A Running Vacation at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec


September 26-27, 2013 -  C'était un vacance magnifique, just an absolutely
great vacation in Canada.  While Annie and I spent a very relaxing week of
retreat at the ski resort of Mont-Tremblant I took a couple of days to run
from the core of the village to the summit and ridge above this beautiful land
of rolling hills and glacial-carved lakes in the hardened Canadian Shield.

On the first of my two runs I switched back and forth up the slabby slope 
through autumn-colored leaves in the steep woods on Le Grand Brule Trail
all the way to the summit of Mont-Tremblant and highest point of the resort.
The trail was quite wet and rocky, but my legs were hungry to climb, so they
weren't asking me to stop when the going got tough.  For a mid-week ascent
I was surprised to find dozens of climbers hiking their way to the top, mostly
French-speaking, but a fair number of English-greeters as well.  I have
previously found French-speaking folk to be less engaging than those speaking
my native tongue, even though I speak enough of their language to manage.
It is a cultural difference I have observed over a lifetime; still I find it curious
to find people so different on the trails by virtue of their language and culture.

The best part of the outdoors this far north is the sub-alpine boreal forests
found as one climbs; they are thick, damp, and mysterious, yet inviting, always
leaving me reluctant to leave.  The beauty here is reminiscent of many other
runs and hikes I have taken across the Canadian Shield country.  It keeps me
intrigued and coming back for even more experience.  Tremblant is a mountain
I hope to see again in this way.  

After a brief pause for photographs on top I made a direct descent down the
most expedient slopes to head back to the village where Annie was shopping
and otherwise enjoying the atmosphere of the pedestrian village.  It was a 
brief run of but seven miles, taking two hours, but it was invigorating in the
sunshine to breathe in as much of Canada as I could.

The next day I began in the village again, starting up the catwalk on the west
side to hit le Johannsen trail for a ways before connecting with le Vertigo and
ultimately le Sasquatch trail.  The climb was steeper up to the ridge, but
contrasted considerably from the previous day's climb.  Once again my legs
were good to run no matter what the slope, slowing only once I was able to
run on the ridges so as to take in as much of the sub-alpine atmosphere as I
could.  The ridges to the west of the summit seem to go on for miles, much to
my delight.  I thought about the derivation of the name of le Sasquatch trail.
What a perfect place for the big guy to hang out and remain undetected.  I
would love to have an encounter with something so wonderfully exotic and
mysterious in the deep and dark forest.  Maybe, maybe someday!!!

Eventually I reconnected with le Johannsen trail which took a long gradual
route back to the village crossing streams through leafy woods for the most
part.  It is always nice to finish downhill - one of the advantages of running
on ski mountains.  After moving through the heart of the village to the interested
glances of tourists I made my way back to the car after three hours, calling it
nine miles.... but who knows?.... maybe more, maybe less.  Qui s'en soucie???