First opened in 1964, Ski Bromont is a family-owned ski area located close to Montreal, in Quebec’s relaxed and hospitable Eastern Townships (Cantons D l’Est), only about five hours from the major cities of New England.
A word about language
Everyone knows that the Canadian province of Quebec is French speaking and that discourages some who would enjoy the experience from travel there. A couple of facts should calm those concerns. The Eastern Townships were settled in the late 1700s by refugees from the American Revolution (up there they are called Loyalists). So for many families, English is their native language. And though most of the populations does speak French, many -- especially in the hospitality business -- speak good to superb English. Don’t worry about language, it is not a problem.
The variety and the challenge
One thing that impresses about Ski Bromont is the scope of skiing and boarding that is available. The slopes (versant) cover seven sides of four mountains, providing an amazing variety of trails to enjoy. Of the total of 155 trails within the ski area, 24% are marked for beginners, 37% are intermediate and the remaining 39% are evenly split between single- and double-black diamonds.
One thing about Canadian trail ratings should be noted. Compared with ratings in the United States, the challenges for all classes, beginner, intermediate and expert, tend to be a bit higher than the corresponding rating in the U.S. That said, they are enjoyable and challenging at each level. One particularly nice feature of this mountain is that ratings at the beginning of a trail continue to the bottom of the hill, preventing a beginner from taking a green trail only to find that part way down it is a black diamond.
Bromont is the largest of the Eastern Townships’ ski resorts and the closest in style to the full-service resorts of the U.S.. Hotels, such as the Chateau Hotel Bromont, are close and some offer shuttle service to the mountain. The full-service lodges and have boot rooms, restaurants, and equipment rental as well as a service desk. A learning area for all ages is separated from, but adjacent to, the lodge and the green and blue trails of Mont Soleil, a nice arrangement for learners and anyone wanting to renew old skills.
Fun for all levels on all faces and a super deal on tickets
The main trails of the mountain are on Mont Brome, called Versant du Village, which rises directly from the large lodge at their base. A nice long green trail, Brome, winds down from the top and on the opposite side a blue, Cowansville, also provides a nice cruiser to the bottom. Most of the trails between them are black diamonds. On the back of Mont Brome and on Mont Spruce, the trails are primarily green and blue and provide some of the nicest runs on the mountain. Hollywood and San Francisco are two nice greens on this face and Miami drops down from the peak of Mont Spruce.
Because its seven faces vary in direction, there is almost always good skiing somewhere on the mountain regardless of the weather. The front face of Mont Spruce, called Versant de Espinettes, is another place for experts to play. From the top are several nice blacks to the right and greens and blues to the left. And the fun continues after dark. Bromont has the biggest lighted skiing in North America, 103 trails for night skiing.
One colossal ticket deal
But, one of the best things about Bromont is their Sweet Pass deal. It is only for nonresidents of that part of the world and is available to Americans. You get a season pass for $195 adults and $165 child that allows you to ski from now to the beginning of the ski season next winter. Ski for the rest of this season, go back in summer for mountain biking, hiking and the water park all on this one ticket. It also comes with special hotel deals and coupons.
Staying and playing in Bromont
Bromont is a small town that has grown toward the mountain, as all of the four season activities available here have drawn more people. The original small village on Rue Shefford is nice to visit. At night the steeple of the big, granite, church of St Francois Xavier is beautifully lighted and across the street the Confiserie Bromont is home of the Musee de Chocolate. The museum is interesting and the chocolates divine. In back of the chocolate shop is a nice cafè with excellent cakes and pastries. On the road into town, try La Micro de Bromont, a micro brewery that moved here from Montreal.
Lodging and dining
There are a number of good places to stay in Bromont. One of the closest to the mountain is the Chateau Bromont. This stylish place has a central enclosed courtyard with pool, an excellent fine-dining restaurant and a casual bistro. The base lodge is close and the hotel has shuttle service to the mountain. You can’t go wrong eating in either the hotel’s Les Quatre Canard or in Le Bistro de l’Hôtel. Another good choice for dining is the smaller Le Auberge Madrigal, on the main street into town, with an outstanding restaurant and a few comfortable rooms. Another alternative is the very comfortable Le St. Martin Hotel and Suites just off the inter-provincial highway.
Getting to Bromont
From Boston and southern New Hampshire take I-93 past Littleton into Vermont, then I-91 north. From Hartford and western Massachusetts take I-91 north. At the Canadian border continue ahead on Highway 55 to the intersection of Highway 10. Take it west (toward Montreal) to the exit for Bromont. There are two round-abouts, you need to go left at both, crossing the highway after the second one.