Over the past few years, spending the holidays in Murdochville has become a tradition of sorts for our group of friends. We booked our chalet 6 months in advance to account for the steady influx of skiers flocking to Gaspésie in search of a New Year’s powder day.
After all the rain at Christmas, we were reluctant to even leave the house- assuming the conditions would be far from epic. To give you an idea of the gravity of the situation, just imagine that playing a round of golf in St-Anne-des-Monts would have been a possibility… But, we know Gaspésie is full of adventures regardless of conditions so we gave ourselves the objective of skiing the most mountains possible in search of the elusive white gold.
“ GASPÉSIE IS FULL OF ADVENTURES REGARDLESS OF CONDITIONS ”
It’s important to note that throughout our entire stay the forecast was calling for the coldest weather of the season. We are talking -35*C with the wind chill every day. But we still got out there, because there’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad equipment.
For our first day we decided to ease into things and not venture too far from home. Mont Porphyre, which overlooks the town of Murdochville, seems like a good pick. Results? A total fail: a crust and only marginal snow coverage.
The next morning we checked out Mont Lyall, usually a safe bet. Bingo! The little snow they had was wind blown into the bowls providing us with beautiful untouched top to bottom runs. At the end of the day our initial worries faded and we all agreed we had made the right call to not cancel the trip, like so many others had done. This just meant more snow for us!
December 31 we skied another favourite: Monts Vallières. The uptrack leads you to the top of a ridge where you have to take off your skis and hike for about 30 minutes to find a skiable line. The visibility was perfect and the ridge offered a 360 view of the neighbouring mountains. The alpine zone was still lacking snow but lower down we found a couloir with fresh snow waiting for us.
“ WE FOUND A COULOIR WITH FRESH SNOW WAITING FOR US ”
We were lucky to get a big dump of snow near the end of our trip. After the New Year’s Eve festivities, we were able to keep exploring the Gaspésie park for a few days.
Moral of the story: the Chic Chocs pleasantly surprised us with their beautiful natural conditions. So don’t count on the weather in the city and always count on Mother Nature.
On that note, happy skiing.