Sixteen CTA ambassadors including 5 board members, 10 end-to-enders, 10 day and multi-day tour leaders and 6 trail chiefs spent the week of 2/21 – 2/28 in Quebec spreading the word about great backcountry skiing in Vermont. Paul Demers was the star ambassador pitching (en Francais) the CTA with any Quebecois skier on or off the trail willing to listen.
With temps rarely above 5 F mid-day, we ventured out daily to explore both groomed and back country trails in the Val Morin and Val David region. On two days, Steve Fernandes arranged for guides from Roc and Ride Sports de Montagne in Val David to lead us on some remote backcountry trails in Morin Heights and Montagne Blanche. Roc and Ride owner, Claude could not have been more accommodating. The remaining 4 days we skied on an extensive network of backcountry and groomed trails accessible from our back door including (3) x-country areas, Far Hills, Parc Dufresne, and Le P’Tit Train du Nord.
Our house rental in Val Morin (an hour north of Montreal), a “funky” hundred year old three story house more than adequately accommodated our whole party. With an updated kitchen and a dining table large enough to seat our large group, dinner and breakfast meals were meticulously planned and prepared by participants. Meals ranged from Raclette prepared by Karen Heinzmann and her Parisian friend, Franck to a baked potato buffet with all the fixings by Mark and Kathy Hadley. Our baker, Paul Demers provided us with home made bread daily for morning toast and lunches, our barista, Wayne Flewelling kept our coffee needs met morning and night with expressos/cafes au lait and our musician, Steve Fernandes entertained us with foot stomping hits from the 60’s and 70’s.
The Catamount Spirit that keeps us returning year after year to participate and lead day and multi-day tours, maintain trail sections, volunteer at special events, and fulfill board responsibilities was alive and ever present during our Canadian ski experience. We hope our esprit de corps was felt and possibly moved some of our northern neighbors to travel south across the border to experience the greatest and longest x-country ski trail in America.