Mont-Sainte-Anne — Mountain layout
The mountain has three faces: The South Side, facing the St. Lawrence River where all base facilities are located; the North Side, or the back side, with a high-speed quad and a small lodge; and the small West Side, served only by a T-bar.
In general, the slopes increase in difficulty as you move from east to west. The South Side faces the St. Lawrence and also bakes under the sun, so the snow is often heavier here, especially on warm days. Speed demons take note: Mont-Sainte-Anne has 10 F.I.S.-approved race trails.
|Expert, Advanced: West of the gondola on the South Face is an expert’s playground, with serious single- and double-black trails and glades. This is steep terrain with a continuous fall line. La Super “S” is long and smooth and steep; its evil twin, La “S,” is the same, but with bumps. For even more challenge, head into the woods on La Brunelle or the three glades that make up The Black Forest. Two lifts—La Trip, a triple, and La Sainte-Paix, a double—service this area, but it’s faster to shoot to the base and take the gondola.
If your passion is bumps, work those knees on La Gondoleuse, under the L’Etoile-Filante gondola. For a backcountry experience, head to the West Side.
On the South Side, advanced skiers can take La Crete to La Beauregard for a long, steep, fast cruise. These are two of the 10 FIS-certified race trails on the mountain. La Pionniere, just east of the gondola, twists down the upper third of the mountain.
On the North Side, L’Archipel and La Surpremante are good choices. If you want to escape the crowds, take L’Amarok on the West Side, which is served by a T-bar.
|Intermediate: While experts and advanced skiers head west off the gondola, intermediates should head east (on the South Side), or over the top to the North Side. Warm up on Le Gros Vallon or La Beaupre on the South Side.
Be sure to take at least one run on La Pichard to stop by the sugar shack for a maple-syrup treat. On cold days, ride either the gondola, L’Etoile-Filante, or L’Express du Sud, a high-speed quad with a bubble cover to shield the wind. Don’t miss the North Side’s great cruising trails and the intermediate-level glades, La Vital-Roy or La Sidney-Dawes. The snow is often softer here.
|Beginner,First-timer: The eastern edge of the mountain on both the South and the North sides is where you’ll find the easiest trails. Take the gondola up, then work your way down La Familale on the South Side, L’Escapade and La Ferreolaise on the North Side. Then return to the South Side on Le Chemin Du Roy, which wraps slowly and gently from the North Side summit to the South Side base. La Foret Enchantee, off Le Ferrelolaise, has enjoyable beginner trails through the trees.
First-timers can choose from three free surface lifts in the ski school area at the mountain’s base. After mastering these, take the gondola to the summit and meander down the mountain’s longest trail, Le Chemin du Roy.