Just when you think you’ve skied every single mountain there is to ski, it suddenly dons on you that you’ve never been to the Chic-Choc Mountains—a little winter gem tucked right into our own backyard. This is precisely the thought that occurred to me not too long ago.
In the winter of 2011, I was invited to stay at Auberge de Montagne des Chics- Chocs—luxurious accommodations nestled between the forest and the mountains, accessible only by snow cat from Cap-Chat. I guarantee you won’t find anything else like it in Quebec. I personally fell in love with the place right away! It was here that I got to try alpine touring for the very first time—an activity that requires climbing to the top of the mountain on removable synthetic skins attached to the base of your skis for traction. (Don’t worry if you don’t have the equipment. The Auberge will provide you with everything you need as well as a certified guide to help you along.) Once at the top, you simply pull the skins off, and start carving your way down through the powder. The terrain is perfect for both beginner and intermediate skiers. After a marvellous day of climbing and skiing, you can make your way back to enjoy a drink by the fire in the company of family and friends.
The Gîte du Mont-Albert is another great option in Gaspésie for enjoying the Chic-Choc Mountains. Not only did this SEPAQ hotel undergo complete renovations earlier this year, it is also a place that provides access to more varied, expert terrain such as Mines Madelaine. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are other great options available to you here.
My visit in 2011 was so amazing, I have been back every year since. And who could blame me? There is no better place to satisfy my newfound love for alpine touring! Plus, at both the Auberge and the Gîte, I can enjoy wonderful culinary delights and a warm, friendly atmosphere. But, I think the main reason I find myself going back time and time again is that Gaspésie is so accessible, and so much closer to home than most people think!
If you are looking for the best glade skiing Quebec has to offer, this is where it’s at!