Doug got what he’s wished for. A winter week off for some skiing far enough away from home where he feels like he’s not skiing on wimpy Ontario hills. I can’t say I blame him – it’s nice to be on longer runs even though this year, after being sick with a respiratory bug for 8 weeks, I was at my weakest state for my snowboarding season. I hadn’t had any practice until our first day at Owls Head in Quebec, near Magog.
So let me just say this – I did enjoy the road trip to our neighbouring province. The two towns we stayed in were beautiful and the hospitality we received from the people there were just simply wonderful! But the actual boarding part was a challenge for me. I have never been on anything outside of our dinky Ontario ski hills. And the first day’s condition were icy and windy. It was snowing as well – so with the gusts of wind, visibility was low. I was using new bindings that were proving difficult to get in and out of, especially after wiping out and trying to board with bruised ribs for the remaining week (I did take the next day after my accident to just go snow shoeing).
Would I do it again? Probably. As frustrated as I was while boarding in such conditions, I do want to try again. And hope I’ll go in with better strength and stamina.
We stayed at this beautiful inn on the lake – Etoile-sur-la-lac – during our first two days skiing at Owls Head. Our patio faced the lake. The hotel was very nice – our package included a sit-down breakfast with choices from their menu.
Magog itself is a charming town with year round activities. Everywhere we walked, however, was very picturesque. For the first night, we went into town for dinner, finding ourselves at a great ambiance-type pub – Microbrasserie la Memphré. It was a little cool that night but not cold enough for us to decide to walk for 15 minutes to this pub. It gave us a chance to watch the sunset acoss the lake.
The food in Magog for the three nights we stayed was lovely. The Microbrasserie (see above chandeliers made of mason jars) allowed me to try duck confit salad and duck wings as appetizers. Chaeli, of course, had poutine. The next two nights I treated myself to a lovely salmon entree and then some sweetbreads (finally!)
The view from the top of Owl’s Head was spectacular. The resort itself, however, felt a little old. And the clientele was so-so. One thing that can’t be beat is their $20 all day ski-lift tickets for Monday to Wednesday skiing.
For our final day of skiing/boarding, we made our way back to Sutton for a day at Mont Sutton. Knowing what we know now, we’re definitely not only going back to this ski resort next year, but we’re going to spend our entire time just at this location.
Not only were we impressed with the way this ski resort was run but there was a significant difference with the faithful Mont-Sutton-fans. While it’s a public ski hill, it had that private club feel but not in a pretentious way. More like a very large family welcoming any new comers.
Both Doug and Chaeli also preferred the variety of runs – stating it was more fun especially the ones that weaved in and out of trees. Chaeli also got to experience Tire sur la neige – a Quebec treat which is freshly made maple syrup mixed with snow on a stick. They were make this at one of the upper chalets!
While I’ve never been to one of the bigger places like Mount Tremblant, I don’t think I can anymore. The crowd and line-ups just to get on a lift doesn’t sound like fun. We hardly had to wait for more than a couple of minutes to get on the chair lift and both places had a more off-the-beaten-path feel to it.
For our last night in Sutton, we stayed at this great country inn – Auberge Agnes Horth. The couple that runs this in made our stay so welcoming. Breakfast and dinner are included and let me just say the home-cooked meals were fantastic!
Chaeli was in heaven with her lasagna. Doug and I had the Montreal steaks. And the red wine pairing could not be beat. We ordered a bottle – why not. Our room was just upstairs.