Mont Sainte Anne is easy to figure out. As you face the mountain, the easiest trails are to the right. As you move to the left, they gradually turn into Mad River Glen, Vt. The most hardcore will want to grab the front (south side) of the mountain early, while it’s the least tracked. Warm up on Gros Vallon, then take Traverse to the Triple Chair, which serves the top half of the mountain and the most difficult blacks. Test your taste for steeps on the famous S, which has bumps, or Super S, which is groomed. Then try double-black Brunelle, a steep, moguled glade between Espoir and the chair. Cool down on Montmorency, then stop for lunch at the authentic French crêperie next to the gondola for a buckwheat crêpe filled with goat cheese and tomatoes or kiwi and chocolate. In the afternoon, check out Beaupré and Express. La Crête, meanwhile, on the left-most shoulder, provides spectacular views of the ice-encrusted St. Lawrence River, the Île d’Orleans (a big island mid-river) and Quebec City in the distance. No wonder it’s the favorite launching site for paragliders, who jump off at the summit and glide along the ridges to the bottom. Then ski the north side (not shown) for the sunset. Most of the trails on this side of the mountain are mellow, because there’s less vertical. But because it’s north-facing, it’s also the area that opens first and closes last.Almanac
Getting There Quebec City is 400 miles from Boston, roughly eight hours by car. You can fly there via American Airlines, Continental or Air Canada. Rent a car at the airport, or take a cab to your hotel in the city, and then hop the shuttle to and from the mountain.
When To Go Carnaval takes place the first three weeks in February. Contact: 800-363-7777; www.carnaval.qc.ca.
Sleeping In Packages at Chateau Mont Sainte Anne (800-463-4467) start at about $90 per night (U.S., per person), including lift tickets and breakfast. In Quebec, rooms at the centrally located Hilton (800-445 8667) run about $125. At the Chateau Frontenac (418-692-3861), the city’s only four-star hotel, rooms run about $330 a night.
Dining Out A full dinner with wine at Laurie Raphael (418-692-4555) runs about $60 per person. Le Saint Amour (418-694-0667) serves creative French haute-cuisine in a romantic Old City house for about $50 per person. Near Mont Sainte Anne, La Camarine (418-827-1958) is the best choice. Dinner here runs about $50 per person.
Après-Ski The Quebecois have turned the sugar-shack experience into a party. Just half an hour from the resort, Cabane à Sucre L’en-Tailleuris is the real deal (418-828-1269).
Kicking Butt Paragliding at Mont Sainte Anne. Call the Espace Libre Paragliding School at 418-827-5959.
Kicking Back The Izba Spa (418-522-4922) in Quebec City offers traditional Russian banya (steam bath), massage and modern holistic therapy.
Activities Everything from car races on ice to painting symposiums.
Don’t Miss Rent a toboggan and shoot the big slide behind the Chateau Frontenac (418-692-3861).
Vital Stats 56 trails, 428 skiable acres, 13 lifts, including a high-speed gondola. Summit elevation, 2,625 feet. Vertical drop, 2,050. Annual snowfall, 160 inches. One-day adult ski pass, about $30. Nightskiing is offered seven days a week. Contact 418-827-4561; www.mont-sainte-anne.com.