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The great classics of winter sports

The winter sports season is back.Amateurs fodder their weapons: skis, snowshoes, skates, sleds, spiolets.They make plans for new adventures.Here are some suggestions to make the most of snow and ice.

Publié le 14 déc. 2021Marie Tison La Presse

RAQUETTE: Magnificent mountains to discover

In Estrie, Mont-Mégantic National Park is one of the most beautiful places to racket in Quebec.Snow arrives earlier than elsewhere and stays longer.And it is deeper.The park offers several trails for all levels of hikers in two major sectors, that of Franceville and that of the observatory.For example, in this last sector, beginners can climb Mont Saint-Joseph, a short but intense journey.Experts will want to visit all the peaks, Saint-Joseph, Victoria, Mégantic and Notre-Dame, a serious 18 km adventure.The trails of the Franceville sector connect places with the names as evocative as the vertigo of the escarpments, the rest of the dragon and the doors of the sky.It is possible to spend nights in the park in comfortable shelters, rustic camps or (brrr) in winter camping.Good to know: it is recommended to buy your right of access online, in advance.

Another suggestion: Monts-Valin National Park.The reputation of the Monts Valin, in Saguenay, is well established.This is where we can admire the famous ghosts, these conifers so much snow that they take the appearance of ghostly forms.

Consultez le site de la SEPAQ pour découvrir ces deux parcs nationaux

Les grands classiques des sports d’hiver

Cross -country skiing: the laurentides!

With its hills, Quebec lends itself wonderfully well in cross -country skiing.There is a huge choice in fact of ski centers.The Val-David-Val-Morin regional park, in the Laurentians, is a classic, thanks in particular to its proximity to Montreal, its microclimate which allows beautiful snow and its hilly trails.There is nothing annoying here, even the easiest trails offer interesting little drops.The more difficult trails require a good mastery of skiing techniques, especially if the conditions are a little frozen.Nordic heritage ski slopes, such as Gillespie, cross the territory.We access the park from the Anne-Piché chalet, in Val-David, or the Chalet Far Hills, in Val-Morin.A conflict between the municipality of Val-David and an owner led to the closure of a small section of the park, but we opened a path to circumvent the problematic zone.Note that it is preferable to book online, especially weekends.

For a gentle start to the season, or for those who start cross-country skiing and who prefer a place without elevation, the P’tit Train du Nord, between Saint-Jérôme and Val-David, remains a must-have.And for the second year in a row, access is free.

Consultez le site du parc régional Val-David–Val-MorinConsultez le site du P’tit train du Nord

Outdoor skate: Do not go around in circles

When we talk about spreading outside, it is difficult not to think of the curtain channel.It is the longest natural skating rink in the world, with an official distance of 7.8 km.There are heated huts to put the skates, you can rent equipment on site and it is not necessary to get out of the channel to buy a good hot chocolate or a beaver tail (a particularly caloric pastry thatcan warm up the most cautious skaters).This is the ideal outing for those who do not want to go around in circles at the corner skating rink. Les changements climatiques limitent de plus en plus la longueur de la saison de patinage au canal Rideau, la 53ecette année : il faut donc se dépêcher d’y aller lorsque la patinoire est ouverte.Access is free: this is an opportunity to enjoy the taxes and taxes that have been paid all year round.

The most important city in Lanaudière, Joliette, has its own curtain channel.You can skate on the L’Assomption river, in the city center, over a distance of 3.4 km.Last winter, due to the pandemic, the skating rink was reserved for the inhabitants of Joliette.It should be able to welcome visitors this winter.

Consultez le site de la Commission de la capitale nationale pour en savoir plus sur le canal RideauConsultez le site de Tourisme Joliette pour en savoir plus sur la patinoire

Ice climbing: more accessible than you think!

Contrary to what one might think, ice climbing is a very accessible sport.You just have to do business with one of the many climbing schools that can be found in Quebec.The Mountain of Silver, with the design in the Laurentians, is a very beautiful place to learn this sport.Part of its walls is artificially watered, which ensures a better quality of ice when the conditions are a little less favorable.Some schools organize activities there, including North-South freedom, which has a kiosk on site.This school offers initiation sessions and training for more experienced climbers, in addition to offering a rental service.Small shelters near the walls make it possible to warm up between climbs.

The website of the Quebec Mountain and Climbing Federation (FQME) establishes the list of training schools in the province.In the Quebec region, Adventurex offers initiation sessions and more advanced training at the Park of the Fall-Montmorency, a spectacular site if it is one.

Consultez le site de La Liberté Nord-SudConsultez le site de la FQMEConsultez le site d’Aventurex

Sliding: Hours of pleasure with family

We cannot miss the super slides of Saint-Jean-de-Matha, in Lanaudière.The site offers very varied descents, from the simple tubes (airlines) to the rafting canoes which can reach 100 km/h if the conditions are frozen.It is not necessary to have large skills to slip and it is not essential either to be in good shape: there are ski lifts that allow you to climb the hill comfortably seated in its tube.The most athletic can take advantage of their passage to do a little cross -country skiing: the trails are very beautiful and offer serious descents for skiers who are looking for strong emotions.You can rent skis on site, which allows you to vary the pleasures between two descents on tube.It's a good idea to reserve your place online.

The Village Vacances Valcartier, just north of Quebec City, is also a classic of the Tube slide.We can notably descend the Everest, recognized as the highest acceleration slide in America, with a tower of 33.5 m in height.

Consultez le site des Super Glissades de Saint-Jean-de-MarthaConsultez le site du Village Vacances Valcartier