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Le Massif

posted: 07/25/2005

Elevation: 2,644 feet
Vertical: 2,526 feet
Snowfall: 236 inches
Acres: 240
Info: 877-536-2774;

Beta: An hour north of Québec City, in what feels like the middle of nowhere, Le Massif's main lodge and parking lot are perched atop the resort—which means you take first run before first lift. Twenty-five hundred groomed feet below meanders the frigid St. Lawrence River.

First Tracks: Lock the car, click in, and follow the cat track skier's right all the way to L'Ecore. It's not steep (25 degrees), but it's always empty. From there, continue past La Couillon to La Fénoméne, which drops another 1,000 feet to the C lift.

Must-Hit: Riddled with rollers, spruce-and-fir clusters, and pretzel-like twists, the blue-square glades of L'Archipel (between the B and C lifts) are straight out of a 007 chase scene. On the A-lift side, hit the double-black bumpfarm of Le Sous-Bois in the morning, before the wind hardens it.

Après: Order a draft beer served in a maple syrup bucket from Michel Bisson at Le Pub, one of Le Massif's two bars. Nobody knows the resort's glades and powder stashes better than he does—and, if you're nice, he'll share the wealth. Next, head 45 miles to Québec City, where the real party awaits.

The Tip: Take a day to explore Québec City—North America's answer to Old Europe, where you gawk at eclectic Colonial architecture by day, dine late, and stay out howling all night. The multi-leveled Club Maurice and Chez Dagobert are the rowdiest nightspots.

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