In winter, Québec becomes one giant playground for a whole host of sports!
“Oh, how the snow has snowed,” wrote Québec poet and winter enthusiast Émile Nelligan. Snow is the defining feature of winter in Québec, and our people have always known how to make it their own. The Amerindians made snowshoes and taught dogs to pull sleds, two survival techniques that have been turned into much-loved leisure activities. In colonial times, ice canoeing was the only way to cross the frozen St. Lawrence; now it’s a typically Québec sport. The Norwegian “Jackrabbit” Johansson earned his nickname for being so fleet of foot on cross-country skis. He was the first to bring this sport to North America and he never stopped promoting it in Québec, particularly in the Laurentides region where he lived. The sport is practised across the province today! Ice skating was originally a means of locomotion; it became a social activity in towns and villages in the 19th century and it’s still a favourite sport among Québecers. Québec is also the birthplace of the snowmobile, designed as a utilitarian form of transportation, but soon adopted by leisure-seekers: today the province has over 33,000 km (20,500 mi.) of signposted snowmobile trails. They’re perfect no matter what kind of thrills you’re seeking, from a simple jaunt to a more demanding trek. For the more intrepid, climbing the frozen Montmorency Falls is a must-do adventure. One last tip: popular wisdom would have it that “there’s no such thing as a day that’s too cold, just people who are underdressed …”
This love of snow sports naturally means a wide range of sports competitions.
Every year, the ISSF World Snowshoe Championships take place at the same time as the Québec Winter Carnival. The 10-km (6.2-mi.) challenge ends in the heart of Old Québec. The pros of ice canoe racing have their own event in Québec City on February 8, on Ile aux Coudres in the magnificent Charlevoix region on February 13 and 15 and in Montréal on February 21. Lastly, from February 19 to 22, the 16th FIS Snowboard World Cup takes place in the Québec City area, at the same time as the 10th edition of the Snowboard Jamboree.
Adventure in the heart of winter
Imagine a giant peninsula bordered by the sea and the St. Lawrence Estuary, towering mountains and snowy boreal forests, frozen lakes… Gaspésie is quite simply breathtaking! Every year, the Traversée de la Gaspésie on cross-country skis, and more recently on snowshoes, attracts snow lovers from the world over. For the 13th edition, the route combines the Monts Chic-Chocs with a stop in Percé. This athletic endeavour is an adventure where art, music and regional food are also spotlighted.
From February 21 to 28, 2015, starting from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.
2/ Québec City
The Snow Pentathlon experience
Every weekend, from January 31 to March 1, 2015, the Plains of Abraham in Québec City play host to the 11th edition of the Snow Pentathlon. This competition attracts top athletes, but it’s open to everyone and offers a variety of distances to cover while biking, running, cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing. The events are back to back and can be completed alone, in pairs or as part of a team. The warm atmosphere turns the biggest winter multisport event into a celebration, particularly given that the first three weekends coincide with the Québec Winter Carnival!
Crossing a lake… by bike!
While the tradition of swimming across Lac Saint-Jean dates back to 1955, the same challenge has only been offered by bike since 2013, in a frosty cycling adventure between Péribonka and the Roberval ice village. With 30 km (18.6 mi.) reserved for athletes and a route of 10 km (6.2 mi.) to allow amateurs to get their feet wet, everyone can enjoy the experience, regardless of ability. One thing is certain: this event has been a big success… the second edition is already full. You can still be at the finish line for this original race in the Roberval ice village, where over 350 huts are placed on the ice every winter between January and March: skating rinks, lit walking trails… it’s the perfect place to share the Northern spirit that takes hold of Québecers during the snowy season.
February 28, 2015
The Wendake nation will host the 4th International Aboriginal Tourism Conference, on March 24 and 25 in the magical setting of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Hotel. Over 300 industry players from Québec, Canada, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia will gather to talk, share best practices, celebrate achievements and enjoy authentic experiences. This event is part of the incredible development of Aboriginal tourism: in Québec, some 150 Aboriginal businesses play host to 800,000 visitors every year in their parks, museums and hotels.
Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations
The contemporary architecture of this boutique hotel adjoining the Musée de la Nation Wendake is inspired by traditional longhouses. With their designer décor, works of art and Amerindian objects, the 55 rooms and suites are bright and cozy. The restaurant is renowned for Northern specialties.
Gîte du Mont-Albert
The Gîte du Mont-Albert is a magnificent inn that offers guests every comfort they could desire. Set in the mountains, in the heart of the Parc national de la Gaspésie, the inn has built a reputation for hospitality, fine regional dining and a unique décor. Its doors are open to all park visitors.
Auberge des Battures
Between the fjord and the forest, this is a favourite country-style inn. Enjoy superior quality comfort and services. Sample the fine cuisine rated 3 diamonds (AAA/CAA), while taking in the superb views of the Baie des Ha! Ha!
For further information and/or reservations, contact:
1 877 Bonjour (1-877-266-5687)