddesses must have been in the mood to show off this past weekend, because not only did we have this fantastic loop that we could literally climb out of our beds, walk 50 paces down a hallway and out the door to ski on; but la forêt also received a massive snowfall of what I would estimate to be a 50-70cm base. It was like skiing in a magical, Narnia-esk winter wonderland. Having the opportunity to spend three and a half days skiing on hard, quality, groomed race trails pre-season was simply priceless!
Thank you so much to the staff at La Forêt Montmorency for cooking our meals, grooming the trails and making our stay all around fabulous!
Here is their website: http://www.foretmontmorency.ca/en/about/
Our first ski of the weekend. The phrase "puking powder" comes to mind. So much snow!!!
Steffan demonstrates how deep the snow is in an "un groomed" section
The beautiful, fabulous, speedy (and my ultimate backcountry ski buddy) Liza Rozina!
Our Rookie this year; Logan Hong! Watch out for this girl this season...she's a speedster!!
XCOttawa's 2014 women's team (minus Kyla and Megan). We're not stoked to be skiing at all... ;)
Interesting Reading. . .