You probably landed here by googling something like “Is the Mont Tremblant snowshoe and fondue hard?” or “Will I plummet to my death off the side of a mountain in the dark on my quest for cheese?”. I’m happy to say the answer to both of these questions is no.
When I first committed my family of four to the Mont Tremblant Snowshoe and Fondue Tour, I’ll admit that I couldn’t readily find the answers to the questions I had (see question 2 above). Which is why I’m going to give you the lowdown so you’re ready to conquer Mont Tremblant.
Everything You Wanted to Know About the Mont Tremblant Snowshoe and Fondue Tour But Were Afraid to Ask
Be On Time
I mean this just makes sense for everything in life but when a group of people are standing in sub-zero temperatures waiting for your tardy ass, they can get kind of ragey. Also, the guides will only give you a few minutes to arrive before they leave you behind.
The meeting place for the tour is at the Valet Ski, which is right beside the gondola at the base of the mountain. Do not confuse the gondola with the Cabriolet which moves people up from the parking lot area to the base of the mountain.
Dress For the Conditions
To most Canadians the art of layering is as second nature as saying “eh”. Mont Tremblant however attracts visitors from around the globe. It’s important to know that as cold as the temperature might be you will alternate between wanting to roll in the snow in your underwear and wrapping yourself in heating pads—sometimes within minutes of each other.
This hike is a workout so when you’re moving you’ll be sweating and you’ll want to be able to remove layers easily. The moment you stop though, those layers will go back on.
DO NOT wear cotton anything next to your skin. Cotton will get damp from sweat and then get cold against your skin. Make sure your base layer is synthetic, wear wool socks, invest in warm boots, and bring toe and hand warmers with you.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the trek for the snowshoe and fondue hike is all downhill. While you certainly don’t have to be a world-class athlete to complete it, you do need to have a certain level of physical aptitude. In other words, if you get winded easily you may want to reconsider.
The terrain can be steep and sometimes a little icy. Also, because you can put a lot of pressure on your joints moving downwards, if you need a brace for your knees for sporting activities, you’ll definitely want to put it on for this.
Let Your Backbone Slide
Don’t be too nervous about the steep icy side of things. There is no shame in parking your bum on the snow and sliding down. It’s actually a lot of fun and a great way to get in touch with your inner child. The end of the tour allows guests to slide 300 feet down a ski slope.
Get Cheesy (and A Little Chocolatey)
Don’t forget why you’re doing this. Cheese. Hot. Melted. Cheese.
The hike to The Refuge on Versant Soleil is worth the effort. Inside this cozy and charming cabin awaits a leisurely two hour fondue meal. Don’t be shy, you earned it getting there. Guests can fill their plates with sausage, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and bread to dip in a traditional fondue cheese dip. When you think you can’t eat another bite, they bring out the chocolate fondue. Don’t worry, you’ll find the room.
Here is my only warning; watch the wine. The wine pours freely here, so remember this; you are your own liquor control board, you are only half way down the mountain, and if you have to relieve yourself it will be in the woods. Brrrrr. Save the celebrating for the bottom.
Take It All In
The fantastic thing about your guides for the Mont Tremblant Snowshoe and Fondue Tour is that they are incredibly patient (in addition to being very safe). They want you to take your time and enjoy the view. After all, you’re tromping through an area that is 540 million years old; it deserves your admiration. From start to finish, you’ll snowshoe about 5 kilometres through some of the best scenery Canada has to offer.
When your tour is done, the pedestrian village of Mont Tremblant waits for you like a warm hug. Before you head back to your room, be sure to stop in and have a celebratory drink. You’ve earned it.