Ski Mont Orford - Take 2 & Montreal En Lumiere

Trip Start Nov 04, 2011
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Trip End Jul 27, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Set my alarm for 5:30 as usual for skiing and snoozed until around 6. I got up and got ready -  Barbara was awake, but Aunty Jen was still sleeping soundly!  I woke Jen up just before I was about to leave and wished them both a good onward journey.  Down to the metro and perfect timing Guddis and Schotty were approaching the entrance just as I was.

We caught the next train to Atwater and Diana was on the same train as us.  We had to wait a bit for the bus.  Ania and Jar had bought Jars sisters husband along and he was snowboarding.  What a great service the YMCA offers!

Guddis and I sat together and we tried to sleep most of the trip.  I put on an episode of Downton Abbey later in the trip.  It seemed like a pretty quick trip, which was correct as we arrived at Orford before 9.30.  So we had plenty of time to stash our belongings in the chalet and get ready.  They had run out of Adult Lift Passes so we had to pick up our passes in the Chalet.

The temperature was supposed to be quite warm, however there was a cool breeze around, and I remembered how the wind blows at the top of the mountain from our last trip here.

We grouped near the Mont Arthur chairlift at 10.00 for our lesson.  Some of the groups had group photos and Rob and Anne discussed our plan for the day.  They decided to split us into two groups.  One group which would go to the green slope and the other group which would try some blue runs.

Ania and I decided to give the blue runs a go with Jar and Day, Caesar and a friend of Caesars.  Ania, Jar and Day had used the early arrival to get in a green run before the lesson.  I was totally envious because I would have liked to have got my "ski legs" before attempting a blue run straight away.

Anne chose “Grande Coulee” and so we headed to the 6 chairlift which would take us to the top of the mountain.   The run was quite steep and pretty icy at the top.  I had a couple of stacks coming down this run, but was starting to feel more confident as we approached the end.  The run changed into a green run “inter” at the end and we passed Guddis's group and Rob with the rest of the beginner group.

Anne then took us over to the 4 person “Quad Giroux Nord”.  She decided to get us to come down the green runs “Family & Alternative” while completing exercises to try and improve our form.  We all had to ski without our poles, but we all had to complete of of 2 different exercises.  I had to re practice the “basketball” move, bending on the corners and raising up in between turns.

After this run we were back up the mountain to try another blue run, and the last run for the lesson.  This run was called “Magog” and seemed much easier than the other blue this morning – perhaps because we now had our “ski legs”.

At the bottom I met up with Guddis on the way to the Chalet.  We went inside to have some lunch and tried to find some room for us all to sit.  It was pretty packed so in the end Guddis and I found a place to sit together and Schotty joined us a bit later.

Ania and I decided to ski together and tried the green run "Toussiski" up the Alfred chairlift.  It seemed to have a lot more snow on it then some of the other runs, and it was also not as wide as most of the green runs.  A bit of a windy trail through the trees.

Next we headed up the Quad Giroux Nord Chairlift to the top.  We skied down the green "Familiale" run.  Right near the bottom of the run they have fenced off a learning area so the trail gets very narrow, and it was soooo icy.  A girl fell over up ahead of us (think she must have hurt herself pretty badly as they patrol came to take her away).  It caused a bit of traffic congestion as everyone was obviously not paying attention and kept skiing right up to the spot then having to stop quickly.  Ania nearly got taken out by a kid in a ski school who was going so fast - I watched him as he came upon the bottleneck and he had to fall over to stop in time.

When we made it past the congestion we stopped at the bottom for a rest as my feet were killing me (really regretted not taking my boots off at lunch!).  Ania spotted Jar and he came over to us.  He didn't look very good, a bit shaken and then pale.  He had taken a bad fall on one of the blue runs and fell down the mountain on his head (it must've been pretty bad as Ania told me the following week she was approached by 2 men later that day when they saw her with Jar to tell her to watch him tonight as he had a bad fall on his head during the day!)

Jar, Ania and I went back up the same chairlift to the top.  Jar was happy to take it easy and come with us back down the green runs "Family and Alternative".  He actually skied along while taking some footage on their camera!  It was getting close to finishing time, so we made our way back to the chalet and picked up our stuff and went back to the bus.

I finished watching a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey on the bus on the way home.  When we arrived at Atwater we grabbed our stuff and then caught the Metro back to Place Des Arts.  Here I said goodbye to Guddis and Schotty and went upstairs to the unit.  I wasn't feeling that tired, and it wasn't that cold out, so I had a shower, did a load of washing, had some dinner and then got dressed to go out and have a look at Montreal En Lumiere.

I wandered through Place Des Festivals and was surprised how many people there were.  Lots listening to the DJ, and there was even some unscripted dancing happening on the steps at the back of the festival.  There was a huge crowd around the second stage (Scene RBC) at Esplanade De La Place Des Arts.  There was a band playing and they were also all wearing tap shoes and tapping a long in time to the music.  I watched the last couple of songs of their set and then everyone dispersed.

I had a look at the Glissade Urbaine Le Lait - the ice slide - some of the people we getting quite some speed up!  It looked like it would knock you around a bit when you hit a corner!  I got my photo taken at the Photo Booth but didn't win myself a hot chocolate for participating!  There was a section with a few light games for the kids.  Down the other end of the slide was a huge line up to take a ride.  I think all of the activities were free, so no wonder the line up!

It would have been nice to hang out at the festival and have a few drinks and take in the atmosphere (people roasting marshmallows on the numerous fires), however I was getting a bit tired from the long day and decided to head back to the apartment to bed! 
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