People and Places

Mountain making: Mt. Ste-Marie just got bigger

Here’s a new word for your vocabulary: homologation. Broadly, it means accreditation — something a group of ski enthusiasts is chasing at Mont Ste-Marie, a ski hill an hour north of Ottawa. The goal? A world-class ski run that’s big enough for North American championship ski races, where racers can reach speeds upward of 100 km/h. The new trail will allow racers over the age of 16 from across the region to train, compete, and build skills that will help them contend for a spot on the national ski team.

The existing run was recently renamed after national ski team member (and local hero) Dustin Cook, who last season won silver at the World Championships and gold at the World Cup finals. And while it was good enough to get Cook started on his path to the podium, it’s a bit too short and too narrow for national-level giant slalom and super giant slalom races. So in the past, serious Ottawa-area speed demons (and their parents) often had to drive to Mont Tremblant for elite events.

Here’s a look at the changes coming to the Dustin Cook run (Above illustration by Remie Geoffroi):

465

Approximate total height in metres

90

Vertical metres added

20

Distance in metres the run has been widened in some places

2,000

Racers who will use the run this winter

540

Cubic metres of rock displaced

8

Number of dynamite blasts, which remove rock and brush — the latter used as filler for holes

10

Number of snow guns currently used to ensure full coverage

10

New snow guns wished for following homologation

$183,610

Amount raised at press time by about 100 + donors, many of whom used to race at Mont Ste-Marie, in a GoFundMe campaign. With a goal of $190,000, homologation is in the works for the 2015–16 ski season.

2

Number of new provincial championship mid-week ski races that will be hosted at the new course.