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Outdoor centers are preparing for the mild weather on New Year’s Day



The thaw and the rain forecast for New Year’s Day do not scare either the ski centers or the Hôtel de Glace de Québec, which say they are ready to receive customers rain or shine.

“For us, it is not alarming, what is coming. It is certain that we prefer to have snow than rain, but it is quite common to have mild spells during the holiday season, so ski resorts are used to managing these situations. says Josée Cusson, director of communications and marketing at the Association des stations de ski du Québec.

She believes that some resorts may close their doors as a precaution to preserve their snow conditions. “But for the moment, there is not yet [de fermeture] announced”, says Cusson, who recommends that skiers check the websites of ski centers before going there.


In most cases, the snowfall received in the last few days and snowmaking should allow ski centers to “preserve their conditions”.

In most cases, the snowfall received in the last few days and snowmaking should allow ski resorts to “preserve their conditions”, despite the warmer temperatures, she said.

“The good news is that[on] does not announce very cold weather the day after the rain, so it will help the machinery,” adds Mme Cusson. The groomers will thus be able to make the surfaces passable quickly.

An auspicious moment

“It’s so common to have mild spells during New Year’s Day, and we’re ready to deal with it,” says Christian Dufour, marketing director for Les Sommets, which brings together the Saint-Sauveur mountains. , Gabriel, Olympia and Morin Heights.

He points out that the rain forecast for the next few days comes at an auspicious time. “The 31 and the 1er January is usually quieter days at ski resorts as people wake up and spend time with family,” he says.

On warmer days, Les Sommets will concentrate their skiers in certain sections of their center, with the aim of maintaining optimal conditions in the rest of the site. “The less you touch the snow, the easier it is to work with as soon as the cold returns,” said Mr. Dufour, adding that sliding conditions should return to normal on January 2.

At the Mont-Tremblant resort, the weather conditions for the next few days will make it difficult to increase the proportion of skiable trails, which is currently at 73%. “Despite the weather, the sliding experience remains pleasant since the powder becomes spring snow,” says public relations manager Félix Burke.

Walls that resist the thaw

The Hôtel de Glace, located at Village Vacances Valcartier, will open its doors for the first time this season on Saturday, December 31 at 10 a.m. For the opening, temperatures of up to 5°C and light rain are expected.


The Ice Hotel under construction, December 21

This thaw does not worry Sandra Nadeau, vice-president of sales, marketing and communications at Village Vacances Valcartier. “We have walls that can be 4 to 6 feet thick. [La pluie] will perhaps reduce the thickness of the wall a little bit, but it’s more than enough to last the whole season,” she said.

From Saturday, visitors will be invited to visit the large hall, the bars and four themed suites. The development of the Hôtel de Glace, comprising 30 rooms, is not final, however, and will be completed by January 16 at the latest. The hotel will then remain open until March 19, 2023.

However, other outdoor centers will have to close their doors during the weekend because of the warmer weather. This is particularly the case of Domaine Enchanteur, in Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, in Mauricie, which includes 15 km of skating trails in the forest. “If people skate when the ice is melted, it cracks and it’s more difficult to make a nice ice again,” explains Catherine Marchand, customer service and entertainment coordinator. The trails should be practicable again on Monday, January 2.

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