The Snow Report
Brush up your French, folks, because Tremblant’s got a great ski school. It features camps for near-expert youth, a female-only program called “Elle Ski,” and 100-minute lessons for bi-skiers. The staff of more than 300 teachers includes 34 Level 4-certified pros, nine former members of Canada’s national ski team, and Linda Crutchfield, a three-time Olympian.
Forty percent of the 95 runs here are for expert-level alpinists, who tend to dominate the 156 yearly inches of powder dumped on 2,116 vertical feet spread over 654 skiable acres. There are three terrain parks too, plus an ice-skating rink, sleigh rides, and a nearby tube park.
Tremblant didn’t win many points for safety, though: This is where actress Natasha Richardson had her fatal fall during a lesson—but the ski patrol remains small and there’s no 24-hour emergency service. It’s 25 miles to the nearest hospital, but an onsite physician responds to emergencies, and there’s a full-time risk manager. Still, given the high-profile accident, one would think this Intrawest-owned resort would have done more by now—the company responded to Richardson’s death merely by recommending that guests wear helmets.
This destination, in the Laurentian Mountains 90 miles northwest of Montreal, is popular—journalist Lowell Thomas helped raise its profile it in the 1940s—so 13 onsite hotels keep their 1,900 guestrooms fairly full. Among the more acclaimed ones are the Westin, the Fairmont, and the Hilton—and the Plaza St. Bernard and Sommet des Neiges just got renovated. Ski valets and butlers aren’t hard to come by, nor is ski-in/ski-out access.
The colorful European-style town is lined with more than 40 restaurants, 30 shops, a couple of dance-heavy nightclubs (Café d'Époque and P’tit Caribou), even a gondola-accessible casino. Nearby recreation facilities offer a ropes course, a zip line, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and camping at Mont-Tremblant National Park. The scenery here is nothing short of world-class, so the resort’s wildlife-management projects ensure it stays that way.
CONTACT: (888) 738-1777, tremblant.ca
SEASON: Late November to early April
TICKETS: General: $76 (reduced-price half-day tickets offered), children $55, ages 65 and older: $66, ages 3 and 4: $8.44, ages 2 and younger: free.