Writing Challenges

Hold on

Day 2 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing and I have no one to blame for this but myself. And Nicky.


Jan 21st 2013 was one of the coldest days in the history of my ears, so it made perfect sense that I’d be springing out of bed at 4am to make the 5:30am bus to Quebec City. 3 weeks prior I’d agreed to go skiing with colleagues and although I knew that I’d have to wake up early to do so, I didn’t know that locally it would be -25C, without the wind. The top of a mountain 4 hours to the north wouldn’t be any warmer.

Most of the drive along A40 was in darkness. There was a faint glow in the Eastern sky for what seemed like hours and then 30 minutes before the Old City, the sun suddenly popped up over the horizon like a flickering golden dime. It always amazes me how slowly the sun rises when you watch it and then how quickly it does, when it finally gets going.

The St-Lawrence was frozen solid, its shoreline littered with the jagged, frozen debris of ice floe causalities from the recent thaw and sudden refreezing of the river. The bus continued north, leaving the historic city and its outskirts behind, making its way deeper into the Charlevoix region and up into the mountains.

Now we were on narrow, snow choked secondary roads leading to the summit. Minutes later, we’d arrived, and although I was warm in my 4 layers of clothing I was itching to get off the bus.  I don’t know about you, but after 4 hours on a packed tour bus, claustrophobia begins to set in.

I put on the rest of the essential layers: balaclava, hat, gloves and goggles. Stepping off the bus, I grabbed my gear and walked over to meet my team, the snow squeaking beneath my boots.  .

Saying it was cold would be an understatement, but as long as you were dressed warm, skiing in extreme cold was entirely possible (and enjoyable!). One word of advice though:

Don’t hold on to the chairlift with bare hands or else you’ll never be able to let go.
le massif summit riviere st laurent coldest day

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