Mission accomplished for Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant

© Jean-Marie Savard

New address, new formula, new and unexpectedly fine playground

This first season of operation for the Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant (SFMT) organization at the Manitou golf course has been, to date, a great success. The Mont-Tremblant crosscountry skiing group has made good use of its 46 years of expertise in operating a skiable terrain and has fulfilled its objective following the non-renewal last April of its lease with the Domaine Saint-Bernard.

A gem not yet well known by the general public, although located close to the Montée Ryan, the new Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant site provides winter-outdoors enthusiasts with a fresh playground featuring stunning views and where users feel at home. Elite, intermediate or beginning crosscountry skiers all find what they’re looking for here and can continue to count on enjoying optimal ski conditions.

There’re also 5.4 km of snowshoe trails beside the Diable River, providing a safe and contemplative place to enjoy the sport, surrounded by nature. In addition, SFMT has a slide where kids can link their downhill runs on crazy carpets provided free of charge.

José Gagnon, general manager of the SFMT © Guillaume Vincent

Plotting out and grooming: “made-to-measure”

As promised at the beginning of winter, the daily plotting and grooming of the trails remain impeccable, in spite of the added challenge of the hilly terrain.

“It’s almost an art, and very technical,” explains Josée Gagnon, general manager of the SFMT. “Patrick Johnson has achieved miracles and managed to ensure the continued quality of the trails… which over the years created SFMT’s fine reputation,” she continues.

“It’s tailor-made,” adds Pierre Lachance, an experienced cross-country skier encountered on-site. “The trails are always well maintained. The site is superb for training. They pay particular attention to every detail, and it’s really high-end.”

Proximity much appreciated by “express” skiers

One of the advantages of this new outdoor activity centre is its ease of access from Montée Ryan.

As a result, many skiers come to train for an hour or two, including members of the Tremblant Nordique cross-country ski club who particularly appreciate these new facilities.

A friendly welcome

Once the car is parked, visitors are just metres from the clubhouse in which they’ll find the reception desk, store and rentals shop. No need to come to the site all equipped to try the adventure; visitors can rent boots that fit them, skis, snowshoes and poles. It’s worth noting, as well, that essential items such as gloves, warm tuques and neck warmers are available on the site.

Users are then welcomed outside the clubhouse by members of the SFMT team. These seasoned skiers share, with a smile and unfailing kindness, the basic knowledge required to ensure a successful experience. The recommendations are of particular help to beginners. ”We realized that people really appreciate having second playground,” Josée explains.

“The families love the little pavilion beside the Diable River and the terrace where you can enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate by the fire at the end of the day. As for the elite skiers and the skate-skiers, they love coming here because of the quality of the grooming.”

The trails

In all, nine trails run throughout the 84 acres of the golf course and offer skiers 7.8 km of groomed trails for classic cross-country skiing or skate-skiing. While it’s accessible to skiers at every level, the hilly terrain provides an interesting challenge as well as a good training opportunity.

Besides that, there’s a school plateau with three classic tracks and one skate-skiing track that allow visitors to get started safely with this winter sport. Encountered by the fireplace at the Petit pavillon shelter, a Montreal cross-country skier – a woman – mentions that she came to enjoy this new centre as soon as she had the opportunity to do so.

“The fact that the trails are loops reassures me that I won’t get lost and will never be far from the clubhouse in case of need,” she explains.

Initial assessment

“We have had only good surprises,” Josée tells us. “We have five excellent teachers and many of our reservations are made by Tremblant Activities. We’ve been able to build a good team and there’s always a happy feeling. While SFMT doesn’t get any grants, we are managing to keep our heads above water. Everything I hoped for has come to pass,” she concludes.

The Centre Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant is open seven days a week and remains free of charge for Mont-Tremblant citizens.

 

Guillaume Vincent261 Posts

Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.

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