Le Massif, Charlevoix – This is a first for North America – Rodeling. It’s s a 7.5 km sled run! The name rhymes with yodeling and itʼs one of the coolest experiences Iʼve had in ages. What makes this so great at Le Massif (the highest mountain east of the Rockies) is that not only is there a fabulous wide, groomed trail, the scenery is spectacular; at points you get glimpses of the St. Lawrence River with great chunks of floating ice far below.
The two-hour excursion starts at hut at the top of the ski hills where you are given goggles & helmut. The group of 20 sliders pile into a caterpillar vehicle and head further up a trail higher and away from ski runs, where thereʼs another small hut and outhouse. Here everyone rallies with their small wooden sleds for instruction. You can sit up or lie on your stomach, and you steer simply with a small rope and by leaning and dragging a foot or a leg. Sounds easy, but the direction you lean seems to be counter-intuitive. Fortunately, larger curves have netting in case you over-shoot the side.
We take a short practice slide at the top, then itʼs down the mountain, with one guide at the beginning and a second following at the end. We soon learn, if you are too cautious and donʼt keep up your speed, you wonʼt make it up inclines without walking. Half-way down thereʼs a stop at another small hut for a drink, rest and warm up. Did mention that the day we were out it was -30 C with the wind-chill? With warm clothing and our faces well-covered, we hardly noticed.
This is a really thrilling, unique activity, and especially fun for those who donʼt ski but want the mountain experience. Groups set off hourly, and itʼs open to anyone over the age of 12.
Le Massif was taken over in 2002 by Daniel Gauthier. He started off as a street performer in Baie-Saint-Paul and went on to be co-founder of world-famous Cirque du Soleil.
Charlevoixʼs Le Massif, the highest ski mountain east of the Rockies. You can reach it
via a 140 km scenic rail service from Quebec City. In 2002 Le Massif was taken over by Daniel
Gauthier, who started off as a street performer in Baie-Saint-Paul and went on to be co-founder
of world-famous Cirque du Soleil. A shuttle service connects the ski mountain to Le
Massif’s recently-opened contempary-style Hôtel La Ferme.
Le Massif, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada