No Plans No Problem
In between school and work it can be hard to find time to plan the epic ski trips that we all dream about. This past January, 3 Shred Queens set off on a road trip to Eastern Quebec in the hopes of finding fresh snow and adventure. With no set plans and a 1,000 km drive ahead of us all we could do was hope for the best and keep an open mind. Here is the story of how we spent our week.
After an early morning departure Taylor and I made it to Saint Sauveur to pick up the last (but not least) member of the girl gang, Jade. After filling our coffee mugs we hit the road. With a few pit stops along the way to admire the incredible view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we arrived at our auberge in Mont Louis 10 hours later.
We started the day off with a breakfast overlooking the water as we excitedly checked the snow forecast. An hour later we were pulling into the parking lot of Mont Miller, a ski hill where 30-some runs are accessed by a single t-bar and lift tickets are bought at the bar.
The hill is the center of the old mining town of Murdocvhille and after the copper ran out in the late 90’s, the town essentially collapsed. To this day many Quebecers believe the town was abandoned. However, the steep terrain of the Chic Choc Mountains along with heavy snowfall is helping to bring this town back to life.
There was no shortage of snow that day nor was there any shortage of familiar faces as we ran into dozens of people we knew from Montreal and beyond. Somewhere along the way we met one of Taylor’s old friends who offered us a room to stay at in his house, giving us a spot to dry our boots after the ski day. Our aprés-ski was extensive that afternoon as it was New Year’s Eve.
The town’s population must have grown by 300 that weekend and most of them ended up back at Mont Miller (the only bar in town) to ring in the New Year.
One of the drawbacks of being in such a small town is that when it’s a holiday, you can’t expect anything to be open… Not even the gas station. We decided it would be best to drive further East toward Gaspé to fill up on gas, food, and check out the iconic Roche Percée.
The roads were empty, the sky was blue, and we would later find out that the snow was DEEP. We pulled over somewhere along the highway in Percé, put on our skins and bush-whacked our way to the top of a mountain that we still don’t know the name of. Salt-water powder turns with Roche Percée in the background made for an unbeatable first day of 2018.
Another early start in order to get back to Murdochville to check out a potential future Shred Queens house. With ski touring out your back door and a view of Mont Miller from the bedroom window the visit ended with a handshake and the words “VENDU!”. Taylor will be back in February to pick up the keys.
We celebrated with a ski tour up Mont Copper and some beautiful sunny powder turns. We stopped by Mont Miller to see if there was any room at the Chic Chac for the night and as we were walking in I stuck my thumb out as a snow-cat passed by. The guide, who we would later find out was named Alexys, said “grab your friends and get in!” With the ultimate Queens luck, we ended the day with a sunset catskiing run.
Coffee and a team meeting at the Chic Chac to make a plan for the day, where we all agreed that setting up a rope tow and skiing behind the car through the town would be a great morning stunt. 10 foot snowbanks just can’t sit untouched!
In the afternoon we ski toured up Mont Porphyre, another mountain that towers over the town. Skies were clear and the snow was, once again, deep. We finished our trip with a gladed run through the beautiful powder covered trees and skied right to the car.
Our new friend Alexys (the head guide for the Chic Chac) stopped by to say goodbye and remind us that the Shred Queens are always welcome in town! The 1,000 km car ride home was spent dreaming of our next visit.
SHOT ON LOCATION
Gaspésie, Québec, 2018