Tremblant Trail Review: Geant, North Side

Fri, Mar 13, 2009

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Tremblant Trail Review: Geant, North Side

Geant is a North Side trail which originates just to the right side of the Duncan Quad Chair-lift, as you look down the North Side. 

The run was part of the initial trail development program put in place by Intrawest for its official “On-line” date during the 1992 season. The name “Geant” signifies both the scope of Tremblant as the largest Laurentian ski mountain, as well as Tremblant’s status as a premier Eastern resort. 

Accessing Geant from the Duncan Quad Chair requires a simple “U” turn to the left as you disembark at the top. You’ll find yourself already on the Duncan trail (which the chair crisscrosses above as it reaches the summit), and Geant just a little further down towards the right. You’ll also find the entrance to the Superieur trail to the right of Geant

Geant is rated as a single “Black Diamond” due to its fairly steep pitch. However, like many runs at Tremblant, it’s also quite wide. So in this writer’s opinion, if you have solid intermediate level skills and you’re not intimidated by the view, then you can ski or snowboard Geant if you take your time making long traverses using the width of the run to control speed. 

Snow conditions on Geant are often amongst the best at Tremblant which is typical of the North Side, often getting more snow accumulation from Tremblant’s prevailing winter wind patterns. It’s an important point to consider if you’re a confident intermediate attempting Geant, because fresh dry snow over a good base are the best set of conditions for you to try it out. 

The prevailing winter wind patterns sometimes result in signifigant powder accumulations on Geant, particularly on the lee side of the trees bordering the run. If there is drifting, a snowfall of around 10cm could result in accumulations of up to 20 cm or more close to the trees. On a fresh powder morning, you will find a lot of locals racing to enjoy “First Tracks” on Geant to take advantage of the deep snow and its steady quick pitch. 

Geant is also a favorite morning run for many Tremblant regulars because its rather North-easterly tilt gets the sun as soon as it rises. This also makes Geant a favorable spring skiing run in the mornings, when the sun’s energy softens it up first, after a chilly night. 

True spring conditions (where the whole run becomes soft), are also a good time for solid, confident intermediates to try Geant as the extra resistance of moist, spring “corn” snow acts as a natural way to keep your speed in check so you can maintain control along the way. 

From its entrance at the summit, Geant has a very shallow reverse “S” shape along its initial pitch from the top. Under average winter conditions, speed will build quickly if you’re facing the fall line, so for those of you who find black diamond runs really appealing, Geant will be sure to get your heart pumping quickly! 

One very nice feature of Geant‘s pitch is its consistency. Geant‘s upper portion which covers about 2/3rds of Tremblant’s North Side vertical is a true fall line run, very even, very consistent, right on camber, meaning that you do not have to turn “uphill” toward any favored side, and an excellent run to build a good rhythm on. 

This is evident in the photo sequence here, where you can see the summit radio towers for quite a way down its length. 

Another characteristic of Geant is due to its broad width. When there’s either lots of traffic, its been a while since we’ve had new snow, and there are worn or slick portions in the center, those who can make lots of short radius turns will almost always be able to find good turning surfaces on one or both sides of the run. These “edge of the run” surfaces will vary in width, but are usually between 3 to 5 meters or so. 

The bottom portion of Geant is just about as long as the top, but because we might commonly refer to it as a “run-out”, it has much less pitch as it makes its way towards intersecting with the Duncan trail. This intersection is just above the base of the Duncan Quad Chair-lift. 

Experts who enjoy a real speed rush will love Geant. Taken quickly, it’s one of the most direct routes, from top to bottom. So if you’re trying to squeeze in an extra run to catch the clock for “last run” on the North Side, Geant is an express route down. The total length of Geant is 2.26km with wonderful natural fall line contours. Give Geant a try soon!

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