Slopes overlooking the St. Lawrence River
|Location||Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Quebec, Canada|
|Nearest city||Quebec City: 70 km (43 mi)|
|Vertical||770 m (2,526 ft)|
|Top elevation||806 m (2,644 ft)|
|Base elevation||36 m (118 ft)|
|Skiable area||406.3 acres (164.4 ha)|
- 15% Easy
- 30% Intermediate
- 20% Difficult
- 35% Expert
|Longest run||5.1 km (3.2 mi)|
|Lift system||6 total
1 high-speed gondola
3 detachable quads
1 novice conveyor
|Lift capacity||11,200 skiers/hr|
|Snowfall||645 cm (250 in)|
|Snowmaking||70% - 174.6 acres (70 ha)|
Le Massif de Charlevoix ski area is located in Petite-Rivière-Saint François, Charlevoix, Québec, a 75-minute drive from Quebec City. Its vertical drop is 770 m (2,526 ft), the highest in Eastern Canada and east of the Rockies. It is one of the few ski areas that is accessible from both the base and summit.
Skiing season usually lasts from early December to late April. Le Massif de Charlevoix's has an above average annual snowfall compared to other ski areas in Eastern Canada with a five year average of 645 cm (250 in). While the snow pack at the summit can exceed 240 cm (90 in) in a typical winter, the base is near sea level and can quickly begin to melt by April.
La Charlevoix, the steepest trail with a pitch of 64%, is home to the only alpine training center east of the Rockies for Canada's athletes.
Skiing at Le Massif started at the end of the 1970s, with snowmobiles towing groups of skiers from the main road at the top and a van serving as the lift. In the early 1980s, commercial operations started with la Société de développement du Massif. Starting in 1983-1984, school buses were used to drive skiers from the base to the top after each run. In the summer of 1992, two chairlifts were installed: a high-speed quad and a fixed-grip double.
2001 was a year of significant change for Le Massif. A new road was built from Route 138 to the top of the mountain. The distance between Quebec City and Le Massif summit was then reduced to 70 km (43 mi) instead of the 95 km (60 mi) previously needed to reach the base via the village of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François. At the same time, The Cap Maillard was raised by 35 m (115 ft) to create La Charlevoix, an FIS standard downhill trail mapped by alpine course designer (and champion) Bernhard Russi. It hosted the speed events of the 2006 Junior World Championships, with technical events at Mont-Sainte-Anne. However, La Charlevoix was deemed unsuitable for hosting an Olympic downhill men’s event hurting Quebec City's chances at hosting a Winter Olympics.
Daniel Gauthier, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, bought Le Massif in 2002. Daniel Gauthier is no longer a co-owner of Cirque du Soleil and has used part of the proceeds of the sale of his participation in that venture to purchase Le Massif.
In 2009, after a record snowfall of 915 cm (360 in), Le Massif added 26 acres (11 ha) of backcountry skiing on Mount A Liguori.
Le Massif is about to undertake[when?] a major development known as Territoire Le Massif. This will open up the third peak to skiing, but mostly transform the mountain and surrounding area into a distinctive four-seasons resort, while respecting environmental values.
The project has a budget of about C$180 million in new investments, in addition to the $50 million already spent and comprises three parts:
- La Ferme (The Farm): Hotel, services and activities in Baie-Saint-Paul, on the site of a burned-out farm. Opening in June, 2012, it was awarded first prize in the Hotel and Service Retail Category of the Retail and Leisure Interior awards in March, 2013.
- La Base (The Base): Services, lodging and activities at the base of Le Massif, West of the village of Petite-Rivière-Saint François.
- Les Crêtes (The Ridges): Services, lodging and activities at the summit of Le Massif.
- Charlevoix Railway
- Groupe Le Massif Inc.
- List of ski areas and resorts in Canada
- Stoneham Mountain Resort
- Machan, T. (November 10, 2010). "Skiing Quebec’s Le Massif, Canada: A new circus rings in the changes". Telegraph Media Group, UK.
- "Mountain Stats". Le Massif de Charlevoix. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- It’s looking downhill for Quebec’s Olympic bid
- "Charlevoix Ski Train Ready to Roll". First Tracks!! Online. 11 August 2011. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- "Hotel la Ferme wons top interior design award worldwide". Press Release, March 7, 2013. Le Massif de Charlevoix. Retrieved 17 March 2013.