The ski season was open a month and a half before I could get out on the slopes in search of that exhilarating sense of freedom. Whether you are snowboarding, skiing or telemarking, all three sports are but an excuse to spend time with friends in the fresh air on the snowy runs of Québec’s ski resorts.
We all have our favourite mountains, but have you ever been to Massif in Petite Rivière Saint François? It’s my personal favourite and seems to be so for many people. All it takes is a ride down one of the 48 runs or a trip through the back country to understand what I mean. Distracted by the magnificent horizon of the St. Laurence River, it’s almost impossible to keep your eyes on the hill to look where you’re going.
Last Friday, my family and I left for a wonderful weekend at Massif. We stayed in a little rented chalet in Petite Rivière Saint-François on the side of the mountain. From there, we had the same panoramic view you get on the slopes. The one that takes your breath away, beckons to your eye and soothes your spirit. However, let’s not get too carried away. Our perfect little chalet was more or less poorly constructed. The enormous chimney in the middle of the front wall blocked half the view, the kitchen counter moved every time we leaned on it and the bathroom had no shower curtain or window curtain, which, little known to us, gave passerby’s a show every time they walked past. Alright, alright, I’m being critical out of obvious necessity; the weekend was unreal.
To get to the hill, we went through the village at first light, taking the longer, but more quaint and picturesque route than the way alongside the 138. There I was, on the hill, with my parents and my younger brother, despite the bitter cold keeping other skiers nice and toasty inside the chalet. This was fine by us because the runs were less crowded and the lines almost non-existent.
A bitter cold? Didn’t bother us, we were unstoppable. Only at the end of the day did I realize, with my smile frozen on my face, that I might be a little cold. But a hot chocolate loosened me up again and I knew the cold wasn’t the only thing keeping a smile on my face.