No Skis Required: Mont-Tremblant in Fall

We picked the perfect weekend to visit Mont Tremblant. Hues of red and yellow were just starting to peek into the tree canopy and the temperature made one think of flip flops rather than hockey.

We arrived at Tremblant late morning and the pedestrian village was already buzzing. On this trip, I had made a vow not to let my fear of heights get in the way of enjoying any activities. Skyline Luge Mont Tremblant seemed like an excellent place to start.

To reach Skyline Luge, we took a gondola half-way up Mont Tremblant. The activity consisted of taking an adapted go-cart on a course down the mountain. You could control the speed and stop with a hand-brake. Of course, for our son David, speed was the whole point of the exercise. My wife, Sandy and I rode the grandma and grandpa lane most of the way. I did not appreciate that Sandy passed me at the last minute to claim victory.

Mont Tremblant - Skyline Luge - Photo Stephen Johnson

Mont Tremblant – Skyline Luge – Photo Stephen Johnson

Once back in the village, we purchased an activity card that allowed us to pick any three activities at a reduced price. After hurtling down a mountain, I chose mini-golf as our first. We had a great time not keeping track of the score.

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the village enjoying the weather and ambience. The village is entirely pedestrian-only allowing a relaxed atmosphere unfettered by revving engines.

Even though we were in a chill state of mind, our adventure card had not been filled for the day. I saw there was an illuminated multi-media show, Tonga Lumina, that took place at nightfall. We had taken in a similar show in the Eastern Townships, Foresta Lumina, earlier in the summer and loved it.

The Tonga Lumina experience started from the moment we entered the line and we were given a necklace with a large rock-like centrepiece. The centrepiece would light up in different colours making me feel like I was a character straight out of a science fiction movie.

Mont Tremblant - Tonga Lumina - Photo Credit Tremblant Resort Association

Mont Tremblant – Tonga Lumina – Photo Credit Tremblant Resort Association

We took an illuminated gondola to the starting point of Tonga Lumina, using the necklace as a flashlight, and found the forest pathway transformed into an array of lights, sounds and special effects. The result was not overwhelming like a Las Vegas nightclub but more like a meditative light show. One of the highlights of the hour-long trail included one area where it felt like thousands of green fireflies surrounded us. At another station, we placed our necklace in a slot then drum music started playing and video projections were displayed.

The next morning, it was Sandy’s birthday, so we wanted to celebrate with something big. We could not have got any bigger than participating in ZipTrek, home to five zip lines including the longest one in Quebec.

I may have agreed to check my fear of heights at the door, but the longest zipline in Quebec is where I drew the line. Instead, I became the official photographer for David and Sandy. Once they were done suiting up, we took the panoramic gondola to the top of Mont Tremblant.

Mont Tremblant colours of fall - Photo Stephen Johnson

Colours of Autumn in Mont Tremblant – Photo Stephen Johnson

We took a short walk to the first zipline platform. Looking out over the forest, I wondered if Sandy was having second thoughts. As she bravely climbed up the platform and let out a scream of joy, it was obvious there were not any second thoughts. David approached the zip line like a cool professional, calmly stepped off the platform and was away like a shot.

While all this was going on, I was taking photos like the paparazzi had just spotted Meghan and Harry. I also had my share of adventure. An employee from Ziptrek had kindly offered to take me to the second zip line via 4×4. Riding on a UTV is not part of my everyday urban life, so it was a blast to go speeding along the trail.

Mont Tremblant - Not your regular urban 4x4 - Photo Stephen Johnson

Mont Tremblant – Not your regular urban 4×4 – Photo Stephen Johnson

We arrived just before David and Sandy were about to go on the second zip line. A light rain had started to come down and the entire mountain was enveloped in mist. When David set off, it looked like he was going directly into the heart of a cloud.

Mont Tremblant - Zipline into the mist - Photo Stephen Johnson

Zipline into the mist – Photo Stephen Johnson

It was soon time to return to base camp via the gondola. I met up with David and Sandy just as they completed their final run. Both described the entire experience as amazing and the best zipline course they had ever done. For the final zipline, David had decided to go upside down. We had rented a GoPro for David, so he had videotaped his entire adventure. Sandy thought the zipline experience had been the perfect way to celebrate her birthday.

Where to stay:

We stayed at the Homewood Suites Mont Tremblant. Located right in the pedestrian village, it was a pleasure to wake-up, eat the complimentary breakfast and walk out our front door into the village. We didn’t think about or step into our car the entire time at Tremblant. It also meant we could take an easy mid-day break in our hotel room between activities. Another bonus was that the room was equipped with a full kitchen and fridge, making meal preparation a possibility. We wished we had brought our swimsuits as the outdoor pool, and hot tub looked terrific.

Where to Eat:

There is no shortage of restaurants at Mont Tremblant. For lunch one day, we tried Microbrasserie Le Diable (The Devil microbrewery) We ordered the Burger de la Diable and of course, I could not resist trying some of the devil’s beer. I am happy to say we all enjoyed our meals and hopefully left with our souls.

Yaoooo Pizza Pub – I’ll be honest, I was not sure what to expect from a place called Yaoooo but what we got was delicious food. The restaurant featured one of the best music playlists I have ever heard. I loved hearing music from groups like The Band, Van Morrison, The Clash and Fleetwood Mac (yes, I am old).

 

Learn more about all the activities and events at Mont Tremblant at www.tremblant.ca.

 

The author and his family were guests of the Mont Tremblant Resort Association however they did not review or edit this article and all views are his own.

 

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