Le Massif
Credit: Le Massif

We spoke to locals for the insider info:

Resort Ski Strategy: Blue Mountain

The newest addition to Blue Mountain remains off-radar, so start your day at The Orchard, at the south end. There’s parking, a lodge and a six-person high-speed lift. Be sure to rip Southern Cross, the best cruiser of the bunch. Now, work your way across the mountain aiming for Lone Rider at the north end. Along the way, test your edges and bravery on Elevator Shaft, the steepest run on the mountain. When the lineups get to be too much, pack it in, go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice-skating, and come back after 4:00 p.m. for a few hours of night skiing — most of the mountain is lit up.

Resort Ski Strategy: Tremblant

Bypass the crowds that can clog the base area by driving around to the north side of the hill. Not only is the walk to the lifts shorter, but the lift lines are too. Rip a few laps off the steeps around the Duncan and Expo lifts (including a little showboating for the chairlift crowd). Before the fresh grooming gets nuked, pop over to the south side and arc big turns down Zigzag and Ryan, the two best high-speed steeps. If things are getting busy, head back to the north side and ski The Edge, where crowds are rare and the sous bois is perfect. Try Sensation and Emotion.

Resort Ski Strategy: Le Massif (pictured) & Mont-Sainte-Anne

With four ski hills within an easy drive of the Quebec City, the hardest decision will be where to go. Le Massif has the longest vertical and tends to get the most snow, but is furthest away. Mont-Sainte-Anne is only 30 minutes from the city and has the most runs. Stoneham Mountain Resort has a huge night-skiing area and four terrain parks. Finally Le Relais Centre is family friendly and almost within the city limits. Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif are the locals’ picks.

Here’s a "local's strategy" for a great day on Mont-Sainte-Anne: warm up cruising off the L’Express du Sud. At around 10:45 a.m., the gondola lines will be gone, so take a ride to the summit and try the hardest runs La Crête and The Super S. After lunch, head over the back to the North Side to carve groomers and have a go at the wilds of the West Side, where the lift lines are always non-existent. For the last run, point ’em down La Pichard and stop at the sugar shack for a treat.

For Le Massif, start by taking the train from Quebec City right to the base of the mountain. After a warm-up run, head to Le Charlevoix while you’re still fresh. Designed as an FIS certified downhill, this is the steepest run in eastern Canada, maybe the whole country. After that, stick to the Maillard Express lift to avoid lines.

This article originally appeared in our Winter 2014 issue.

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