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Sacreblue, ‡a caille dr“lement par ici! (Tremblant recap)

With apologies to our readers north of the border, Canada is “freeze your a$$ off” cold. Heading into the long weekend, the conditions here in Boston lulled you into a false sense of security. The sun was out, the snow melting, and for the first time in months you actually contemplated slipping on the Reefs before rushing out to make your eight-forty. Six hours later and 300 miles north on I-93, you were asking yourself why reasonably intelligent people would ever to choose to settle this part of the world.

Mt. Tremblant is beautiful, no question about that. Visually, the area is just stunning – rolling mountains carpeted with trees and a large lake at the base for summer water sports. In the winter, though, you literally risk having your face fall off, if you don’t have it covered. Seriously, it’s that cold.

Temperature aside, the trip was phenomenal. In true HBS fashion the group flexed it muscles early on, rolling out to the slopes with a crew 200 deep. For those of us accustomed to the icy runs at Killington, Tremblant proved to be a much more satisfying experience. We’re not talking Tahoe or Jackson Hole, but everyone seemed genuinely surprised at how nice it was. The slopes were frozen and chunky in a few places, but most runs had a powder base 2-3 inches thick on which to carve. And, after taking the high-speed gondola to the top, many found their way to the north side where the slopes were less-crowded, the lift lines shorter, and the trails wider.

The actual skiing/snowboarding was only half of it, however. After a long day out on the slopes HBS’ers paid homage to the aprŠs ski gods at local favorites like the P’tit Caribou and Le Diable. With over a hundred plus EC’s and RC’s on the premises it felt like an enormous happy hour at Brother Jimmy’s or Daedalus. A chill crowd, attractive locals, and lack of transparency about just what the hell we were drinking made for good times all around. Local patrons were even treated to an impromptu meringue session by ski-buddies Madison Mauze (NC) and Anh Nguyen (NC). Later in the evening most groups trailed off for a little aprŠs, aprŠs ski nap. Dinner plans varied. Dedicated groups from NG and NE setup flip-cup tables and ordered-in. Others choose to embarrass themselves in a more public manner at notable restaurants like Coco Pazzo.

All in all it was a great, great weekend. Organizers from the Canadian Club did a superb job of handling the logistics and the unexpected issues that come up when you organize such a large trek. With a couple good months left of the ski-season, talk has already shifted to next years’ excursion. Whistler, Lake Louise? Anywhere is fine, just so long as it’s a bit warmer…

February 28, 2005
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