Tremblant Trail Review: Nansen, South Side

Tremblant Trail Review: Nansen, South Side

Today’s featured Tremblant trail review is a South Side “Green” run called Nansen, which also offers an optional “Blue” portion. 

The name “Nansen” was a dedication to this South Side run by Joe Ryan, the founder of Mont Tremblant’s Ski Resort, to Kare Nansen, the Norwegian ski and Ski Station expert he had retained to oversee the construction and development of the whole project in 1938. Nansen also has the unique distinction of being designed by non other than the world famous “Jackrabbit” Johannsen in 1938, for Tremblant’s first season and it remains a classic ski run even to this day. 

In a lot of ways, Nansen is like your best friend… relaxed, easy to live with, interesting and always there for you in the “long run”. 

The “long run” reference is a bit of humor which acknowledges that Nansen is indeed, the longest run at Tremblant. At around 6 kilometers, the run is comprised of gently flowing contours that are a delight for beginners who can find acres and acres of wide smooth terrain. Nansen follows the South-Western most perimeter of Tremblant, along a very gradual sweeping left hand curve on your way down which explains its long distance. 

Nansen could easily be described as a very “forgiving” environment, and just like your best friend, will help you get past any mistakes, and make you look like a star when you get things right. It’s the kind of run where even experts can go to polish their technique. Consistent, very high quality surfaces on Nansen mean that you don’t have to worry about being distracted by uneven or steep terrain, so it’s easier to focus on subtle refinements in technique. 

Nansen has another interesting characteristic though, that will challenge those with more advanced skills, in the sense that it calls for maximum gliding and carving efficiency to (safely) get the most speed out of it when traffic conditions are light. In short, Nansen rewards finesse from all skill levels that ski or snowboard along this wonderfully scenic route. 

Originating from the very top of Tremblant, Nansen is accessed by turning left when you disembark from the South Side’s Gondola or TGV quad chair-lift unloading zones. From the unloading zones of either the North Side’s Duncan quad chair-lift, or the Lowell Thomas triple chair, you would turn right. Then, proceed along the main mountain top access route called “La Crete”, past “Beauvallon” and “Alpine”, to the well marked upper entrance of Nansen. 

Right away, you have 2 options to choose from: 

Firstly, you could turn left and take “Nansen Pitch”, a short Blue section which is the steepest part of this run, 


You can bypass the Pitch and head right taking the most gentle route. This particular way is more like a meandering stream that even the newest beginners will be able to find confidence on. 

For those with a little more skill, the Pitch will get your speed & heart rate up, but only in a very friendly way, for even here, you will find that Tremblant’s grooming team have some of the very best surface conditions possible. For beginners, it means lots of grippy snow, with enough traction to work on building your confidence, or trying out new moves. 

Nansen’s playful split personality, where you have the choice between 2 levels of “Green”, is an enjoyable characteristic through the whole run. You will always be able to find the most gentle way to the bottom by following the “S” shaped alternate routes. 

The winter season of 2008/2009 has seen a reconfiguration to the lower 1/3 rd of Nansen, but has not changed its character to any great degree. The new format has made terrain towards the end of the run a little easier for beginners. Previously, the last pitch on the run was a bit prone to mogul formation and every once in a while it could get a bit choppy, so the new shape equates to a more manageable decent for those learning to ski or snowboard. 

For many years, Nansen has been a family favorite for “Last Run” and even today, a relaxed trip down through the magnificent panoramas that look out over Lac Tremblant, are views that will impress all who are fortunate enough to take this historic 1938 route.

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One Response to “Tremblant Trail Review: Nansen, South Side”


  1. […] who occasionally enjoy a relaxed saunter down Nansen (you can find a trail review of Nansen by clicking here), it’s all about minimising input, but maximising output! You’ll be amazed! What you’re […]

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