The pièce de résistance is the padded snow trousers that, along with helmets and sturdy snow boots, are provided free of charge and will keep us shielded and toasty when we head out on a snowmobile. Daniel drives ahead on his, guiding us carefully through the woods on to the frozen Sacacomie Lake, a glittering, wide-open space that’s ours for the taking. Racing up and down, clinging on to Chris feels utterly exhilarating – and romantic, although probably more Tom Cruise in Top Gun than James Bond (sorry, Chris). It’s not as insane as the ice driving but it’s faster than the huskies, and I feel like I’ve found my stride. ‘We must have been going at, what, 180km/h?’ I ask. ‘More like 100,’ says Daniel with a smile. We keep our armour on for the afternoon, swapping the boots for snowshoes when Daniel takes us out on his woodsman trek. It’s like having a tennis racket attached to each foot and seems as much a hindrance as a help when I fall over for the fth time, duly captured on the smartphone.
Daniel then leads us to a little hut where our host is entertaining company – full of stories about the life of a trapper back in the day, which stops it from feeling too much like the start of a horror lm. Later, we are joined by a group of our fellow hotel guests and Daniel lights a re on which to cook the llets of local trout he’s carried here in his rucksack. Glasses of Caribou (a u becois concoction of red wine, whisky and maple syrup) are downed and a song chanted about how ‘all we need is a cabin in the woods’. The sh is delicious and needs no seasoning, ‘as it tastes of nature’, explains Daniel. Yep, they’re proud of their trout at Sacacomie, with their food showcased in a French set menu at mealtimes.
We get three courses, including red ale onion soup for lunch; then four courses, with a heavy meat dish such as duck con t, at dinner. After all that, it’s a wonder I’m not airlifted out on a ski-plane. It’s worth allowing at least a couple of days – either before or after your time in the snowy wilderness – to take a look around Montréal. This beautiful city has the largest number ir anada ies ro ohannes ur via urope to ontréa and Toronto Sacaco ie od e s utdoor Discover ac a e starts ro a out or two ni hts Sacacomie.com