It's 06.45 am and my alarm goes off... Finally!
I was already waiting for it!
I've arrived in Mont Tremblant, close to Montreal, Canada and my inner clock still works to the European time, but I'm as well very excited to get on my snowboard again!
1 hour till the lift opens for the early birds and I can tell you, normally I'm not! But when we talk snowboarding, I'm very happy to make an exception, especially if it's in Canada!
So far I've just been snowboarding in Europe, mainly in the Alps and I don't have to tell you that you can't beat the Alps. But still there are some other amazing areas around the world. That includes for sure the Rockies, but you could even enjoy some winter sports in South America or New Zealand.
I must admit, based in Europe, I haven't had Montreal on my list!
That changed now!
It's just a 6 hours flight and hey... when I drive from Cologne to the Alps it will take me longer, especially with breaks in between and lots of traffic.
So I hopped on a flight with a few friends and landed in Montreal. We got picked up at the airport and 1,5 hours later we arrived in Mont Tremblant, just North of Montreal. At that time it was already dark, but the piste was lighted at the bottom. That was when I knew that I wouldn't sleep long... no matter with or without jet lag!
Mont Tremblant is perfect to drop in like that. All you need is the transfer from the airport to your hotel. The village (or is it a city) lies directly next to the lifts and you won't need any cars or other transport. We stayed in a hotel at the bottom of the lift, but also the other hotels weren't far away. There are several rental stations to get your equipment and then it's up to you what to do!
Do you want to head right away up the mountain or do you prefer a few hours of practice first? For the ones who haven't tried to ski or snowboard, you can get a trial lesson for $80 including the day ticket! And I have to mention that the day ticket itself cost just $80! That's a nice move to get you on the boards, right? I'm sure you won't regret it!
There are around 90 pistes ready to get explored. There are slopes for beginner, medium up to advanced boarder/skiers. I've tried to see most of them in the three days and missed a few, as I also decided to go for a snowshoe tour. That was fun! I haven't done it before and it started a bit slow... but as soon we were in the woods, we had a great time. We saw frozen waterfalls, some deer, ran down the snow and learned how you can make a fire in the winter without a lighter (always good to know...right?).
Back to my 7.45 am experience. I was one of the first on the lift and with that, one of the first going down the South side. Yes, it was cold, but the excitement was too big that I didn't care too much. After a nice ride, I arrived at the only lift, which was open at that time. The guys checking the tickets just looked at me and said:
"Hey, you've got a frost bite at your cheek! But no worries, it will be gone in June or July!"
Nice! Well, then I don't need to worry, right? But it was good that they told me, as all I had to do is take off my gloves and warm my cheek with my hand directly. After a few minutes you should be fine again. It happened as well later to my nose and luckily it didn't fell off yet! :)
It was around - 25°C on top of the mountain. That is still no problem, but when riding down the mountain, the wind really gets you and that's when you have to be careful. So I recommend to wear a warm scarf around your face!
A guide told me that he once snowboarded at - 60°C! Unbelievable!
He pretty much just did that, so that he was able to say that he's done it. Full of layers, he looked like the Michellin man and did it only once. Then he warmed up after the ride for more than one hour! But respect!
Our - 25°C were unusual and the other days were warmer.
But snowboarding is not all. In the evening there are several restaurants who serve some really delicious food. You can taste the French influence! I can highly recommend La Forge! Their steak is extremelly good!
There are as well several bars who invite you for a few more drinks after dinner. Don't expect an atomosphere in Mont Tremblant like you might know it from Austria or Switzerland, but the bars are still fun and got a good atmosphere!
I'm sure you will like your stay in Mont Tremblant and why not combine it with a stop-over in Montreal? If you haven't been to Montreal, this gives you a great option to do two in one! I've met Europeans who were in New York City and got on a direct flight to Mont Tremblant. Next stop was Quebec and Montreal for them.
Have fun and enjoy winter time!
Note: this #LoveWinter blogger trip is a collaboration between iambassador, Quebec Tourism, Tourism Montreal and the Canadian Tourism Commission. As always, the views are our own and Traveldudes maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.