Québec ski season kicks into high gear with St. Sauveur snow

Mont Saint-Sauveur's snowguns in late October

Mont Saint-Sauveur's snow guns in late October

A day after Canada’s Olympic Park ski hill near Calgary, Alberta saw it’s earliest opening ever, Québec’s Mont Saint-Sauveur enjoyed its own earliest ever opening on October 18th, while Mont Sainte-Anne prepared for its November opening.

Mont Saint-Sauveur set a new record by opening nine days earlier than its previous record: an opening on October 27, 1997. The resort is also the first in Canada to offer night skiing. Staff at Saint-Sauveur say that as long as the weather keeps giving perfect conditions, snowmaking will continue and produce more skiable terrain hour by hour.

Further east, Mont-Sainte-Anne near Québec City is already covered by over 15cm of fresh snow. The resort plans to open on November 14th with low temperatures projected for the next few weeks.

The first important snowfall of the season there coincided with the arrival of Martin Larichelière, the resort’s new expert in snowmaking and grooming. In addition to having been a technical delegate for the International Ski Federation (FIS), director of the National Training Center in the Charlevoix region of Québec, and a manager of operations at another Québec ski resort, LaRichelière has acquired special knowledge in snowmaking as Director of Sales and Marketing at Turbocristal enterprises, a leader in snowmaking technology.

Larichelière expects to fire 120 of his mobile snow guns during the first week of November at Sainte-Anne. The powerful system will be entirely located on the famous North Side, to focus of some of the more popular slopes: La Quanick, La Printannière, La Mélanie Turgeon and La Paradeuse.

An 800-metre cross-country skiing loop, dedicated to training purposes, will also be created at the summit on the Western Side and will welcome teams form Québec and abroad. Finally, a gondola restoration project has been initiated and is planned over the next 3 years, with an estimated value of $1.5 million. Their mechanical system has been completely revised and the next step will be to refresh the actual gondolas.

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