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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2021 Ontario Stoke: What we lack in length we make up with girth!

    Anyone can ski actual mountains with exciting terrain, but it takes dedication to show up to ski in Ontario. Let's get it started, shall we?

    To begin, here's some new music from a local band.


    02/18 - It was an above average day at good old Blue Mountain. Stats for the uninitiated:
    • Elevation: 720 feet
    • Skiable Acres: 364 acres / 147 hectares
    • Trails: 42 named trails
    • High-Speed Six: 5
    • Quad: 1
    • Triple: 1
    • Surface Lifts: 4
    • Uphill Capacity: 26,750 per hour


    The cast:
    Paulster (best skier on the hill, as yuge)
    T-man (snowboarder, but overall an okay person)
    Jimbo (Paulster Sr., 71 years old, true skiing OG, skis like Stein)

    Arrival is like any other place, park your car and boot up. Grab a lift ticket from your reservation and off you go. Incredible the amount of people who show up to pick up lift tickets that don't have their confirmation email handy.

    Lift lines broken down in to 3 rows - groups of 1, 2, and 3 skiers. Gap in between. They've got people organizing us in to groups for the 6-pack lifts. There is always an empty seat between groups for some fake social distancing. Masks mandatory and they've got staff walking the lines to make sure people are complying. I'd say 99% face-covering takeup overall. People were doing a great job for the most part. Personally IDGAF about COVID outside so I wasn't really getting worked up about # of mask layers or effectiveness on others or any of that. Just noticed whether or not they had something. Shoutout to the lady wearing one of those "le masque" things with a hole under the nose and holes where her cakehole was, though.

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    Ride to the top. Benefit of Ontario skiing: short lift rides! View of Georgian Bay is always quite nice. Lake Tahoe sucks in comparison, I think.

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    Not a lot of people on the slopes. Always nice when that happens.

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    Lunch tailgate. This of course is nothing new to awesomesauce people like ourselves but one thing about COVID I like is that there was definitely a cool parking lot vibe from all the others finally rejecting the shitty overpriced cafeteria food and chilling out at their cars.
    Jimbo enjoying his PB&J so much he is giving a grand total of zero fucks about getting his coat all dirty from the truck. This man has skied everywhere since the 60's and still takes any opportunity to get after it anywhere he can. A true legend.

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    And the rest of the day. Overall a fun time skiing groomers and dodging those pesky gapers.

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    Any skiing can be good skiing if you've got the right attitude.
    Last edited by paulster2626; 02-19-2021 at 02:25 PM. Reason: QC

  2. #2
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    Nov 2020
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    12
    Good write up Paulster. That view never gets old looking out over Georgian Bay. First place I ever skied. Yikes! More than fifty years ago. Wood skis with screwed on metal edges that were handed down from my old man. He cut his teeth skiing Camp Fortune.

    Too bad that hill is three or four hours from here and every time I go there I come home in various whiteouts and icy roads.

    Our bump gets very busy after ten but nice to get a bunch of laps in before then. Looking forward to a quiet day Monday with possible rain. That always keeps the riff raff at bay. Three visits so far this week and will avoid the weekend. X-country in the local golf course will have to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,440
    Right on man, nice Ontarien stoke!

    Good to see they finally allowed the hills to open up over there.

    Calabogie is still on my hit list.
    24° 06°

  4. #4
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    Jan 2016
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    963
    Hey great stuff paulster. You Dad rocks too. Laughed pretty hard at "Benefit of Ontario skiing: short lift rides!" I am totally stealing this line. And thanks for the lift line intel, I've been wondering how they were going to set it up.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by petey_ View Post
    Good write up Paulster. That view never gets old looking out over Georgian Bay. First place I ever skied. Yikes! More than fifty years ago. Wood skis with screwed on metal edges that were handed down from my old man. He cut his teeth skiing Camp Fortune.

    Too bad that hill is three or four hours from here and every time I go there I come home in various whiteouts and icy roads.

    Our bump gets very busy after ten but nice to get a bunch of laps in before then. Looking forward to a quiet day Monday with possible rain. That always keeps the riff raff at bay. Three visits so far this week and will avoid the weekend. X-country in the local golf course will have to do.
    Hmm you sound like skiing OG Jimbo up there. Talkin' about your old-ass equipment and always worried about the drive home!

    Where is your local bump? I live beside Glen Eden - gonna crank it up to 11 on 240' of vert this weekend it's gonna be killer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    The great white north eh
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    201
    Great to have an Ontario stoke thread again. Paulster I was keeping an eye out for you yesterday but never did see the dancing bears. Happy to see others getting at it here in Ontario. There’s some good fun to be had here if you love to ski!

  7. #7
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    Jul 2014
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    137
    This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!


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  8. #8
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    285
    Awesome writeup! I have some history in the area.

    Lived in St Sauveur (Laurentians) and the discussion of metal screwed in edges and wooden bases hit home. Lived in Toronto and my parent signed us up for Ravens every weekend. We’d get on the bus and head to Georgian Peaks when it was still public. Every Saturday. Did that for 2 years.

    Lived in London , Ontario during high school. Skied the Byron Bump...claimed 180’ vertical, I think the engineers suggested more like 80’.

    Had fun at/on all of them.

    Awesome stoke!


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  9. #9
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    Nov 2020
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    12
    Byron Bump? Harumph! Boler Mountain eh. After they completed Hill 2000 sometime well into the 2000s we doubled the vertical. A tad over 200 feet if I'm not mistaken. They do a great job of making snow and the grooming is up to par. Ten minute drive from home and I can slide on snow. Bigger hills are over rated. Short rides on the lift do give you more runs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    12,352
    Substitute Wisconsin for Ontario, and there’s my youth. Except for the girth part. Ain’t no girth in Wisconsin, unless we’re talking bratwurst.

    That pic of Georgian bay reminds me of ontonagon UP Michigan. Awesome Lake Superior view.

    Stoke is where you make it. #JoeDirt
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

    “I got the degree of Stamp-licker from the Bezuzus Mail-order University”
    Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    167
    Another London, Ontario skier who makes the 3hr drives to Blue Mountain and the 3.5hr one to Moonstone for about 30 plus days a year in addition to yearly trips out West.


    Boler Mountain is 95 vertical on the original hill and around 200 on the newer hill but haven’t been in years except with friends and their kids a few times. Cheaper for me to both a Moonstone and Blue Membership than a single membership there! Boler and Glen Eden, where I’ve gone to teach my GF skiing on their sweet magic carpets always makes me chuckle as my Ski Tracks ski app would show speed and distance but not count runs as the app is probably thinking “no way the run is over so soon!” Haha


    Got 7 days in at Moonstone before the shutdown and was out Tuesday to Friday at Blue Mountain this week. Got to experience “once in 20 years powder day” there on Tuesday with 30cm overnight and 10cm more during the day! Even had my 118mm Moment Wildcats out to enjoy it with! Lines were Christmas break weekend busy but the skiing was good all week.

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  12. #12
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    Apr 2014
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    Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by petey_ View Post
    Byron Bump? Harumph! Boler Mountain eh. After they completed Hill 2000 sometime well into the 2000s we doubled the vertical. A tad over 200 feet if I'm not mistaken. They do a great job of making snow and the grooming is up to par. Ten minute drive from home and I can slide on snow. Bigger hills are over rated. Short rides on the lift do give you more runs.
    Boiler Mountain? No idea it had been renamed! They found enough garbage to add 100’ of vertical? Very cool!

    Keep in mind, my days (and a lot of night skiing) were the period from 1976-1980. T-bars with interminable lift lines. We used to hang out on , if memory serves, the run was called “Elbow” and walk up and down on skis practising “ballet” skiing tricks, helicopters, leg breakers, tip drag 360’s, crossover and reverse crossover 360’s, etc.

    It was social and it was fun. Worked Saturdays at Pop Shoppe main plant and went skiing Sat nights with buddies when one of us could score a car from parents.


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  13. #13
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    Nov 2020
    Posts
    12
    The new hill is impressive considering the past. Ventured onto it a few times as it was being built. They were gathering dirt and whatever else they could pile onto that thing for years. A bit frightening to see rebar sticking out of the ground while exploring the new slopes. Broken furniture? Busted up concrete? Yes and more.

    Got a Blue picture and report from my brother after he was there last week. It did sound marvy noslow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    30
    As someone who cut his teeth on 300 feet of vert, and with lots of friends in your parts who get most of their days in at blue, this whole thread speaks to me.

    Definitely takes a higher level of commitment than those of us out west, so good on ya for keeping up the stoke.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,140
    The adventures continue! This one's for the kids - time to break out the passes and try to get enough days in at Glen Eden to make them worth the price. I think we need 8 days - better go out both days this weekend...

    No music today, let's cut right to the STOKE!!

    Glen Eden is the true GTA (Greater Toronto Area) local's hill. It's right beside the 401 (major highway), and say what you want about this place but it's close, good place to learn, has some history, and their grooming abilities are on par with Sun Valley. Those peeps can get every slope covered and skiable with 2cm of snow. Lucky for us though this year has seen great local snowfall thanks to a not-too-cold polar vortex.

    The stats:
    • Vertical Rise - 240'
    • Runs: 16
    • Lifts: 3 quad chairs, 3 magic carpets
    • Distance from Paulster's house: 11 minutes
    • Website: gleneden.on.ca


    Trail map:


    The cast:
    Paulster (trailing kids for potential wipeout cleanup duty)
    Mrs. Paulster (provider of encouragement)
    Paulster Sr. (man/myth/legend)
    Paulster kids (boy 8 - timid, girl 6 - balls of steel)

    So, if you want to go skiing at Glen Eden this year, you need to reserve your time. It appears they've got 25 lift ticket slots starting at 8:30am when they open, every 3 minutes. So, they can still cram a lot of people in there. The secret (shhh!) to this place is you need to get there at 8:30 and plan to leave around 11:30 when it gets slammed with tourists from the city (since I live nearby I can be a jaded local, right?). Passholders can book dates 10 days in advance, and the lesser members of society can do so 7 days in advance. Last year your season pass got you 10 free hot chocolates, not so this year (damn you, COVID!). Masks mandatory of course. Your ticket is only good for 4 hours this year. Trust me though, you don't want to stay any longer than that.

    Arrival - looks like it might be a nice sunny day. No wind!

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    This place is usually big on people bringing their kids to ski while they wait in the lodge (wtf, I know). Also, the system we developed over the years was for the wife and I to boot up in the parking lot, and then we'd haul the kids gear up to the hill and we'd get them all set up inside the lodge. This year that's obviously not going to happen so it's parking lot boot-up for everyone it looks like. Seeing everyone doing this in the parking lot tickles my nostalgia for some reason. A sense of comraderie of cold hands and dirty clothes from the road salt caked on our vehicles. Anyway, up at the hill they've made improvements for this COVID crap - observe:

    Fire pits existed before, but now have more chairs and are more prominently positioned:

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    They've also built these cool little 3-sided shelters for people to take a break or put their stuff on. This is big-brain Ontarian thinking right here! (bonus: check out that well-stacked wood)

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    Alright kids - you guys ready to rip up these slopes??

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    View from a chair. It's kinda nice here, and doesn't really feel that close to the big city (aside from the constant dull drone of trucks on the 401...).

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    Sometimes when you're skiing you get to watch a CP Rail train blow by. This train track makes it a giant pain to get from the parking lot to the hill. Here's the boy going to help his sister who's equipment has seemingly exploded mid-run.

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    Time for the best part of the day - the apres. Figured we'd move the cars to the back corner of the lot and just play it by ear. Turned out to be a good idea. View from what we've termed "The Spot":

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    Hey look - that guy T-Man is back and he brought his family this time!



    The Legend™ enjoying the sun with his granddaughter.

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    Sunday: rinse and repeat. This time with more sun, and hot chocolate!

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    Skiing is more than just vertical and adrenaline.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2020
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    12
    Looks like a fun weekend Paulster. Good stoke.

    Odd conditions yesterday. 4 inches of soft wet goo to start. Many crashes out there so I decided to leave the hill and return at 11:30. Much better than the early sticky stuff. I'll take ice over those conditions any day. Today looks like a carbon copy of yesterday's weather. Meh.

  17. #17
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    Oct 2014
    Location
    Ottawa
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmelon View Post
    Right on man, nice Ontarien stoke!

    Good to see they finally allowed the hills to open up over there.

    Calabogie is still on my hit list.
    Ski hill isn't bad, neither is the track (Calabogie Motorsports Park) for non-winter automotive escapades.

    Edit to add: this past weekend they did not limit the number of tickets sold at Calabogie, nor did they have an online reservation system. Although, typical COVID stuff was in effect, social distancing, masks and whatnot.
    Quote Originally Posted by jlboyell View Post
    Climate change deniers should be in the same boat as the flat earthers, ridiculed for stupidity.

  18. #18
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    Dec 2009
    Posts
    20

    Glen Eden > Chickopee

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyg82 View Post
    Ski hill isn't bad, neither is the track (Calabogie Motorsports Park) for non-winter automotive escapades.

    Edit to add: this past weekend they did not limit the number of tickets sold at Calabogie, nor did they have an online reservation system. Although, typical COVID stuff was in effect, social distancing, masks and whatnot.
    Ah some quality resorts here. After hitting Chickopee we'd be ready for the big time of Glen Eden, or the Peaks! Can't really say I miss any of them after having lived in many places in west....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    20

    Etobicoke

    Yo! Anyone skied that place in Etobicoke? I showed up there one day, and figured
    it was faster to walk up than wait and take the lift. Smallest place I ever skied.

  20. #20
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    Jan 2009
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    1,140
    Quote Originally Posted by ski_it View Post
    Yo! Anyone skied that place in Etobicoke? I showed up there one day, and figured
    it was faster to walk up than wait and take the lift. Smallest place I ever skied.
    You mean the old centennial park dump? Pretty sure it hasn't been in operation, well, forever ya boomer. 60' of vert?

    Few ski hills would enjoy such surrounding population density though. At least we got that going for us!

  21. #21
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    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by ski_it View Post
    Ah some quality resorts here. After hitting Chickopee we'd be ready for the big time of Glen Eden, or the Peaks! Can't really say I miss any of them after having lived in many places in west....
    If anyone is ever in the area and needs someone to show them around Glen Eden, just hit me up. Might be able to even swing a free lift ticket.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    963
    GF is skiing at Hockley Valley today and I'm extremely jealous. Words I never thought I'd say. I'm still side lined with a sprain. Have fun out there guys.

  23. #23
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    Nov 2020
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    12
    Don't forget about Earl Bales. Some famous names from that hill. Used to live across the ravine on Bogart Avenue. I'm guessing they are still under lockdown?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    20

    You Ontario Phonies

    Unless you've skied the gnar of the Nor'westers you haven't skied Ontario. Posers.

  25. #25
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    Nov 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by ski_it View Post
    Unless you've skied the gnar of the Nor'westers you haven't skied Ontario. Posers.
    Onaping/Levack? Or, are you talking The Soo and Thunderbay? Further west? It's a big province.

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