Winter sports, Quebec
Local all-vertical-surface-climbing training outfit Roc Gyms handles instruction and trips for all levels of climbers, beginner to advanced.
For the absolute beginner, they run half- and full-day sessions at the Chute de Montmorency that are a great introduction to ice climbing. Our instructor was laid-back, but knew what he was doing and explained everything well, and he stayed beside the real beginners until we were able to handle everything safely. These sessions are also a good way to try it out before you invest in the equipment, since they provide most of it.
You have to book (and pay by card) in advance, and have to arrange your own transportation to the base of the falls. There are instructors who speak English, but you’ll have to request one when you book. When I called, the person taking the reservations did not speak much English, but we managed, and I even got the right sized boots. The reservation was all done on the phone – I have not visited the gym itself.
Equipment: - Harness, crampons, axes, and ropes are all provided
- You'll need real climbing or ski boots, which you can rent through Roc Gyms
- You'll need warm, water-resistant clothes that allow maximum flexibility
- Definitely bring a change of gloves, just in case
Since 2006 Red Bull have sponsored an annual ice-skating competition here in Quebec - Crashed Ice. This event is not for the faint-hearted. The 550 metre ice-track plummets down from Chateau Frontenac to the Old Port with twists, bumps and jumps to be negotiated at speeds of up to 44 km per hour.
Participants come from all over the world through an International series of qualifying events with the finals here involving 64 male competitors and 16 women. This is an evening race spectacularly lit-up against the back-drop of the Old City and attracts about 85,000 spectators. If you're a keen photographer don't miss it - check out the website for some samples.
Normally the event takes place in January but there has been some controversy and it appears that the 2010 race may not be till March.
Every year in December, Place d'Youville transforms itself into the city's most famous outdoor ice rink. The rink is not that big, but it is conveniently located in the Vieux Quebec area, just outside of the St-Jean gates, which makes it a beautiful place to skate. Music plays day and night (though not as loud at night, of course!) and you can rent a pair of skates at a nearby stand. Of course it can get pretty crowded during weekends so it's not the kind of place where you can go play hockey or skate at full speed! The rink is refrigerated, so even if we happen to be having a really warm winter (which often seems to be the case lately), the rink will still be open. Oh and access to the rink is free, so if you've never tried ice skating before, let this be the place to try it - it might turn out to be one of the highlights of your trip to Quebec City!
Equipment: You can bring your own skates or rent them.
wHO SAID ONCE THAT (( good gies never win )) Not normal to come in canada, anywhere in canada and not watching at leas
one hochey game. Fast, spectaculor, rough and verry intrigant. You wont regret it.
Plan an expedition of your choice on snowmobiles. Start from quebec an go wherever you want for few days.
Equipment: When you rent the snowmobiles they give you the warm cloths for you vacations.