Tonight we had a nighttime adventure in the deep dark woods of the Laurentian mountains in Quebec. Our group of 21, ranging in age from 6 to 65, met up at the base lodge of Mont Tremblant and tried on snowshoes, then we took the gondola straight up to the windy, snowy summit of the mountain.
In single file, as the afternoon light waned and clouds drifted in front of the setting sun, we entered the forest full of snowy trees close by our faces and we hiked down and around a one-kilometer track. Our destination was the Refuge de Trappeur, in the Versant Soleil area of the large ski resort, a rustic cabin restaurant with gas lighting and a cozy wood stove.
Here, two friendly cooks had the beers and wine ready and the cheese already bubbling for the fondue. A table was spread with salads, sausages, vegetables and sliced ham. Using the narrow fork, and twisting as we removed them from the cauldron, the delicious fondue went down easily. It was a hearty repast fit for such a rustic and isolated cabin, at the top of the 2800 foot mountain.
After the cheese, it was time for the chocolate. Strawberries, bananas and pineapple were laid out on the table and we dipped the pieces in melted chocolate. After everyone was fully sated, it was time to don our headlamps and start the trek down the mountain, about 4 km.
It was a little harder this time, in places the trail was steep, and more than a few of us landed on their butts. I even fell over backward while shooting a video of the trail. It was a winding, steep in places trail but the full moon above the Laurentians cast a glow on the line of snowshoers. The combination of the cold winds, the delicious repast, and the long hike made this a memorable evening, and one I’d highly recommend.
The tour and snowshoe rental for adults is $95, kids 8-12 years, $60, includes fondue dinner, headlamps, guided tour and the gondola ride. Details here.