By David Schissler – I just returned from a fabulous week at Mt Tremblant, Quebec. If you haven’t been to Tremblant you haven’t skied the best in the East. For about two decades now Tremblant has been ranked as the #1 resort in the East by readers of Ski magazine and other sources, beating out heavyweights like Stowe, Whiteface, Loon, Sugarloaf and every other resort in the Northeast with good reason.
On the hill, Tremblant boasts a vertical over 2,100 feet and 96 trails. The terrain is challenging yet fun. Many are steep groomers of the “blue/black” variety. You’ll find yourself flying down pitches and rolls in packed powder. During the week lines are non-existent. That’s not to say the mountain isn’t busy. With 1,900 beds in walking distance of the lifts there are always plenty of people on the hill and around the village. It’s just so big you hardly notice.
Followers of the White Blog know I love to fly down cruisers, and Tremblant has a surplus of them. Over a three-day period I wasn’t able to ski all the trails I had hoped to. That doesn’t happen very often. I was fortunate to have Neil Champagne, VP Operations and Isabelle Vallee, Tremblant PR Manager as my guides. Neil and Isabelle know how to turn them and lead the way during “first tracks”. For a $20 fee you can ski the mountain one hour before the lifts open to the public, hence first tracks. It’s awesome. Nearly every trail is corduroy and there’s almost no one on them but you! Neil and Isabelle guided me down some of the best terrain and surface conditions I’ve skied this season. If you’re a solid intermediate or better you must ski these trails. Point them down Erik Guay, named for the local skier and new Canadian Super G and Downhill World Champion, and one of Neil’s favorite runs. Don’t miss Beauvallon Haut, Alpine, McCulloch, Jasey Jay Anderson, Duncan Haut, Beauchemin Haut, and Banzai. I promise any one of these will get your heart pumping.
Tremblant is just as impressive off the hill. The village exudes European charm and the French influence truly adds to the ambiance. The only possible aspect of visiting Tremblant that’s more impressive than the mountain itself is the food. Oh la la! Every meal was outstanding. Quality ingredients with superior preparation and presentation are a given. If you’re looking for a happening lunch spot near the lifts don’t miss The Shack. It’s at the top of the square and has a Disney-like look with artificial trees rising up to a sky scape ceiling. The atmosphere, combined with good food and service, make this a memorable stop http://www.leshack.com.
For a pub feel visit Casey’s Resto Bar at the Residence Inn Marriott. There’s a good selection of brews and the soups and sandwiches are outstanding. I also recommend Diablos. It’s right on Kandahar, the main pedestrian street. You’ll find good drinks and bar fare here too. Dinners are no different. You’ll find some of the best tapas anywhere at Gypsy. They serve a wide variety of dishes with enough for four on a carving board. The food just keeps coming [email protected]. Another place for a fine meal is Windigo in the Fairmont Hotel. This is elegant dining with an interesting view of the tubing/sliding hill. Windigo Restaurant
For all of these reasons and more I encourage you to take a trip to Tremblant to enjoy a touch of European charm, French-Canadian hospitality and the best ski area east of the Mississippi.