Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ski Season is Coming!

We drove to Collingwood the other day, to have lunch with a cousin who faithfully visits twice a year.  We ate at the Eggsmart restaurant, a breakfast and lunch spot that closes at 2.30.  It was a great visit with good food!  On the drive back from Collingwood, a few of the ski runs on Blue Mountain become briefly visible, and they were making snow, reminding me that ski season will soon start.

Here they are, right in front of us.  You may be able to see a bit of blurry snow in places; that's where they have the snowmaking going.

The big resort here, out of sight to the left, is Blue Mountain.  Next come the Toronto and Craigleith Ski Clubs, and then the runs you're seeing here for Alpine Ski Club.  The last one, in the picture below, is Georgian Peaks.  Thus 'Blue Mountain' conveys two different meanings.  First it refers to the entire bedrock outcrop that creates this long north-easterly slope, with its five ski destinations, but second it refers in a more restricted sense to Blue Mountain Resort or just 'Blue'.  'Blue' is the only public ski area; the others are private clubs, with very substantial initiation fees.

You can see the snow-making guns blowing like mad in this picture of 'The Peaks'.  All these clubs as well as the resort work hard to have snow cover in time for Christmas.  The holiday week that follows is their busiest week of the year, and contributes enormously to profitability.

Those of you used to the mountain ski areas of the west, or even the Appalachians, will see these slopes as mickey mouse - but they're all we've got!  The bedrock layer that creates Blue Mountain is the Manitoulin Dolomite formation, a layer at the top of all these slopes; the easily eroded Queenston Shale supports all these (mostly) gentle ski runs.

Looking the opposite direction I managed to get a shot of Georgian Bay without trees in the way.  Here the shoreline you're looking at consists of the very flat layers of the Lindsay Formation. home to many fossils of the Ordovician era, 440+/- million years ago.

Ski season no longer means much to me, though I can still relate to the thrill of swooshing down the hills.  But it means a great deal to the thousands who come here during winter months to enjoy those slopes!


  1. It is great to have downhill skiing accessible to so many. These hills are huge compared to the ski hill here,

  2. Lots of ski slopes there!!
    Noticed the ESSO gas station. Used to see them around here but in 1972 they changed to Exxon.

  3. I'll happily look at the bay and ignore the skiers.

  4. That's a lovely shot of Georgian Bay :)

    All the best Jan

  5. Although I can still do it, the idea of cross country skiing no longer makes me excited. Could it be my age?

  6. Never have skied of any kind but for this who do, these slopes will be exciting.

  7. We've no snow to speak of here, and I know that the nearby Mission Ridge is usually busy over Christmas too. I suspect they're busy making snow as well. It's an interesting process.

  8. Those ski slopes look like the one near here, nothing like the long steep slopes with a lot of twists and turns in New Hampshire and Vermont -- but you takes what you can get. At least you have snow, from the forecasts we won't have snow for at least two weeks and probably more.

  9. I have never been to Collingwood in the winter but I suspect it is a very, very, busy place with all the ski hills in operation. I so much like the topography in that whole area.