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Mont Vallières-de-Saint-Réal. Photo: Phil Émond

5 Reasons Why Gaspésie Is the Ideal Backcountry Ski Destination!

Discover why the Gaspé Peninsula offers you the best backcountry skiing east of the Rockies!

225 peaks over 1000 metres high

Experience the intensity of real mountains in Gaspésie! With 25 peaks over 1000 metres high, the Chic-Chocs will wow you! In Parc national de la Gaspésie, you can go backcountry skiing on two of Québec’s highest peaks: Mont Albert (1151 metres) and Mont Logan (1128 metres).

Skieur dans les Chic-Chocs
Réserve faunique de Matane. Photo: Jeff Bartlett

Average annual snowfalls of 4 to 8 metres

Adeptes de poudreuse : en Gaspésie, vous serez servis! Perchée à 575 m d’altitude dans les Powder lovers will be in heaven in Gaspésie! Nestled in the Chic-Choc Mountains at an altitude of 575 metres, the town of Murdochville has an average annual snowfall of nearly 5 metres. On top of that, the surrounding peaks over 1000 metres high receive nearly twice as much snow, or about 8 metres! Every winter, Gaspésie is hit with about eight snowstorms, at least one of which leaves accumulations of 50 cm to 100 cm of snow.

Skieur hors-piste au mont Lyall dans la réserve faunique des Chic-Chocs
Mont Lyall. Photo: Phil Émond

25 ski areas offering a variety of experiences

Parc national de la Gaspésie, the Matane and Chic-Chocs wildlife reserves and the town of Murdochville are the main places to go backcountry skiing in the region. In addition to these areas, all of which offer multiple peaks, you can also enjoy backcountry skiing in private ski areas, sites affiliated with the FQME and even some downhill ski resorts.

There are many ways to get up the mountains to go backcountry skiing: using climbing skins (skinning), by snowmobile, by snowcat (catskiing) or by helicopter (heliskiing). As for lodging, more and more options are available, including winter campsites, yurts, cottages and 4-star lodges and hotels.

Gaspésie currently offers 25 ski areas, and others are under development. Whether you are new to this sport or want to improve your skills, you will find an area that suits you. Stay tuned!

Skieuses du White Lips au mont York à Murdochville
Catskiing on Mont York with Chic-Chac. Photo: Phil Émond

Hundreds of enthusiasts willing to share their expertise

The mountains in Gaspésie have been attracting backcountry ski enthusiasts since the 1970s. At Ski Chic-Chocs, a passion for guiding has been passed down for two generations, from grandfather to grandson. For the past 10 years, Chic-Chac has been turning Murdochville, a former mining town, into a backcountry ski hub, while the White Lips event introduces about 100 women to backcountry skiing every year.

These veterans are joined by new guiding companies every winter. New ski areas are also constantly being developed thanks to an army of passionate volunteers who cannot wait for winter to hit the slopes again!

Skieurs accompagnés des guides de Ski Chic-Chocs
Photo: Ski Chic-Chocs

Excellent resources, including Eastern Québec’s only avalanche centre

Stay safe as you backcountry ski in Gaspésie thanks to the multitude of resources available in this region, including certified guides, training accredited by Avalanche Canada, the Ski Haute-Gaspésie app and the Parc national de la Gaspésie Mountain School.

In addition, Avalanche Québec, Eastern Canada’s only avalanche centre, is located in Gaspésie. It publishes “Conditions Chic-Chocs,” which contains snow and weather reports, alpine weather forecasts and an avalanche bulletin for the Chic-Choc Mountains.

With high peaks, thick powder snow, a variety of ski areas and experiences, access to excellent resources as well as spectacular sea and mountain scenery, Gaspésie offers you the best backcountry skiing experience east of the Rockies. Be in the loop! Plan your trip at today. #gaspesiewinter

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