An unforgettable last-minute winter escape at Le Massif in Charlevoix, Quebec, featuring Eastern Canada’s biggest vertical drop, pristine conditions, cozy ‘Chalets Forêt,’ unique luge adventures, and delightful local cuisine.
Article sponsored by Le Massif
Words :: Nancy Chiasson & Mike Lanthier.
We’d long been thinking of checking out this epic mountain with the biggest vertical drop in Eastern Canada. We finally had time to plan a last-minute trip with two of our friends to make the drive out to the Charlevoix region of Quebec. It was a good five-hour drive to get there—but definitely worth it!
We left Laurentides, Quebec with a car loaded with skis and winter gear and also made sure we had the right playlist. Getting closer to Quebec City, you can feel the change in weather with more snow along the road and in the trees. After a short stop in Ste-Anne de Beaupré to stock up on food, we almost had the road to ourselves. We followed the signs to our lodging, the Chalets Forêt, via a road loaded with huge snowbanks.
The night came along as the sky cleared up to offer a beautiful starry night. We were getting psyched for tomorrow. The three-story chalet was very cozy, modern and well-equipped. We got the fire going as we prepared our first meal.
Early the next morning, we woke up to blue skies and a beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River through the southeast-facing windows. On the kitchen side, we had a view of the conifer forest.
After a quick breakfast, we were off to the mountain, about a 2.5 km drive. We picked up our three-day lift tickets and off we went. As we made the first turns, we couldn’t help but notice the spectacular views as we descended toward the St. Lawrence.
In the previous days, the region had received about 30 cm of fresh snow, making the ski conditions as good as they can be. We were lucky enough to come during the week; we almost had the runs to ourselves as we made our way towards the base of the gondola.
Le Massif offers a variety of groomed terrain from easy to black diamond; trees and highly varied terrain are also on offer for those who need more challenge. There is an extensive ski touring area for those who prefer this new trend (maybe next time for us!). We couldn’t help but stop on the hill to take some pictures—a good excuse to rest on the long runs.
With no wait at the lifts, we got many runs in the morning. After lunch at the lodge, we ended the day exploring more new terrain. What a day! After a quick dip in our private spa, we decided to have a drink and taste the local cuisine at Camp Boule, a great way to finish off the day and enjoy the sunset and more views with a sampling of local fare.
On the second day, we were lucky to see the sun again in the morning. Our kitchen was on the third floor, so we had our breakfast in the sunlight.
Back on the hill, we decided to explore even more new terrain, moguls and glades. Again, an amazing morning of skiing. After a quick lunch, we headed out to North America’s only all-ages luge track. Make sure you reserve in advance; it’s a very popular activity for the whole family.
You get to control your own little Norwegian-style luge on a 7.5 km groomed track! After a short demonstration and tryout, we climbed aboard a train pulled by a snowcat for a ride to Mont Liguori where it all starts. You can control your sled through high-rolling terrain to the halfway cabin for a quick rest and soup or hot chocolate.
Then we’re off down the second half, winding back to the base lodge. Along the way, you’ll see a lot of thrilling scenery if you dare to take your eyes off the track.
Le Massif is one of the best-rated ski resorts in Canada and we can’t wait to go back for more skiing and riding. Next time, we might stay a few more days to add some ski touring and Nordic skiing to our program. Le Massif also offers mountain biking in the summer with gondola access. We hope you get the chance to experience all it has to offer!
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