Ski Canada Magazine



Mont-Orford is looking pretty good these days while in the midst of a major, $11-million renovation begun in 2018.

The most visible result of the revitaliza­tion is a hugely expanded base lodge. Now visitors just go through one set of doors to buy a ticket, pick up rentals and set up private or group lessons. And new for 2022, a quad will replace an austere, if nostalgic, double chair to speed intermedia­te skiers up the often sun-soaked Mont Alfred-Desrochers.

Orford’s three peaks and four faces offer a complete range of terrain options, but like Mont Sutton, it has a hefty share of advanced and expert terrain. Two regions in particular abound in steep and tight terrain. One is skier’s left of the east chair on Mont Giroux, and the other is either side of Chevreuil off the top. The black-diamond-studded trail map only hints at the surprises that await just a few trees left or right of the marked runs. Not to be left out, beginners get special treatment while riding the double Magic Carpet that runs inside a transparen­t tube.

Being part of a “national” (i.e. provincial) park, the base area is relatively pristine, but that also means there’s no ski-in/ ski-out accommodat­ion or onsite hotel. Park visitors (skiers and otherwise) make themselves at home toward Magog along Hwy 141, where longestabl­ished lodges and inns welcome guests with hot tubs, pools and on-site fine dining.

Situated just 25 minutes from Sherbrooke, the resort also gets its share of day visitors. But not all of them slide into the lift line. All four of the regions’ resorts have embraced the new enthusiasm for alpine touring, but Mont-Orford offers the largest network of options for those who want to walk up the hill before skiing it. For those who opt to climb, there are five main routes, with plenty of onoff options along the highest route that ends at the top of the Townships’ 850m-high Mont Orford itself.

Runs: 44

Vertical: 589m

Skiable terrain: 99 hectares Lifts: 7

Annual snowfall: 444 cm

 ?? ?? Decision time: straight up or take the long way around?
Decision time: straight up or take the long way around?

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