Friday, March 30, 2007

Ski hills in Ontario...yes we have ski "hills"

Second time in a month I have witnessed this same exact view. 11,000 feet direct to FRANX intersection inbound to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport. The sun, just itching to pop out from behind the few clouds in the area soon after this picture shows itself with great intensity. Amazing that it takes over 8 minutes to see it from when it actually departed the sun, but at 300,000 km/s that is still haulin ass.

Large airports have arrival and departure gates which are basically areas where inbound traffic is sent to a navigation aid and a subsequent set of waypoints to ease the workload for ATC and also establish standard operating procedures. Can you imagine having everybody climbing and descending into each other with no set path's to keep them apart ? So Montreal has it's arrival gates and we normally use the same one all the time. The Franx 5 arrival takes you in from Massena VOR, to Franx, bivro, dudso, which basically puts you on a right downwind for the 24's or it takes you from Franx to the initial fix for the 6's. Well yesterday I received a new arrival which takes you in from Maniwaki NDB to Mirabel VOR and it's amazing to do something new after doing it one way for almost the whole time.
It looks like snow in the fields below but it's actually water. It's been warm lately and there is lot's of water to be had in the area. Off the nose and across the water is the island of Montreal.

Calabogie Peaks Resort. Here is one of the few Ski Hill's in the area. It isn't very big but it's better then nothing. On the Quebec side of the border north of Ottawa there are some bigger hills in the Laurentian mountains. Also north of Montreal there are many ski hill's within an hours drive such as Mont Tremblant and about 3 hills in the Ste Anne De Monts area.

Now to accommodate all those ski bum Torontonians they have turned this whole escarpment into a "big" ski area. It is near Collinwood, Ontario and is a very beautiful area located on Nottawasaga Bay.

This area is a very nice rural area just west of Ottawa by about 45 minutes drive. The ski hill which you see (it is the white small dot in the right hand corner) is Mount Pakenham. The city of Pakenham is visible and lies on the Mississippi River (not the mighty one). Little rolling hills, lots of vegetation and farmers fields make this area a great place to visit. This was the main ski hill we went to on school trips in elementary school. Not much but still had lots of fun racing (30 seconds worth) to the bottom.

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