Visitor reviews for Mont Ste Marie Ski Resort
April 09, 2013
Gary MacDonald from Canada
Mont Ste-Marie is the only real mountain skiing in the Ottawa area. It has almost twice the vertical as the next highest area resort but it's only half an hour beyond Edelweiss and Vorlage.
Lift lines are modest or non-existent. Both Mont Ste-Marie's mountains have detachable quads and snowmaking.
Black runs on the Vanier side (Carol Ann, Exhibition, Tornade) are reasonably challenging, but the real challenges are to be found on the Cheval Blanc side. Vanier, however, has a couple of blue runs (Serenade and Bellevue) that low intermediate skiers will really enjoy. Grooming is both regular and pretty good. Quite frankly, I love the place.
(Though I just wish it was easier to get to the Cheval Blanc side from the main lodge. The little bus is a pain.)
The lodge has individual padded chairs upstairs (!), a great view of the hill, a small cafeteria with very good prices and a bar with frequent live music evenings. Staff are great and always helpful.
Mont Ste-Marie has a very flexible season's pass structure that caters to just about every skier. For example, you could get a 2013/2014 weekday pass for $149 - if you bought it in March 2013.
Thumbs up for this great resort!
Mont Ste Marie Ratings
Overall: 3.4. Based on 1 vote and 3 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Mont Ste Marie.
Public Transport: 1.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Mont Ste Marie, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Mont Ste Marie, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Ski in/Ski out: 5.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Mont Ste Marie is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Mont Ste Marie relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 5.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Mont Ste Marie, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Mont Ste Marie are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Mont Ste Marie is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 1.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Mont Ste Marie, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.0
(1) Mont Ste Marie usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 5.0
(1) The staff at Mont Ste Marie are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Mont Ste Marie are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Variety of pistes: 3.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Mont Ste Marie has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Mont Ste Marie, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Mont Ste Marie, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Mont Ste Marie, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Mont Ste Marie has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.0
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
February 28, 2011
Andrew from Canada
By far the best hill in the Ottawa Valley, Mont Ste Marie is twice the hill of any of the nearby slopes. Customer service is exemplary. Examples: my son's snowboard binding broke, and he was given a snowboard for the rest of the day, free. My daughter's boot also broke the next week, and the same treatment was offered.
My 5 year old booked a lesson, and then baulked when the time came, and was given a refund, no questions asked.
February 22, 2010
Albert from Canada
Wanted to try alternative to Cascades & Edelweiis. Drive is noticably further; Mont Ste Marie is at the limit of where I want to go for a basic day of skiing.
Although hill is higher & runs longer, most run choices have a significant flattish ski-in and ski-out component so "ski-able" portion is about the same as smaller hills closer to the city. Getting to/from the "other side" is awkward but do-able. Grooming was good the day we were there.
Side note to MSM (Mont Ste Marie) management - if you're going to offer a promotion, don't leave the customer feeling cheated. Presented a 2-for-1 coupon for a few of the passes I was buying. The normal posted weekday rate was $36 but they charged me the $43 weekend rate with some gobbly gook about it being a special. Right, a "special" for all weekdays all season long.
Overall, good day but no better than the closer hills.